This air fryer asparagus is quick and easy to make and comes out perfect every time! Roasting asparagus in the air fryer yields delicious, crisp tender stalks in minutes. It's a nutritious, low-calorie, low-carb side dish that pairs well with a wide variety of dishes.
As a chef, I love going grocery shopping this time of year. When spring rolls around, suddenly the winter squash and root vegetables are replaced with a bounty of verdant, spring vegetables. Artichokes, spring peas, ramps, fiddlehead ferns, and asparagus are just a few examples.
Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables to cook. Not only is it delicious and easy to prepare, it's also packed with health benefits!
My new favorite way to prepare asparagus is in the air fryer. My Perfect Air Fryer Asparagus is so quick and easy to make. Plus, it comes out perfectly crisp tender every time. I usually end up snacking on them straight out of the air fryer! It's a tasty low-calorie, low-carb side dish that's the perfect accompaniment to a wide variety of dishes.
Can you air fry asparagus?
Yes! I've made a wide variety of air fryer recipes and asparagus is one of my favorite things to cook in the air fryer! Air fryer asparagus is so quick and easy. It cooks in under 10 minutes! In comparison, when you roast asparagus in the oven, it takes 15-20 minutes to cook, and that's after the oven preheats.
Plus, in the air fryer, the asparagus comes out perfect every time! We've all had asparagus that is overcooked and mushy or even tough and stringy.
Well, when you make air fryer roasted asparagus, you get the perfect texture every time! Crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.
Why does the air fryer roast asparagus so well? Because air fryers have a fan that circulates hot air around the food. This process transfers more heat to the surface of the food so that it crisps up perfectly. With air frying, you also use only a minimal amount of oil so it's a healthy cooking method. I use this model air fryer.
Is air fryer asparagus healthy?
Yes! Cooking asparagus in the air fryer yields perfect stalks without using a lot of oil or butter. Plus, asparagus is one of the most nutritious vegetables you can eat! Read my post all about the health benefits of asparagus.
- Asparagus is packed with a variety of vitamins and minerals. It's also high in fiber and protein.
- Asparagus is a rich source of antioxidants. Antioxidants help neutralize damage from free radicals, which cause damage to our cells.
- Asparagus is low in sodium and contains high levels of an amino acid called asparagine. Asparagine is a natural diuretic and helps rid the body of excess fluid. This can be especially beneficial in people with high blood pressure or other cardiac conditions.
How to pick and prep asparagus
Although asparagus is best in spring, you can find it year-round in grocery stores. It comes in several different varieties including green, white, and purple. Green is the most common variety.
Asparagus is sold in thick spears and also in thin spears. Choose the type of asparagus based on how you're going to cook it. You can use either type for this air fryer recipe.
Whether you choose thick or thin asparagus, choose spears that are smooth and firm with compact tips. Asparagus should be rich green in color, fading to white at the bottom of the stalk. If it's dull in color, it may be past its prime.
Trim the hard ends before cooking the asparagus. Asparagus has a built-in natural breaking point. It will naturally break where the hard, tough end and the tender stalk meets.
Just hold a spear up, bend it with your hands, and it will break where you need it to. Once you find the breaking point, you can then trim the other stalks approximately the same length with a knife.
This recipe is so simple! All you need is:
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Lemon- both the juice and zest
How to air fry asparagus
- Wash and trim your asparagus. Then, simply toss the spears in a bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Preheat your air fryer for a few minutes. Then arrange the asparagus in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Cook 6-9 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through. Thin asparagus will take about 6 minutes to cook while thicker stalks will take closer to 9 minutes.
- Plate the asparagus. Top it with some lemon zest and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Add any additional toppings (see section below).
Did you know that some oils are better to use than others when it comes to air frying? Read my post on The Best Oils and Oil Sprays To Use In Your Air Fryer to learn more!
Variations and substitutions
There are so many variations you can make of this dish! Use this as a base recipe and add your favorite ingredients. Here are a few ideas:
- Toss the asparagus with minced garlic before cooking
- Sprinkle the asparagus with dried spices (like paprika, lemon pepper, Italian seasoning or cumin) before cooking
- Coat the asparagus with a miso and honey glaze before cooking
- Drizzle balsamic glaze on the asparagus after it comes out of the air fryer. Try my Roasted Asparagus and Grape Tomatoes with balsamic glaze.
- Grate parmesan cheese on the asparagus after it comes out of the air fryer
- Add some bacon- wrap the asparagus in bacon or simply toss some diced bacon into the air fryer with the asparagus
What to serve with air fryer asparagus
This air fryer asparagus is a nutritious and low-carb side dish that pairs well with a wide variety of entrées. Try it as a side dish with meat or seafood like my Filet Mignon with Pomegranate Dijon Sauce, Salmon Oreganata or Shrimp Saganaki (Greek Shrimp with Feta).
You can also make this asparagus and add it to your recipes like omelettes, rice, and pasta dishes for a boost of nutrition! Try adding it to my Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables, Quinoa Fried "Rice," Lemon Risotto with Peas and Asparagus or Spring Vegetable Spaghetti Carbonara.
Chef's air fryer tips
- Always preheat the air fryer before putting your food in
- Use oil rather than nonstick cooking spray to coat the air fryer basket. This will help prevent damage to the coating in the basket.
- Arrange the asparagus in a single layer in the air fryer so that it crisps up nicely. Don't overcrowd the basket.
- Shake the air fryer basket halfway through cooking so that the asparagus cooks evenly
You can use either one in this recipe. Thin asparagus will take about 6 minutes to cook while thicker stalks will take about 9 minutes.
You can store this dish in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, simply heat the asparagus in the air fryer for a few minutes until warm.
The ends of the asparagus are tough and need to be trimmed before cooking. You may need to peel thick stalks with a vegetable peeler if they are particularly tough. If your cooked asparagus is tough or stringy, it may also be overcooked. You want to cook it just long enough so that it's just lightly crisped up on the outside and tender on the inside.
Yes! You can roast the asparagus on a sheet pan in the oven at 400°F for 15-20 minutes until crisp tender.
More tasty air fryer recipes
More tasty vegetable side dishes
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Perfect Air Fryer Asparagus
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 2 teaspoons olive oil or avocado oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 lemon
- grated parmesan cheese, balsamic glaze
- Preheat air fryer to 375°F.
- Trim the ends off the asparagus. Toss the asparagus in a bowl with oil, salt, and pepper.
- Place the asparagus in the air fryer in a single layer. Cook 6-9 minutes, until crisp tender (thinner stalks will cook faster). Shake the basket halfway through.
- Arrange the asparagus on a platter. Grate some lemon zest and squeeze some lemon juice on the asparagus. Add additional toppings as desired.