Grilled Asparagus with BBQ Hollandaise Sauce
Feb 10, 2022, Updated Aug 20, 2022
Grilled Asparagus is one of our favorite dishes that replicates the classic steakhouse side dish. Simply seasoned with salt and pepper, elevate this recipe with a quick BBQ Hollandaise sauce (a classic style Hollandaise infused with our popular dry rub). This buttery sauce will be your new favorite topping for almost all grilled vegetables.
Grilled Asparagus Recipe Highlights
- Thick asparagus work best for ease of grilling. The smaller stalks fall easily through the grates.
- Fresh asparagus is abundant in the spring time. The softer the stalks, the fresher it is.
- Direct grilling at 400 degrees Fahrenheit gives a nice flavor profile and soft bite.
- The hollandaise is made with a double boiler to keep the texture thick and avoid scrambling the egg yolks.
- Add the BBQ flavor by simply adding our popular and simple BBQ dry rub.
In your old school steakhouse restaurants you’ll almost always find roasted asparagus classically served with a hollandaise sauce to enjoy with your steak. We were inspired to grill the asparagus and then jazz up the sauce with some of our BBQ dry rub magic.
Table of Contents
Ingredients for Grilled Asparagus
The best grilled asparagus starts with fresh asparagus, and for this recipe, thicker stalks. If all you can find is the smaller, thinner stalks, then see FAQ for a foil modification or to use a vegetable grill pan. One bunch should feed up to four people as a side dish.
From there it’s about seasoning and the BBQ hollandaise sauce.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – This helps the seasoning stick to the asparagus
- Kosher Salt and Coarse Black Pepper – This is all we’re using to season the asparagus.
- Egg Yolks – Separate the whites and use to make omelets later. Try to let the separated yolks come to room temperature, or leave them out about 30 minutes. They will whisk and fluff up easier when not straight from the fridge.
- Grilled Lemon – Yes you can use raw lemon, but with the grill going, the earthier flavor adds a nice flavor element to the sauce.
- Unsalted Butter – It’s easier to salt after you make the sauce. Be sure it’s melted.
- Dry Rub – We use our ultimate dry rub which has salt, sugar, and spices. This is going to give that hollandaise sauce that wow factor! It’s so good!
Rinse and dry the asparagus.
The thicker end of the stalks, where they were harvested, will commonly harden up and have a more fibrous texture. The best way to prepare the asparagus is to hold one stalk, bend and see where it snaps. Once you’ve snapped one, you can generally use that as a guide for the remainder of your asparagus.
In a large sheet pan, coat with olive oil, salt, and pepper and they are ready to grill.
BBQ Hollandaise Sauce
The best time to make the hollandaise is right before you throw the asparagus on the grill. The secret to perfect hollandaise is to use a double boiler. That is when you have a sauce pan with boiling water as your heat, and a stainless steel bowl that you place on the pan with boiling water to make the sauce.
Note: The water should be at a simmer and not a full boil. The water should also not touch the stainless steel bowl to prevent the egg yolks from scrambling.
- Get the sauce pan simmering. When it’s simmering, whisk the egg yolks and grilled lemon juice in a large stainless steel bowl. The yolks and juice will combine and you’ll see the volume of the yolks increase about 30 to 40 percent, which is a good thing.
- Place the stainless steel bowl over the water pan (but remember, not touching the hot water), and start whisking, add 1/2 of the butter and continue to whisk to incorporate. The sauce will start to thicken. If the water is too hot, you’ll see the yolk start to form lumps, reduce heat if that happens and whish vigorously to separate. Add the remainder of the butter and then the dry rub. Continue to whisk for two minutes over the pan of simmering water. The sauce will thicken and warm up at the same time. Then it’s ready to serve with the asparagus.
- If it hardens/cools while you are waiting for the asparagus, just add it back over the simmering water in the stainless steel bowl and whisk to loosen and warm up.
