Skip to Content

Air Fryer Asparagus

This quick and easy Air Fryer Asparagus is a delicious vegetable side dish that you’ll come back to again and again. It’s made with just 5 simple ingredients and is done in less than 15 minutes!

Spring is the season for fresh asparagus. And cooking it in the air fryer is the best and my new favorite way to do it!

Gone are the days of over-boiled, soggy, flavorless, and grayish-green asparagus…which, honestly, is probably why some people don’t care for it.

Roasting veggies makes such a big difference (you might even get some converts here!). And the air fryer makes it quicker and even better than using the oven.

With this method, you get wonderfully crisp-tender and beautifully bright green asparagus that’s got so much flavor and tastes like asparagus should. And it’s just sooo good.

I like to cut my asparagus into pieces, but you can leave the spears whole if you’d like.

Once you try roasting asparagus in the air fryer, it may be the only way you’ll ever want to make it again…so let’s get right to it!

Ingredients You Need

Note: Ingredient amounts are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

the ingredients needed to make air fryer asparagus
  • Fresh asparagus
  • Olive oil (I recommend using olive oil that’s intended for frying/cooking at higher temperatures)
  • Garlic powder (this is optional, but I recommend it if you like the flavor of garlic)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Special Equipment Needed

  • Air Fryer (I use a 6-quart Instant Vortex basket-style air fryer)

Tips For Selecting & Storing Fresh Asparagus

Selecting Fresh Asparagus

Look for bright green stalks that are firm and smooth with tight buds on the tips. Avoid asparagus that is limp, wrinkly, not so brightly green, has dark spots or blemishes, or has loose buds on the tips, as this indicates it is past its prime.

I recommend using fresh asparagus right away for the best quality results. Cooking it and enjoying it the day you buy it is always optimal. But what if you don’t plan to use it right away?

Storing Fresh Asparagus

Trim about ½ inch off the woody ends and stand the asparagus upright in a jar or other container that has an inch or two of water in the bottom. This helps keep it from drying out. I like to use a quart-sized wide-mouth mason jar for this.

Don’t overcrowd the asparagus in the jar. It needs some room to breathe so it doesn’t get soggy, especially at the tips. If needed, use more than one jar.

Loosely cover the top/exposed portion of the asparagus with a plastic bag or plastic wrap. Again, you want some air circulation here, so don’t cover it tightly.

Store the asparagus in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days, changing the water as needed if it becomes cloudy.

Be sure to avoid the super cold areas of your fridge, such as the top shelf where the air comes in, as this might cause the asparagus to freeze and become mushy when thawed.

Don’t wash the asparagus before storing in the fridge, as this will add extra moisture which can lead to molding. Wash your asparagus right before you cook it.

How to Make Air Fryer Asparagus

Note: This is just a brief overview of the steps. For the full printable recipe with ingredient amounts and detailed instructions, please go to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

image labeled as number 1 of an air fryer with text that says 400 degrees Fahrenheit

Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.

image labeled as number 2 of asparagus spears with the ends cut off on a cutting board with a knife

Cut off the bottom/woody part of the asparagus spears and discard.

image numbered 3 of asparagus cut into pieces on a cutting board with a knife

Cut the asparagus into 1-inch pieces.

image numbered 4 showing the cut asparagus in a bowl with olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper being mixed with a spoon

Place the cut asparagus in a bowl and add the olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.

image numbered 5 of the uncooked asparagus in the basket of an air fryer and then the cooked asparagus in the air fryer basket

Place the cut asparagus pieces in the air fryer basket; air fry for 4 to 8 minutes until crisp-tender or done to your liking, tossing once during the cooking time.

image numbered 6 of air fryer asparagus is a white serving dish with a spoon with text that says enjoy

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Recipe Tips & Tidbits

  • The ends of asparagus can be very tough and woody, and you need to trim them off. There is some debate on how to determine where to cut them. My favorite way, and probably the most common, is the bend-and-snap method (as Elle Woods might call it!).
    • Take one of the asparagus spears and hold it in the middle and at the bottom end. Bend it until it snaps apart. Now take that spear and line the tip up with the tips of the rest of the spears and cut them all to that same length.
  • All air fryers are different, and asparagus can range in size from pencil-thin to much thicker like a finger. Plus, each of us may prefer our asparagus cooked to a different level of doneness. Therefore, cooking time can vary.
    • Keep an eye on it, start to check it after 4 minutes, and cook it until it’s how you like it!
      • I like my asparagus pretty crisp-tender. In my air fryer using medium-sized asparagus, this took about 6 minutes.
      • Overcooked asparagus will be soft and somewhat mushy. So, unless you like your asparagus soft, be careful of overcooking it.
  • Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket; you want plenty of air flow between those pieces. With a one-pound bunch of asparagus, you should be good. If you’re making a larger quantity, cook it in batches if needed.
  • Air fryer asparagus has the best texture and flavor when served immediately.
  • This recipe uses a 1 to 1¼-pound bunch of asparagus, which can give you 2 to 4 servings depending on the serving size you want. David and I love it and can definitely eat the whole batch in one sitting!
cooked asparagus pieces in an air fryer basket

