Looking for a fancy but easy breakfast, brunch, lunch or appetizer idea? These cute puff pastry asparagus tartlets are the perfect choice. Keep it simple by adding parmesan and basil, add bacon or an egg – or bacon and an egg. So simple and delicious, and on the table in just 30 minutes.
Why you’re going to love these tartlets
- EASY TO MAKE (RIDICULOUSLY SO). Throw together in just a few minutes, and cook in around 20.
- IMPRESSIVE. They may be easy, but with a name like asparagus tartlets, they’re impressive enough to serve to lunch/brunch guests, don’t you think?
- VERSATILE. Serve as a breakfast tart, or add sides and serve for dinner!
- EASY TO CUSTOMIZE. Adapt to make with whatever is in season (tomatoes, prosciutto, goat cheese & leeks…). Also, serve as they are, or top with an egg for more of a breakfast vibe.
This makes a great simple ‘breakfast for dinner’ recipe as well! If you need more ideas, check out this list of 100 lazy Sunday dinner ideas!
About the ingredients
Store-bought puff pastry: One of the reasons these yummy cheesy asparagus tarts are so easy to make! I always look for an all-butter puff pastry. I also tend to check the back for the shortest ingredients list possible!
Cream cheese: Just basic spreadable cream cheese is fine. If you like however get flavoured cream cheese with herbs, garlic etc. Ricotta works well, too.
Lemon zest: You don’t need much, but it will make all the difference. Trust me.
Asparagus: You’ll need 5 to 7 spears for each of your asparagus tarts. This might sound like a lot, but asparagus tends to shrink as it cooks. Choose bright green, firm spears when they’re in season for the best results.
Eggs and bacon: Topping your tartlets with an egg and/or bacon is purely optional. Fry or poach your eggs, and fry the bacon until lightly crisp. Air fry the bacon if you like (in just 8 minutes) – it’s quick, easy, hands-off and avoids grease splatters.
Parmesan, basil and olive oil: Sprinkle just a little of all 3 of these over the top of your tartlets before serving. Another one to trust me on.
How to make them
Step 1: Cut rectangles out of a large puff pastry sheet.
Step 2: Score around the edges with a sharp knife, being careful not to cut all the way through!
Step 3: Spread the inside of the tart with cream cheese mixed with lemon zest, then lay asparagus across the top.
Step 4: Bake for about 20 minutes, then top with egg and bacon, if you like (I like!). Sprinkle with parmesan and basil.
Pro tip: Squeeze as much asparagus as you can on top of the layer of lemony cheese, as the asparagus will shrink a bit in the oven.
How to serve and variations
BREAKFAST TARTS: Pop bacon and/or an egg on top. If you have an air fryer, air fried bacon will change your life!
LIGHT(ISH) BRUNCH/LUNCH: I’d serve with a simple green salad on the side (and perhaps a sneaky glass of white wine).
FOR A MORE SUBSTANTIAL MEAL: Why not serve with these crispy smashed potatoes (quick and easy in an air fryer!), lemony Mediterranean rice with chickpeas (stovetop or instant pot) or this delicious quinoa salad with crispy chickpeas?
VARY THE TOPPINGS: Not asparagus season? Use tomatoes, mushrooms or baby broccoli instead. As long as it’s something that cooks in around 20 minutes, you’re good to go.
VARY THE CHEESE: Use Boursin or ricotta instead of ordinary cream cheese. Just make sure you strain the ricotta first or it might make your pastry soggy. Instead of sprinkling parmesan over the top, how about crumbled feta, goat’s cheese or small slices of brie?
MAKE ONE BIG PUFF PASTRY ASPARAGUS TART INSTEAD: As long as it’s a bit wider than the asparagus, it doesn’t matter how long the tart is. The prep and cook time are the same as for the individual tartlets!
PREPARING AHEAD: These tarts are best cooked just before eating, but you can definitely prepare your pastry and toppings ahead so that everything is ready to go.
- It’s best to use thin (very fresh) asparagus so that it’s nicely tender and a little crispy by the time the pastry is cooked.
- If you can remember to defrost the puff pastry in the fridge overnight it will be perfectly defrosted but still chilled when you’re ready to use it.
- Don’t forget the finishing touches. Sprinkle over a little parmesan, fresh basil and olive oil before serving for an extra fancy (and tasty) touch.
More things to know (recipe FAQ)
Make sure that your oven is fully pre-heated before cooking your tartlets. Don’t forget to prick the pastry all over with a fork inside the border you’ve marked out. Also try to use pastry that’s still cold. This way the fat won’t melt before baking and there’ll be more chance of getting a crisp tart.
Yes, absolutely. In fact here in Australia I think that’s the only type that’s available. Just remember to thaw it in the refrigerator (about 4 hours) until you can unroll it without it breaking but it’s still cold.
About 10x14cm/4×5.5in. However… pastry sheets come in different sizes. There are no absolute rules here! Just make sure that the trimmed asparagus spears can fit on the tartlets, with room for about a 1cm border around the edge.
These puff pastry asparagus tarts are best made and eaten immediately. However… if you have any leftovers, by all means cool them and keep them in the fridge for a few days. Alternatively you can freeze them in an airtight container for up to 3 months, then defrost in the fridge when ready to eat. Reheat for 5 to 10 minutes at 355F/180C to warm through and crisp up again nicely.
More asparagus recipes
It’s in season for such a short time, so make the most of it!
- This lemon butter salmon with potatoes and asparagus is sooo easy, and made all on the one tray.
- This orzo salad with feta, asparagus and chickpeas makes a perfect summer side for picnics and more.
