Easy Air Fryer Asparagus

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This easy air fryer asparagus is a quick way to make a veggie side dish in just a few minutes in the air fryer. It can be cooked to your preference – tender and crisp.

A plate of cooked asparagus with the air fryer basket in the background

Asparagus is one of those veggies that should be easy to cook, but it can turn out mushy and flavorless when boiled, limp and soft when steamed on the stove top, and completely over done when grilled. You might not consider popping it into the air fryer, but I can tell you it comes out great!

The reason asparagus cooks well in the air fryer is the great air circulation that cooks all sides of the asparagus without making it soggy or overcooked. It takes just 3 ingredients plus any seasonings you might want. This is the same procedure as for broccoli and cauliflower – two veggies we make quite often in the air fryer.

Why You’ll Love It

  • Quick and Easy: Air frying asparagus takes just minutes, making it a super convenient way to whip up a healthy side dish. You’ll spend less time cooking and more time enjoying your meal.
  • Crispy Perfection: The air fryer gives asparagus a delightful crispy texture on the outside while keeping it tender on the inside, which is often hard to achieve with other cooking methods.
  • Flavorful and Healthy: Cooking asparagus in an air fryer locks in flavors and nutrients without the need for excessive oil, resulting in a deliciously healthy option that complements any meal.

Pat says: 5 stars Absolutely, Perfectly Delicious!!!!!!!!!!

Ingredients You Need

Ingredients for air fryer asparagus

This isn’t surprising, but you don’t need many ingredients to make this asparagus recipe. In fact, you really only need asparagus, cooking oil, and salt. However, you can boost the flavor by adding a few additional items.

  • Asparagus – Keep in mind that skinny asparagus cooks faster than the fatter ones.
  • Olive oil or other cooking spray – I used avocado oil for this one.
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Garlic salt (optional)
  • Lemon juice (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

I find that a drizzle of high-quality olive oil, some salt, pepper, garlic salt, and a squeeze of lemon makes the asparagus perfect for serving.

Helpful Tips

  • Cooking time depends greatly on the side of your asparagus (thick or thin). Check the tenderness with a fork at 5 minutes then cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until done.
  • Add any additional toppings you like, such as Parmesan, lemon, or garlic salt.
Asparagus bunches

What Size Asparagus to Use

Asparagus comes in many different sizes (and colors!). You can cook any size asparagus in the air fryer, but a larger stock is going to turn out the best. They don’t all need to be the exact same diameter, but get as close as you can.

With larger stocks of asparagus, you’d set the cook time to 8 minutes. If you want your asparagus to turn out crisp and just cooked set the timer for 6 minutes, tender with no crisp or snap left 8-10 minutes. This depends greatly on the size of your asparagus. Check the texture by poking it with a fork, they may need more time.

How to Cook Asparagus in an Air Fryer

Step 1: Prepare the asparagus

Wash the asparagus spears and remove the hard stems. You don’t want to take off too much of the ends, but the spears need to fit in the air fryer basket, so you can’t leave them too long.

Place the asparagus in the air fryer basket. Spread it out. They can be overlapping, but don’t stack too many in there, so there’s room for the air to circulate around. Spray them with cooking oil spray and sprinkle on the salt.

raw asparagus in the air fryer basket

Step 2: Air fry

Cook on 370°F (185°c) for 8 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through. They should be tender with some snap left at this point. If you have thinner asparagus, it might only need 6 minutes. Larger stocks can take a few more minutes. Be flexible and test the asparagus to see if it’s done to your preference.

cooked asparagus in the air fryer basket

Step 3: Serve

Remove the asparagus to a serving plate right away so it doesn’t continue cooking in the basket. Drizzle on extra olive oil, additional salt (as desired), pepper and garlic salt, and serve with the rest of your dinner.

Variations to Try

You can use any type of seasoning you like on the air-fried asparagus to give it more flavor. I like to switch it up to keep things interesting. Here are a few options you can try:

  • Parmesan and garlic
  • Balsamic glaze
  • Italian, Greek or Japanese seasoning
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • Minced garlic (don’t add it before cooking or it will burn)
  • Honey Sriracha sauce

What to Serve With Air-Fried Asparagus

We love to serve asparagus as a side with mac and cheese, brisket or a rack of ribs. All of those things can be made in the Instant Pot.

Asparagus and mac and cheese on a plate

Asparagus is a great side for any chicken dish, or you can make it for a pot luck. It doesn’t have to be served hot. Try using this asparagus for this roasted asparagus salad with cranberries and feta cheese.

There are so many options for main dishes to serve with this side dish. You can make these all in the air fryer or in the oven, if you wish.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best way to trim asparagus ends? 

I like to keep it easy and snap off the bottom of the asparagus. It will generally snap off at the right place, where the end becomes woody. If you want, you can snap off the first one, then use that as a guide for home much of the end to cut off the other spears.

Is air fryer asparagus healthy?

Air fryer asparagus is very healthy. Asparagus alone is one of the healthiest vegetables, with very few calories, no fat, and very few carbs. Cooking it in the air fryer keeps it super healthy because you don’t add a lot of oil during cooking.

Can I add seasonings to the asparagus?

You can add any seasonings you like to the asparagus once it’s cooked. During cooking, you only want to add cooking oil and salt/pepper, because other seasonings and shredded cheese can burn in the cooking process.

Other Veggie Air Fryer Recipes

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A plate of cooked asparagus with the air fryer basket in the background

Easy Air Fryer Asparagus

This easy air fryer asparagus is a quick way to make a veggie side dish in just a few minutes in the air fryer. It can be cooked to your preference – tender and crisp.
4.5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 11 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 23 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 

  • 1 pound (454 g) asparagus ends trimmed
  • Cooking oil spray
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Other seasonings or toppings as desired

Instructions
 

  • Rinse and trim the asparagus. Place it in the air fryer basket. If they don’t fit, cut them in half. Spray with cooking oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook on 370°F (185°C) for 6-9 minutes, tossing halfway through. Thin asparagus needs about 6 minutes, while thicker asparagus needs up to 9 minutes.

Notes

  • Cooking time depends greatly on the side of your asparagus (thick or thin). Check the tenderness with a fork at 5 minutes then cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until done.
  • Add any additional toppings you like, such as Parmesan, lemon, or garlic salt.

All air fryers have different wattage and may cook at different rates. You may need to adjust the time or temp for the best results.

Nutrition

Calories: 23kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 2gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 2mgPotassium: 229mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 857IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 27mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Asparagus
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