family,  Food

Sautéed Asparagus and Scalloped Potatoes – Simple Side Dishes Are Better With Butter #BornOnTheFarm

Sometimes I feel like butter is a dairy staple we take for granted. Butter makes sauces creamier, baked goods taste richer and it can elevate a recipe. But it never really takes centre stage. Just like side dishes. But Gay Lea butter can make almost anything better. It can improve a simple fresh vegetable like sautéed asparagus or add a twist to a new variation on traditional scalloped potatoes.

This week was a brutally busy one with both girls in a martial arts tournament working as score-keepers and competing too. and it seemed like meals – good fresh home cooked meals were getting neglected for days. In the spring I enjoy seeing fresh asparagus in the grocery stores and markets where I shop locally. Ontario asparagus makes me happy and the entire family loves it. We cook it as often as possible and I had some in the fridge. In the spring I buy asparagus at least once a week.


Anyways, on the weekend, I was puttering around attempting to make some gorgeous gluten free recipes with butter and while the buttery tart filling turned out magnificently, the gluten free crust was not right. So I ended up a bit disappointed with that attempt to change my traditional butter tarts and make them gluten free. In fact the filling was so good I ate some with a spoon. But the crust was not right for the watery filling at all. Such is blogging. Some days it’s magic and the words flow too. Other days NOT SO MUCH.

Scalloped potatoes are one of my favourites ever since I was a child actually.

So I switched gears entirely and made dinner – breaded chicken legs, you can use regular bread crumbs or gluten free bread crumbs for that. So simple and tasty. Typically I coat the chicken legs in yogurt first and then roll them in bread crumbs. I like making things like this at home because I can control the ingredients and I know my chicken is not salty. But I digress. What I was really interested in was the side dishes. It’s easy to get all caught up in your protein and forget that sometimes sides are beautiful in their own right.

Asparagus is one vegetable we all love. Every spring I get excited when I spy it in the grocery store. Fresh and affordable and local – that’s the way I like it. The greener the better and the tips should never be mushy. Anyways, I happened to have some on hand this week and I figured I’d challenge myself to take some traditional side dishes and switch them up.


So I made gluten free sides – fresh sautéed spring asparagus featuring Gay Lea salted butter. And scalloped potatoes, which are a big tradition here. My Mom always made scalloped potatoes several times a year and my grandma made them too. For some reason they are always a hit. I like to give them my own spin. Over the years I have modified those many different ways – cheesy, non cheesy, sometimes dairy free, sometimes gluten free and occasionally even onion free too. But I finally have the winning recipe that I like and it also features Gay Lea salted butter, which made them richer and creamier.


My diet has always been different than that of my Mom and my Grandmother. Now I also watch salt and cook at home to limit sodium intake. I try to cook and bake gluten free as often as possible. A gluten free diet makes me feel better physically. I am certainly not criticizing how they cooked or ate, but I am saying I know what works for me and what my family likes.

Sautéed Asparagus

Sautéed asparagus and scalloped potatoes are easy enough to make. And this version of my asparagus is very flavourful. We grill asparagus in the summer on the barbecue and we often use olive oil to sauté it too. But this time I changed it up with Gay Lea Butter and onion. That combination was sensational. I think I will keep it and use onion and butter routinely. There was even a bit left for lunch the next day and the taste held true even reheated.


Sautéed Asparagus

Paula Schuck
Scrumptious Spring Sautéed Asparagus is fresh and flavourful with a bit of help from Gay Lea butter.
4.60 from 5 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Side Dishes
Cuisine American
Servings 4 -5 servings


  • 1/2 an onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic diced
  • 1 bunch of asparagus stalks and tips in tact
  • 3 teaspoons of Gay Lea salted butter


  • Heat the frying pan to medium.
  • Add the three teaspoons of Gay Lea salted butter
  • Trim asparagus to size (cut about 1 - 1 1/2 inch off the ends)
  • Add onion to butter melting in the pan.
  • Stir, and add the garlic.
  • Spread out the asparagus and cook about 20 minutes
  • Stir several times.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Scalloped Potatoes

My scalloped potatoes recipe is simple too.

