My Asparagus Salad recipe features tender asparagus, salty feta cheese, and sharp red onion tossed in a bright lemon vinaigrette. Serve my cold asparagus salad as a simple and healthy side dish for a weekday or even holiday meal. This recipe is vegetarian, low carb, low calorie, and naturally gluten-free.
Asparagus Salad recipe
I love eating Asparagus year-round, but there is something special about enjoying it in spring when it's in peak season. It's an early-season vegetable that is one of the first crops to grow. Because of that it just so happens to be plentiful and inexpensive this time of year making it the perfect item to cook with and serve. If you are looking for a unique way to enjoy asparagus this year, this tasty Asparagus Salad recipe will win you over with its simplicity and flavorful toppings like feta and red onion.
This fresh and light side dish is simple enough to make any weeknight but tasty enough to serve for Easter dinner.
Why You'll Love this Marinated Cold Asparagus Salad...
If you haven't tried a Cold Asparagus Salad yet, this is the perfect place to start. I love this recipe featuring fresh asparagus, salty feta, and sharp red onion. The ingredients for the recipe are simple and easy to find. The flavors are simply irresistible.
I topped the salad with a homemade vinaigrette made of fresh lemon, olive oil, mustard, garlic powder, and just a touch of honey. This bright dressing is just what this simple salad needs to really pop.
What are the health benefits of eating asparagus?
In addition to tasting great, Asparagus just happens to be one of the healthiest foods you can eat! It's loaded with essential vitamins including B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K. There are also goodies like folic acid, iron, and fiber in it.
It's also low in calories and this entire recipe comes in around 150 calories per serving.
Can you eat asparagus raw in a salad?
Yes, you can eat asparagus raw. It will not hurt you and is safe to eat that way, but I feel like it's pretty tough. Since it is, I decided to BLANCH it for this Asparagus Salad. Blanching asparagus cooks it a very small amount to make it slightly more tender and it brings out the bright green flavor. For this salad, I think blanching is the best way to enjoy the asparagus. Keep reading for my tips to blanch asparagus.
Do you need to soak asparagus?
You do NOT need to soak asparagus to eat it. A good rinse off wash will work. I do recommend either cooking it fully or blanching like this recipe before eating it though because it is tough.
Here's what you'll need to make this Cold Asparagus Salad.
- Asparagus: I use two bunches of fresh asparagus for this recipe. I prefer the thinner stalks, although any size can work. Thick or thin asparagus is delicious! To prepare the asparagus chop off the ends and blanch it following my directions below. After blanching cut it into 1-inch pieces for the salad.
- Red Onion: A bright red onion adds a bit of bite and punch to this salad. For this salad, I like to dice it into small pieces.
- Crumbled Feta: Salty feta is the magic ingredient to make this salad from boring to WOW! It pairs perfectly with the asparagus. You can use fat-free or full fat depending on your dietary preferences.
- Parsley: You don't have to add parsley, but I think it adds another earthly dimension to this dish.
For the Dressing:
- Lemon Juice: The key ingredient to this Asparagus Salad dressing is a bright lemon. I use a whole one to bring out the flavors of the dish.
- Olive Oil: Olive oil compliments the lemon perfectly and turns the lemon into a bright vinaigrette. I really love THIS olive oil.
- Mustard: A small amount of mustard adds a nice tang to this dressing.
- Honey: To balance out the acidity of the lemon I added a bit of honey to the dressing.
- Garlic Powder: I like how evenly the garlic powder spreads in the dressing.
- Salt & Pepper
How to Make Asparagus Salad:
I have full instructions on how to make asparagus salad in my recipe, but here's a quick overview.
- Blanch the asparagus. See the photos and directions below on how to do this.
- Cut the asparagus into 2-inch segments.
- Prepare the dressing by whisking the lemon, olive oil, mustard, honey, garlic powder together in a large bowl. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the cut asparagus, red onion, feta, and parsley to the bowl and toss it together.
- Serve room temperature or cold.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
How to blanch asparagus for a salad:
If you haven't blanched asparagus for a salad before it's pretty simple.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare a second bowl with ice water.
- Remove the woody ends of the asparagus.
- Submerge the asparagus in the boiling water for 1 minute. If your asparagus is really thick it can stay in the water for a bit longer.
- Using tongs, remove the asparagus from the boiling water and submerge it in the ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain the cold water after the asparagus cools.
Blanching turns the asparagus a pretty bright green and makes it a bit softer and less woody to enjoy in an Asparagus Salad like this one.
Asparagus Salad Variations
I love this delicious Asparagus Salad recipe as written, but here are some fun ways to mix it up.
- Add other Fresh Herbs- Basil, Oregano, Mint or Chives would be yummy.
- Add Dried Herbs - Basil, Italian Seasoning Blend, or Herbs de Provence
- Fresh Cherry Tomato
- Substitute Another Cheese - Crumbled Goat or Cubbed Sharp White Cheddar
- Bottled Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
- Add Nuts - Pine Nuts, Pistachios, or Slivered Almonds
- Add avocado to make it creamy!
- Add Protein - Chicken, fish or shimp would turn this into a well rounded meal.
What to Serve with the Salad:
This healthy side dish goes great with so many dishes!
- Simple Pesto Salmon
- Balsamic Glazed Salmon
- Grilled Lemon Shrimp
- Mushroom, Kale & Feta Crustless Quiche
- Three Cheese & Spinach Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
To make this Asparagus Salad recipe a complete meal serve it over a bed of pasta or quinoa with extra lemon.
This is the BEST Asparagus Salad!
This bright and flavorful Asparagus Salad will win you over. My family loves it and I hope you do too. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
More Asparagus Recipes to Love:
- Lemon Parmesan Roasted Asparagus
- Rosemary Garlic Asparagus Saute
- Easy Tortellini Pasta Salad with Asparagus
- Salmon, Asparagus & Tomato Foil Packets
- Whole Wheat Pasta with Asparagus, Tomato & Pine Nuts
Cold Asparagus Salad Recipe
For the Asparagus Salad:
- 2 bunches asparagus
- ¼ cup crumbled feta
- ½ cup red onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
For the Dressing:
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- salt & pepper to taste
- First you will need to blanch the asparagus. To do that, bring a pot of water to boil. Prepare a second bowl with ice water.
- While you are waiting on the boil, snap the woody ends off the bottom of the asparagus.
- Submerge the asparagus in the boiling water. Allow to boil for just one minute (a bit longer if your asparagus is super thick) and then pull it out of the water. Submerge the asparagus in the ice water to stop it from cooking any further.
- Cut the blanched asparagus into two-inch long pieces.
- Make the dressing by whisking the lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, honey, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a bowl.
- Toss the asparagus, red onion, parsley and feta in the bowl.
- Serve cold and garnish with extra feta, lemon slices, and parsley.
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