Roasted Asparagus & Mushrooms ♥

Roasted Asparagus & Mushrooms, another simple, healthy vegetable side ♥
How to oven-roast fresh asparagus and mushrooms together for a simple, healthy vegetable side dish. It's a perfect addition to spring and summer meals.

Whole Food, Fresh & Seasonal. Just Two Ingredients! (Plus Oil & Seasoning) An Easy Side for Weeknight Suppers. Little Effort, Big Taste. Low Carb. Low Fat. Weight Watchers Friendly. Vegetarian. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free. Whole30 Friendly. Rave Reviews. One of My Very Favorite Spring Recipes.

But First, Let's Debunk Some Truisms About Asparagus & Mushrooms

Skinny Spears Are Better Than Thick Spears of Asparagus. WRONG.
THAT'S PLAIN WRONG I call BS on this! It's a total myth that thin spears of asparagus are always best. The very best asparagus for roasting are the almost-meaty fat spears, the second best are the medium-thick spears. Save those narrow guys for a Gorgeous Raw Asparagus Salad.

Never Wash Fresh Mushrooms. WRONG.
THE MYTH So many recipes insist on "brushing" or "wiping" our mushrooms to remove any dirt. (Companies even sell silly little mushroom-shaped brushes and special cloths, just for mushrooms.) The claim is that wet mushrooms turn tough and mushy. People, which is it? Tough? Or Mushy? Aren't they opposites? Do you suppose that mushrooms in the wild somehow avoid, you know, the rain? Or that rain somehow is different than the water from our taps? Arrgh.

THE TRUTH For awhile now, I've been washing fresh mushrooms. I know, I know, you're supposed to just wipe them. But grit, my friends, is not good! The other day a 30-minute-famous food personality claimed on TV that washed mushrooms will turn "brown and tough". She might be right, if the mushrooms will remain uncooked. But for cooked mushrooms? Baloney!

THE EVIDENCE To prove the point, I decided to do a side-by-side comparison, washed mushrooms vs wiped or brushed mushrooms. I washed half the mushrooms and wiped the other half, then kept them separate while roasting. Now to be fair, before "wiping"", the mushrooms didn't start off all that gritty. But more importantly, after roasting, the "washed' mushrooms didn't turn out tough or brown (well, except that they were baby portobellas and so already brown). There was no telling the difference!

Yes, We Should Break Mushrooms into Pieces. YES, LET'S.
THE HABIT Just grab a knife to cut large mushrooms into smaller pieces.

THE BETTER TECHNIQUE Instead, trim off the bottom of each mushroom (okay, you got me, do use a knife for trimming) but then use your hands to break the cap into pieces. I haven't tested side by side yet — but someday, I will! — but I believe that the rough, uneven pieces shrink less. Even more importantly, mushrooms broken into pieces no longer resemble the bits of mushroom found in canned mushroom soup. FYI I didn't figure this out by myself. But I did sit up and pay close attention when Cook's Illustrated specified breaking mushrooms apart for World's Best Green Bean Casserole. I've been an advocate ever since. What a difference!

About This Recipe

Fresh asparagus and fresh mushrooms roast together in a hot oven, for a hot, seasonal vegetable side dish.
The distinctive ingredients are, duh, the fresh asparagus (preferably fat spears or medium-thick spears) and the fresh mushrooms (just button mushrooms, either white or brown though I prefer the brown-colored cremini).
Ingredient List = fresh asparagus cut into lengths + fresh mushrooms broken into rough, uneven pieces + olive oil + salt & pepper
Allow about 10 minutes to prep the vegetables while the oven heats up, about 30 minutes in the oven for roasting.
This isn't the prettiest of side dishes but makes up for appearance in great taste.

"... my guests loved the simplicity and freshness of the veggies." ~ Randi
"... WOW were they good!" ~ Jessica
"... What a great tip. [Mushrooms] are way better [broken apart] and soooooo much easier to handle." ~ Julie

How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this recipe inspires you, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...

Roasted Asparagus & Mushrooms, another simple, healthy vegetable side ♥

~ PIN This ~


Hands-on time: 10 minutes up-front
Time to table: 40 minutes
Serves 8

1 pound fresh mushrooms (see ALANNA's TIPS), stems trimmed, caps broken in pieces
1 pound fresh asparagus, preferably fat spears, washed well, woody ends snapped off (see TIPS), cut into one-inch lengths on the diagonal
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat oven to 400F/200C. If you like, for easy clean-up, line a baking sheet with parchment.

Prep the mushrooms and asparagus, let rest on a double layer of paper towels to remove moisture while finishing the prep: the dryer the vegetables, the better the oil and seasoning will adhere. Toss all the ingredients and arrange evenly on a baking sheet. Roast for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes until beginning to brown. Serve immediately.

MUSHROOMS Brown cremini mushrooms are extra pretty but white mushrooms are fine. Clean the mushrooms first by washing them under running water.
ASPARAGUS WOODY ENDS You'll definitely want to break off the woody ends on the asparagus spears. Here's how, Asparagus & Woody Ends (Step-by-Step Photos & Video).
THE TEST OF TIME When I remake a recipe from A Veggie Venture, especially from its early years (2005 to 2009, say, before food blogging became the professional industry it has become) I'm always so pleased when the results match my memory. Asparagus and mushrooms are indeed a magical pairing, especially roasted, and if you like the combination, you might also appreciate Asparagus Whole Wheat Bread Pudding which also mixes asparagus and mushrooms.
ROASTING VEGETABLES This recipe demonstrates the most classic way to roast vegetables, see How to Roast Vegetables.

