Delightfully fresh tasting and tender-crisp air fryer frozen asparagus is surprisingly easy and flavorful.
Frozen Asparagus in Air Fryer
The air fryer is getting a regular workout in my kitchen of late for quick and easy vegetable snacks. It works perfectly for my goal to eat more vegetables. Despite my best intentions, I can only eat so many carrot sticks or celery.
Vegetables in the air fryer have become my go-to afternoon snack. They are easy, super delicious, and when you use frozen vegetables, relatively inexpensive.
However, do not be fooled by the asparagus “cuts and tips” that may be available at your grocery store. While they typically cost about 25% of what full-length frozen asparagus spears cost, they absolutely do not work the same way.
I tested this with the less pricey option and unfortunately, the many different sizes found in these bags simply won’t cook evenly in the air fryer. It was just a whole lot of not-good. I did salvage the pieces into an asparagus frittata for breakfast the next day. But still, I would not recommend them.
Whole frozen asparagus spears air-fried nicely though, with a great texture and flavor. I also found a spritz of a light oil works best to get the crispy bits I enjoy. When I tried tossing the spears in olive oil it resulted in greasy, not crispy-edged spears.
Selecting an Air Fryer
I use the COSORI Air Fryer for all of my air fryer recipes. I’m partial to a square basket air fryer as I find it easier to fit more food into the basket. This is a 5.8QT air fryer, one of the largest machines I’ve found that works effectively.
My first machine (photographed in several recipes here) was a bit retro with simple knob controls and I liked it a lot. However, that machine was recalled recently and the company sent out a replacement. I like the new machine every bit as much and have linked it above.
This air fryer is surprisingly easy to clean and the two-part basket locks together (it’s literally impossible for it to detach the way some do) until you open the latch and then push the button to release it. I simply wipe down the baskets with a sudsy dish scrub brush or sponge, rinse and let them air dry on the counter.
Air Fry Frozen Asparagus
It takes just a few ingredients to air fry frozen asparagus:
- frozen asparagus spears
- olive oil
- kosher salt
- garlic or garlic powder
- freshly ground black pepper
- freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
- fresh lemon
To air fry frozen asparagus, you’ll start by preheating the air fryer to 400°F. Place the asparagus on a plate or small tray and spray them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt, garlic, and pepper. Toss gently to coat without breaking the spears.
Place the seasoned asparagus in an even layer in the air fryer basket. Air fry for 5 minutes. Gently toss and air fry the asparagus for about 5 more minutes.
Open the air fryer and sprinkle the asparagus with Parmesan. Air fry an additional minute or two, just until the cheese melts a bit. Serve warm with a squeeze of lemon, if desired.
Air-fried vegetables with a simple seasoning or dipping sauce are my current favorite savory snack or easy dinner side dish.
Frozen vegetables are just fine on their own with a little time in the air fryer and light seasoning. Steamer bags are great but the vegetables are just a little tastier when air fried or roasted. Broccoli, cauliflower or mixed vegetables are perfect choices.
Slightly crispy yet tender air fryer frozen green beans will delight you with their flavor and ease, the perfect side dish or snack.
Not to mention that the leftovers are perfect to toss into soups or a stir fry the next day. I usually just toss any leftover vegetables that might be in the refrigerator directly into soups or stir-fries at the end, whether the recipe calls for it or not. I especially love making the most of those leftovers in chicken pot pie.
Air Fryer Frozen Asparagus
- 8 ounces frozen asparagus spears
- olive oil cooking spray
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
- fresh lemon optional for serving
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Place the asparagus on a plate or small tray and spray with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt, garlic, and pepper. Toss gently to coat without breaking the spears.
- Place the seasoned asparagus in an even layer in the air fryer basket. Air fry for 5 minutes. Gently toss and air fry the asparagus for about 5 more minutes.
- Open the air fryer and sprinkle the asparagus with Parmesan. Air fry an additional minute or two, just until the cheese melts a bit. Serve warm with a squeeze of lemon, if desired.