This quick and easy air fryer asparagus recipe uses only 6 ingredients and is absolutely awesome. The combination of the air fryer and the simple ingredients brings the asparagus to new heights of vibrant, delicious flavor. It will be tender on the inside and have that perfect snap of roast asparagus on the outside.
I’m often asked what food I make the most in my air fryer. The answer is easy – asparagus. I used to always steam my asparagus. And that was fine, but really, a little less that completely satisfying. Roasting in the oven is great, but I don’t always have the time to do that. The air fryer is the perfect appliance for cooking asparagus to perfection.
What Size Asparagus and How Much?
For this recipe, we start with a standard sized bunch of asparagus spears. The average bunch in going to be around 1lb – 1.25lbs. Of course it can vary by grocer. Depending on the season, asparagus may be anywhere from very thin – a diameter smaller than a pencil, to very thick – about the diameter of your finger. No worries though, thick or thin, we can cook them to perfection in our air fryer.
Asparagus can be seasoned any number of ways. The natural flavor of asparagus is very deep and earthy – and quite wonderful. We don’t want to completely cover up the natural flavor. Rather, we want to accentuate the flavor. Lemon juice is so perfect because it really brings out a vibrancy in the flavor profile. The garlic powder and minced garlic then adds a layer of flavoring that also perfectly compliments the asparagus. We’ll actually use a small amount of both garlic powder and minced garlic. This allows us to better cover all the asparagus with just the right amount of garlic flavor without overwhelming it. By using both we get just the right balance to go with the lemon and the natural flavors that occur during the air fryer process. Finally, some good coarse salt such as kosher salt or sea salt will make all the flavors pop to life even more. I usually use about ½ tsp, but feel free to salt to your personal taste.
Trim asparagus stalks about 2-3 inches from the bottom, or what is commonly called the woody ends. Then place the asparagus in a large ziptop bag with some olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, minced garlic and sprinkle on the salt. Get the asparagus good and well coated by shaking them in the bag. That’s it. That’s all the prep necessary. See? I told you it was easy!
How to Air Fry Asparagus to Perfection
Depending on the size of your asparagus, the cooking times will vary slightly. For very thin asparagus, 5-6 minutes at 400° should be good. For thicker asparagus it may take closer to 7-8 minutes. Generally, I find 7 minutes to be perfect.
Simply place the seasoned asparagus spears in the air fryer basket on on the air fryer tray (depending on the style of air fryer), and use the air fry setting at 400°(F). Make sure to keep the asparagus in a single layer and not stacked on each other. Use tongs and give the asparagus a turn halfway through the cooking time for more even cooking.
When the cooking time is up, your asparagus is ready to serve right away.
I like to serve the asparagus on a plate with some lemon wedges and some additional salt and pepper. Fresh course ground black pepper is awesome as a final touch. Some Parmesan cheese is also excellent when sprinkled on top.
Goes Well With?
Asparagus is a side dish that goes with SO many different meals and main courses. Naturally, salmon and asparagus frequently go together and our Best Damn Air Fryer Salmon is an ideal way to get the most use from your air fryer. Chicken breast is another favorite pairing for asparagus and our Best Damn Air Fryer Chicken Breast uses boneless, skinless chicken breast in a simple marinade to bring out some terrific flavors for a very healthy meal.
Storage and Reheat
Store your cooked asparagus in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. To reheat, place the asparagus on a microwave plate with a damp paper towel covering it and microwave for about 20-30 seconds. It doesn’t take long so don’t go too far. It will be heated through very quickly.
You can also place this asparagus in the air fryer at 400°(F) for a couple of minutes to heat it through. Again, it can heat quickly so keep a close eye on it. You won’t need to add any additional oil since this recipe already uses oil in the initial cooking process.