Chef’s Note on Hollandaise: The most important step is to avoid the water from being too hot. It’s better to slowly add heat so you don’t scramble the hollandaise. When whisking, use a larger whisk to allow for more aeration.
See this video for more tips on how to use a double broiler to make hollandaise sauce.
How to Grill Asparagus
- Prepare the grill for direct grilling targeting 400 degrees Fahrenheit in the cooking chamber.
- Place the asparagus on the grill perpendicular to the grates (so they don’t fall through) over direct heat. Close grill and then grill for 3 – 6 minutes or when you see nice caramelization happen. Rotate the asparagus and grill the other side for additional 3 – 6 minutes. Once you see the color develop remove from the smoker. The time will vary depending on how hot your grill is running.
- Plate and pour the hollandaise over the asparagus.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can adapt this recipe by placing the asparagus in foil. Season the same way, wrap in foil tightly and then place over the direct heat. The foil will protect the asparagus, while also steaming them at the same time. This method works if all the asparagus you can find is thinner stalks.
For thicker stalks over direct heat it should take no more than 6 – 10 minutes rotating the asparagus with long tongs to prevent burning. Smaller stalks in foil can take as little as 5 and as much as 8 (assuming the temperature in the grill over direct heat is 400 degrees Fahrenheit).
Technically you aren’t grilling, you are roasting. But to modify this recipe for the oven, set the oven to 400 degrees F. Season as the recipe suggests, place the asparagus on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes and then rotate the asparagus. Finish for additional 6 – 8 minutes and the asparagus should be soft with some roasting color to it.
Asparagus grows like bamboo and shoots out of the ground in the spring. Fresh asparagus is delicious and soft and does not need to be pre-sliced. As asparagus is harvested the ends of the stalk will harden and fibrous. So removing the ends of the asparagus is recommended for better texture.
More Recipe Inspirations
You can also serve the BBQ Hollandaise over:
- Eggs Benedict
- Smoked Salmon
- Grilled Broccolini
- Brussels Sprouts
- Or get creative and use with our Smoked Sausage Breakfast Sandwich.
You can also find an amazing grilled asparagus recipe in our cookbook, Fire + Wine, with spicy pickled peppers.
Grilled Asparagus Recipe with BBQ Hollandaise
- 1 Sturdy Whisk
- 1 bunch asparagus,, (Look for thicker stalks and trim off the fibrous end if needed. * See notes)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tablespoon kosher salt
- ½ tablespoon coarse black pepper
- 4 egg yolks, (room temperature is best)
- 1 tablespoon juice of grilled lemon, (regular lemon works too)
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted, (one stick)
- 1 tablespoon ultimate dry rub
- Prepare Grill: Prepare the grill for direct grilling targeting 400 degrees Fahrenheit in the cooking chamber.
- Season Asparagus: Coat with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Grill Direct: Place the asparagus on the grill perpendicular to the grates (so they don’t fall through) over direct heat. Close grill and then grill for 3 – 6 minutes or when you see nice caramelization happen. Rotate the asparagus and grill the other side for additional 3 – 6 minutes. Once you see the color develop remove from the grill. The time will vary depending on how hot your grill is running and how thick your asparagus is.
- Serve: Plate and pour the hollandaise over the asparagus.
BBQ Hollandaise Sauce
- Simmer Water: Get a small sauce pan simmering. While it’s simmering, whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice in a large stainless steel bowl off the heat. The yolks and juice will combine and you’ll see the volume of the yolks increase about 30 to 40 percent, which is a good thing.
- Add Butter: Place the stainless steel bowl (with the egg yolk and lemon mixture) over the water pan (but remember, not touching the hot water), and start whisking, add 1/2 of the butter and continue to whisk to incorporate. The sauce will start to thicken. If the water is too hot, you’ll see the yolk start to form lumps, reduce heat if that happens and whish vigorously to separate. Add the remainder of the butter and then add the dry rub. Continue to whisk for two minutes over the pan of simmering water. The sauce will thicken and warm up at the same time. Then it’s ready to serve with the asparagus.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.