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Grilled Asparagus with a Poached Egg Topper

A poached egg with a soft yolk serves as “instant” Hollandaise sauce for this single serving of grilled asparagus. Makes a lovely appetizer or vegetable side.


My 10-year old palate never dreamed asparagus might be a delicacy. Mom grew it in her garden back home in Indiana, so we had plenty.   Olive green and cooked till mushy,  asparagus for dinner was reason enough to feign nausea and head for bed.

As an adult, I discovered a new appreciation for asparagus, and not just because I figured out how expensive it was in the store. After eating it grilled, I was smitten.

Recipe inspiration

While celebrating our anniversary at a nice restaurant recently, we were served freshly grilled asparagus with a soft poached egg on top. The waiter called it “instant Hollandaise.”  Simple but sophisticated. 

How do I grill asparagus if I don’t have a grill?

You have several choices. Use a grill pan if you have one or use a regular skillet with a little bit of butter to sauté the asparagus.

Another choice is a conventional oven. Bake at 450˚F. Place olive-oil-coated asparagus on a foil-lined cookie sheet. It only takes a few minutes when you do it this way. Watch carefully to avoid overcooked asparagus.

How will I know when the asparagus is cooked?

Asparagus will turn bright green when it is perfect. It should be tender, but not mushy or stringy. Skinny asparagus cooks really fast so keep your eyes on it. And remember that it will continue to cook a little after you remove it from the heat.

If you like your asparagus soft, cook it until the color is olive green or about the same color as canned green beans.

grilled asparagus with broken poached egg on top

How do I make this recipe for more than one person?

It’s easy to scale this recipe for more servings. Use one egg per serving.

In regards to how much asparagus you will need, I will defer to Piggly Wiggly.

One pound of asparagus contains 12-15 spears that typically measure 9-10 inches long and 1/2-3/4 inch thick. One pound serves 2-4 people.
Piggly Wiggly

raw eggs
My favorite way to poach an egg–silicone cups.

More recipes for egg-lovers

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    Yield: 1 serving

    Grilled Asparagus and Eggs

    Grilled Asparagus and Eggs

    Grilled asparagus topped with a soft poached egg and toasted bread crumbs

    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 15 minutes
    Total Time 30 minutes


    • 1 tablespoon toasted bread crumbs
    • 6-8 stalks fresh asparagus with the tough stalk trimmed
    • 1 soft-cooked, poached egg
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper


    Preparing Bread Crumbs:

    1. Use a food processor or blender to tear a slice of stale bread into small pieces the size of oatmeal.
    2. Saute in a skillet over medium heat with enough butter to barely coat crumbs and give a nice crunchy brown crust.

    Grilling Asparagus:

    1. After washing asparagus, cut off the tough ends--usually about 1-2 inches
    2. Lightly spray or brush asparagus with olive oil.
    3. Preheat grill for 20 minutes.
    4. Grill over medium-high heat until spears begin to turn bright green, turning once or twice as they cook.
    5. Remove asparagus to a serving plate.

    Poach Egg:

    1. Preheat a non-stick skillet over med-low heat.
    2. Add butter. When it is melted, add 1 tablespoon of water. Carefully crack an egg and drop it into a skillet. Cover the pan with a lid.
    3. Cook until the egg turns white over the top of the yolk. The yolk itself should still be soft.


    1. Carefully place an egg on top of the grilled asparagus. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and top with toasted bread crumbs.


    More ways to grill asparagus:

    Use a grill pan on top of the stove. Heat over high heat. Turn asparagus as grill marks appear. Asparagus is done when it turns bright green.

    Use your oven to grill asparagus. Preheat oven to 450˚F. Place asparagus on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Depending on the thickness of the asparagus, this may take 4-10 minutes. Watch closely.

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    Nutrition Information:



    Serving Size:


    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 107Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 185mgSodium: 475mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 9g

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    Monday 7th of April 2014

    This is a delicious way to eat asparagus. You could try totally Italian and use Parmesan instead of breadcrumbs :-)

    Meanwhile, I will try the breadcrumbs! They look amazing!

    Nancy C.

    Wednesday 23rd of March 2011

    I LOVE your grilled asparagus and so does our mutual grandson! He ate 3 spears when I was last with him....Great recipe!

    Betty @ scrambled hen fruit

    Thursday 10th of March 2011

    Eggs and asparagus both remind me of spring, and they're a perfect pairing. Your poached egg on asparagus is gorgeous! It won't be too much longer before asparagus is ready. I love your little egg poachers- I think I need to invest in some of those!


    Thursday 10th of March 2011

    Where did you get your silicone egg cookers? They look flatter on the bottom than the ones I have seen in the stores. Thanks


    Wednesday 9th of March 2011

    Looks great! Simple and elegant.