Roasted Asparagus with Feta ♥

Roasted Asparagus with Feta ♥, roasted without oil and topped with warm, melty feta. Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly.
How to roast asparagus in the oven without oil with no more than a little salt and high heat. That's right, you read that right, no oil! While roasting, the asparagus is topped with feta for sharp bursts of melty cheese.

Fresh & Seasonal. A Spring & Summer Classic. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Low Carb. Low Fat. Weight Watchers Friendly. Vegetarian. Naturally Gluten Free.

Vegetables + Oil + Salt & Pepper + Heat: The Usual Way to Roast Vegetables

So we all know the drill for roasting vegetables, right? It's the basic formula. Just cut them up a bit, toss them in oil and a little salt and pepper and then toss in the oven at high heat. RESOURCE: How to Roast Vegetables

Except? This roasted asparagus turns that formula upside down ... or is it inside out? Anyway, here the asparagus is roasted without oil at a very high heat. I think it works for asparagus (vs other vegetables) thanks to their heavier skins and meaty spears. In fact, do choose thick spears of asparagus for roasting this way, save the skinny guys for steaming or microwaving, they're just too delicate for a blast of high heat.

Since the biggest time requirement is preheating the oven to 500F, asparagus like this is best made when the oven will already be hot, say a roast chicken night, say, so the asparagus roasts while the chicken rests before carving.

It turns out, this is my very favorite way to roast asparagus. Even though there's no oil, the feta adds plenty of richness. For especially nice presentation, roast the asparagus in individual serving dishes or in an oven-to-table serving dish. That way, there's no need to disturb the feta while transferring from a baking sheet to a serving dish.

I do have other ways to roast asparagus but this is my favorite!
Barely Roasted Asparagus
Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Vinegar
Slow-Roasted Asparagus
Kalyn's Roasted Asparagus & Mushrooms

"It was fantastic!!!" ~ Pille
"... I was skeptical, roasting a vegetable without oil? But I have learned to trust Alanna and ... DELISH! And pretty enough for company." ~ Seashell
"It's absolutely delicious ..." ~ Anonymous
"YUMM" ~ mydadsnameisharold


Prep time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 30 minutes (including 15 to preheat oven so less if it's already hot)
Serves 4
2 pounds (900g) thick spears of asparagus (see ALANNA's TIPS)
Kosher salt
2 ounces feta cheese (see TIPS)

Preheat oven to 500F/260C. Rinse asparagus, cut or break off the woody ends (see TIPS). Arrange the spears in a single layer or a loose layer or two on a baking sheet or oven-safe dish. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Place in the hot oven and roast for 8 - 15 minutes until fully cooked. About halfway through the time, turn the spears halfway and sprinkle the feta over top. Serve right away, hot from the oven.

ASPARAGUS If possible, try to roast spears of similar thickness so they're done at the same time. Taste-wise, the thick spears are especially sweet and moist and delicious when roasted, thin spears are better saved for steaming or raw salads. Asparagus afficinados break off the woody ends just where the woodiness starts – there is a natural, quite perceptible spot. My technique doesn't require examining every spear: I simply cut the spears to the same length all at once, cutting about half-way up, removing all trace of woodiness though sacrificing some of the good flesh. Here's a quick video, photos too, showing how to break off the woody ends.
WASTE & PORTION SIZE Since so much of the asparagus spear isn't edible (46% according to notes I've kept over the years), if you start with two pounds of asparagus, the edible portion will turn out to be about what I use as "standard" for A Veggie Venture, that is, that a pound of vegetables serves 4. If you happen to start off with just a pound of asparagus, then use just 1 ounce of feta too.
FETA My recipe notes mention that French feta will melt. I only use Greek feta and like how it holds together in hot melty clumps for big bursts of saltiness. But Greek feta doesn't always turn that pretty toasty brown, it helps to put the baking tray under the broiler for the last couple of minutes.
TIMING Because of the high temperature, these move from roasting to roasted in a flash. In my experience, at 10 minutes these aren't close to ready, at 15 they are a little too done. After 10 minutes, I'd check every minute or so.

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Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. This sounds fantastic, Alanna! I'm off to get some green asparagus now (I always have some nice feta cheese in my fridge anyway)

  2. Alanna - it was fantastic!!! Thanks for bringing this recipe to my attention - much appreciated.

  3. Hi. I usually just toss asparagus with olive oil and liberal salt and pepper, then roast it at a lower temp (425) for a bit longer (start checking at 15 min). Even "plain" we like it so much that just two of us can finish a pound of asparagus -- adding feta sounds amazing.

  4. AnonymousMay 12, 2008

    I admit it. At first I was skeptical - roasting a vegetable without oil? It would dry out! But, I have learned to trust Alanna and ask questions later. I followed her instructions, adding fat free feta because it was the only feta in my fridge. DELISH! And pretty enough for company. Thanks Alanna!

  5. I realize this recipe is rather old, but I just stumbled across it and love it. I'm a vegetarian and have been having it with a poached egg on top for dinner. It's absolutely delicious, thank you for introducing me to my new favorite meal!

  6. Anonymous ~ Ahhh, thanks for writing! I do read every comment, even for recipes which have been around for a long, long time. This is totally one of my favorites for asparagus from the early times of A Veggie Venture. Are you as glad as I that asparagus will soon be in season again?!!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna