Are you tired of soggy, overcooked asparagus? It is time to say hello to perfectly crisp and tender spears, thanks to the magic of air fryer asparagus! In this post, we’ll show you how to use your air fryer to achieve perfectly cooked asparagus every time. Not only is it quick and easy, but it also requires minimal clean-up. Whether you’re a seasoned pro at using an air fryer or a newbie to this handy appliance, we’ve got you covered with all the tips and tricks you need to make delicious asparagus in no time. So let’s get started!
Why I Love Air Fryer Asparagus
My story is one every Mom knows all too well: kids that only want chicken nuggets and french fries for dinner but I can only take them eating that kind of garbage on an occasional basis. I am constantly trying to work more vegetables into their daily diet. However, my adorable children often reject those efforts, much to my frustration.
When I began preparing vegetables in the air fryer, a lot of the veggies they refused to eat quickly became acceptable. Even air fryer brussel sprouts became a favorite…and that vegetable has been torturing children for generations!
These yummy air fryer asparagus became a favorite for my children instantly. They loved the roasted flavor on the outside and that they still had some firmness on the inside. Take it from me. The quickest way kids will hate vegetables is by making them mushy and soft.
What is Air Fryer Asparagus
Air fryer asparagus is simply fresh asparagus spears that are roasted inside an air fryer instead of a conventional oven. Despite the name, an air fryer doesn’t fry any food. An air fryer is just a small convection oven that sits on your countertop. They are popular because they cook food very quickly and because the food sits inside a basket, the hot air can circulate around the whole surface of the food. This promotes great browning and crispiness.
Recipe Ingredients and Tools
- Fresh asparagus spears
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Fresh parmesan cheese
- Air fryer
How to Make Air Fryer Asparagus
All you need are a few ingredients and 8-10 minutes of cook time for this simple cooking method that you can set and forget.
Time needed: 10 minutes.
How to Make Air Fryer Asparagus
- Clean and trim the fresh spears of asparagus
Wash the fresh asparagus with cold water and then dry it. Use a sharp chef’s knife to trim off the bottom 1-3 inches of the asparagus to remove the tough portion of the spear.
- Season the asparagus
Use a bit of extra virgin olive oil tossed onto the spears first to help the seasonings stick. Kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder pair well with asparagus.
- Air fry the asparagus
Place the seasoned spears into the air fryer basket and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the basket and shake the spears around before cooking for another 2-3 minutes depending on how firm you like your asparagus.
- Add freshly grated parmesan
Remove the finished asparagus to a serving plate and grate some fresh Parmesan cheese over the top to serve.
No, you do not have to peel asparagus before roasting it. In fact, doing so will lead to mushy spears, which no one likes. Do be sure to trim the bottom 1-3 inches off the bottom of the asparagus because that is tough and woody.
There are two key tips to keeping asparagus firm once it is cooked. First, stop cooking it 2-3 minutes before you think it is finished. Because the asparagus is hot, it will continue to cook after it is removed from the heat source. Second, I suggest you don’t use boiling as your cooking method. Doing so only adds more water to the vegetable and results in soggy spears if you don’t shock it in ice water once it is finished. I prefer roasting it in an oven or air fryer, or grilling it.
Why do you trim the bottom of asparagus?
Trimming the 1-3 inches off the bottoms of fresh asparagus spears is done to remove the tough, woody portion of the vegetable. A great way to know where to cut is to break a spear with your hands and it will naturally break at the lowest tender spot. Cut your bunch of asparagus at that same spot.
Can I make air fryer asparagus with no oil?
Yes! Air fryer asparagus with no oil can easily be made with this recipe. Instead of the 1/2 teaspoon of oil, use water instead and toss the spears in the water before adding the seasonings. The added moisture helps the seasonings stick to the asparagus.
Is this recipe vegan?
Yes, this air fryer asparagus recipe is vegan if you either use vegan parmesan cheese or leave it off at the end.
Can I use butter instead of oil?
Yes, this asparagus recipe works very well with butter in place of the extra virgin olive oil. Just be sure to use melted butter.
Air Fryer Asparagus Recipe Variations
Being a home cook provides endless opportunities to experiment with recipes, personalizing them to your tastes and creativity. Any of the following variations would be great spin-offs of this air fryer asparagus.
- Add balsamic vinegar or syrup over the finished asparagus for some added sweetness.
- Use prosciutto pieces with the asparagus during the last few minutes of cooking in the air fryer for some more flavor.
- Go Asian with a small drizzle of sesame oil and soy sauce over the finished asparagus.
- Make it crispy on the outside by cooking at 425 degrees instead of 380. This will make the exterior crispier but also the interior will be softer.
What to Serve With Air Fryer Asparagus
Asparagus makes a very versatile side dish for almost all regional recipes but here are a few of my favorite main dish pairings.
- Smoked Mac and Cheese
- Cheesy Vegetable Pasta Bake
- Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole
- Parmesan Chicken Bake
- Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
Watch How to Make Asparagus in the Air Fryer
Looking for More Great Air Fryer Recipes?
If this asparagus was just what you were looking for, be sure to check out these other delicious recipes. Go grab them now before you forget!
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12 ounces fresh asparagus spears
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)
- Wash and trim the tough ends off the asparagus spears. Place on a large plate.
- Drizzle with the oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. Toss with tongs to coat.
- Place in your air fryer basket and cook at 380 degrees for 5 minutes.
- Remove the basket and shake the asparagus. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Each air fryer has different power levels so start with a shorter time and test to see when they are done.
- Transfer the cooked spears to a plate and grate on some fresh parmesan cheese if desired.
Every air fryer is different so the first time you make this recipe, cook for a shorter period of time and check for doneness. Add more time if necessary.
No oil variation – substitute water for the oil and toss the spear in the water before adding the seasonings so they will stick to the asparagus.
- Prep Time: 2 minutes
- Cook Time: 8 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Air Fryer
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1/4
- Calories: 22 calories
- Sugar: 2 g
- Sodium: 122 mg
- Fat: 1 g
- Saturated Fat: 0 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 3 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 2 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: air fryer asparagus