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Air Fryer Asparagus {Whole30, Paleo, Vegan, Keto}

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Once you taste Air Fryer Asparagus, you’ll never make it any other way! Deliciously tender and perfectly crisp, air fried asparagus is a simple Whole30 side dish that is also vegan, keto-friendly, paleo, and gluten-free. Crispy asparagus is a wonderful side dish for fish, or just a fast and healthy snack you won’t be able to stop eating.

air fried asparagus on a wooden board with lemon slices and a bowl of salt

As I stood in the kitchen eating hot and crispy asparagus directly from the air fryer basket, I realized I was an utter moron. Last year I wrote about three separate ways to roast asparagus. And yet, somehow during the research for that post I never once considered using my air fryer.

Utter.Moron.

Listen, I love asparagus. A lot. But I officially declare air fryer asparagus as my favorite way to eat this amazing springtime veggie.

Line drawn. Bold declaration made.

One of my favorite meal prep, time, and money saving kitchen hacks is to use frozen veggies weekly. I’m so obsessed with it that I even wrote this guide on roasting frozen vegetables. And yes, you can use frozen asparagus in the air fryer! 

That sound you just heard? Those are angels singing.

What Do You Need to Make Air Fried Asparagus?

  • An air fryer. I have this one.
  • Asparagus
  • Olive oil. Just a little. I used my Misto.

asparagus, an misto with olive oil and a bowl of salt on a white board

What Seasoning to Use For Asparagus

This recipe used a pinch of Maldon sea salt, but regular salt, kosher salt, and Montreal Steak Seasoning (despite its name, it is vegan) are all perfect and simple seasonings for asparagus.

Need something a little fancier and next level? Try the creamy lemon sauce from this Greek Turkey Meatballs recipe. Lemon and asparagus are a match made in food heaven. I also love the Asian flavors from these Paleo Green Beans on asparagus.

Air fry the asparagus as directed below and place on a plate. Drizzle the sauces over the asparagus and serve.

What Temperature Is Best For Cooking Asparagus in an Air Fryer?

Each brand is different, but I found that 400 degrees F worked best to achieve the perfect asparagus texture. The air fried asparagus comes out firm, but tender and the tips (which let’s all be honest are the best part) have some crispness to them.

Do You Have to Cook Asparagus in a Single Layer in an Air Fryer?

No! Unlike Air Fryer Zucchini Chips, which need to be cooked in just one layer, you can stack the asparagus in the air fryer. I mean, I wouldn’t pack the basket completely full, but you can make quite a bit at one time.

Pro tip: if you’re cooking a bunch, shake the basket halfway through to distribute the stalks around for even cooking. You may need to increase the cooking time a bit depending on the width of your stalks.

Do You Have to Peel Asparagus Before Cooking It?

Nope, but you can if you like the looks of it. The bottom of most asparagus stalks are quite woody and not appetizing. While you can take a vegetable peeler and peel off the outside, I prefer the “snap” method.

Grasp one stalk of asparagus and put one hand under the tip and one hand at the bottom. Snap it in one motion. Where it breaks indicates the most tender part of the stalk. You can cut the rest of the bunch at about the same level.

How to Make Air Fryer Asparagus

*A detailed and printable recipe card is available at the bottom of this post.

Remove the woody ends from the stalks.

Place asparagus in the basket of your air fryer.

Asparagus in the basket of an air fryer

Give them a gentle spritz with the olive oil and put the basket into your air fryer. Cook until they have reached your desired level of crispy (see recipe card below for cooking times and temps). Sprinkle finished asparagus with a pinch of sea salt. Serve immediately.

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes

  • Don’t be aggressive with spritzing the olive oil on the stalks. Over time I’ve discovered that too much olive oil = mushy asparagus. 
  • In my experience, cooking at a lower temperature means you’ll need to cook the asparagus for a longer period of time. And that dries out the asparagus and results in a subpar product. High heat + shorter cooking time = stinky pee perfection.
  • No air fryer? Check out this post on three ways to cook asparagus for alternative methods.
  • Fatter asparagus spears may need an additional 1-3 minutes of cooking time.

air fried asparagus with lemon and a blue cloth

Making this recipe or others?

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air fried asparagus with lemon and salt on a wooden board
Print
Air Fryer Asparagus {Whole30, Paleo, Vegan, Keto}
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
7 mins
Total Time
12 mins
 

Once you taste Air Fryer Asparagus, you'll never make it any other way! Tender and crisp, air fried asparagus is a simple vegan Whole30 side dish.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Air fried asparagus, side dishes for fish, whole30 side dish
Servings: 4
Calories: 32 kcal
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees F.

  2. Remove the woody ends from the stalks. 

  3. Add asparagus to the basket of your air fryer. Lightly spritz/spray with olive oil.

  4. Cook for 7 minutes, or until they have reached your desired level of crispy.

  5.  Sprinkle finished asparagus with a pinch of sea salt. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

If you're cooking a large batch, shake the basket halfway through to distribute the stalks around for even cooking.

 

Don't be aggressive with spritzing the olive oil on the stalks. Too much olive oil = mushy asparagus. 

Nutrition Facts
Air Fryer Asparagus {Whole30, Paleo, Vegan, Keto}
Amount Per Serving (4 oz)
Calories 32 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Potassium 229mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 2g
Protein 2g 4%
Vitamin A 17.1%
Vitamin C 7.7%
Calcium 2.7%
Iron 13.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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8 comments on “Air Fryer Asparagus {Whole30, Paleo, Vegan, Keto}”

  1. I haven’t given in and purchased an air fryer yet. I don’t really have a place to put it but I’m tempted each time I read one of your recipes using one. You temptress, you! I love asparagus grilled or roasted with olive oil and lemon pepper seasoning. Yum!

  2. Do you reckon you could do padron peppers in the air fryer?  Thinking of getting one. Might strengthen the case!

  3. I’m also not sold on the air fryer-yet.  I already store my instant pot & veggie spiralizer on my staircase. I can get away with it since we don’t use the upstairs bedroom. The kitchen aid mixer in the upstairs bedroom. The crockpot in the basement with the turkey roaster pan, deli style meat slicer I’ve used about three times ever and my wedding silverware… And the toaster, bread machine, hand mixer & food processor in my only coat closet turned pantry. Maybe it’s fine to get rid of the bread machine and replace it with an air fryer. I don’t even remember where the ice cream machine is. 

    I do the microwave precook and short oven or grill to get the roasty goodness taste. 

    Is the fryer really worth the real estate?

    • I think “worth the real estate” will be different for everyone. I do love and use mine a lot. But…I also include other cooking methods in all air fryer recipes so that people can have choices.

  4. The garden is about to start pumping out asparagus from the 75 year old asparagus bed. I can’t wait to try this out! Now I just an air dryer. Haha.