Quick and easy way to cook 4-ingredient frozen asparagus in air fryer in just 15 minutes. It is healthy, easy to make and it is keto-friendly. You can cook it directly from frozen and experiment with spices. Serve as is, with a squeeze of lemon or grated parmesan.
If you’re on the hunt for a side dish that is both delectable and uncomplicated, look no further than the frozen asparagus in air fryer recipe. This gem stands out not just for its simplicity but also for its sheer brilliance in flavor and texture. Made with only 4 key ingredients, it embodies the essence of minimalist cooking without compromising on taste.
For those bustling weeknights when every minute counts, this recipe is a lifesaver. Imagine having a gourmet-worthy side dish on your table in just 15 minutes! The efficiency of the air fryer combined with the straightforward ingredients ensures you’re not stuck in the kitchen for long.
But it’s not just the ease and speed that will win you over. When you cook asparagus in the air fryer, it transforms this humble vegetable into a gastronomic delight. The texture achieved is unparalleled, with a crisp exterior and tender interior that other cooking methods often fail to deliver.
So, if you’ve been searching for the perfect way to enjoy asparagus, this recipe might just become your new favorite.
Dive in and let the magic of the air fryer work its charm!
🥦 Frozen vs Fresh Asparagus
When it comes to asparagus, the debate of frozen vs. fresh often arises in the kitchen. While fresh asparagus has its allure, frozen asparagus offers its own set of advantages.
Fresh asparagus is a seasonal delight, but frozen asparagus allows you to enjoy this nutritious vegetable year-round, without worrying about it going bad in the fridge.
Moreover, frozen asparagus is conveniently pre-cut and ready to use straight from the freezer, saving you time on prep work.
While fresh asparagus may have a slight edge in terms of texture, frozen asparagus can be just as flavorful and is a cost-effective alternative, making it a practical choice for both convenience and budget-conscious cooks.
🔖 What You Will Find in This Post?
- Why you don’t need to defrost the asparagus?
- How to avoid the bitter taste of cooked garlic.
- How to store any leftovers of asparagus after you cook it.
👩🍳How to Cook the Frozen Asparagus in Air Fryer?
- Cook the asparagus directly from the freezer for about 10 minutes.
- Prepare the seasoning sauce.
- Pour the seasoning sauce over the asparagus and mix everything well.
- Cook the asparagus for another 3-4 minutes.
- Serve as is or near your favorite meat or fish.
🥰 Why You Will Love This Recipe?
- This is a perfect recipe for those who have asparagus reserves in the freezer.
- This recipe takes only 20 minutes to prepare, making it perfect for busy weeknights or when you’re short on time. It’s a convenient and hassle-free way to cook asparagus.
- Asparagus is packed with nutrients and vitamins, making it a great addition to any meal. Cooking it in an air fryer means you can enjoy a crispy texture without the need for extra oil, making it a healthier option.
- Asparagus is packed with nutrients and vitamins, making it a great addition to any meal. Plus, cooking it in an air fryer means you’ll get that crispy texture without any extra oil.
- This recipe is simple and easy to follow, making it great for those who are new to cooking or who want to try out their air fryer.
- Frozen asparagus is often more affordable than fresh, making this recipe budget-friendly. It allows you to enjoy this nutritious vegetable without breaking the bank.
- Using an air fryer gives the asparagus a crispy texture without any fuss. It’s a game-changer for cooking veggies and makes the process quick and convenient.
🥘 Ingredients and Substitutes
- Frozen Asparagus. You can replace it with fresh asparagus. In that case, you should reduce the cooking time. You can also follow the same recipe for the frozen green beans, as they will have a similar texture and cook time. Also, you will get delicious results with frozen broccoli or frozen zucchini. In the last case, you will get a softer texture and a milder flavor.
- Melted Butter. I used melted butter as it goes well with asparagus, and it adds richness and helps the asparagus to brown in the air fryer. But if you want a vegan recipe, replace the butter with olive oil, or avocado oil.
- Garlic. I used fresh garlic because it is more flavorful, but of course, you can replace it with garlic powder if you don’t like garlic. In that case, use ⅛ teaspoon of powdered garlic for each clove of garlic. Another option is to use minced garlic, which you can find in jars at the grocery store. Use ½ teaspoon for each clove. Or you can omit it altogether.
- Seasoning. I used only a simple mix of salt and pepper because the asparagus has a fine taste and I didn’t want to cover it with strong spices. This simple mix will enhance the flavor of the asparagus. If you want to go further, you can substitute the black pepper with white pepper for a milder, less visible pepper, or cayenne pepper for a spicy kick.
Quick Note: Please note that any substitutions may alter the flavor and texture of your final product.
🍴 Tools Needed:
👩🍳 Step-by-step Directions
Put the asparagus immediately removed from the freezer in the air fryer basket and cook it for about 10-12 minutes at 400°F / 200°C.
Quick Note: Cooking time may differ on the amount of asparagus you cook, how big they are, and your air fryer model. In my case, I cooked the asparagus for 12 minutes in the Cosori Air Fryer 5.8QT. Also, keep in mind that we don’t cook till the end. After we will season the asparagus, we will cook it for another 3-4 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the seasonings for the asparagus. Pour the melted butter into a bowl, grind the garlic over it, and season everything with salt and pepper.
After the timer ended on the air fryer, move the asparagus into a large bowl and pour the sauce with the seasonings that we just did.
Mix well all the asparagus to make sure that all the pieces of asparagus are covered evenly with seasonings.
Return the asparagus back to the air fryer and cook for another 3-4 minutes at 400°F / 200°C.
The asparagus is ready to be served. It is good to serve both hot and cold.
🏆 Expert Tips. What to Pay Attention To?
- Don’t let the asparagus thaw, it will become soft and unappetizing. Cook it from frozen.
- In case you use garlic, season the asparagus at the end of the cooking time, otherwise, the garlic could burn and you will get a bitter taste.
- You could sprinkle the seasoned asparagus with a little Parmesan cheese you will get an even more delicious taste.
- Be sure to space out your asparagus so that they have room to cook evenly. Overcrowding the basket can lead to uneven cooking and soggy asparagus. If you have a larger quantity of asparagus, it will be better if you cook them in a few batches for the best results.
- Use melted butter. Melted butter will help the seasoning stick to the asparagus and give it a nice flavor. You could also use olive oil if you prefer.
- Don’t be afraid to season your asparagus generously with salt and pepper. Asparagus can be bland on its own, so seasoning is key to making it delicious.
- Preheating the air fryer for a few minutes before cooking can help the asparagus cook evenly and quickly. Not all air fryers require preheating, so check your model’s instructions.
- Halfway through the cooking time, shake the air fryer basket to ensure the asparagus cooks evenly on all sides.
- Depending on the size of your asparagus, the cooking time may vary. Thinner asparagus will cook faster than thicker ones. Start checking for doneness a bit earlier than the recipe suggests to avoid overcooking.
🧀 Recipe Variations:
- Parmesan-Crusted Asparagus: After air frying, sprinkle the cooked asparagus with grated Parmesan cheese and return it to the air fryer for a minute or two to melt and create a crispy, cheesy crust.
- Lemon Garlic Butter Asparagus: Add lemon zest and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to the melted butter and garlic mixture for a zesty twist. This adds a bright and citrusy flavor to the asparagus.
- Balsamic Glazed Asparagus: Prepare a balsamic glaze by simmering balsamic vinegar with a touch of honey until it thickens. Drizzle this glaze over the cooked asparagus for a sweet and tangy flavor.
- Sesame Soy Asparagus: Mix together soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Toss the cooked asparagus in this mixture for an Asian-inspired twist.
- Spicy Asparagus: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to the melted butter and garlic for a spicy kick. You can also drizzle hot sauce over the cooked asparagus for extra heat.
- Mushroom and Asparagus Medley: Cook sliced mushrooms in the air fryer alongside the asparagus for a flavorful combination. Season both the mushrooms and asparagus with garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Everything Bagel Seasoning Asparagus: Sprinkle the cooked asparagus with “everything bagel” seasoning for a savory, crunchy coating. This seasoning typically includes sesame seeds, poppy seeds, garlic, onion, and salt.
- Pesto Asparagus: Toss the cooked asparagus with a dollop of pesto sauce for a burst of basil and garlic flavor. You can make your own pesto or use store-bought.
- Herb-Infused Asparagus: Experiment with fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, or tarragon. Chop them finely and mix with the melted butter and garlic for an aromatic twist.
- Crunchy Nut-Crusted Asparagus: Coat the cooked asparagus in finely crushed nuts (e.g., almonds, pecans, or pistachios) for added texture and a nutty flavor. You can toast the nuts before crushing them for extra flavor.
- Coconut Curry Asparagus: Create a coconut curry sauce by mixing coconut milk with curry paste or powder. Drizzle this sauce over the cooked asparagus for a creamy and exotic flavor.
- Sour Cream and Chive Asparagus: Serve the cooked asparagus with a side of sour cream mixed with chopped fresh chives for a cool and creamy dip.
- Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus: Wrap each asparagus spear with a slice of prosciutto before air frying. The prosciutto adds a salty and savory element.
- Dijon Mustard Glaze: Whisk Dijon mustard, honey, and a splash of white wine vinegar to create a tangy glaze. Drizzle it over the cooked asparagus for a sweet and savory combination.
