This Air Fryer Asparagus Recipe is a tasty and easy vegetable side dish that will have you craving crispy asparagus all season! This simple and straightforward recipe will deliver crispy and tender stalks with a beautiful roasted flavor straight from the air fryer.
It's my favorite spring vegetable, and unfortunately, I've had some lifeless asparagus in the past. The final result can be mushy, limp, or flavorless depending on how they're cooked. Whether eaten raw, steamed, blanched, roasted, or air-fried, it will result in a completely different final texture.
If it's crunchy, crispy, and perfectly seasoned asparagus you're looking for, here are a couple of steps you won't want to skip!
Making this side dish? Here are a couple of recipes that pair well with asparagus: Vegan Twice Baked Potatoes or Vegan Pan-Fried Lion's Mane Nuggets.
Why the ice bath is a must
After you wash and rinse the stalks, throw them in a bowl of water with a tablespoon of sea salt and ice cubes for at least 15 minutes. It completely changes the stalk's rigidness and allows for a crunchy finish.
This will give the stalks a good crunch and allow the tops to get crispy in the fryer. This step should not be skipped; it's what makes these asparagus stalks turn out so good!
Laying slices of fresh lemon over the top while they cook allows the asparagus to absorb the flavor lightly. This is better than drizzling lemon juice over top afterward. You get all the flavor without adding moisture. They taste great all on their own; no dressing or sauce is needed!
Picking the right asparagus
You'll see the grocery stores have a lot of asparagus right now! Browsing through the bunches, you'll find a spectrum in sizes.
The thickness of your asparagus matters, especially the ends of the asparagus. I pick a bunch in the middle, not too thick and not too thin. Out of all the options in the store, find ones right in the middle.
You can test a piece of asparagus by taking one from the bunch and bending it to see where it breaks - about ⅓ of the bottom is perfect.
Air Fry Asparagus
No one recipe can hit on all the different appliances out there. Some fryers have baskets, others racks, and each air fry method is different based on the device. You'll get to know yours the more you use it, and frying vegetables is the best way to get familiar with how yours cooks so you can adapt.
Generally, the air fryer uses a shorter amount of time than the oven's cook time. Mine is linked here (no affiliation), I love it, and I get crispy asparagus every 10-12 minutes. The key is laying the asparagus in a single layer so that there is adequate circulation of hot air.
The printable recipe card with full instructions is at the bottom of this page.
Tips for success
⭐ Using a sharp knife, cut the ends off or snap them. Snapping will cause a break at the weakest spot and ensure you won't have mushy ends.
⭐ This tip is crucial! Grab a large bowl big enough to submerge all the stalks and fill it with filtered cold water. Add the asparagus, salt, and a few ice cubes. Allow the asparagus to sit in a cool place, like the fridge, for at least 15 minutes.
⭐ Drizzle a little bit of olive oil or avocado oil on top. Add 5-6 slices of fresh lemon slices or wedges and sprinkle with a bit of garlic powder, a pinch of sea salt, and black pepper.
⭐ Pro tip: if you love the lemon flavor adding lemon zest or lemon juice would be a great option!
⭐ Drizzle your favorite sauce, like balsamic vinegar!
Perfect Side Dish or Healthy Snack
This recipe is for you if you love cooking with simple ingredients and enjoy healthy eating with quick steps and simple seasonings.
Asparagus is best eaten immediately but if you have leftovers, be sure to store them in an airtight container. Slicing them up and adding them to another meal like a stir-fry or veggie bowl is a great way to use leftovers!
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Air Fryer Asparagus Recipe
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 4 cups filtered cold water + a few ice cubes
- ½ tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon sea salt + more for taste
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)
- Wash & rinse the fresh asparagus.
- Using a sharp knife cut the ends off or snap them. Snapping will cause a break at the weakest spot and ensure you won't have mushy ends.
- Grab a large bowl big enough to submerge all the stalks and fill it with filtered cold water. Add the asparagus, salt, and a few ice cubes. Allow the asparagus to sit in a cool place, like the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
- Drain and allow the trimmed asparagus to dry. Transfer to the air fryer basket or rack depending on your appliance while keeping the asparagus spears in a single layer.
- Drizzle a little bit of oil on top (this is optional). Add 5-6 slices of fresh lemon slices or wedges and sprinkle with a little garlic powder, a pinch of sea salt, and black pepper. Pro tip: if you love the lemon flavor adding lemon zest or lemon juice would be a great option!
- Cook at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Check to ensure the asparagus is done when it's crispy and sizzling.
- Remove the lemons and enjoy the asparagus all on their own or with a drizzle of your favorite sauce, like balsamic vinegar!
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