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Grilled Asparagus with Balsamic Reduction

We’ve perfected the art of grilled asparagus, and we’re celebrating by dressing it up with a balsamic reduction, parmesan and toasted pine nuts!


Grilled Asparagus With Balsamic Glaze, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese

Balsamic Glaze—the Beginning of Something Beautiful.

We love a good challenge and one of our favorites is creating new, inventive ways to use up random, half-used ingredients lurking around in our cupboards. This dish of grilled asparagus with balsamic reduction recipe, pine nuts and parmesan was born of such a challenge. We often start our summer season with a big bowl of strawberry ice cream, topped with freshly picked strawberries and a drizzle of sweetly tangy balsamic glaze. After that bowl of deliciousness gets devoured, we immediately start to create ways to use up that bottle of syrupy balsamic sauce.

2 dozen raw asparagus spears on a marble counter

Grilled Asparagus Gets An Upgrade.

The question is not “can I grill asparagus?”, the question is “how often is too often to eat grilled asparagus?” and the answer is that there’s no such thing as too often. When asparagus is in season, we eat it almost nightly. So nice how asparagus season syncs up with the start of grilling season, don’t you think? Serve this elaborate grilled asparagus dish with a simple grilled steak, easy grilled chicken or even a big slab of grilled salmon.

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

Asparagus should never be cooked for long. Even when cooked in the oven it should never be under the heat for more than eight minutes, unless you’ve found 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 a really mushy, unappetizing texture.

When cooking asparagus on the grill over nice high heat, the spears only need to cook for a couple of minutes—maybe three at the most. Then rotate the spears 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.

2 dozen grilled asparagus spears on a baking sheet

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!

spoon drizzling balsamic glaze over a small pot
homemade balsamic glaze in a jar

How To Make Balsamic Glaze

If you’ve never had balsamic glaze then you are in for a treat! Balsamic glaze is simply balsamic vinegar that’s been simmered gently until it reduces to a somewhat sticky 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 to make it extra drool-worthy. 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.

Here are a few more ideas for ways to use up the rest of your balsamic reduction:

  • Drizzled on steak
  • Drizzled on strawberry ice cream
  • Drizzle over your favorite caprese salad
Grilled Asparagus With Balsamic Glaze, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese
Grilled Asparagus With Balsamic Glaze, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese

Tools You’ll Need

What To Serve With Grilled Asparagus.

Grilled Asparagus With Balsamic Glaze, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese

Summer’s Best Asparagus Recipe.

After a generous drizzle of balsamic, a sprinkle of rich, toasty pine nuts, some good parmesan cheese and you’ve basically made yourself an award-winning side dish. Be sure to snap a photo and tag us using @themodernproper or #themodernproper so we can drool along with you!

Grilled Asparagus with Balsamic Reduction

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


Balsamic Reduction

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar or honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 lb fresh asparagus
  • 1 tbsp olive oil + more for drizzling
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup balsamic reduction
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (toasted)
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese


  1. Simmer balsamic vinegar with sugar or honey and salt for 10 minutes, until reduced by half.
  2. Add the cornstarch into cold water and pour into reduced vinegar. Stir over low heat until sauce thickens. Make ahead and store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. Warm and stir before using.
  3. Trim and discard tough ends of asparagus. Toss with 1 tbsp of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Preheat grill to high. Once hot, set asparagus directly on grill. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until just cooked, but still slightly crunchy. If working with thicker asparagus, add 1-2 minutes per side.
  5. Transfer asparagus to a serving plate and drizzle with balsamic reduction followed by fresh parmesan, toasted pine nuts and a drizzle of olive oil. 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 @ theroadtohoney

    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!

  • Never Know

    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!