Ready to cook some seriously perfect asparagus twice as fast than it’s ever been done before? All the savory flavor of roasting in half the time. Yes, please. Grab the dinner plates because this beautiful, bright Air Fryer Asparagus is going to be ready (prep-and-all) in just 10 minutes!
Not only is this side dish healthy and extremely quick and easy to make, but it’s positively delicious too! All you need to make it is asparagus, olive oil, salt, and pepper. If you want to turn it into something extraordinary, top it off with a squeeze of lemon and freshly grated parmesan cheese!
This insanely simple veggie dish goes great with just about any dinnertime protein and is just as fitting for a quick weeknight side dish as it is for an elegant (yet easy) addition to your next dinner party recipe lineup!
Looking for more veggies to air fry? Bookmark my crispy Sweet Potato Fries in your internet browser for next time!
THE BEST AIR FRYER ASPARAGUS
Can you think of less appetizing things to eat than dreary-colored, sad-looking, overcooked vegetables? I, for one, am not a fan, and mushy asparagus is at the top of my list when it comes to veggie no-no’s.
I’ve reviewed those other Air Fryer Roasted Asparagus recipes out there, and I can tell you one thing for certain — they are cooking their asparagus way too long.
It’s important to remember that once your food comes out of any heated cooking vessel, it’s actually still cooking. The heat doesn’t just magically dissipate instantaneously. So the trick to cooking perfect asparagus in the air fryer is to pull it just before it looks completely done.
The most important take-away? This easy Air Fryer Asparagus recipe is designed to cook to the point of al dente, allowing it to reach that ideal tender-crisp texture by the time it hits the plate.
For now, let’s talk about how to pick and prep your asparagus for cooking…
HOW TO PICK AND PREP ASPARAGUS
When choosing your asparagus, look for firm stalks with dry tips that have a slightly purple tinge to them. You can also gauge the freshness of your asparagus by looking at the cut end of it; it should appear fresh and moist.
Once you’ve selected the creme de la creme of the crop, you can bring it home and begin prepping it! To prep your asparagus for cooking, you’ll need to rinse it, dry it completely, and then remove the tough ends.
You can trim asparagus spears by either bending the asparagus until it snaps at its natural breaking point. This is called the bend-and-snap method.
A less time-consuming method is to bunch the stalks together and trim them down in one fail swoop of a large chef’s knife. To do this, line up the bottom of the spears and cut right around where the green starts to fade into white.
HOW TO COOK ASPARAGUS IN THE AIR FRYER
- Preheat the Air Fryer – Preheat your air fryer to 400°F for about 5 to 10 minutes. This is an essential step if you want your asparagus to cook in the given time frame!
- Prep the Asparagus – The first thing you’ll want to do is rinse your asparagus, then get it really nice and dry. Oil won’t stick to wet asparagus. Trim away the tough ends and transfer to a work surface. I like to use a small, rimmed baking sheet.
- Season – Drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper. You could also add up to a 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, if you’d like. Then, gently toss until the asparagus is evenly coated in both oil and spices.
- Air Fry – Transfer the stalks to the air fryer basket and cook for 3 to 6 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through the cook time. More on cook time below.
- Garnish – If desired, garnish your asparagus with fresh lemon zest, a generous squeeze of lemon juice, and a sprinkle of parmesan!
SIZE MATTERS | HOW LONG TO COOK ASPARAGUS IN THE AIR FRYER
It’s very important to keep in mind the thickness of your asparagus stalks will determine how long it takes to cook in your air fryer. Pencil thin asparagus will not take nearly as long to cook as asparagus as thick as your thumb.
If your asparagus is pencil-thin, cook it for 3 to 4 minutes. If your asparagus is about the thickness of a Sharpee marker, cook for 4 to 5 minutes. If your asparagus is large and thick (like the width of a thumb), you may need to cook it for as long as 7 minutes.
WANT TO AMP THINGS UP?
We love Air Fryer Asparagus topped with fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of fresh Parmesan cheese, but there’s certainly more than one way to cook (and serve) it!
If you want to bulk it up slightly and simultaneously make it even more irresistible, wrap it in bacon (or even prosciutto)! Instructions on that below!
If you want to take Air Fryer Asparagus to levels of decadence it has never yet seen before, cook it as directed and top it off with a sauce like a hollandaise, bearnaise, or chimichurri sauce. This is an especially convenient idea if you’re serving this asparagus on steak night!
HOW TO MAKE BACON-WRAPPED ASPARAGUS IN THE AIR FRYER
First things first, use thin-cut bacon. If you use thick-cut bacon, you’ll end up with under-cooked bacon and over-cooked asparagus. No, thanks.
You can omit the lemon and parmesan from the recipe card below, and you’ll need to add 4 strips of thin-cut bacon.
- Prep the asparagus as directed in the recipe with oil, salt, and pepper.
- Bundle 3 to 5 spears together (depending on how thick they are) and wrap a piece of bacon around each bundle. You should have about 4 bundles. Try to get as much of the asparagus covered with the bacon as possible, just slightly overlapping it over and onto itself with every wrap.
- Add to the air fryer basket in a single layer — don’t overcrowd it, and be sure to leave room in between each bundle.
- Cook for about 10 minutes (or until the bacon is crisp to your liking) in a preheated 400°F air fryer.
HOW TO STORE AIR FRYER ASPARAGUS
I wish I had better news for you, but cooked asparagus just isn’t that great the next day. It’s really best if you can eat it right after you make it — it tends to get soggier and soggier as it sits.
If you do end up with leftovers, you can keep your asparagus refrigerated in an airtight container, but definitely plan to consume it within two days.
MORE AIR FRYER RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE!
Around these parts, the air fryer obsession is real. Be sure to check out our air fryer favorites below!
- Burgers and Cheeseburgers
- Breaded Eggplant (two ways!)
- Chicken Legs
- Biscuit Donuts (topped with Cinnamon-Sugar or Vanilla Glaze)
- Crispy Onion Rings
- Mozzarella Cheese Sticks
- Breaded Shrimp
- Breaded Chicken Nuggets
- Crispy “Fried” Pickles
This easy Air Fryer Asparagus has the perfect tender-crisp bite and is ready (prep time and all) in just 10 minutes! It’s a healthy and quick vegetable side dish perfect for weeknight dinners yet elegant enough for a dinner party. Top it off with a squeeze of lemon and a fresh grating of parmesan cheese for an extra special touch!
- 1 large bundle (about 3/4 pound) of asparagus
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Juice and zest of a lemon
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
Preheat your air fryer to 400°F for 5 to 10 minutes.
Wash and dry your asparagus. Trim away the tough ends, and transfer to a work surface. Drizzle the asparagus with oil, season with salt and pepper, and gently toss until all of the asparagus is evenly coated in oil and spices.
Place the stalks in the air fryer and cook for 3 to 4 minutes for pencil-thin asparagus and 5 to 6 minutes for thick, thumb-sized asparagus. Shake the basket about halfway through the cook time.
If desired, top with the zest and juice of a lemon juice, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese before serving. Serve right away, and enjoy!