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July 6, 2023

Grilled Asparagus with Balsamic Reduction

This simple grilled asparagus with balsamic reduction, pine nuts and parmesan is a celebration of our favorite summer activities–eating asparagus and grilling in the backyard.


Grilled Asparagus with balsamic reduction sprinkled with parmesan cheese and pine nuts on a serving platter
Photography by Gayle McLeod

Grilled Asparagus Gets Dressed Up

Lucky for us, asparagus season syncs up with the start of the grilling season. To celebrate this wonderful coincidence, we eat asparagus almost nightly during the summer. It’s easy enough to grill a bunch of asparagus, and we like to dress it up with a drizzle of balsamic reduction and a handful of toasted pine nuts and parmesan cheese. Serve this grilled asparagus dish with a Grilled Rib Eye Steak, Spatchcocked Grilled Chicken, or even a big filet of Blackened Salmon.

Grilled Asparagus with balsamic reduction sprinkled with parmesan cheese and pine nuts on a serving platter

How To Make Asparagus Crispy on the Grill

There are several recipes out there that suggest wrapping your asparagus in foil before placing it on the grill, but beware. This method traps in the steam released by the water in the asparagus and will NOT result in the crispy texture you desire. Instead, we recommend placing it directly on the grill over high heat. It’s okay to let the flames char the edges a little black is a good thing. Just be sure you don’t overcook it!

asparagus, spices, olive oil, balsamic, honey, pine nuts and parmesan in prep bowls

How Long Does it Take to Cook Asparagus on the Grill?

Asparagus should never be cooked for long. Even when cooked in the oven on a baking sheet, it only needs about eight minutes, unless you have some of the larger 1-inch thick spears. They may need a minute or two longer. Cooking the asparagus longer than eight minutes or so results in an unappetizing texture. Our tips for cooking asparagus on the grill:

  • Cook asparagus over a nice high heat on a preheated grill, the spears only need to cook for a couple of minutes—maybe three at the most.

  • Rotate the spears using tongs and cook them for another two to three minutes. Quick, right? The main thing is to keep an eye on it as it grills—it’ll cook fast, so just stay with it.

grilled asparagus seasoned with olive oil, salt & pepper resting on a baking sheet

How To Make Balsamic Glaze

Balsamic glaze is simply balsamic vinegar that’s been simmered gently until it reduces to a thick syrup. This process cuts the acidic flavor of the vinegar and allows the natural sweetness of balsamic to shine through. Our balsamic glaze recipe enhances that sweetness even further with a bit of honey. If you are trying to cut corners, you can go ahead and buy premade balsamic reduction—also known as balsamic glaze—which is available at most grocery stores.

Balsamic reduction in a pot with a spoon. Made with balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt and cornstarch

How to Store Grilled Asparagus + Tips

  • Grilled asparagus will last in the refrigerator for a few days. Grilled asparagus will also freeze well, if you happen to have any leftovers!!

  • Our summer season features a lot of strawberry ice cream, topped with freshly picked strawberries and a drizzle of leftover balsamic glaze.

  • Leftover balsamic glaze can also be drizzled on Chicken Caprese or our favorite Caprese Salad.

  • Use leftover asparagus in our recipe for Pasta al Limone with Asparagus (leftover pine nuts and balsamic glaze welcome too!).

Grilled Asparagus with balsamic reduction sprinkled with parmesan cheese and pine nuts on a serving platter

Keep The Asparagus Party Going

Summer’s Best Asparagus Recipes

For more recipe inspiration, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest or order our cookbook. We love when you share your meals. Tag us on Instagram using #themodernproper. Happy cooking!

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Grilled Asparagus with Balsamic Reduction

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  20 min
  • Calories: 246


Balsamic Reduction

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or honey
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch


  • 2 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ cup balsamic reduction
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese


  1. Make the balsamic reduction. Heat a medium pot over medium high heat. Add the balsamic vinegar, sugar, and salt and bring to a simmer. Cook until reduced by half, about 8 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with ¼ cup cold water. Reduce the heat to low and stir in cornstarch slurry. Cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens, about 4 minutes more. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

  2. Make the asparagus. Preheat the grill on high. Toss the asparagus with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place the asparagus on the grill and cook, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

  3. Transfer the asparagus to a serving platter. Drizzle the asparagus with the balsamic reduction and additional olive oil. Sprinkle with pine nuts and parmesan. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories246
  • Protein5 g
  • Carbohydrates31 g
  • Total Fat12 g
  • Dietary Fiber1 g
  • Cholesterol5 mg
  • sodium1267 mg
  • Total Sugars25 g

Grilled Asparagus with Balsamic Reduction

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Lynn

    Holy cannoli! This looks incredible. I've never actually made asparagus on the grill; however, I've had it prepared that way in restaurants. These tips are just what I need to become a wee bit more adventurous with my asparagus. Also loving that balsamic reduction & the toppings you used to dress it up. Put it on a bed of greens (maybe with some grilled chicken) and you have a full meal right there. So good!

    You will love making it on the grill. So easy and fun! AND that meal sound delightful!

  • jernejkitchen

    Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. Asparagus aren't in season over here in Europe, but I am definitely going to make this recipe as soon as they are back in season. Thanks for sharing :)

    You are so welcome! I am excited for you to try! Let us know when you do!

  • Jenn

    This asparagus was such a great side for grilled steak. Next time I'll make double because it was gone so quick.

    Thanks! We are so happy you love it!

  • Never

    I absolutely love this! I am always looking for a good veggie to go with my meals, and this one is so easy yet so delicious! I make it at least twice a week now.

    Yay! love hearing this!