Substitutions & Variations

  • Leave the asparagus spears whole instead of cutting them into smaller pieces.
  • If you’re not into garlic, simply omit the garlic powder. These are great even seasoned with just salt and pepper.
  • Try using other seasonings instead of (or in addition to) the garlic powder.
  • Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the cooked asparagus.
  • Sprinkle the cooked asparagus with freshly-grated or shredded parmesan cheese (you could also do lemon juice and parmesan together).
  • If you don’t have an air fryer but would still like to make roasted asparagus, follow the cooking instructions in my Roasted Asparagus With Shallot Vinaigrette that’s cooked in the oven (you don’t have to make the vinaigrette…but it is really good!).

Storing Leftovers & Reheating

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.

Reheat in the air fryer at 325°F, tossing occasionally, until heated through (be careful not to overcook). You can also reheat the asparagus in the microwave or in a skillet on the stove.

close up of a spoonful of air fryer asparagus being lifted out of the serving dish

What to Serve With Air Fryer Asparagus

Air fryer roasted asparagus can be served with almost anything, from chicken to steak to pork, fish, seafood, and more. Some of my favorites to pair it with are:

You can also add it to frittatas, omelets and egg scrambles (I love when I can get in some veggies at breakfast!), salads, risotto, rice pilaf, and more!

I hope you try this Air Fryer Asparagus recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

michelle signature

More Green Veggie Side Dish Recipes To Try

Be sure to check out my Side Dishes page for even more side dish recipes!

If you make this recipe, I’d love to know how it went! Please leave a star rating and comment below. Thanks!

air fryer asparagus in a white serving bowl with a spoon

Air Fryer Asparagus

This quick and easy Air Fryer Asparagus is a delicious vegetable side dish that you'll come back to again and again. It's made with just 5 simple ingredients and is done in less than 15 minutes!
Print Pin Save Rate & Comment
Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes
Servings: 2 to 4
Estimated Calories: 100

Ingredients

  • 1 to 1¼ pound fresh asparagus
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, I recommend using olive oil that is intended for frying/cooking at higher temperatures
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste (optional)
  • salt, to taste (I use about ½ teaspoon kosher salt)
  • black pepper, to taste (I use about ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper)

Special Equipment

  • air fryer (I use a 6-quart Instant Vortex basket-style air fryer)

Instructions

  • Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
    If your air fryer doesn't have a preheat cycle, turn it on at 400°F for about 3 to 5 minutes. Move on to prepping the asparagus while the air fryer preheats.
  • Cut off the tough, woody ends from the bottoms of the asparagus spears; discard (or save to use for making a vegetable stock).
    See the Notes below for tips on where to cut the asparagus.
  • Cut the asparagus spears into 1-inch pieces.
  • Place the cut asparagus pieces into a large bowl and add the olive oil, garlic powder (if using), salt and pepper; stir until well combined.
  • Transfer the asparagus to the air fryer basket and air fry for 4 to 8 minutes until crisp-tender or done to your liking, tossing once during the cooking time.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

Notes

  • Here’s what I do to trim the tough, woody ends off the asparagus:
    • Take one of the asparagus spears and hold it in the middle and at the bottom end. Bend it until it snaps apart. Now take that spear and line the tip up with the tips of the rest of the spears and cut them all to that same length.
  • All air fryers are different, and asparagus can range in size from pencil-thin to much thicker like a finger. Plus, each of us may prefer our asparagus cooked to a different level of doneness. Therefore, cooking time can vary.
    • Keep an eye on it, start to check it after 4 minutes, and cook it until it’s how you like it!
    • Overcooked asparagus will be soft and somewhat mushy. So, unless you like your asparagus soft, be careful of overcooking it.
  • Please refer to the post for additional tips, substitutions and variations, serving suggestions, and info on storing and reheating leftovers.
  • Estimated calories shown is for 2 generous servings; for 4 servings, estimated calories would be 50 each.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!
Recipe Rating