Cooking Asparagus in the Air Fryer is super easy, requires almost zero prep, and takes less than 10 minutes. Crispy Air Fryer Asparagus can be made with or without oil. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and vegan parmesan for an amazing, healthy side dish!
When I think of Asparagus, I think of springtime and early summer. Where I live in Germany, this is such a special vegetable that they name the season "Spargelzeit" (aka Asparagus Time) in its honor. In Germany, white asparagus is king but I prefer its colorful and much more affordable counterpart: green asparagus.
One of my favorite ways to make asparagus is on the grill, but if you don't have a grill, don't feel like firing one up, or can't get outside due to weather, then Air Fried Asparagus is a great option! The trick to getting crispy asparagus that isn't soggy inside is to get your air fryer screaming hot before adding the asparagus. The high temperature combined with a few simple seasonings makes for an easy, delicious, and healthy vegan side dish.
- What kind of Air Fryer do you recommend?
- When is asparagus in season?
- Can I make frozen asparagus in the air fryer?
- Tips for cooking asparagus in the Air Fryer
- How to trim asparagus
- How to roast asparagus in an air fryer
- How to serve
- Can I make it ahead?
- How to store & reheat
- Related recipes
- 📖 Recipe
You'll love this Asparagus Air Fryer Recipe because it's:
- Quick & Easy
- Almost Zero Prep
- Vegan / Vegetarian
- Seasonal & Delicious
- A Perfect Healthy Side Dish
- Easy to make Oil-Free / WFPB
- Perfect for Easter, Mother's Day, or Memorial Day
What kind of Air Fryer do you recommend?
The air fryer you choose should be the one that best meets your needs for budget, capacity, and storage space. As a bonus, some air fryers have other functions. I use the Ninja Foodi Grill 4-in-1 (Which is a grill, air fryer, dehydrator, and baker in one). This was the best choice for me because it has a large capacity to feed my family of four. It's on the pricier side, but I bought it on sale as a Christmas gift for myself. If you're looking for more options, check out this list of the best air fryers of 2021.
When is asparagus in season?
The best time of year for asparagus is Spring, though if you're in the US you can probably get it year-round.
Can I make frozen asparagus in the air fryer?
Sure! Frozen asparagus is already trimmed, so just preheat the air fryer and add it in. The one change I would make is to wait to add the seasonings and lemon juice until after it's cooked. I can't guarantee it will be as crispy as fresh asparagus, but this could be a good option for times of the year when asparagus is out of season.
Tips for cooking asparagus in the Air Fryer
- Asparagus cooks very quickly. That's why I recommend cooking at such a high temperature. You want to get some browning on the outside without turning the insides to complete mush!
- Be sure to preheat the air fryer. With other types of veggies, this step is not as important, but in order to get crispy asparagus without a mushy inside, you need the air fryer to be as hot as possible before adding the asparagus.
- About 4 minutes into cooking, open the air fryer and use tongs to roll the asparagus around. You can also give one of the stalks a light squeeze with the tongs to be sure they're still firm.
- Cook your asparagus close to the day you buy it. The longer it sits in the refrigerator, the limper it will get. The firmer your asparagus is when you start, the crispier you can get it on the outside (before going soggy on the inside).
- 1 bunch green asparagus (14 to 16oz)
- juice of half a lemon
- olive oil (optional)
- granulated garlic
- salt (to taste)
- fresh cracked pepper
- vegan parmesan
- lemon wedges
- You can use a variety of seasonings for asparagus. I think oregano and basil would also make a great combo.
- If you don't have fresh lemons, store-bought lemon juice is a perfectly good substitute.
How to trim asparagus
- After you wash the asparagus, you will need to trim off the woody end. The easiest way to know where to trim is to hold the asparagus about 1 to 2 inches from the end between the thumb and pointer finger of each hand. Gently bend the stalk, and the asparagus will naturally snap at the right place.
- You can snap each asparagus this way or use the first end as a guide. Line up the rest of the stalks on the cutting board, even with the snapped piece, and in one quick cut, you've trimmed your asparagus.
How to roast asparagus in an air fryer
- Preheat the air fryer to 450F or 240C (or the highest heat yours goes).
- Wash and trim the asparagus (see above for my method).
- Once your asparagus is trimmed, simply place it in the air fryer in a single row. If your air fryer is smaller or you have a lot of asparagus to cook, you can try making it in two batches or you can place another layer, perpendicular to the first, on top.
- Season with salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice, and (optional) olive oil.
- Cook for 6 to 10 minutes. 6 minutes for thin stalk, 8 minutes for medium stalks, and 10 minutes for thick stalks. I cooked the ones in the photos for exactly 8 minutes. (Open the air fryer around the 4-minute mark and use tongs to roll the stalks and test the firmness.)
- Garnish with lemon wedges and vegan parmesan. Serve right away.
How to serve
- I like to serve this with lemon wedges or vegan parmesan.
- You could also do like the Germans and serve this with a vegan Hollandaise sauce.
- Serve this as a side dish to any number of dishes, like Vegan Pesto Pasta, Lentil Shepherd's Pie, Vegan Baked Feta Pasta, or Chick-fil-A style Tofu Nuggets.
- These would also pair perfectly with any of these Vegan Grill Recipes.
Can I make it ahead?
I wouldn't make air-fried asparagus ahead of time, mainly because if you cool it down and then try to reheat, it will get soggy. And besides, this recipe is so quick and the prep work so minimal there's no real advantage to making it in advance.
How to store & reheat
- Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- In my opinion, reheated asparagus is not the best, but the leftovers could be used to make a vegan frittata, omelet, or asparagus soup. Cold asparagus would also be a great addition to a salad.
- Air Fryer Broccoli
- Air Fryer Tofu Nuggets
- Air Fryer Summer Squash
- Maple Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
- Oil-free Oven Fries
Air Fryer Asparagus
- vegan parmesan
- lemon wedges
- Preheat the air fryer to 450F or 240C (or the highest setting).
- Wash and trim the asparagus. (See tips above for trimming.)
- Place the asparagus in a single row in the air fryer.
- Cook for 6 to 10 minutes, or until lightly crispy but not mushy. (6 minutes for thin, 8 minutes for medium, and 10 minutes for thick asparagus)
- Stop the cooking about 4 minutes in to roll the asparagus and check to stalks for firmness.
- Serve right away with lemon wedges and vegan parmesan.
- All of the measurements here are approximate. Just sprinkle the seasonings, squeeze the lemon, and drizzle the olive oil. You can always add more later if needed.
- If you are using a smaller air fryer, you might need to cook the asparagus in 2 batches.
Did you try this recipe? Have a question? Just leave a comment below and I'll get back to you ASAP!