FOR MORE INFO If you "skipped straight to the recipe," please scroll back to the top of this page for ingredient information, ingredient substitutions, tips and more. If you print this recipe, you'll want to check the recipe online for even more tips and extra information about ingredient substitutions, best results and more. See .

A Veggie Venture - Printer Friendly Recipe Graphic.

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 where recipes range from seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade
2007, 2011 & 2023

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

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


  1. Thanks for featuring my recipe. Spike is one of those ingredients I sometimes forget about and then "re-discover" again! It's so good on veggies. Now I'm wondering if you just got the same new cookbook I just bought at Costco with the talk about washing mushrooms? If so, proof that we're still channeling each other!

  2. AnonymousMay 23, 2007

    Alanna, Freddie wants you to know he has eaten some SALAD. First time, big success - and the leading ingredient was dandelions.
    Thought you might be proud of him....

  3. AnonymousMay 23, 2007

    Thought someone might want to see this recipe....

    On the asparagus, this is what I do. Cut off about an inch at the bottom and then I peel the tough outer skin off.

    The bottom is my fave part anyway.

  4. I'm glad somebody came out and said they washed mushrooms...not washing totally seems weird with grit on them

  5. This is the second time I've seen this about breaking the mushrooms instead of cutting them. Now I really need to remember this when I'm fixing mushrooms tomorrow!
    You are so very right about the skinny and fat asparagus!!

  6. A couple of cooking "rules" really bug me: 1) washing mushrooms - as you've proved, it's not a problem; 2) peeling beets - I don't get this one - just scrub 'em and peel off the excessively rough parts; 3) peeling carrots - hello - what's to peel? Again, a good scrub is all a carrot needs - it's not like a grapefruit or something.

    Thanks for letting me vent, and thanks for the great recipes!

  7. Kalyn ~ You're so welcome. I know you love that Spike! And (apparently) I love all of Kalyn's recipes with mushrooms! :-)

    Charlotte ~ Oh that Freddie is getting to be such a vegetable fiend. Thanks for sharing the news: I do love your big adventure.

    Mz Pat ~ How easy is that?!

    Nabeela ~ Oh I'm known for busting up foodie and food myths, for sure.

    Tanna ~ Maybe you saw it here before? I first used the technique in the World's Best Green Bean Casserole last fall, just because the recipe specified it, but wondered why. The next time I sliced the mushrooms with a knife and couldn't believe the difference! Now I always break the mushrooms into pieces, they're just less like 'mushroom soup bits' that way. Try it and report back!

    Lisa ~ Ah yes, we're of like mind. You do have to be careful how hard you scrub beets, however. If you scrub them too hard, you'll actually abrade the color/flavor/juices will actually ooze out of the abrasion. And carrots, yes, though I do sometime peel carrots if the outer layer seems tough. I'll remember to mention it the next time I try a new carrot recipe.

    Thanks all, for visiting and commenting!

  8. Thanks for debunking the myth about washing mushrooms, Alanna. I'm a fanatical vegetable washer and it's always bothered me that I don't wash mushrooms. We always cook them so I'm going to start washing them too. And really, you think breaking them will make them shrink less?

    To choose asparagus, I look at the tips. If they are nice and closed rather than ragged and open, I buy them (as long as it's local asparagus). For what part to eat, I hold the tip and the end and bend it until it breaks. The part near the end is either composted or used to make stock for asparagus soup. And the tip end is perfect.


    P.S. Ontario asparagus is just starting to turn up at the vegetable market. I'll keep Kalyn's mushrooms and asparagus recipe in mind.

  9. AnonymousMay 27, 2007

    this was so easy and yummy! thank you so much, i made this last night for a dinner party and my guests loved the simplicity and freshness of the veggies.
    i have to thank you for your recipes, i'm a new cook and your recipes are so easy to follow and your tips are wonderful. thanks! i always look forward to my emails to read about your next food adventure : )

  10. Elizabeth ~ I don't just 'think' so, I've proven so, doing it both ways. It's not so much shrinkage as the irregular edges that make 'broken' mushrooms seem more real than the sliced ones.

    Randi ~ Oh first successes are so important for new cooks, I'm so glad this was a hit. And I must tell you, you make me blush but you completely made my day, thanks for taking the time to say such nice things.

  11. AnonymousJune 08, 2007

    Thanks for the great recipe. I'm going to go try and bake some right now!

  12. Just made these last night and WOW were they good! I have happily added it to my trusty stack of delicious sides! THANK YOU!!

  13. Alanna, Thanks for washing your mushrooms. I've been doing it for years and cannot tell the difference form wiping them with a cloth. I do know they're clean. But most importantly, I tried breaking them up with my hands instead of slicing. What a great tip. They are better that way and soooooo much easier to handle. I used them in my spaghetti last night and in my omelet this morning. Yippeeee! Less work and better quality. Thanks.


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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