Roasted Asparagus with Crispy Breadcrumbs

roasted asparagus on a baking sheet with soft boiled eggs

Roasted Asparagus with Crispy Breadcrumbs, Pine Nuts, and Runny Eggs is one delicious mouthful and proof positive that spring food doesn’t have to mean wimpy food! A quick and easy spring side dish that takes roasted asparagus to the next level.

Easy Roasted Asparagus on a baking pan with runny eggs

Full disclosure ~ those crispy breadcrumbs? They’re super seasoned with garlic, herbs, butter, and…wait for it…anchovies. I wanted to get that out right at the start so if you want to run away, now’s your moment. But if you stay you’re so smart, because we all really need to get over the whole anchovy hating thing. Don’t think of them as little fish, think of them as little flavor bombs. They dissolve into whatever you’re cooking and leave you with a wonderful briny depth of flavor.

People will think you’re a genius, when it’s really just the anchovies 🙂

roasted asparagus on a baking sheet with soft boiled eggs

I use ready made seasoned croutons, the good ones that come in the cellophane bag, for my breadcrumbs…I blitz them in the food processor to make easy and perfectly flavored crumbs ready to mix with the anchovies. They get sauteed in butter (along with the pine nuts) for a double toasting that makes them unbelievable. You’re going to want to sprinkle these on everything.

Roasted asparagus with a runny egg

What’s the secret to perfectly jammy eggs?

Here it is, I tested the method from Bon Appétit and made a couple of adjustments ~

  • Start with room temperature eggs, I use size large. I found if I used cold eggs they had a tendency to crack from the sudden change in temperature.
  • Put enough water to cover the eggs in a pan and bring to a rolling boil (don’t put the eggs in yet!)
  • Use a spoon to gently set each egg into the boiling water.
  • Set the time for 6 1/2 minutes.
  • Remove the eggs and plunge into cold tap water for a few minutes to cool them down.
  • Drain the water from the bowl and give the bowl a vigorous shaking to bash the eggs against each other ~ this will shatter the shells and make them super easy to peel.
  • You’re welcome.

asparagus stalks

other ways to enjoy spring asparagus ~


*roasted asparagus recipe slightly adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi.  I’m a huge fan and there are lots of Ottolenghi recipes on the blog, if you are too!

roasted asparagus on a baking sheet with soft boiled eggs
4.2 from 5 votes

Roasted Asparagus with Crispy Breadcrumbs, Pine Nuts, and Runny Eggs

A quick and delicious spring side dish that takes roasted asparagus to the next level!
Course Side Dish, vegetables
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Author Sue Moran



  • 1 cup home style seasoned garlic croutons I love the premium crusty ones
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 anchovies
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts

basil sauce

  • large handful of rinsed basil leaves
  • a glug of olive oil
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste


  • 1 pound fresh asparagus trimmed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 425F
  • Put the croutons in a small food processor and pulse until they become coarse crumbs. Pulse in the anchovies. Heat the butter in a skillet and saute the crumbs, along with the pine nuts, until they turn golden. Be sure to stir almost constantly, you don't want anything to burn. Set aside.
  • Put the basil in a small food processor and blitz with enough olive oil to form a loose sauce. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Toss the trimmed asparagus with the oil, garlic, and a little salt and pepper, and arrange on a baking tray in a single layer. Make sure your oven is at temperature, and roast for 10 minutes. If your stalks are very thick you might need a bit more time, but don't over cook.
  • Arrange half of the crumbs on a platter and place the asparagus on top. Top with the rest of the crumbs, and a drizzle of the basil sauce. Serve asap.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Make this roasted asparagus your own ~

  • Make it on the grill ~ grill the asparagus on your outdoor grill for extra flavor. Fatter stalks work best for this, or you can use a grill basket made for grilling vegetables.
  • Make it gluten free ~ omit the breadcrumbs and use the toasted pine nuts as your garnish.
  • Make it with broccoli. Slice the broccoli into lengthwise strips, with part of the stalk, too.
  • Make it easier ~ use store bought pesto, thinned with a little olive oil if necessary to form a loose sauce.



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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    May 10, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    I love a good spring side dish and I’m thinking this would be perfect for the Mother’s Day brunch menu!

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    May 10, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    I LOVE roasted asparagus Sue! This dish looks like a knockout!

  • Reply
    [email protected] is How I Cook
    May 9, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    Now these are runny eggs I like! And for the rest of it…well I think you know!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    May 9, 2018 at 10:42 am

    Such a lovely dish! You had me at runny eggs 🙂

  • Reply
    John / Kitchen Riffs
    May 9, 2018 at 7:22 am

    Love the idea of anchovy-laced breadcrumbs. Haven’t done this –heck, never thought to do it! — but you know I’ll be trying it. Great looking dish. Wonderful tip on soft-boiling eggs, too. Thanks!

    • Reply
      May 9, 2018 at 8:01 am

      Thanks John, I have the rest of the jar of anchovies waiting for another important job to do, love ’em!

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    May 9, 2018 at 5:37 am

    I could eat this for every darn single meal, Sue. The runny eggs are so perfect. Thumbs up for you, my star chef!

    • Reply
      May 9, 2018 at 7:20 am

      Thanks Angie, I’m so happy I discovered the secret to those eggs, it’s going to be all runny eggs ALL the time around here 🙂

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving Room for Dessert
    May 9, 2018 at 5:09 am

    I could eat this for breakfast! I picked asparagus from our garden yesterday, finally, the weather is cooperating. Scrambled eggs with steamed asparagus has been one of my favorite breakfast treats for years, so I know I would love this. I think we even have anchovies in the fridge – thanks for the inspiration!

    • Reply
      May 9, 2018 at 7:04 am

      Really, you grow asparagus? I’ve heard it’s very labor intensive, I’m impressed!

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