How to Cook Asparagus in the Microwave

Deliciously fragile and elegant, imported asparagus is available almost all the year round, but you’ll need to wait between April and June for the UK variety. Those long tender stalks with only 4 calories per stem are bursting with nutrients and call for fast and easy cooking.

According to the World Health Organisation food that is cooked in a well maintained microwave oven is safe and very importantly retains all their nutritional value, which can’t be said about boiling, or deep fat frying. Follow my easy steps on how to cook asparagus in the microwave for a tasty side or starter any day.

My Steps on How to Cook Asparagus in the Microwave

1. Buy Fresh Asparagus

Purchase asparagus at it’s freshest i.e. green with firm tight tips and not too woody at the base of the stem. If you aren’t going to cook the asparagus immediately after purchase, store upright in a container with 5 centimetres of water in the base. This keeps the stalks fresh for longer.

2. Preparation Before Cooking

Regardless of the method you choose for cooking the asparagus, the preparation is the same.

  • Wash carefully under cold running water to remove all soil and other residues.


  • Pat dry.
  • Cut or snap off the woody base, approximately 5 – 7 centimetres (2 – 2 ½   inches) from the bottom of the stem.

Chopping Asparagus

  • Thick stems need the scales peeled, approximately 5 centimetre (2 inches) from the base. This is best done with a vegetable peeler or alternatively a very sharp paring knife.  This will help the asparagus cook faster and evenly. Don’t bother peeling thin stems, they are always tender enough.


3. To Cook Asparagus  in the Microwave

  • Cooking asparagus in the microwave could not be easier.
  • I like to place the asparagus in one layer on a round plate. Depending how many being served, this may take a couple of turns.
  • Sprinkle with water and shake over a little salt to season.
  • Cover with cling film.
  • Cook for 3 – 4 minutes, leave to stand for the same time after removing the cling film.
  • While one plate of asparagus is standing repeat the process (if feeding more than 4).
  • Alternatively loosely wrap a handful of asparagus in damp but not wet kitchen paper. Place on a plate and into the microwave.  Microwave for 4 -5 minutes. Stand for 3 minutes to continue the cooking process.
  • Asparagus should be crisp rather than soft. Cook for longer if soft is preferred.

4. Best Way to Serve Asparagus Cooked in the Microwave

You just can’t beat simple asparagus with Hollandaise sauce. Try my quick and easy recipe! The butter levels are little excessive, so this is a special treat only.

Instead why not try:

Smoked salmon slithers and poached eggs

Smoked salmon slithers with poached egg

Parma Ham and Potatoes

Parma Ham and Potatoes


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About the Author


Sian Breslin is a qualified home economist, Mum of 3 boys and teacher for over 25 years. She is founder of Sian's Plan and believes that healthy eating can be made convenient with a little organisation.
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