Peel 5 large potatoes and slice thinly.

Dice the other half of the onion you peeled for the asparagus.

Add One teaspoonful of garlic

One tablespoon of parsley

1 cup of water and 1/2 cup of milk

2 teaspoons of Gay Lea salted butter

Put the oven on to 350 degrees and mix everything together in the casserole dish or baking pan.

Bake for about 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees

Scoop and serve.

The Gay Lea butter adds a creaminess to the potatoes and keeps them from sticking to the dish as well. The parsley adds a hit of colour. The onion and garlic make them your own.

Gay Lea Products Make Everything Tastier

This year I am a Gay Lea ambassador and so you will be seeing recipes monthly created with Gay Lea ingredients. I am a fan of Gay Lea products because they are Canadian. Gay Lea is a dairy products cooperative that started in 1958 and is owned by dairy farmers. Their products are born on the farm and that’s what sets them apart.

We use Gay Lea salted butter in a lot of meals and also for baked goods. Gay Lea Salted Butter is pure and preservative free. It has only two ingredients and it is only available in Ontario.  There are numerous varieties of this Gay Lea butter. There is an unsalted version and we love the spreadable too.

What’s your favourite side dish?

I created this post as a paid ambassador with Gay Lea Foods and PTPA for 2017. My opinion is all my own and it is truthful. I only work with brands I love and use.

Gay lea might be a cooperative steeped in tradition, but they are also embracing their own new style too. Did you know for instance that Gay Lea has a Youtube channel? They do. Learn more about that when you enter to win this iPad Mini 2 giveaway! Good Luck!

Gay Lea iPad Mini 2 Giveaway – April 2017

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.


  • Diana

    I cook asparagus all the time, but usually with oil instead of butter. I have to try your recipe as my family loves anything cooked in butter and this will probably step our asparagus up a notch or two!

  • Chasity L Boatman

    What a simple, but healthy side dish. I’m not a fan of vegetables, so I’m always trying to figure out recipes that will work with veggies. My husband really enjoys asparagus, so we may give this a try.

  • Amanda Farris

    I lOVE asparagus and always have trouble cooking it. This recipe is so helpful! I haven’t been cooking mine long enough! I think I had my heat too high as well!

  • Tina Butler

    YUM. I love roasted asparagus so I can’t wait to try this recipe. I wish my family shared my love of asparagus, but they don’t. Oh well that is just more for me. I love finding new recipes blogs to follow. I hope you’ll stop by mine.

    • Paula

      Thanks for the comment Tina! Yes I think I could eat it all myself if the kids hated it. But I am happy they love it.

  • danik

    This is such a simple and healthy dish to cook up and after reading this, I am thinking of cooking it after work. Great post 🙂

  • lisalisa

    5 stars
    What a healthy dish indeed, my kids and I lOVE asparagus! I enjoy scalloped potatoes also but it’s been a while since I made some I guess I need to write down this recipe for Sunday dinner :0) Thanks1

  • Jenn

    Yum! Asparagus is one of our favorite foods, so I’m always looking for new recipes to try. This looks and sounds delicious. I bet my family would love this dinner.

  • Cheryl

    Both sound so yummy! I loved sauteed veggies and I can’t remember the last time I had scalloped potatoes. Garlic makes everything better 🙂

  • Annemarie LeBlanc

    5 stars
    I try my best to make healthy choices when eating or cooking. However, I still have to learn to be attuned to having less salt in my food. My favorite side dish is always mashed potatoes or buttered garlic mushrooms.

  • Catvills

    5 stars
    This is a great healthy side dish. We love asparagus in our family and although we go the unhealthy route with it (we love bacon-wrapped asparagus), it is still a much loved side dish. I will try your recipe too. I think they’d love a different way of preparing their favorite vegetable. Personally though, my favorite side dish is mashed potatoes! Yum.


    5 stars