More savory puff pastry recipes
- This baby tomato, pesto and prosciutto tart is a colourful crowd pleaser, and SO easy to make.
- These ricotta, cherry tomato and chorizo puff pastry tarts make a simple and tasty lunch or picnic snack.
- You might say these pear, feta and walnut puff pastry tarts are a bit of a wildcard recipe, but some readers love them!
- Need dinner ideas this week? This creamy leek and chicken pie is easy comfort food without any guilt!
Or check out all of my breakfast recipes!
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Puff Pastry Asparagus Tartlets With Bacon
Ingredients (UK/Australia? Click below for grams/ml)
- ready-rolled puff pastry de-frosted if frozen
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- a few gratings of lemon zest
- salt and pepper
- asparagus about 5 to 8 spears per tart
- a little milk for glazing
- 2 eggs optional
- 2 large slices of bacon optional
- parmesan shavings shaved with a vegetable peeler
- fresh basil
- a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- Line a baking tray with baking paper. Unroll the puff pastry and lay out on a board or work surface. Cut out rectangles about 10x14cm/4×5.5in and place them on the baking tray.ready-rolled puff pastry
- Preheat the oven to 220C/425F. Then mix the lemon zest and a bit of salt and pepper into the cream cheese. Trim the asparagus so that it’s about 10cm/4in long.2 ounces cream cheese, a few gratings of lemon zest, salt and pepper, asparagus
- Score a 1cm/½in border all around each pastry rectangle, then prick the inside all over with a fork (this is to stop it puffing up in the oven). Brush the border lightly with a little milk.a little milk for glazing
- Spread half of the cheese all over each tart (inside the border), then lay half the asparagus over the tarts lengthways and all facing the same way. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden.
- About 5 minutes before the tarts will be ready, poach the eggs in a pan of boiling water for 3-4 minutes until cooked but still runny (if using). Also pan fry the bacon (if using. or air fry the bacon). Arrange the bacon over the top of the tart (I split a large rasher in half and placed it in a criss-cross pattern), then carefully place the egg over the top of that.2 eggs, 2 large slices of bacon
- Just before serving, scatter some parmesan shavings and fresh basil over each tart and drizzle over a tiny bit of olive oil.parmesan shavings, fresh basil, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Kate @ Framed Cooks says
We are juuuuuust at the start of springtime here, aka Asparagus Season, and I am making anything with asparagus like a maniac! This has so many lovely things in it – can’t wait to try it. 🙂
Thank you so much, Kate! It’s a short season over here too, so you have to make the most of it!
Chris @ Shared Appetite says
Heck yes you put an egg on this! There’s nothing more beautiful in the food world than a perfectly runny yolk! What a beautiful tart Helen!
Thank you! Glad you approve of the egg as some people (mentioning no names) around here don’t!
Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says
This tart looks absolutely gorgeous, Helen! I love tarts with asparagus, so i definitely need to try this one out. Sounds like it would make the perfect meal!
Thanks, Gayle! This is my new favourite spring brunch!
Hee hee, I’m glad you found your good luck charm for the sunny weather! We’ve got the sun out most days around here, but I certainly wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to celebrate with this great tart. Thanks so much for sharing this, Helen! Can’t wait to get a bite springtime in my next home-cooked lunch!
Thank you, Ala! That good luck charm of mine seems to be working quite a bit around here lately. Fingers crossed the sunshine continues!
Asparagus is seriously one of the best things of spring!! You surely embraced it in this tart!! Love love the basil addition 🙂
Thanks so much, Zainab! You’re right that spring asparagus rocks. I could eat it every day!
Denise | Sweet Peas & Saffron says
I’m impressed that you go to museums on your day off…I think I would sit on the couch and read a book…I am so far behind on my reading! Love the looks of these tarts, and yay for asparagus season! Can’t wait for full-blown summer produce…winter has felt so long!
Ha! Well, I work from home and often sit on the couch to work, so I don’t fancy doing that on my day off, too 🙂
So happy you like the little tarts … they really cheer me up after the long winter!
Well it sounds like it was a great day off! And these little tarts sound just delicious! I am blowing through asparagus like nobody’s business right now – I would devour these!
Teehee … me too … it’s one of my fave foods for sure. And these are a great excuse to eat pastry as well!
Dini @ Giramuk's Kitchen says
Helen… this has stolen my heart! I LOVE puff pastry tarts and even more everything in this one! I am an absolute Basil fanatic too! I would be the one to go the whole “hog” for bacon and eggs! hehehe!! This is going on my Brunch to do menu for sure!
Oooh, really excited that you feel tempted to make this, Dini! Thank you so much for ‘liking’ it! I’m really happy that you’d go the whole hog, too … lol!
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
And this comes at a time when I’m eating breakfast so I’d love it! I love it when people get dressed up in 40s and 50s outfits. Such a glorious time fashion-wise! 😀
Yes, it would be fun to go back to that time just for a day or two to see what it was like!
Celle ci c’est mon parfait brunch ! J’aime beaucoup le mélange que tu as réalisé Helen. Asperges, parmesan, œufs, bacon….tout est la pour se régaler ! So good !
Thank you so much, Eva! Celle ci c’est l’un de mes brunchs favoris aussi … j’adore les asperges, surtout les asperges anglais en saison. Mmmm!
mila furman says
I love this…I really do… But I especially love that you used store bought puff pastry!!! And that poached egg on top of it is JUST calling my name 🙂
Thank you, Mila!! I would never make my own puff pastry … lol! Just love how easy this is when you just unroll the pastry, top and bake … yum!