Air fried asparagus is so healthy and delicious, you’ll eat it more often! Quick prep, minimal oil, and fast air frying results in mouthwatering, tender crisp asparagus.
Air fried asparagus is the best way to cook it
If you're looking for a quick and healthy way to cook asparagus, look no further than your air fryer. Just like air fryer mushrooms and air fryer Brussels sprouts, air fryer asparagus is super fast and has become my favorite way to prepare it.
Using an air fryer to cook asparagus results in spears with crispy ends and tender inside. It's the perfect side dish for easy entrees like air fryer pork tenderloin, baked feta pasta to air fryer whole chicken. I like to serve air fried asparagus with Parmesan and a squeeze of fresh lemon for a bright flavor. It's also delicious on its own with just a touch of salt and pepper.
What you’ll need
The ingredients here are simple because asparagus is the star of the show! Here’s what you’ll need:
- asparagus spears - I'm using a medium sized asparagus for this recipe, so you'll need to adjust the amount of air fryer time up for larger asparagus and down for thinner asparagus.
- extra virgin olive oil - or spray cooking oil
- salt and pepper - add to taste
- grated Parmesan – a sprinkle of this makes asparagus irresistible in my book
- lemon wedges – a squeeze of this will brighten up the savory asparagus flavor
What to look for when buying asparagus
When buying asparagus, it should be firm, not limp. You should also avoid buying asparagus with shriveled stalks or frayed tips because these are signs that it’s past its prime. Spring is asparagus season which makes it more affordable and abundant!
What size asparagus is best for air frying?
My recipe uses a half pound of asparagus that, as you can see, fits perfect in the 5.7 quart basket-style air fryer. Any air fryer will work for this recipe. Thick spears take longer and thin spears take less time, so adjust accordingly.
Does asparagus need to be peeled?
Some cooks remove the tough, woody stem of asparagus by peeling it. I prefer to remove the tough ends of asparagus by cutting it off with a chef knife.
How to make this recipe
Ready for a 10-minute spring side dish?! Here’s what you’ll need to do.
Prepare. Lightly coat the asparagus with the olive oil, then place it in a single layer in your air fryer basket. I always season after air frying to accommodate restricted diets.
Note: In these pictures, you're seeing ½ pound of medium asparagus spears in my 5.7 quart air fryer basket.
Cook the asparagus at 380°F for 5 to 7 minutes. I usually check it at 5 minutes, give it a shake, and continue as needed.
Transfer the asparagus to a serving platter. Enjoy it with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, a squeeze of lemon, black pepper, and salt, if needed.
Tips for success
Here are some tips for cooking asparagus in an air fryer:
Always remove the tough, woody ends of asparagus. You can use a knife and cut them off, or snap them off with your fingers.
Adjust the air fryer time for asparagus size. This recipe is written for medium asparagus with tender-crisp results. Use less time for thinner spears and more time for thicker spears.
Don’t overlap food the air fryer basket because food needs air needs to circulate around it for optimal air frying. If needed, you can air fry asparagus in smaller batches – the cooking time is short enough to do this efficiently.
How to store and reheat leftovers
To store, allow the asparagus to cool and refrigerate it in an airtight container up to five days. It can be eaten cold, at room temperature, or reheated in the air fryer.
You can also use leftover asparagus in recipes like my breakfast pizza on puff pastry.
Can this recipe be frozen?
Asparagus is tender crisp when enjoyed right out of the air fryer. If you have leftovers that you’d like to freeze, they can be placed in a freezer bag and frozen for up to 2 months. Let it thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
Air Fryer Asparagus Recipe
- ½ pound Asparagus Spears, trimmed
- 2 teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or oil spray
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- (optional) Grated Parmesan, to taste
- (optional) Lemon Wedges
- Lightly coat ASPARAGUS SPEARS with OLIVE OIL.
- Place asparagus in the air fryer basket in a single layer.
- Select 380°F and cook asparagus 5-7 minutes for medium sized spears for tender crisp texture. Add or reduce time, if preferred.
- Transfer asparagus to a serving platter. Add SALT and PEPPER to taste.
- (optional) Garnish with a sprinkle of PARMESAN CHEESE and LEMON WEDGES.
- To store, allow asparagus to cool and refrigerate in an airtight container up to five days.
Traci's Recipe Notes
Nutrition data provided as courtesy estimates using unbranded ingredients from a nutrition database. Please consult preferred resource for precise data.