How many spears of asparagus is two cups?

Two cups of fresh asparagus spears is approximately 20-25 spears, depending on the thickness of the spears.

Asparagus is a delicious and nutritious spring vegetable that is a versatile addition to many dishes. When shopping for asparagus, it is often sold in bunches or by the pound. However, some recipes call for a specific measurement, like 2 cups, which can be confusing when trying to figure out how many spears that equals. In this article, we’ll break down how to convert cup measurements to spear counts, so you know exactly how much to purchase and prepare.

How Many Spears in 2 Cups of Asparagus?

The number of asparagus spears in 2 cups depends on the thickness and length of the spears. Here is a rough estimate:

  • Thin spears (1/4 inch diameter): About 25 spears
  • Medium spears (1/2 inch diameter): 20-22 spears
  • Thick spears (3/4 inch diameter): 16-18 spears

So on average, 2 cups of asparagus is equal to 20-25 spears.

Determining Spear Thickness

When determining how many spears equal 2 cups, spear thickness is an important factor. Thinner spears will have a higher count per cup while thicker spears will have a lower count per cup. There are three main categories for spear thickness:

  • Thin: Up to 1/4 inch diameter
  • Medium: 1/4 to 1/2 inch diameter
  • Thick: 1/2 to 3/4 inch diameter

The thinner the spear, the more spears will be needed to make 2 cups. Medium spears are the most common in grocery stores. Thick spears are found more often at farmers markets or through CSAs when in season.

Measuring Spear Diameter

To find out your spear thickness, simply take one asparagus spear and measure the diameter at the midpoint. Use a ruler or measuring tape to check the width from one side to the other. This will give you the approximate thickness of the spears.

Spear Length and Yield Per Bunch

Spear length also plays a role in cups per bunch. Longer spears will yield more cups per pound. Standard spear lengths include:

  • Short: 5-7 inches
  • Medium: 7-9 inches
  • Long: 9-11 inches

A bunch of thin, long spears will produce around 2 cups per pound. Shorter, thick spears will yield closer to 1 cup per pound. So spear length factors into the overall cup yield.

Trimmed vs Untrimmed

When measuring cups, also consider if the spears are trimmed or untrimmed. Trimming the woody ends will reduce the volume slightly compared to untrimmed spears with long stems.

Weight of 2 Cups of Asparagus

If measuring spears by the pound, 2 cups of trimmed asparagus spears weighs approximately:

  • Thin spears: 1/2 pound
  • Medium spears: 3/4 pound
  • Thick spears: 1 pound

So on average, plan on 3/4 pound of asparagus per 2 cups. This can help when substituting pounds for cup measurements in recipes.

Freezing 2 Cups of Asparagus

When freezing asparagus, 2 cups is a useful measurement. Here are some freezing tips:

  • Wash, trim and cut spears to desired length.
  • Blanch in boiling water for 2-3 minutes.
  • Cool rapidly in ice water.
  • Drain and pat dry.
  • Lay flat in a single layer on a sheet pan or cookie sheet and freeze.
  • Transfer to freezer bags once fully frozen.

This helps keep spears loose rather than frozen in a clump. Label bags with contents and date. Frozen asparagus will last 8-12 months.

Cooking 2 Cups of Asparagus

For cooking, two easy methods include:


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Toss spears with 1-2 Tbsp oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  • Roast 15-20 minutes until lightly browned and tender.


  • Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a skillet.
  • Add spears in a single layer.
  • Cover and steam 3-5 minutes until bright green and tender.
  • Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

Both roasting and steaming are easy ways to highlight the fresh flavor of 2 cups of asparagus. Adjust cooking time as needed based on thickness.

Asparagus Serving Suggestions

Here are some ideas for enjoying 2 cups of asparagus:

  • Asparagus salad – Toss with mixed greens, shaved parmesan, lemon vinaigrette.
  • Asparagus tart – Roast and add to an egg custard in a savory tart.
  • Asparagus risotto – Saute chopped spears and add to cheesy Arborio rice.
  • Asparagus pasta – Blanche and toss with pasta, olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes.
  • Asparagus omelet – Saute spears and add to an herb and cheese omelet.
  • Asparagus pizza – Top cheesy pizza with roasted asparagus before baking.

The options are endless for enjoying 2 cups of tender asparagus spears!


To summarize, 2 cups of asparagus is approximately 20-25 spears – with thinner spears at the higher end of the range, and thicker spears at the lower end. When preparing and cooking asparagus, consider spear thickness, length, trim, and cooking method. Two cups equals around 3/4 pound and can be easily incorporated into recipes or enjoyed on its own. Asparagus is a versatile spring vegetable that shines with simple preparations to highlight its fresh flavor and texture.

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