Just when I thought I couldn’t fall further in love, crispy Air Fryer Asparagus waltzes into the kitchen and swoon. I’m a goner all over again.
Asparagus was the first green vegetable I liked as a kid, thanks to my grammy letting me be the one to shake the pan of Roasted Asparagus when she cooked it for family dinners.
The fact that she served it with a creamy sauce (Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip anyone?) probably helped too.
As an adult, I’ve expanded to enjoy every variety of Oven Roasted Vegetables.
We eat them daily, either with dinner or reheated at lunch, so I assumed veggies and my relationship would stay steady.
And then…I got an air fryer.
It was love all over again!
From crispy Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries (I mean come on) to almost-charred Air Fryer Broccoli to candy caramelized Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts, the air fryer has opened a new, delicious avenue for us to get our five servings of veggies a day and love them.
I’ve been slowly working my way through air fryer recipes, the latest and greatest of which is crispy air fried asparagus.
When the weather doesn’t allow for Grilled Asparagus, I’m happy to have this lightning-fast method to cook crispy asparagus.
How to Make Air Fryer Asparagus
Air fry asparagus time is 6 to 8 minutes at 400 degrees F, depending upon the thickness of your stalks and your air fryer model. (I made my air fryer asparagus in a Ninja air fryer.)
- Since the air fryer only needs about 3 minutes to preheat, which is less time to preheat an oven to roast asparagus, it means you can have a healthy side dish on the table, stat.
- Further, the air fryer needs very little oil to crisp foods. This is a high fiber, low-fat recipe you can feel great adding to any meal.
You can vary the seasonings on the asparagus, add cheese (air fryer asparagus with Parmesan is our favorite), or enjoy simple asparagus with salt and pepper.
Whatever direction you take, it’s sure to be crispy and scrumptious.
- Asparagus. The main event! Packed with fiber, vitamin A, and even protein, asparagus is extremely healthy and low carb.
- Olive Oil. Helps the asparagus crisp and adds flavor. A little oil is all you need for vegetables in the air fryer.
- Salt + Pepper. Simple seasonings that let the asparagus shine.
- Dried Thyme. Deliciously earthy and savory.
- Parmesan. Finishing your asparagus with Parmesan is optional, but I’d be remiss if I (and Air Fryer Zucchini) didn’t share how truly tasty it is.
- Lemon Juice. While optional, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice adds wonderful brightness and acidity to the asparagus.
- Red Pepper Flakes. Another optional addition. We enjoy the tiny kick it gives the asparagus.
- Trim or snap off the ends of the asparagus.
- Toss the asparagus with oil, salt, pepper, and thyme in a large bowl.
- Lay half of the spears in the basket of an air fryer in a single layer.
- Air fry asparagus at 400 degrees F for 6 to 8 minutes, tossing halfway. Repeat with the remaining asparagus. Once tender, finish with Parmesan, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes. ENJOY!
Ways to Season Air Fried Asparagus
- Spicy Air Fryer Asparagus. If you’re a fan of spice, use extra red pepper flakes.
- Italian Air Fryer Asparagus. Add 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning to the asparagus.
- Air Fryer Asparagus Bacon. Take a note from Bacon Wrapped Asparagus, and use bacon to add flavor to your asparagus. Crumble Oven Baked Bacon or Air Fryer Bacon over your cooked asparagus.
- Garlicky Air Fryer Asparagus. Add Roasted Garlic to your finished asparagus or add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon garlic powder to your seasoning mix.
- Air Fryer Asparagus with Herbs. Finish the asparagus with a sprinkle of chopped basil, thyme, dill, or parsley.
- Another option we enjoy is to toss the asparagus with balsamic vinegar or soy sauce before air frying too.
- To Store. Refrigerate asparagus in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the air fryer.
- To Freeze. Freeze asparagus in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Prep Tip
Up to 1 day in advance, snap the woody stems off of the asparagus spears. Refrigerate them until you’re ready to finish the recipe.
What to Serve with Air Fried Asparagus
- Seafood. Air fryer asparagus and salmon is one of our favorite pairings, but it would also be tasty with other fish or shrimp. Try it with Garlic Butter Shrimp, Broiled Salmon, or Baked Cod.
- Meat. Pair this air fryer asparagus recipe with Grilled Chicken Thighs, Pecan Crusted Chicken, or Crockpot Pork Roast.
- Pasta. Asparagus is delicious with pasta dishes like Chicken Alfredo Bake, Garlic Pasta, or Sun Dried Tomato Pasta.
- Other Veggies. Grilled Portobello Mushrooms or Grilled Cauliflower Steaks would be scrumptious with this asparagus.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Air Fryer. The air fryer I own and love!
- Citrus Juicer. My most-loved simple kitchen gadget.
- Mixing Bowls. This is the perfect set of mixing bowls.
Spark up your veggie love life with crispy air fryer asparagus!
Frequently Asked Questions
No, you do not need to blanch the asparagus before air frying it. This recipe will cook the asparagus perfectly without any need for blanching.
If your asparagus turns out soggy and stringy, it’s likely overcooked. Asparagus can overcook very quickly, so make sure you keep an eye on it (especially if your spears are very thin). Another cause of soggy asparagus is that you may have crowded too much during cooking.
If you prefer to make asparagus in air fryer with butter, you can swap it for the olive oil. (This would be scrumptious with garlic added too.)
Air Fryer Asparagus
- 1 pound asparagus I prefer the thickest stalk I can find
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese optional
- Squeeze fresh lemon juice optional
- Pinch red pepper flakes optional
- Snap off the hard, woody ends of the asparagus by gently bending it a few inches from the stem end. The asparagus will naturally snap at the proper place. Discard the stems and place the stalks in a large mixing bowl.
- Drizzle the asparagus with olive oil, then sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and thyme. Toss to coat.
- Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F. Arrange half of the asparagus in the air fryer basket in an even layer.
- Air fry for 6 to 8 minutes, tossing once halfway through. If your spears are super thin, start checking at 4 minutes to make sure they don't burn. Repeat with remaining asparagus (if you like, you can keep batches warm in the oven). Sprinkle the Parmesan over the top and toss to coat once more. Serve hot, with a squeeze of lemon juice and pinch of red pepper flakes as desired.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate asparagus in an airtight storage container for up to 5 days.
- TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm leftovers on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze asparagus in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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