Baked asparagus with cheese and breadcrumbs is a simple but tasty dish that combines fresh asparagus, seasoned breadcrumbs, garlic, lemon, and olive oil. This easy side pairs perfectly with any variety of main courses, but is especially great for holidays!
We’re big fans of veggies in our home and we truly believe that the simpler they are, the better.
While asparagus is so good grilled or roasted with just a bit of olive oil, we also love it topped with a simple breadcrumb mixture to add texture and flavor.
How to make it
Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.
- Preheat the oven to 400f and set the rack to the middle level. Remove the ends from 2 pounds of asparagus, grate 4 cloves of garlic, and zest enough lemon for 2 teaspoons of zest (about 1 lemon).
- Combine the grated garlic with a 1/2 cup of olive oil in a small bowl and set aside.
- Mince a 1/2 cup of parsley, grate 1/3 cup of Pecorino Romano, and juice enough lemon to yield 2 tablespoons of juice. In a medium-sized bowl combine 1/3 cup of plain breadcrumbs with the Pecorino, parsley, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of Sicilian oregano, 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, and 1/4 cup of dry white wine.
- Spoon half the garlic oil mixture onto a baking sheet and evenly distribute.
- Place the asparagus on top of the garlic-oiled pan and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Sprinkle the seasoned breadcrumb mixture on top of the asparagus.
- Drizzle the remaining garlic oil on top of the breadcrumbs and asparagus.
- Bake the asparagus for 25 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are brown and the asparagus is tender. If more color is desired, broil the asparagus for 1-2 minutes but watch carefully to help prevent burning. Sprinkle the lemon zest onto the asparagus right before serving along with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy!
Variations and substitutions
As always, we encourage you to take this recipe and tweak it to make it your own. Here are a few variations to consider.
- Wine. We used a dry white wine for this recipe but if you prefer to not use alcohol, omit it entirely.
- Pine nuts. Lightly toasted pine nuts would add additional flavor and texture and would make a wonderful addition to this dish.
- Cheese. We used Pecorino Romano for our baked asparagus but you could use parmesan instead. Just note that Pecorino tends to be saltier so you may need to adjust salt levels if using parmesan instead. A crumble of feta at the end would also be great!
More great sides
Veggies make such wonderful sides and here are a few of our favorites!
- Baked artichoke hearts – with seasoned breadcrumbs.
- Baked cauliflower – with cheese and breadcrumbs.
- Broccoli rabe – with garlic and oil.
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Baked Asparagus with Cheese and Breadcrumbs
- 2 pounds asparagus ends cut off
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest for finishing
For the seasoned breadcrumbs (mix together)
- 1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup Pecorino Romano grated
- 1 teaspoon dried Sicilian oregano or Italian oregano
- 1/4 cup parsley minced
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup dry white wine pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, etc
- Preheat the oven to 400f and set the rack to the middle level. Mix the seasoned breadcrumbs ingredients together and set aside.
- Combine the grated garlic and olive oil together in a bowl. Spoon half of the garlic oil into a sheet pan and spread it around to evenly distribute.
- Place the asparagus into the pan and season with a bit of salt and pepper.
- Next, sprinkle the seasoned breadcrumbs on top of the asparagus, then drizzle the remaining garlic oil on top. Bake for 25 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are brown and the asparagus is tender.
- For more color, the asparagus can be broiled for the last 1-2 minutes but watch very carefully to avoid burning. Sprinkle the lemon zest onto the asparagus right before serving and drizzle a touch more extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy!
- If desired, broil right at the end for extra browning but watch carefully because the breadcrumbs can burn quickly.
- A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil all over the finished dish is great. You can also opt for drizzling onto individual plates.
- Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days and can be reheated in the oven at 325f until warm or in the microwave.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.