Air fryer asparagus is a fantastic spring recipe! You can't beat the flavor of the crispy, air-fried tips and tender stalks. Serve it as a side dish at Easter or any weeknight meal.
Air fryer asparagus is my new favorite way to cook this springtime vegetable. The tips of each spear become golden brown, with the most delightful smoky crunch.
I’ve used my air fryer for appetizers like Shrimp Avocado Egg Rolls, main dishes like Blackened Salmon and Honey Balsamic Chicken and special occasion-worthy sides like Potato Roses. Now I’m adding this everyday side dish to the list!
We grill asparagus throughout the spring and summer, but I don’t always feel like firing up the grill for one side dish. This is where the air fryer comes in handy! It heats up in just a couple of minutes, and the asparagus spears cook in under 10 minutes.
WHAT YOU NEED FOR THIS AIR FRYER ASPARAGUS RECIPE:
These are the main ingredients needed for this recipe (affiliate links included)…
- ASPARAGUS: Choose asparagus that has tightly closed tips. The cooking time varies depending on the thickness of the asparagus spears.
- OLIVE OIL: A couple of teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil.
- SALT & PEPPER: Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- GARLIC POWDER: Find garlic powder in the spice aisle of most grocery stores.
- LEMON: A squeeze of lemon juice adds a bit of brightness at the end.
See recipe card below for full ingredients list & recipe directions.
💙What’s to love about this recipe:
▪️THE FLAVOR: Two words…crispy tips! Cooking asparagus in an air fryer produces the crispiest tips with smoky flavor, spiked with garlic and salt. So good!
▪️QUICK & EASY: Air fryer recipes are often quick and easy, and this side dish is no exception. Five minutes of prep time and 5 to 10 minutes of cooking time.
▪️VERSATILE: Switch up the herbs and spices, or even sprinkle on some grated Parmesan cheese. Use whatever flavor variations appeal to you.
How to trim asparagus:
The root ends of asparagus tends to be very tough and woody, particularly with thicker stalks. The easiest way to get rid of this tough end is by snapping it off. Hold the asparagus spear in the middle and at the root end. Gently bend the spear. It will snap right at the point where the stalk becomes more tender.
Either line up the trimmed spear with the other spears and cut off the ends of the asparagus with a chef’s knife. Alternatively, snap off each end individually.
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How to cook asparagus in an air fryer:
- PREP THE ASPARAGUS: Trim the woody ends from the asparagus, using the directions in the section above.
- SEASON THE ASPARAGUS: Place the trimmed asparagus stalks in a large baking dish and toss them with the olive oil. I use tongs to do this. Sprinkle the salt, pepper and garlic powder over the spears and toss again to coat them with the seasoning.
- PREHEAT THE AIR FRYER: The asparagus is cooked in the air fryer at 400 degrees F. Start by preheating the air fryer for a few minutes before adding the asparagus spears to the air fryer basket.
- ARRANGE THE SPEARS: For gloriously crispy tips and evenly cooked stalks, cook the asparagus in a single layer. If all of the spears don’t fit into the air fryer basket, cook them in two batches. You don’t want to crowd them!
- COOK THE ASPARAGUS: The cooking time varies dependent on the thickness of the asparagus spears. Very thin spears could take as little as 5 minutes, while very thick spears may take up to 10 to 12 minutes. Give the air fryer basket a shake halfway through, making sure the asparagus continues to cook in a single layer.
- SERVE IT: Transfer the cooked asparagus to a serving plate and squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over top. Serve it up!
Asparagus is a very versatile vegetable. It can take on almost any herb, spice or condiment. Here are a few suggestions:
- PARMESAN CHEESE: Once the asparagus is cooked, toss it with finely grated cheese.
- BALSAMIC VINEGAR: Add some balsamic vinegar to the olive oil mixture.
- LEMON JUICE OR ZEST: Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the cooked asparagus or toss it with some lemon zest.
- PESTO: After cooking, toss the air fried asparagus with some basil or kale pesto.
Frequently Asked Questions:
The asparagus is best immediately after you air fry it. However, it is possible to serve up the leftovers. Allow the asparagus to cool, then transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator.
Reheating the spears is quick and easy. Remove them from the fridge, preheat the air fryer and reheat them for 1 to 2 minutes.
Yes! For the crispiest tips, cook the asparagus in batches. Arrange the cooked spears on a baking sheet, uncovered, and keep them warm in the oven while cooking the remaining spears. Do not cover with foil, otherwise the trapped steam will make the crunchy sections soggy.
Asparagus in Air Fryer
- Place the trimmed asparagus spears in a baking dish that’s long enough to fit them. Using tongs, toss the asparagus with the olive oil.
- Sprinkle the salt, pepper and garlic powder over the asparagus. Toss again to coat.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F.
- Arrange the asparagus spears in a single layer in the air fryer basket. If they don’t all fit, cook in two batches.
- Cook until the spears are tender when pierced with a fork and the tips are browned and a little crispy. Cooking time should be 5 to 8 minutes for small to medium spears. Add additional time for thicker spears.
- Place the cooked asparagus on a serving plate and squeeze the lemon juice over top. Serve.
Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.