Air Fryer Asparagus is a healthy & delicious side dish that cooks in less than 10 minutes. It’s faster than roasting asparagus in the oven, and turns out perfectly tender every time.
Why You’ll Love It
It’s easy. Just toss the asparagus in a little olive oil, garlic, and salt, then let the air fryer do the rest of the work for you. There’s very little prep required!
It’s quick. Roasting asparagus in the oven can take 15 to 20 minutes, but thanks to the circulation of hot air in the air fryer, this cooking method cuts the time in half!
It’s rich in nutrients. Asparagus contains important flavonoids, like quercetin, and is also rich in vitamin K and vitamin A. The more green the asparagus looks, the better! It’s also a good source of dietary fiber and folate (also known as vitamin B9).
It’s hands-off. Just press a button, and walk away until the timer goes off! You can shake the basket during the cooking cycle to help turn the asparagus, but it’s not necessary with this method.
It goes with everything. This Spring vegetable makes the perfect side dish alongside your favorite cooked protein, or you can serve it as a topping over salads, bowls, pasta, or pizza.
When is asparagus in season? Asparagus is harvested in the spring, with its peak months being in April and May. Though, it is often found in stores in June and even early February, too.
Ingredients You’ll Need
What do you need to cook asparagus?
- 1 bunch of asparagus (about 1 pound)
- Extra virgin olive oil
I also like to add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the asparagus when it’s done cooking, and a sprinkle of black pepper, but those are totally optional. (Omit if serving picky kids or family members!)
How to Air Fry Asparagus
1. Remove the woody stems.
Wash and dry the fresh asparagus, then remove the woody ends by gently bending each stalk towards the lower third of the stalk. The stalk should snap, leaving you with a smaller bottom piece that you can discard, or save for making a future veggie stock. (The texture isn’t as tender as the rest of the stalk!)
Alternatively, you can use a sharp knife to trim asparagus towards the bottom of the stalk. Repeat the process until all of the asparagus stalks have had the woody bottoms removed.
Shopping Tip: Choose asparagus stalks that aren’t too thin. Very thin asparagus will have a fibrous texture that is not enjoyable to bite into. Look for medium-thick asparagus spears, for the best results!
Very thick spears can become a little too slimy in the center for my liking, so you really want to look for something in the middle of very-thick and very-thin.
2. Season well.
Place the asparagus in a large bowl, and drizzle with olive oil, freshly minced garlic (or garlic powder), and salt. You can add any other spices you like at this point, too.
Transfer the asparagus to the air fryer basket, and arrange them in a relatively single layer. It’s okay if a few pieces overlap.
3. Air Fry.
Cook the asparagus at 400ºF until the asparagus is fork tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. The thicker the stalks, the longer they will take to cook. Start with a 6-minute cook time, and check on them from there, so you won’t over-cook the veggies.
If the asparagus isn’t as tender as you’d like it to be, add 2 more minutes of cooking time, then check on them again. You can cook them as long as you’d like, but in general, this shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes in total.
Once the asparagus is tender, transfer it to a serving plate an top with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of black pepper, to taste. The tart lemon juice makes the flavor pop, but this is totally optional. (I omit this when serving my kids– they like it more plain, with just garlic and sea salt.)
Need more flavoring ideas? Try topping this air fryer asparagus recipe with Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar for extra flavor. You could also toss it with soy sauce and garnish with sesame seeds, for a different variation.
Leftover asparagus can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can reheat the asparagus from the fridge in the air fryer for 3 to 4 minutes at 350ºF when you are ready to serve it again.
More Air Fryer Recipes
Want to make the most of your air fryer? Try these popular ideas!
- Air Fryer Baked Potatoes. This post includes an easy formula to help you calculate the perfect cooking time for your potatoes by their weight. You’ll also learn how to check the middles for fool-proof results every time.
- Air Fryer French Fries. The whole reason I bought an air fryer in the first place was to make crispy french fries at home. These don’t disappoint!
- Air Fryer Chicken Breasts. This is my favorite way to cook chicken. It turns out perfectly tender and flavorful every time.
- Air Fryer Bacon. I love cooking bacon in the air fryer, because the grease drips to the bottom of the basket for easy clean-up, and a less-greasy result.
- Air Fryer Broccoli. A fast & easy side dish!
- Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts. Try cooking these whole, rather than sliced in half, for the most melt-in-your-mouth results.
If you’re not sure which air fryer is best, be sure to also check out my air fryer review, where I cover 9 different models that I tested in my own kitchen.
Air Fryer Asparagus
- 1 pound asparagus (roughly 1 bunch)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 garlic clove , minced
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 to 2 fresh lemon wedges
- ground black pepper
- Preheat the air fryer to 400ºF. (If your machine doesn't have a preheat option, you can simply set it to cook at 400ºF for 3 to 4 minutes, as a warm-up.) To prepare the asparagus, bend each spear towards the bottom and bend until the woody end snaps off. Repeat with the remaining asparagus, until all the woody ends are removed.
- Place the asparagus spears in a large bowl, and toss them with olive oil and garlic. Rub well, to make sure each spear is well coated. Arrange the asparagus spears in a single layer in your air fryer basket and sprinkle them generously with the salt. Cook at 400ºF for 6 minutes.
- When the timer has gone off, check the asparagus for tenderness by piercing it with a fork. If the asparagus isn't super-thick, it should be done, but you may need to add another 2 minutes more for thicker spears, or if you want a softer result. It's easy to add more time, so feel free to check on the asparagus until it's as tender as you like.
- Serve warm right away, with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice on top to brighten up the flavor, and a pinch of black pepper or red pepper flakes, if you like a spicy kick. Leftover asparagus can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, and makes an easy salad topping, or an addition to stir-fries or omelets.
If you try this air fryer roasted asparagus, please leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how you like it!