Learn how to store asparagus properly so they keep fresh for longer without drying out. Whether you buy fresh asparagus during the winter months or at the peak of asparagus season, we’ll show you the best way to keep asparagus spears fresh, longer! Plus, we will show you the easiest way to store cooked asparagus and how to freeze asparagus the right way!
The Best Way To Store Asparagus
Asparagus season is short, only lasting from February to June however, fresh asparagus are no longer just a seasonal vegetable found at a farmer’s market. Asparagus lovers everywhere can find bundles of asparagus wrapped around with a distinct rubber band at any grocery store throughout the year.
Asparagus stalks of all kinds – thick stems, thin stems, green asparagus, white asparagus and even purple ones can be found year round so you don’t need to wait for asparagus season to enjoy this delicious and healthy vegetable.
Prolong the life of your asparagus and prevent any flavor loss with the right storage method. Plus, all our tips for selecting the freshest asparagus on the market.
How To Shop For Fresh Asparagus
Most supermarkets keep each bundle of asparagus wrapped with a rubber band, at room temperature in their fresh produce area. The bottom of the steams are usually set on bins that contain about an inch of cold water. When buying a bunch of asparagus, here are the things to look for:
- Pick asparagus spears that are straight, firm and crisp.
- The smooth stems should have a vibrant green color and be free of brown or black spots.
- The asparagus tips should be tightly closed, bright green or slightly violet.
- Make sure the tips of the asparagus are not mushy or have an off, pungent, acrid smell.
- The bottom of the stems should not look overly dry or split.
- As for size and thickness, you should know that the thickness of the stems does not determine its freshness, flavor or quality. Thicker stems can be as delicious and fresh as thin spears.
How Long Do Asparagus Last?
Fresh asparagus have a shelf life of about 3-5 days, although when stored properly, asparagus can last up to a week. There are 2 different ways to keep this delicious vegetable lasting more than just a couple of days. Keep reading as we dive into the best methods for storing asparagus at home.
How To Store Fresh Asparagus
There are two simple and great ways to store raw, uncooked asparagus at home.
Short Term Storage: 1 – 2 Days
If you are planning on using/cooking the fresh asparagus within 2 days, this is the best method to store them at home:
- Remove the rubber band that holds the bunch together.
- Wrap the bunch with damp paper towels, You don’t have to wrap them tightly as they need room to breath.
- Place them in a breathable plastic bag (I usually use a resealable bag but leave the bag open) and store them in the refrigerator’s vegetable crisper.
Long Term Storage: 5 – up to 7 Days
The best way to store raw asparagus so they stay fresh and last longer is to treat them just as you treat a bouquet of flowers. Instead of keeping them in a bag inside the refrigerator’s crisper drawer, keep them in a glass jar or mason jar, with the bottom of the spears touching fresh water.
- Rinse the asparagus under cold running water. Trim the woody ends about one-inch from the bottom of each stalk. Pat the asparagus dry with a clean dishcloth or paper towel. Fill a glass jar with about one-inch of water (cold tap water is fine).
- Place the asparagus in the jar, stalks standing straight up with cut ends at the bottom of the container (just like flowers!)
- Loosely cover the stalks with plastic wrap or a clean plastic bag. Loosely covering them prevents the water from quickly evaporating.
- Place the jar in the fridge and change the water every time it gets cloudy.
How To Store Cooked Asparagus?
Store cooked asparagus in a shallow airtight storage container or resealable plastic bag in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
How Can You Tell If Raw Asparagus Are Bad?
Asparagus that are going bad are usually slimy, mushy and their color turns a dark green.
How to Freeze Asparagus
To preserve asparagus longer than a week, it is best to freeze them. Follow these simple steps for freezing asparagus.
- Trim: Rinse the asparagus under cold running water, then trim the woody ends about one-inch from the bottom of each stalk.
- Blanch Asparagus: In a stockpot or Dutch oven, bring water to a boil over medium-high heat. Make an ice bath by filling a bowl with iced water. Drop the asparagus into the boiling water and cook for about 2-4 minutes depending on their thickness. Remove stalks from the hot water and immediately dunk them into the iced water to stop the cooking process. Blanching helps in preserving the texture and color of the vegetable,
- Flash Freeze: After removing the asparagus from the iced water, gently pat them dry (they don’t need to be perfectly dried). Place each spear on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or paper towels. Lay the asparagus in a single layer, leaving about an inch between each spear. Place the sheet pan in the freezer for about 2 hours or until the asparagus are frozen solid.
- Store: Transfer the frozen asparagus spears to a freezer safe storage bag or airtight container. Label it. Store in the freezer for up to a year.
Take A Look At These Asparagus Recipes
- Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Garlic Butter
- How To Cook Asparagus
- Pasta with Asparagus in Lemon Cream Sauce
- Crispy Oven Roasted Asparagus
Follow me on social media for more recipe ideas & inspiration!
How To Store Asparagus
- 1 pound asparagus
- 1 glass jar or cup
- small bag to cover the asparagus
- Rinse the asparagus under cold running water. Trim the woody ends about one-inch from the bottom of each stalk. Pat the asparagus dry with a clean dishcloth or paper towels.
- Fill a jar or cup with about one-inch of water (cold tap water is fine).
- Place the asparagus in the jar, stalks standing straight up with cut ends at the bottom of the container (just like flowers!).
- Loosely cover the stalks with a plastic bag (sometimes I use a resealable bag). Loosely covering them prevents the water from quickly evaporating.
- Place the jar in the fridge.