I don’t think I’ve ever loved a veggie side dish more than I love this Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Cardamom Sauce.  Bold statement, I KNOW, but hear me out.

We take what is quite possibly the easiest vegetable in the history of all vegetables to cook, and we jazz it up with a sauce that is so incredible that I can sum it up in one word: HEAVEN.  We’ve got butter for a rich flavor, lemon for a bright, fresh tang, and cardamom for a subtle spice that really makes this dish special!

A close up of roasted asparagus topped with a bright yellow lemon cardamom sauce and black sesame seeds.


Asparagus is that one vegetable that I’ve just continued to fall in love with a little more each time I serve it.  I love that it’s so very versatile in terms of what you can do with it!  Saute it with some butter or olive oil for a nice quick side.  Blanch it quickly to keep that fresh, crisp snap, or roast it to bring out the deep flavors and crunchy potential. Most of the time we do ours fairly plain, with a little oil and seasoning, but this Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Cardamom Sauce is my new favorite way to go!

Not only is the roasting process so easy and hands-off, but the sauce itself comes together in minutes – it’s as simple as taking all of your sauce ingredients (grass-fed butter, mayo, lemon juice, turmeric, and cardamom) and whisking them together until they’re smooth.  The bright yellow hue from the turmeric, plus the contrast of the black sesame seeds make this dish one that looks fancy enough to serve at a dinner party, but easy enough to make for your weeknight dinners. It’s the perfect side!

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

You’ll need a handful of ingredients for the roasted asparagus and a handful for the lemon cardamom sauce. Ingredient substitutions can be found below, and exact ingredient amounts can be found in the recipe card.

All of the ingredients for roasted asparagus with lemon cardamom sauce on a wooden cutting board.

For the Asparagus

  • Asparagus
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Black Sesame Seeds – this ingredient is for garnish and totally optional.

For the Creamy Lemon Cardamom Sauce

  • Mayo
  • Melted Butter
  • Lemon Juice
  • Ground Turmeric
  • Ground Cardamom

How to Make It

This recipe is really just as simple as roasting the asparagus (which requires hardly any hands-on effort) and whisking the sauce. It’s so easy! Here’s the full how-to:

A person using a large, sharp knife to cut the ends off of asparagus on a wooden cutting board.
A person pouring a small bowl of olive oil over asparagus on a sheet pan.
Raw asparagus on a sheet pan.
A person whisking lemon cardamom sauce in a large glass bowl.
A zoomed out top view of roasted asparagus on a sheet pan.
A person pouring bright yellow lemon cardamom sauce over a sheet pan of roasted asparagus.
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Roast the asparagus – place the asparagus in a single layer on a rimmed sheet pan and toss with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes, until the asparagus is browned.
  3. Make the sauce – add all of the ingredients for the sauce to a small bowl and whisk thoroughly to combine until no lumps remain.
  4. Garnish and serve – pour the sauce over the asparagus, then garnish with black sesame seeds and serve.

Recipe Tips & Tricks

This recipe is pretty straightforward, but if you’re looking for tips and trips, we’ve got you!

  • If you bought your bunch of asparagus at the grocery store, chop the woody ends off by doing one quick cut right above the bottom rubberband.
  • Have fun with the sauce! Here are some of our favorite flavor ideas:
    • Swap the lemon juice for lime juice and the turmeric for ground ginger (omit the cardamom)
    • Swap the turmeric for ground mustard (omit the cardamom)
    • Swap the lemon juice for lime juice and the turmeric for smoked paprika (omit the cardamom)
  • If you don’t like asparagus, follow the same recipe for green beans or carrots.

How to Serve

Serve this delicious asparagus recipe alongside any protein and starchy side you love. Here are some of our very best ideas:

Proteins

Starchy Sides

How to Store

Store any leftover roasted asparagus in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Roasted asparagus on a sheet pan topped with a bright yellow lemon cardamom sauce and black sesame seeds.

When is asparagus season?

Grocery stores carry asparagus year-round, but its peak is in the Springtime – April and May specifically. If you’re buying asparagus at the grocery store in the fall or winter, it’s likely that it’s traveled quite a distance to get to you.

How do you make asparagus crispy not soggy?

In order to avoid soggy asparagus, be sure to coat each veggie in olive oil, and use the temperature and timing guidelines in this recipe. Roasting the asparagus at 425°F allows for a really nice, crisp finished texture.

Should I soak asparagus before roasting?

No need to soak your asparagus before roasting! While you may come across some recipes that recommend this, you can rest assured that this recipe does not require the additional step.

What part of asparagus should you not eat?

We recommend cutting off the woody ends of your asparagus (the bottom two-ish inches of each spear). There isn’t necessarily anything *wrong* with this part of the asparagus – it’s just tough and not super enjoyable to eat.

More Favorite Veggie Sides

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Cardamom Sauce

5 from 1 vote
By Amber Goulden
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Perfectly-roasted asparagus is topped with a buttery lemon cardamom sauce for a side dish that is easy enough for a weeknight but impressive enough for company!

Ingredients  

For the asparagus:

For the Lemon Cardamom Sauce

  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice about 1 small lemon
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  • Place asparagus in a single layer on a rimmed sheet pan and toss with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cook for 25 minutes, until asparagus is browned.
  • Add all of the ingredients for the sauce to a small bowl and whisk thoroughly to combine until no lumps remain.*
  • Pour the sauce over the asparagus, then garnish with black sesame seeds and serve!

Recipe Notes

  • For a smoother sauce you can blend all ingredients with a blender or by hand with an immersion blender.

Nutrition

Calories: 138kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 237mg | Potassium: 242mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1031IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 3mg

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 138
Keyword: lemon asparagus, lemon cardamom sauce, roasted asparagus

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Amber Goulden


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4 Comments

  1. What could I supstiute for cardamom? Not making a special trip during these crazy times. Thanks for your help.

  2. This sounds SO yummy! Thinking I may switch it up for my thanksgiving veggie dish this year and make this instead of brussels sprouts! Can you make the sauce in advance and store in the fridge?