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Blanching the asparagus before assembling this casserole helps to maintain its vibrant green color. Feel free to skip that step if you're crunched for time, but the vegetables will be more army green.

EatingWell.com, January 2020, EatingWell Magazine, April 2021


Credit: Jason Donnelly

Recipe Summary

30 mins
45 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Put a large pot of water on to boil. Set a large bowl of ice water near the stove.

  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a small bowl in the microwave, about 30 seconds. Stir in panko; set aside.

  • Cook asparagus in the boiling water until bright green, about 1 minute. Drain and transfer to the ice bath. Let cool for 5 minutes, then drain and pat dry. Arrange the asparagus in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

  • Heat the pot over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and stir until melted. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Continue cooking and whisking until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in cream cheese, mozzarella and salt.

  • Pour the cheese sauce over the asparagus and stir to coat. Sprinkle the reserved panko mixture on top. Bake until the asparagus is tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

about 1 cup
179 calories; protein 7.4g; carbohydrates 13g; dietary fiber 3g; sugars 5g; fat 11g; saturated fat 7g; cholesterol 32mg; vitamin a iu 1663IU; vitamin c 9.7mg; folate 189mcg; calcium 138.8mg; iron 1.3mg; magnesium 25.8mg; potassium 380mg; sodium 360mg; thiamin 0.2mg.

2 fat, 1 vegetable, 1/2 whole-milk dairy