This sous vide asparagus recipe is my go-to sous vide vegetable recipe. Topped with a simple lemon pepper it is ready in about 10 minutes. Or in about the time you need to sear off and rest our sous vide pork tenderloin. I dare say they are match made in heaven!
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I am not sure where the rumor that you shouldn't sous vegetables came from. It is absolutely the fastest and easiest way to ensure tender yet crunchy veggies. You know, when they are perfectly cooked but still have that snap.
While I typically won't get my sous vide wand just to make a quick side dish. If I have it out, I am going to make my side dishes sous vide style. At least one of them.
Why do we love this recipe? Let's see... it is:
- Gluten free
- Dairy Free
- Perfect complement to almost any sous vide meat recipe; beef, pork, or fish!
- Quick and hands off
🧾 Ingredients and Substitutions
Sous vide asparagus is a simple recipe using basic ingredients that are probably sitting out on your kitchen counter. Because of this, it is important to select a fresh lemon and fresh asparagus.
- Fresh Asparagus
- Lemon- We are using the zest only.
- Salt and Pepper
- Olive Oil- This is for drizzling so pick a good quality oil.
See the recipe card for quantities.
How to Select Asaparagus
The number one rule when selecting asparagus is that the tips should be tightly closed for the freshest product. The diameter of the stalks is more a matter of personal preference when sous vide cooking.
Color is a matter of preference. Asparagus can be green, purple, or white, depending on the variety. Make sure the color is not faded. A good grocer will chill asparagus or store it standing upright in a bin of water.
Asparagus is considered part of the "Clean 15" meaning organic is nice but not imperative.
⏲️ How to Sous Vide Asparagus
I am assuming if you make this recipe, you already have your precision cooker running. When you are ready to make the asparagus turn the temperature up to 180 F degrees.
If not, you will need to fill a large pot or container with warm water. Using your immersion circulator, preheat the water bath to 180 F degrees.
Step 1- Prep the Asparagus
Trim the ends of the asparagus. The best place to trim green and purple asparagus is right where the white transitions to the green.
For white asparagus, I hold each end and snap. Then use the breaking point to line up and trim the remaining asparagus.
Lay the asparagus in a single layer in your bag. Sprinkle on salt, pepper, and lemon zest.
Seal the bag using your vacuum sealer. If you don't have a vacuum sealer, you can use a 1 gallon freezer bag and try the water displacement method (details under tips and tricks below).
Step 2- Cook
Submerge your vacuumed sealed bag in the water. The bag needs to be fully submerged. See the tips and tricks below for options. Cook for 10 minutes.
The actual cooking time for sous vide asparagus is based on the size of the stalk. Pencil thin should be cooked for 8 minutes and the large thick stalks up to 12 minutes.
Step 3- Serve
Cut open bag, place asparagus on a serving plate. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with extra slices of lemon.
The asparagus should remain bright green and have a bit of crunch to it.
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tips and Tricks
Water Displacement Method
If you do not have a vacuum sealer you will need to use the water displacement method with a gallon size freezer bag. It is impossible to get all the air out of the bag with this method.
As long as you force out any air bubbles trapped around the asparagus you won't end up with any uneven spots.
Place the asparagus and seasonings into the resealable freezer bag, then slowly lower the bag into the cooking water. The pressure of the water will force out the air through the top of the bag.
Once most of the air is out of the bag, carefully seal it. You can then drop the bag into the pot and cook as normal. If there is a large unused area try clipping the bag to the side of the pot so it doesn't interfere with the pump of your precision cooker.
How to Weigh Down a Sous Vide Bag
You can buy sous vide weights specifically made for weighing down bags. However, I don't find that necessary.
There are two options for weighing down your bag. First, you can simply place a dinner plate on top of the bag to weigh it down.
Or you can make your own sous vide weight by placing a spoon or butter knife (i.e., something without a pointy end) into the bag before you seal it.
You can dress up our lemon pepper sous vide asparagus by experimenting with different types of peppercorns and fine sea salts.
Drizzle with homemade hollandaise sauce, a balsamic syrup, or top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
I recommend the mid-range model 1000 watt Anova precision cooker. Along with this, you will need a few accessories.
I highly recommend a vacuum sealer. Great for preserving leftovers and it does make sous vide cooking much easier. I have a Food Saver brand vacuum sealer, but Anova also makes a vacuum sealer. Don't forget to buy extra bags!
🌡️ Meal Prep and Storage
Sous vide asparagus is great for a dinner party or holiday dinner for the same reason it can be made in advance. You can package and vacuum seal your asparagus up to 24 hours in advance.
I do not salt my asparagus until after cooking when doing meal prep. The long exposure to the salt can dim the vibrant green color.
Leftover asparagus can be stored in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. I like to chop up leftover asparagus and add it to salad or beet poke bowls.
You can also reheat in the microwave or in saute pan.
💬Frequently Asked Questions
While it is common to sous vide meat that is frozen I do not recommend cooking frozen vegetables this way.
It doesn't matter. When sous vide cooking the temperature is regulated so only the cooking time needs to be adjusted.
📖 Printable Recipe Card
Lemon Pepper Sous Vide Asparagus
- Fill a large pot or container with warm water. Using your immersion circulator, preheat the water bath to 180 F degrees.
- Trim the ends of the asparagus. Lay the asparagus in a single layer in a food-safe plastic bag.1 pound green asparagus
- Sprinkle on salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Seal the bag using your vacuum sealer or water displacement method.1 lemon, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Submerge your bag in the water. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Cut open bag, place asparagus on a serving plate. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with extra slices of lemon.1 teaspoon olive oil
- You can use white, purple, or green asparagus in this recipe.
- For pencil-thin asparagus cook for 8 minutes. For thick asparagus cook for 12 minutes.