Cooking asparagus in the air fryer requires just 2 simple ingredients (plus salt and pepper), and it’s ready in a fraction of the time that it would take to oven roast it. This Air Fryer Roasted Asparagus will be your favorite easy way to cook asparagus from now on!
Asparagus is one of my favorite veggies, and the perfect side dish. Are you looking for a new way to serve it? Try Foil Packet Grilled Asparagus or Spring Salad for a great new spin on this delicious green vegetable!
I first published this recipe in 2020, and have updated it for you for a better user experience.
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Asparagus is so simple to prepare, and it’s one of my favorite healthy vegetables.
How to Cook Asparagus in the Air Fryer makes tender and flavorful asparagus, and it’s even easier to prepare than oven roasting asparagus; the quick and easy way to cook this earthy and delicious green vegetable.
I think of the air fryer as a super efficient little oven, so it makes perfect sense to roast vegetables in it!
Choosing which asparagus to buy
The fatter, more mature, asparagus stalks are better for roasting, and are usually meatier in texture with a stronger flavor than the skinny ones.
However, thin stems are typically more tender and sweeter than the bigger, fatter spears.
I’ve used both for roasting, and like the results of either. And, sometimes the store only carries one kind.
Choose asparagus spears that have tightly closed heads; ones that are open and loose are older and won’t be as good.
Look for bright green or violet-tinged spears. And you want asparagus with firm (not limp) stems that don’t wilt when you hold them upright.
Favorite side dish
Roasted Asparagus is a healthy, low carb, keto, and delicious side dish for dinner, lunch, brunch, or breakfast!
In about 5 minutes the air fryer asparagus is lightly crispy on the ends, and tender in the middle.
I’ve always loved asparagus when it’s simply prepared with a small amount oil and sprinkle of salt.
That simple roasting allows the flavor of asparagus to really shine.
Roasted the asparagus in the air fryer means that you can enjoy delicious roasted asparagus in a fraction of time that traditional oven roasting method requires.
Keep raw fresh it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator so it will last longer, that is, until you roast it.
If you won’t be cooking and eating the asparagus for several days, cut off about one inch of the stalks at the bottom, and put the asparagus upright in a jar filled with a little bit of water.
Cover the jar with a plastic bag and store it in the fridge. If the water starts to get cloudy, pour it out and replace it with fresh water, just like you would a vase full of flowers.
How to cut or trim asparagus
I’m often asked about the tough woody ends of asparagus that are not tender and too tough to chew, and what’s the best way to get rid of them.
First, rinse the asparagus under cool running water to wash it off. You can pop the asparagus in a colander and run it under the tap.
- Snap the ends
Personally, I like the snap method to trim the ends.
Hold one asparagus stalk in both hands and press your thumbs into the asparagus stalk. As you press, you’ll be able to feel where the asparagus is soft, versus where it is hard. Continue pressing until the spear snaps in two. The woody part should break off naturally.
- Cut the ends
You can also trim off the woody end with a knife. Cut, where the green starts to turn light white, usually a couple inches up from the bottom of the stalk.
Roasting asparagus in air fryer is much faster because of the powerful air circulation in the fryer.
If you’re roasting asparagus in the oven, it takes about 10-15 minutes. But, if you want to air fry asparagus, it only takes about 5-8 minutes. And, the preheat time for the appliance is so much quicker in the air fryer.
Pro Tip: Don’t overcrowd the air fryer pan. Try to keep the asparagus to one layer so the air can circulate around them, and crisp on the outside.
Why is there a range of cooking times?
How long to air fry asparagus will vary based on the size of the asparagus and the model of the air fryer.
The thicker the asparagus, the longer it will take to cook all the way through.
Thinner stems can be done in as little as 5 minutes, while thicker stems will cook for 6-8 minutes.
Also, air fryer temperatures can range based on the make and model of the machine.
I recommend starting out with less cooking time, checking for doneness, and then adding more time as needed.
Yes, that whole spear is edible including the head or the tip. But, make sure to trim off the woody stem towards the bottom; it’s too tough to enjoy.
Did you know that the tip of the asparagus is not the flowering part? The tip of a growing asparagus spear is actually the part of the stem that will start to branch out if left to grow.
How to serve roasted asparagus
Roasted asparagus is great in all kinds of dishes.
Pair air fryer roasted asparagus with grilled fish for a fancy yet simple and healthy dinner. Try these delicious recipes: Seared Tuna over asparagus and potato puree. It’s delicious with salmon like my Salmon and blueberry sauce, or Cedar plank grilled salmon.
Mix it into a breakfast omelet.
Add it to vegetable soup.
Serve this easy to make side dish along with vegan or low-carb entrees for a healthy meal.
Want to kick up the seasonings a bit?
Try adding some herbs and spices.
Some of my favorites are fresh thyme, rosemary, and garlic powder. Or, drizzle on some balsamic vinegar.
Make Cajun spiced asparagus by tossing it in Cajun seasoning.
Try making Parmesan Crusted Air Fryer Asparagus by Sprinkling Parmesan over the top before cooking, or add some salty cheesy flavor by sprinkling it with Parmesan over the top after cooking.
If you want, you can squeeze a lemon wedge over the Air fryer fresh asparagus after it’s cooked too.
Can this be made ahead?
Cooked asparagus tastes best fresh, but you can make it ahead of time, and reheat it in the air fryer for about 3 minutes.
I also love cold leftover asparagus when added to salads, or just to snack on cold from the fridge.
To store any leftover cooked asparagus, place cooled spears in an airtight container, and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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Air Fryer Asparagus
- 1 pound fresh asparagus
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Prepare asparagus: The woody root end of the asparagus needs to be snapped off before cooking. Take the end of the asparagus between your thumb and forefinger and bend until it breaks; the asparagus breaks (or snap where the woody part ends and the fresh delicious juicy asparagus begins).
- Place the asparagus onto a plate. Drizzle olive oil over the asparagus. Sprinkle kosher salt and ground black pepper over the top, then toss to coat the asparagus. Make sure to coat the asparagus tips so they don’t burn or dry out too fast.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400° F.
- Place the spears into the air fryer basket and close. Cook for 5-8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus. Shake the basket half way through roasting.
- Once the time is up, remove the basket, and serve the asparagus.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations, and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.