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Kalyn's Kitchen

Barely Steamed Asparagus with Basil Vinaigrette

Combine the best of spring and summer in this Barely-Steamed Asparagus with Basil Vinaigrette, and don’t miss my trick for using more of the asparagus stems! And this amazing recipe for asparagus is low-carb, Keto, low-glycemic, dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, Paleo, and Whole 30. Use Side Dishes to find more ideas like this one.

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Barely Steamed Asparagus with Basil Vinaigrette found on KalynsKitchen.com

Fresh asparagus has been on sale in my favorite grocery stores, and when asparagus starts to get less expensive I find myself wanting to eat it over and over. I’ve already shared my picks for Favorite Low-Carb and Keto Asparagus Recipes for Easter, but while it’s asparagus season I’m going to remind you of a few more asparagus favorites back in the archives that you may have missed. And this Barely Steamed Asparagus with Basil Vinaigrette has been one of my favorites for years! A few weeks ago I got my first basil plants of the season to go in the kitchen window, so it’s a perfect time to make this.

Basil Vinaigrette is a spring and summer treat I look forward to every year for drizzling on tomatoes, and asparagus with basil vinaigrette tastes just as amazing! If you don’t have fresh basil you can use purchased basil pesto to make the dressing, although I love the intense basil flavor of the dressing made with basil puree.

And you may want to make extra basil vinaigrette because it’s good on so many things! Check out Basil Vinaigrette for drizzling on tomatoes for lots more ideas using my absolute favorite summer condiment. And get to the grocery store and get a few basil plants if you don’t have any yet!

Barely Steamed Asparagus with Basil Vinaigrette found on KalynsKitchen.com

Start water boiling or turn on steamer while you peel the bottom part of the asparagus and then cut asparagus into 2 inch pieces. Steam until the asparagus is barely cooked, probably about 5 minutes from the time the steam starts. (I used a stovetop steamer I got from my stepmother Norma, but an electric steamer would also work. Steamer links are affiliate links.) Drain asparagus well.

Puree the fresh basil and mix with your favorite no-sugar vinaigrette dressing to make the basil vinaigrette. Arrange asparagus on a plate, season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper, and drizzle over desired amount of basil vinaigrette. That’s it! Serve hot or room temperature, with a little more basil vinaigrette on the side to spoon over at the table. Enjoy!

Barely Steamed Asparagus with Basil Vinaigrette found on KalynsKitchen.com

More Asparagus Recipes You Might Like:

Low-Carb Breakfast Casserole with Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Goat Cheese ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Cheesy Asparagus Tart ~ Ezra Pound Cake
Baked Eggs and Asparagus with Parmesan ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Asparagus Salad with Sesame Chile and Lime Dressing ~ The First Mess
Vegan Asparagus Salad with Tomatoes, Hearts of Palm, and Chives ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Linguine with Asparagus, Tomatoes, and Goat Cheese ~ Blue Kitchen

Barely Steamed Asparagus with Basil Vinaigrette

Combine the best of spring and summer in this Barely-Steamed Asparagus with Basil Vinaigrette!


  • 1 pound asparagus
  • salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste

Basil puree ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves (packed)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • (Freeze the leftovers for another use. You could make half this much if you’re short on basil.)

Basil vinaigrette ingredients:

  • 6 T your favorite no-sugar vinaigrette dressing (see notes)
  • 2 T basil puree


  1. Start water boiling in your stovetop steamer or electric steamer (affiliate links).
  2. Trim off the woody ends of the asparagus, and then lightly peel the lower part of each stalk with a vegetable peeler. This allows you to use more of the asparagus than if you just break off the pieces, and it helps the stems cook as quickly as the asparagus tips. (You may still have to trim off a few inches if the ends are very woody.)
  3. After peeling, cut each spear into pieces about 2 inches long, cutting on the diagonal.
  4. Steam asparagus until barely tender, being careful not to overcook. (I would start checking about 5 minutes after the steam starts; you may prefer a minute or two longer, depending on how crisp you like it.)
  5. While asparagus steams, first combine fresh basil leaves and olive oil in food processor (affiliate link) and process until basil is in very small pieces and fairly well integrated into olive oil.
  6. Remove puree, scraping sides of food processor. Then measure 6 T vinaigrette dressing and 2 T basil puree into food processor and pulse about one minute. (This can also be combined in a jar and shaken.)
  7. To serve, drain asparagus well and arrange on plate.
  8. Season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste, and drizzle Basil Vinaigrette over. Enjoy!


I used Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing (affiliate link) for this recipe; be sure to use a dressing that’s Paleo, Gluten-Free, or Vegan if you’re following one of those diets.

You can make the basil vinaigrette with purchased basil pesto if you don’t have any fresh basil, but that version will not be Paleo or Vegan.

This recipe created by Kalyn.

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This is a perfect side dish for low-carb and low-glycemic eating plans and any phase of the South Beach Diet and with the right ingredient choices this Barely Steamed Asparagus with Basil Vinaigrette can easily be vegan and Paleo.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into this nutrition analyzer, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

Blogger Info:
This recipe was first posted as part of a month-long asparagus event hosted by blogger Kevin Weeks, whose blog is no longer online. Kevin passed away in 2012, and is greatly missed in the food blogging community.

Are you a fan of fresh asparagus? Let us know in the comments about your favorite way to cook it!

Barely Steamed Asparagus with Basil Vinaigrette found on KalynsKitchen.com

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    13 Comments on “Barely Steamed Asparagus with Basil Vinaigrette”

  1. Pingback: Bacon Wrapped Asparagus Bundles - melissassouthernstylekitchen.com

  2. Love the healthy options you share.

  3. What a wonderful green combination! I love simple treatments for asparagus.

  4. Certainly one of the sad parts of asparagus only being around for such a short time is that you can't pair it with many summer veggies…but love how you've dressed it in this basil vinaigrette! Two of my favorite things in every bite.

  5. I love asparagus and what a great combo when tossed with basil.

    Thanks for sharing and have a great trip.

  6. Ilva, tfp, nerissa, and Christine, do try making this. It was so delicious. Thanks for visiting.

  7. The asparagus in my fridge is just begging to be made into this tantalizing recipe. Thanks for sharing it!

  8. It looks so good. And who cares if it makes your pee smell funny. The taste of it is imcomparable.

  9. That looks delicious. I love asparagus.

  10. This sounds really good kalyn, I’m bookmarking it!