Spanish Asparagus With Red Bell Peppers, Onions & Garlic

This Spanish-inspired recipe of lightly boiled asparagus is served with a sofrito of red bell peppers, onions and garlic sautéed in lashings of olive oil. It’s a great side dish to a main or a sharing plate at a dinner party. If you’re looking for recipes with bell peppers and onions or an asparagus recipe, this dish is a winner! It’s gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, paleo and Whole30.

Lightly Boiled Asparagus

Asparagus is a fantastic vegetable – full of hormone-balancing nutrients, fibre and antioxidants – and it’s especially lovely in season. It’s also very pretty with its pointy, dragon skin like spears and looks great with bright colours.

One of the easiest ways to prepare asparagus is boiling it, which sounds super boring but what I mean by that is ‘a lightly boiled asparagus’. You essentially want to blanch the vegetables to heat them through but to retain some of the crunch and that gorgeous green colour. Boiled asparagus can be a great base for something exciting!

Once it’s done, serve it right away with a delicious sauce such as my Spanish red pepper sofrito.

Sofrito Of Red Bell Peppers & Onions

Because asparagus itself has a pretty neutral flavour, it’s a great vehicle for sauces and punchier ingredients such as hollandaise, garlic aioli and so on.

I thought it would work really well with slowly cooked onions, bell peppers and garlic, and the olive oil infused with the flavours of those foods. This mixture is also known as sofrito and is the base of Spanish paella.

Sofrito takes 10-15 minutes to cook so that vegetables can soften and caramelise, giving you the most delicious umami sweetness.

Bell peppers and onions sofrito over asparagus

I wanted to keep it as a vegetarian and vegan asparagus recipe but if you are an omnivore, you can add bits like chopped chorizo or bacon to the cooking sofrito mixture. Both work really well with asparagus.


What To Serve With Asparagus

Enjoy this dish warm or cold, and use it as a side dish with any main. It would go well with fish, chicken or any meat or as a colourful potluck dish at a dinner party.

For a vegetarian or vegan meal, serve this asparagus dish with quinoa or brown rice and lentils or with some plant-based burgers or sausages. It’s also lovely as is with some toasted sourdough rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil.

PS. Leftovers are great in an omelette!

Boiled asparagus with sofrito of bell peppers, onions and garlic

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Full Recipe 

Find the full list of ingredients, instructions, and a nutritional breakdown below. If you have questions or cook this recipe, please let me know in the comments, and make sure to rate this recipe so it’s easy for others to find.

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Spanish Inspired Asparagus With Red Peppers, Onion & Garlic

Spanish Asparagus With Red Peppers, Onion & Garlic

  • Author: Irena Macri
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Sauteed
  • Cuisine: Spanish
  • Diet: Vegetarian
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This Spanish-inspired recipe of lightly cooked asparagus served with onions, red peppers and garlic sautéed in lashings of olive oil. I love it as a side with fish or steak, and it works great as a potluck dish. If you’re looking for recipes with bell peppers and onions or an asparagus recipe, this dish is a winner! This asparagus recipe is vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, paleo and Whole30-friendly.


  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • ½ large onion, finely diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper/ capsicum, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove, finely diced
  • 2 bunches of asparagus spears, hard ends chopped off
  • ½ juice of lemon


  1. Add the onion, peppers, olive oil and salt to a medium frying pan and heat over medium heat. Sauté for 10 minutes, stirring regularly, until the onions and peppers are really soft and slightly caramelized.
  2. Add the garlic and stir through for a minute, turn the heat off and set aside.
  3. In the meantime, bring a pot of water to a boil and add the asparagus. Season with half a teaspoon of salt. Cook for 2 minutes, then strain and set aside.
  4. Serve the asparagus cold or quickly reheated in the pan, with the onion and pepper mixture spread over the top. This dish can be either hot or cold.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 164
  • Sugar: 4.8 g
  • Sodium: 585.8 mg
  • Fat: 14.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9.7 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 2.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: Asparagus, Bell Peppers, Onions, Spanish Recipes, Side Dish


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Irena Macri
By Irena Macri

About the author:Hi, I’m Irena Macri. I share delicious recipes that I have cooked and loved. I’ve been food blogging for over 10 years and have a Diploma in Nutrition. You will find many healthy recipes as well as my favourite comfort food on the blog because I believe in a balanced diet.More about me here. Sign-up for my newsletter and subscriber freebies.

PS. Some posts contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for purchases made through these links.

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  1. Love that vibrant sauce on top of the asparagus! And it’s such a great way to get it a lot of veggies in one sitting.

  2. I just picked up asparagus for a decent price this weekend and I can’t wait to use it! We won’t see it local here until May, but I just had to get some! I love this idea and I know my kids would too – I think I’ll use it for this! Thank you!

  3. Firstly, I love how colourful this is! And I love asparagus too, so new ways to eat it, especially as it comes into season here soon, are always good!

  4. Quite good but I found that adding some Chorizo (mild) and smoked paprika took it to the next level.

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