If you are looking for a fancy asparagus recipe for Christmas dinner, this dreamy melt in the mouth baked asparagus with truffle oil and pistachios will be a delicious and unique addition to your table! Fancy enough for the holidays but so easy to make too, this might be the most popular side dish at your festive feast! It is easy to make and all bakes together in one dish.
Introducing the fancy asparagus you want at your Christmas table…
I am calling this “Christmas asparagus” even though it can and should of course be made year round. But I designed it specifically to fit into a holiday feast. As a vegetarian, the side dishes are what make or break the feast for me! So I love to make vegetable side dish recipes that will slot into a traditional Thanksgiving or Christmas meal with appropriate flavors, but that really shine all on their own too.
We’re pulling out all the stops for this asparagus, baking it in a rich creamy cheese sauce with garlic and tarragon, then topping with toasted pistachios and truffle oil. Baked asparagus has a beautifully tender, melt in the mouth texture and we are layering some amazing flavors on top to make it soar.
Another great thing? This dish is fairly saucy so you get some extra saucy goodness on your plate to dip your potatoes in! This is an especially nice touch for vegetarians if there is not going to be a meatless gravy option.
It’s an easy one pan oven recipe that is easy to juggle alongside other dishes
I know that when it comes to Christmas / holiday recipes, you’re never making just one thing. You’re filling that oven and you’re multitasking and it can be really hard. Holiday recipes need to be delicious and special while also being easy and forgiving, and this recipe strikes that balance.
To make this asparagus, all we have to do is pile all our ingredients into a dish, find a spot in the oven and then bake it!
A crowded oven sometimes cooks things more slowly or has temperature discrepancies – this shouldn’t be a problem. Just keep an eye on how it looks and check the asparagus stalks with a fork or knife if you’re not sure it’s ready. It’s also the kind of recipe that won’t lose its lustre if you have to leave it covered to keep warm for a bit while something else finishes cooking.
Basically, this would be hard to mess up.
Tips & Ingredient Notes
What you need to know to set yourself up for success and make changes with confidence.
- I am using dried tarragon here to give a subtle flavor to the creamy sauce. You can definitely swap for fresh tarragon if it’s available- you would want about 3 tablespoon’s worth.
- If you don’t want to use tarragon, try swapping it for thyme to add a simple savory flavor instead.
- I love pistachios when it comes to “fancy” food but you can use walnuts or pine nuts if you would rather. It’s also fine and delicious without any nuts at all.
- I used pecorino cheese, but you could use anything in that hard salty Italian cheese family (parmesan, pecorino, asiago, etc). I’ve tried it with other cheeses like gouda and I don’t find the flavor strong enough, but if you need to swap in a milder cheese, just make sure to salt it well.
Pair me with…
More fancy vegetarian recipes for the holidays!
- 1.2 lbs (550 g) asparagus, see notes
- ¾ cup (180 ml) double (heavy) cream
- 1.5 tsp dried tarragon
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- ¾ cup (70 g) grated cheese , pecorino, parmesan or other Italian hard cheese
- 4 tbsp raw unsalted pistachios, chopped
- 1 tsp truffle oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat your oven to 180C / 360F.
- Prep the asparagus by chopping of the thick woody ends and placing them in a lightly oiled casserole dish.1.2 lbs asparagus
- Sprinkle the garlic, tarragon and salt and pepper on top.1.5 tsp dried tarragon, 2 cloves garlic, salt and pepper
- Add the cheese over the top.3/4 cup grated cheese
- Pour the cream over the asparagus, making sure to cover it as evenly as possible, and then place in the oven (uncovered) and bake for 10 minutes.3/4 cup double (heavy) cream
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle the pistachios over the top. Bake for another 10 minutes.4 tbsp raw unsalted pistachios
- Remove from the oven, drizzle the truffle oil over the top of the dish, and then serve.1 tsp truffle oil