Asparagus Casserole is the perfect side dish for a weeknight meal. With a cheesy breadcrumb topping and tender asparagus spears, this dish is a real crowd-pleaser! Baked parmesan asparagus will be your new favorite side dish.
We love serving side dish casseroles with our main meals like Holiday Carrot Casserole, The Best Hash Brown Casserole (Cracker Barrel Copycat).
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Why We Love Asparagus Casserole
- Quick and easy side dish.
This cheesy asparagus casserole only takes a few minutes to prep and cook, making it the perfect weeknight side.
- Great for kids!
Get their healthy veggies in with asparagus coated in deliciously crunchy parmesan cheese.
- Perfect vegetarian lunch.
Looking for a light lunch without meat? This parmesan asparagus is a great option.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Asparagus: look for asparagus spears that are between 1/2 inches and 3/4 inches in diameter.
- Parmesan Cheese: freshly grated parmesan cheese is best, but you can also buy it pre-shredded from the store.
- Breadcrumbs: panko breadcrumbs have the best texture and are perfect for this dish.
- Butter: unsalted, melted butter gives this spring vegetable side dish a wonderful rich flavor.
- Egg white: this allows the ingredients to bind together and helps brown the top of the baked asparagus.
- Maple syrup: this adds sweetness to the dish.
TFN Pro Tip
Keep your asparagus fresh.
To keep your asparagus fresh and tender, store the stalks upright (woody ends down) in a tall glass or jar with 1 inch of water in the bottom for up to 1-2 days. Cover with plastic wrap.
Asparagus Casserole Recipe Tips For Success
- Cut off the ends of the asparagus.
To begin, lay the asparagus flat on a cutting board and align the tips of the spears. Use a chef’s knife to cut off the bottom inch of the woody ends straight across.
This part is woody and hard to chew so cutting it off ensures each bite is tender.
- Poke holes in the asparagus with a fork.
Next, use a fork to poke holes in the stalks so they cook more quickly by allowing steam to escape.
- Whisk the egg white and maple syrup in a separate bowl.
Use a separate bowl to whisk together the egg white and maple syrup using a fork. This allows all the ingredients to be evenly mixed before brushing on top of the dish.
- Lay the asparagus neatly in a casserole dish and bake.
Next, spread the asparagus in the dish with the stalks all facing the same direction for a beautiful presentation.
Brush the egg wash over the top, sprinkle with the parmesan cheese, and then bake until the asparagus gratin is perfectly cooked through and golden brown on top.
Asparagus Casserole FAQs
If the asparagus is mushy, it’s probably because it was overcooked. You can check to see when the asparagus is perfectly cooked by poking a fork through the stem. It should have a slight resistance but easily pierce all the way through.
Want that beautiful golden brown crusty cheese on top? No problem! Just pop it directly under the broiler right before removing the dish from the oven. Keep a close eye on it though since it can burn quickly – no more than a minute or two.
This baked asparagus is packed with flavors with the parmesan cheese and maple syrup. Not a bland spear in sight!
Storing and Reheating
Store leftover baked parmesan asparagus in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
It’s not a good idea to freeze leftovers, but you can quickly make a new batch when you’re ready.
Parmesan Asparagus Casserole
- 13″ x 9″ casserole dish
- dinner plate (or shallow bowl)
- basting brush
- Cooking spray
- 2 pounds thick asparagus trimmed (see notes below)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups parmesan cheese grated (3 ounces)
- ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon butter melted
- 1 large egg white
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- sprigs of fresh thyme
- Preheat oven to 450ºF. Spray the casserole dish with cooking spray.
- Use a fork to poke holes in the asparagus spears (the tough, woody portion) to help tenderize them during baking. Rinse well and then lightly sprinkle with salt and let sit while you prepare the topping.
- In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup of parmesan, panko bread crumbs, and melted butter (set the other 1/2 cup of parmesan aside).
- Use a small bowl and fork to whip the egg whites and maple syrup until frothy.
- Add asparagus to the baking pan. About half should fit in a single layer. Brush with egg whites and maple syrup, then sprinkle with half of the panko topping. Add the rest of the spears on top and repeat the process with the rest of the egg white mixture and remaining panko mix.
- Bake for 6-7 minutes, until light golden on top. Sprinkle on the last 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and bake another 6-7 minutes until the cheese is melted and the panko is golden brown. To check for doneness, use a paring knife to pierce a spear – if it goes in easily, the casserole is done.
- Top with sprigs of fresh thyme (optional).