Asparagus and air fryer are made for each other, and this air fryer asparagus recipe is proof of that. It's quick, healthy, and, most importantly, delicious.
The asparagus is slightly crispy on the outside while soft and juicy inside. Plus, they are ready in just 10 minutes.
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There are many ways to cook asparagus in an air fryer. Here we show you the simplest method to make delicious air-fried asparagus with a few simple ingredients in just about 10 minutes.
You can air fry most vegetables, but air fryer roasted asparagus is one of our favorite air fryer recipes. They are similar to oven-baked asparagus, except that they are faster to "roast," crispier on the outside, and juicer on the inside, thanks to the quick cooking time.
I kid you not; these asparagus are so juicy and tasty they won't even get to the table. So be ready to make a double batch.
Asparagus: use fresh asparagus for best results. You can use farmed asparagus (the thick green ones you commonly find at the supermarket) or wild asparagus (normally found at farmer's markets, have thinner stalks, cook faster, and have more taste). You can also use white asparagus. Frozen asparagus also work in the air fryer, but they won't be as crispy as they contain more water.
Olive oil: just a touch of extra virgin olive oil to help the asparagus cook in the air fryer. Without oil, they tend to burn before they are ready. The oil helps cook them evenly. You can replace olive oil with any other oil that can stand high temperatures, such as canola oil.
Garlic: we like to add a couple of crushed garlic cloves to the air fryer to add garlic aroma to the asparagus as they cook. You replace it with garlic powder, but in this case, add that with the oil.
Salt and black pepper: add a pinch of salt and a few twists of black pepper to bring out the asparagus flavor. You can replace the black pepper with red pepper flakes if you like to add some heat to this recipe.
Lemon + fresh herbs: we like to squeeze some lemon juice on top of the asparagus just before serving them. You can replace the lemon with balsamic vinegar or a little soy sauce. We also like to add some freshly chopped parsley or basil. Lemon and herbs are optional but make this dish more aromatic and fresh.
Ingredients for Variations
Maple syrup-Mustard Vinaigrette: to give a touch of sweetness to the asparagus and make them even more delicious, try this dressing. Mix olive oil, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, mustard, and maple syrup. The dressing should be drizzled on top once the asparagus is cooked.
Parmesan: asparagus and grated parmesan cheese are a match made in heaven. If you use parmesan, try to go for the real Italian one sold as "Parmigiano Reggiano" or "Grana Padano - it's a lot healthier than generic parmesan and naturally lactose-free. However, parmesan contains a high amount of saturated fat and sodium, so go easy with it. A sprinkle is more than enough to add plenty of taste.
Preheat the air fryer to 390F or 200C for 3 minutes. Trim the woody ends of the asparagus by chopping them off with a sharp knife. Rinse the asparagus and shake off excess water.
Add asparagus to a large bowl or a baking dish, and add olive oil, salt, pepper, and crushed garlic cloves. Mix well to coat asparagus evenly with oil.
Transfer to air fryer basket and air fry at 390F or 200C for 8 minutes. Cooking time may vary depending on your air fryer, so keep an eye on them halfway through cooking to ensure they won't burn. Also, note that larger asparagus spears will take longer to cook, and thinner ones will cook faster.
The asparagus is cooked when tender and slightly crispy on the outside. To check for doneness, slide in the tip of a knife. If it slides easily, the asparagus is ready.
Transfer air-fried asparagus to a serving plate, and optionally add a squeeze of lemon and some freshly chopped parsley and/or basil on top. If needed, add an extra pinch of salt on top.
To give a sweeter, mustardy taste to your air fryer asparagus, you can season them with a quick and easy mustard vinaigrette.
To a small mixing bowl, add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, 2 twists black pepper, 1 teaspoon mustard, and 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Whisk well, and drizzle on top of asparagus.
Parmesan and asparagus are a match made in heaven. You'll need grated parmesan cheese. I'd recommend getting imported Italian "Parmigiano Reggiano" or "Grana Padano". Also, it's best to get a block and grate it at home rather than get it pre-grated. This way, you'll know your parmesan isn't cut with some cheaper cheese.
To make air frier asparagus with parmesan, follow the same instructions as above. Then, before cooking, sprinkle them with a handful of grated parmesan cheese. If you have two layers of asparagus, add parmesan to each layer.
Air fry at 390F or 200C for 8 minutes till the asparagus is soft on the inside and crisp on the outside.
The cheese should be melted and golden. Serve this variation without lemon or dressing, as the parmesan gives the asparagus plenty of flavor.
Serve roasted air fryer asparagus as a quick and easy side dish or a healthy snack. Also, did you know that asparagus goes well with tofu? Try them as a side dish with some of our easy tofu recipes. Our favorites are marinated tofu on rice, lemon tofu with creamy sauce, orange tofu in sweet and sour sauce, tofu cacciatore, and tofu in a rich pizzaiola sauce.
You can even add air-fried asparagus to our delicious vegan pasta salad, this protein-packed chickpea quinoa salad, or our creamy tofu salad.
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Preheat the air fryer: this ensures your asparagus will cook faster and crispier.
Coat with oil: coating asparagus in as little as 1 teaspoon of olive oil ensures that the asparagus cook evenly without burning. We tried cooking without oil; the asparagus burn on the outside before they are fully cooked. And that's the beauty of an air fryer; you won't need much oil to make deliciously crispy vegetables.
Yes. Always rinse asparagus before cooking to remove the dirt accumulated during transport, sand, and soil debris.
There is no need to peel fresh asparagus. If your asparagus is a few days old and is less fresh, you can peel off its skin with a vegetable peeler. In this case, the peel can be hard to chew.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or air fryer for a couple of minutes. Reheated asparagus won't be as crisp as freshly made ones.
For many more side dishes ideas, check out our sides category page.
Air Fryer Asparagus
- 1 bunch (16 oz/1 lb) asparagus
- 1 teaspoon olive oil extra virgin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 twists black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 4 wedges lemon (optional)
- 1 tablespoon parsley or basil, chopped (optional)
- Preheat the air fryer to 390F or 200C for 3 minutes. Trim woody ends of asparagus, rinse, and shake off water.
- Add asparagus to a bowl or a baking dish, and add olive oil, salt, pepper, and crushed garlic cloves. Mix well to coat asparagus evenly with oil.
- Arrange in air fryer basket (can overlap) and air fry for 8 minutes.Note: cooking time varies based on the air fryer, so keep an eye on them. They are cooked when crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.
- Transfer onto a serving plate and serve. You can add lemon wedges to squeeze on top and freshly chopped parsley or basil. If needed, add an extra pinch of salt on top.
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