Air Fryer Asparagus with parmesan is a delicious dish that is easy to prepare. The asparagus comes out perfectly cooked and crispy, while the parmesan adds the perfect complementing flavor. This dish is also a great way to add some variety to your meals.
Asparagus is in season in the spring and early summer, and is often a popular side for holiday meals. We love the spears it in the air fryer during the hot months especially, so as to not heat up the house! Make it fancy by serving our Bearnaise sauce on top.
This was inspired by our Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries, air fryer green beans, Air fryer Butternut Squash, Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks, Air Fryer Taquitos and Air Fryer Zucchini Fritters. Try our fun and yummy Asparagus Wrapped in Puff Pastry. It's a great side that's easy to make and beautiful too! It pairs perfectly with our Bacon Wrapped Chicken or our Best Manicotti EVER.
For more air fryer recipes and tips be sure to check out our How To Use an Air Fryer guide. You can also try it tossed with this copycat hello fresh fry seasoning. This would make a great side for Smoked Prime Rib.
Why I Love This Recipe
I absolutely love asparagus. I think it's so yummy and we love roasting it with garlic and parmesan. Making it in the air fryer is quicker and, in my opinion, produces a better texture. Sometimes it's easy to make asparagus mushy when roasting it, but I've found it to be more forgiving for mistakes when made in the air fryer
Below is a list of ingredients needed for this recipe. Follow our tips on each ingredient for best results.
- asparagus - thin asparagus spears have a better texture and flavor, but we still love thick asparagus spears too!
- avocado oil - We've tested a lot of different oils in the air fryer and we find this one much easier to clean up than olive oil and it has a much higher smoke point. You may also use canola and vegetable oil. We also love it's neutral flavor.
- garlic spread seasoning of choice or parsley, italian seasoning, salt and garlic powder
- parmesan cheese
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Asparagus in the Air Fryer
Use these process shots to help get the results you are wanting. The pictures can help with texture and be a visual guide for best results.
1. Preheat air fryer to 400* F. Rinse asparagus and pat dry. Snap off ends. To do this, bend the asparagus towards the bottom where it starts to lighten and it will snap in the correct place all by itself! Place in a large mixing bowl.
2. Drizzle avocado oil over the asparagus and mix thoroughly until well coated. I like to take the ends and rub them in the oil on the bottom to ensure they are coated completely. You can use vegetable, canola or olive oil for this. Coconut oil is not recommended as it does not have a high enough smoke point.
3. Sprinkle garlic spread seasoning and pepper over the top. Mix well until it's evenly and thoroughly coated. I like to use my hands, but you can use a spatula. Make sure the tops are coated too! You can do this easily by swirling the tops in any spices that are on the bottom of the bowl.
4. Place in air fryer basket. For this dish, it's okay if the asparagus isn't in a single layer. Cook for 4 minutes then shake basket or turn asparagus with tongs. Add parmesan cheese and cook an additional 3 minutes for a total of 7 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.
Hint: Wash your air fryer as soon as it cools down enough! Air fryers are prone to getting a build up of oil residue, washing soon after use helps prevent this.
Substitutions and Variations
We love switching things up when we're in the kitchen. Try any of these variations for something a little different.
- Garlic Spread- use ¾ teaspoon parsley, ¾ teaspoon Italian seasoning, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon garlic powder instead of garlic spread seasoning.
- Cheese - instead of using parmesan, for a milder flavor try mozzarella or provolone. For a sharper more intense flavor try Romano. When testing this recipe, we found those who like a more intense cheese really loved the Romano.
- Spicy - add chili pepper flakes at the same time as the other spices, or sprinkle on top after cooking. We love ours this way!
- Bacon Air Fryer Asparagus- add bacon crumbles (we recommend crumbles over bits) at the same time as adding the parmesan. OR wrap the asparagus spears in groups of 3 in bacon. Cook time may take an additional 2-5 minutes- make sure bacon is fully cooked before consuming!
- Air Fryer Asparagus and Salmon- spread butter and garlic spread seasoning on top of salmon and place salmon on top of asparagus in air fryer. Cooking time should be about the same time, but always check your meat for doneness. See our Food Safety Guidelines located below the recipe card.
Storing Air Fryer Asparagus
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the air fryer at 400* for 2-3 minutes.
These ingredients do not hold up well to freezing- freezing is not recommended.
Make sure the asparagus is well coated in oil. I do use as little oil as possible. The tops tend to not get coated as well and can then burn while in the air fryer. After combining with the oil as best I can, I like to swirl the tops in any leftover oil on the bottom. I also do the same with the spices to ensure maximum flavor.
Air Fryer Asparagus
- 1 pound asparagus
- 2 teaspoons avocado oil
- 2 teaspoons garlic spread mixture* see below for substitution
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese optional
- Preheat air fryer to 400*F.
- Rinse asparagus and pat dry. Snap off ends. Place in a mixing bowl.
- Drizzle oil over the top and mix to coat thoroughly, making sure to get the ends so they don't burn!
- Add spices and again mix to coat thoroughly.
- Place in air fryer basket and cook for 4 minutes. Shake or turn asparagus then add parmesan cheese. Cook 3 more minutes for a total of 7 minutes.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the air fryer at 400*F for 2-3 minutes.
- It is not recommended to freeze this dish
- I like to use as little oil as possible, however I have found when making this air fryer asparagus that the tops get a little burnt if they don't have oil on them. The easiest way to solve this problem is after tossing the asparagus spears in oil, rub the tops in the excess oil on the bottom of the bowl. This will ensure they cooke evenly
- I also like to rub the tops in any leftover spices at the bottom of the bowl for a little extra flavor.