Asparagus is not just tasty but also rich in nutrients. You can find it growing wild in different parts of Europe but also planted in farms for both personal and commercial use. Asparagus comes with significant nutrients such as potassium, vitamin A, calcium, vitamin C, and iron.
The best way to enjoy asparagus is steamed, as a side dish for your meal. You can saute it as well and it goes great next to lean meat or fish. One of the classic combinations is asparagus and salmon but you can discover your own combinations according to your tastes and preferences.
As nutritious and delicious asparagus can be, not everyone is a fan of this veggie. So, what can you replace it with, without compromising your meal? We will discuss the best substitutes for asparagus as well as the ideal ways to cook them.
What’s a good substitute for asparagus?
When you choose a substitute for asparagus you should consider finding one with a similar texture and nutritious value. This can turn out to be tricky at times but we put together a great selection of veggies you can use instead of asparagus that will not disappoint you!
Broccoli is the best replacement for asparagus. There are no big differences in cooking it either. You can saute it or steam it according to the recipe. As far as nutrition goes, broccoli is ideal for its iron, vitamin K, vitamin C as well as potassium and fiber.
How to cook broccoli
You will most likely prepare your broccoli in the same way you would prepare your asparagus. You can steam it along with other veggies or by itself for about five to ten minutes depending on the texture you want it to have.
Broccoli goes well as a side dish for meat or fish if you saute it in some olive oil. Add seasonings of your choice and enjoy a delicious meal!
- Broccoli with salmon or another type of fish
- Broccoli stir fry
- Broccoli with pasta
Celery is another great substitute for asparagus. The green sticks of celery could turn out to be quite tasty in many of your recipes that require asparagus. As far as nutrition goes, this veggie is rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, fiber, and potassium but also folate.
How to cook celery
Celery is one of those veggies that will taste just as delicious raw. So, you can simply add it to your meal without cooking it.
However, if you want to prepare your celery you can steam it or saute it the same way you would prepare asparagus. Just be aware of the fact that celery cooks a lot faster so only one or two minutes should be enough to get it ready.
- Raw celery with a sauce of your choice or cream cheese
- Celery stir fry
- Celery with meat or salmon
Leek might have a different taste and texture than asparagus but you will most likely love it nevertheless. Leek is a veggie that has plenty of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron as well as magnesium. It is very versatile in terms of the way you can prepare it too.
How to cook leak
Cooking your leak is not complicated at all. You can add it to stews and soups just like you would the rest of your veggies.
Leek can also be eaten raw or in a saute as a side dish. If you want to steam it, you have to consider that its layers might fall apart so it will lose its shape. But steamed leak will be tasty nevertheless.
- Leek soup
- Leek stew
- Leek and fish or other meat
4. Green Beans
Green beans can substitute asparagus successfully if you prepare them right. These veggies are very nutritious and a great choice for vegetarians and vegans as they have more protein than others. If you add green beans to your diet you will enjoy vitamin A, vitamin C as well as vitamin K, folic acid, and plenty of fiber.
How to cook green beans
The sky is the limit when it comes to preparing green beans. You can steam them, saute or fry them and even bake them. However, steaming green beans is the best option as it conserves all their nutrients. But you will love green beans sauteed in olive oil with garlic or other seasonings of your choice as well.
- Green beans stew
- Green beans and rost
- Green beans and salmon
If you want to keep your meals simple, you can simply replace your asparagus with lettuce. You will not need to cook it and it is a great side dish for many types of meat. Lettuce helps digestion as it is rich in calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
How to cook lettuce
You will not prepare lettuce on the stove or in the oven and you shouldn’t steam it either. But you can cut it and mix it with other veggies such as tomatoes or cucumbers and create a delicious salad for your meal!
- Lettuce and tomatoes salad
- Lettuce and fish
- Lettuce and barbecue
Peas are similar to green beans in terms of cooking. They can replace asparagus easily and complete your recipe in a delicious way. By adding peas to your meal you also add plenty of antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C as well as fiber and folate.
How to cook peas
The most common way to cook peas is as a stir fry with garlic and onion as well as other seasonings you like. You can use olive oil or another kind of oil and they will be ready to eat in less than ten minutes. Steaming the peas is also an option but you might need to season them wisely in order to give them the flavor you want.
- Peas stew
- Peas and salmon
- Peas puree
The last but definitely not the least alternative to asparagus is avocado. Avocado is a great choice for babies and children but also for adults of all ages. It contains vitamin K, potassium as well as healthy fats and vitamin B6, vitamin B5, vitamin C, folate, potassium, and vitamin E.
How to cook avocado
You will not have to use any heat as you prepare your avocado. You can simply but it in slices and add it to your salads or blend it into a delicious avocado pure along with some onion and garlic.
- Avocado puree
- Avocado and salmon
- Avocado salad
Can I make asparagus pure?
While you can try to make asparagus in various ways until you find the best option for you, pure might not be a good idea. Asparagus has a hard texture and you would have to over boil it to get it as mushy as you need it to be so you can blend it. This will destroy most of its nutrients and you might still not like its taste.
Can I replace asparagus with peppers?
Peppers, especially green peppers could be a substitute for asparagus. You can eat the peppers raw with your fish or other meat or slightly saute them in different seasonings.
Can I eat raw asparagus?
The taste of raw asparagus might be too bitter and strong for some people but if you like it, this could be an option. However, if you want a delicious meal, you should consider cooking your asparagus for about two minutes in the pan along with garlic, salt, and pepper by your taste.
Using the substitutes in this guide will save your favorite recipes even if you don’t like asparagus. But if you try different ways to cook it, this healthy veggie might grow on you so, it is wise to give it several tries!