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Perfectly crisp, garlic parmesan air fryer asparagus roasts in under 20 minutes for a springtime side even your pickiest eater will enjoy. This flavorful vegetable side dish pairs well with salmon, chicken, pasta, and more!
There is nothing more disappointing than a spectacular dinner served up with bland, unseasoned vegetables. But, with just the right amount of seasoning and just a little time in the air fryer, you can take even the most controversial vegetables (looking at you Brussel sprouts) and turn them into crispy, delicious sides that even your pickiest of eaters will savor!
When springtime rolls around and fresh stalks of asparagus pop up on the shelves at the grocery store, I always grab a bunch. It is a vegetable that is always better when it’s in season and I love how it easily roasts up in the air fryer.
Whether you are looking for a healthy side dish to take your meal to the next level or you want to step up this seasonal favorite, this addictive garlic parmesan asparagus recipe is sure to hit the spot.
Reasons to love this recipe
I love being able to add a quick healthy side to my dinner prep. Here are just a few more reasons to love this addictive garlic parmesan air fryer asparagus recipe.
- Easy way to get more veggies in – tastes so good that even picky eaters will love it.
- Takes half the time as oven-roasted without getting your kitchen hot.
- Needs only a few pantry ingredients, which you probably have on hand.
- Get perfect results every time. Crispy, and perfectly seasoned, these asparagus fries come out perfect every. single. time.
Benefits of eating asparagus
This low-calorie, spring vegetable packs in the nutrients. Some of the health benefits associated with fresh asparagus include:
- Good source of protein.
- High in fiber, which aids in digestion.
- Great source of Vitamin K which helps with blood clotting.
- Folate is great for pregnant and nursing women.
- High in antioxidants.
Read here for more information on the Health Benefits of Asparagus.
Here’s what you need to make air fryer asparagus
- Asparagus– washed and trimmed
- Oil– Avocado oil works best for this recipe but you can also use canola or peanut oil as they have higher smoke points.
- Garlic powder – can be replaced with freshly minced garlic.
- Parmesan cheese– optional but highly recommended
How to pick asparagus spears
To ensure you end up with the best-tasting roasted asparagus, you must first start with picking a fresh and flavorful bunch. While selecting fresh asparagus at the grocery store, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Check for plump, firm stalks that have tightly closed tips.
- Inspect the color of the stalk for fading. A good bunch will have strong, unfaded coloring.
- Pick a bunch with uniform sizing. Make sure each stalk is roughly the same size and length to ensure even cooking.
- When possible, buy in season. Asparagus is at its best from late February to June.
Trimming fresh asparagus
If the store-bought asparagus is not trimmed, don’t worry you can easily do it at home – just chop off the tough ends (the white part).
Once you’ve sliced the tough ends off the asparagus you will want to check to make sure they are relatively similar in length. Line up the tips of the asparagus and trim any pieces that are much longer than the rest. This ensures your asparagus roast evenly.
Note: If you want to snap the woody white ends of the asparagus by hand you can but you can end up accidentally snapping off the green usable part too. Chopping it with a sharp knife is a much better method.
You’ll need an air fryer to make this recipe. Here are the two that I recommend
- Basket style (Phillips 7 QT, 1725W) – easier to flip food but cooks a smaller amount (2-3 servings).
- Oven-style (Ninja Dual Heat Air Fryer – 1800W) – The oven-style ones usually take more space but what’s unique about this Ninja one is that it flips vertically for easy storage on the countertop. Most importantly, it allows you to cook six chicken breasts, 2 lbs roast, or 4 lbs of fries – perfect for families of 4 or more.
- Choose asparagus that are fresh. Look for vibrant color and tightly closed tips.
- Don’t forget to trim the white woody ends or else you’ll end up with chewy ends.
- Dry completely – After rinsing the asparagus, make sure to pat it dry to ensure crispy results.
- Make sure the asparagus is evenly coated with seasonings.
- Air fryer cooking times will vary depending on the model used. Always use less time than mentioned in the recipe and add more minutes as needed.
- No overcrowding – Always arrange food in a single layer and cook in batches if needed.
- Toss or flip the food halfway during cooking to make sure the food is cooked evenly.
Variations to try
If you are looking to switch up the flavor of this easy air fryer roasted asparagus, here are a few different ways to season them up.
- Drizzle with lemon juice or balsamic vinegar for added flavor.
- Finish it off with melted butter.
- Use red pepper flakes instead of ground pepper.
- A dash of smoked paprika also works great on asparagus.
- Bacon is a popular option as well to cook as well as serve with asparagus.
Like most air fryer veggies, asparagus tastes best when served immediately.
Refrigerator: You can save the leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days – making it perfect for meal prep.
Reheating instructions: To reheat, air fry for 2-3 minutes at 400°F to get the crispy texture back. Don’t use the microwave to reheat – it will soften and become soggy.
Serve it with
One of the main reasons I love asparagus is that it pairs well with many different mains and sides. Here are a few of my top main and side dishes to serve alongside this air-fried asparagus recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. While you can soak asparagus up to 30 minutes before cooking, it’s an unnecessary step. A quick wash or rinse to remove any grit should suffice.
Overcooking asparagus leaves it tough and stringy which makes eating it unpleasant. Be sure to keep an eye on the time to prevent overcooking the asparagus.
The times may vary based on the thickness of your asparagus.
Air-fried asparagus takes about 7-9 minutes of roasting at 400°F.
Oven-roasted asparagus takes about 25 minutes of roasting at 400°F.
For asparagus in the air fryer as well as the oven, I find 400°F to be the ideal roasting temperature.
Other air fryer side dishes to try
- Air Fryer Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Crispy Air Fryer Kale Chips
- Air Fryer Green Beans
- Roasted Air Fryer Broccoli
Air Fryer Asparagus
- Clean the asparagus under running water to remove any dirt. Trim the tough white ends.
- Dry the asparagus using a clean dish towel or paper towel.
- Transfer the asparagus to a medium-sized bowl and season it with oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- [Optional step] Line the air frying tray with parchment paper.
- Transfer the asparagus over the parchment paper – don't overcrowd them. Depending on the size of your airfryer, you may have to make them in batches.
- Place the air fryer tray in the air fryer and cook at 400°F. Set the timer for 7 minutes.
- Stir around the 4-minute mark and continue to cook till the tips of the asparagus have turned crispy. [Note: If using an oven-style air fryer, rotate the tray for even cooking.
- Sprinkle parmesan cheese evenly over the asparagus
- Cook for an additional 2 minutes at 400°F till the cheese has completely melted.
- Transfer the asparagus to serving plates. Serve warm.
Disclaimer: Approximate nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.