- Crispy Bacon Bits: Cook bacon until crispy, crumble it, and sprinkle it over the cooked asparagus. The smoky bacon flavor pairs wonderfully with asparagus.
Allow the cooked asparagus to cool to room temperature. Place them in an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
If you have leftover cooked asparagus and want to freeze them, flash-freeze them first. Arrange the asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet and place it in the freezer until the spears are frozen individually.
Then transfer them to a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag, removing as much air as possible. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
Air Fryer (Recommended)
Reheating the asparagus in the air fryer is the best way to maintain its crispiness. Preheat your air fryer to 350°F (175°C). Place the frozen asparagus in a single layer in the air fryer basket and heat for 3-5 minutes until they are heated through and crispy again. No need to thaw.
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the frozen asparagus on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until heated through. For added flavor, you can sprinkle a little extra seasoning or grated Parmesan cheese before reheating.
If you’re short on time, you can use the microwave. Place the frozen asparagus on a microwave-safe plate, cover with a damp paper towel to prevent them from drying out, and heat on high for 1-2 minutes, checking for doneness after each minute.
For a quick stovetop method, you can reheat the asparagus in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add a touch of olive oil or butter to prevent sticking and sauté for a few minutes until heated through.
Quick Note: Remember that when reheating asparagus, the texture may not be as crisp as when freshly cooked, but it will still be flavorful. Adjust the reheating time based on the thickness of the asparagus and your preferred level of doneness.
🍽️ Serving Suggestions
Certainly! Here are some pairing suggestions to complement your frozen asparagus cooked in the air fryer:
- Grilled Chicken Breast: Serve your air-fried asparagus alongside a perfectly grilled chicken breast for a healthy and balanced meal.
- Salmon: Baked or grilled salmon pairs wonderfully with asparagus. The crispy texture of the asparagus contrasts beautifully with the tender fish.
- Steak: A juicy steak, whether it’s a ribeye, filet mignon, or sirloin, makes for a hearty pairing with asparagus.
- Tofu or Tempeh: If you prefer a vegetarian or vegan option, marinated and grilled tofu or tempeh can be a great protein choice.
Grains and Starches
- Quinoa: Cooked quinoa makes a nutritious base for your meal. Top it with the air-fried asparagus and your choice of protein.
- Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes can provide a comforting contrast to the crispy asparagus.
- Rice Pilaf: A flavorful rice pilaf with herbs, nuts, and dried fruits can complement the simplicity of the asparagus.
- Couscous: Quick-cooking couscous is a versatile side dish that pairs well with asparagus.
Sauces and Dressings
- Hollandaise Sauce: A classic hollandaise sauce drizzled over the asparagus can add richness and flavor.
- Balsamic Glaze: A drizzle of balsamic reduction or glaze can enhance the sweetness of the asparagus.
- Lemon Butter Sauce: A simple lemon butter sauce with herbs can brighten up the dish.
- Roasted Cherry Tomatoes: Roasted cherry tomatoes burst with flavor and add a pop of color to your plate.
- Sautéed Mushrooms: Sautéed mushrooms complement the earthy flavors of asparagus.
- Roasted Bell Peppers: Roasted red or yellow bell peppers can add a sweet and smoky element.
Fresh Herbs and Garnishes
- Fresh Parsley: Chopped fresh parsley sprinkled over the asparagus can add a burst of color and freshness.
- Grated Parmesan Cheese: A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese enhances the savory notes of the dish.
Bread or Rolls
- Garlic Bread: A side of garlic bread or rolls can help you soak up any delicious sauces or juices from your meal.
- Mixed Greens Salad: A light salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and a vinaigrette dressing complements the asparagus nicely.
🤔 Answering Your Questions:
Can I Use Fresh Asparagus Instead of Frozen?
Yes, you can definitely use fresh asparagus for this recipe. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly, as fresh asparagus will cook faster than frozen.
Can I Use a Different Seasoning?
Yes, feel free to experiment with different seasonings to suit your taste. Some other options include lemon pepper, garlic powder, or smoked paprika.
Do I Need to Thaw the Frozen Asparagus Before Cooking?
No, you can cook the asparagus directly from frozen. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly, as frozen asparagus will take a bit longer to cook than fresh.
Can I Cook This Recipe in the Oven Instead of an Air Fryer?
Yes, you can definitely cook the asparagus in the oven instead of an air fryer. Preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C) and roast the asparagus for 10-15 minutes or until tender and crispy.
📋 Recipe Card:
Quick and Easy Frozen Asparagus in Air Fryer
- Bake the asparagus directly from the freezer for 10-12 minutes at 400°F / 200°C.15 oz Frozen Asparagus
- Prepare the garlic butter sauce and season with salt and pepper.2 tablespoon Melted Butter, 2 Cloves Garlic, ⅛ teaspoon Salt, ⅛ teaspoon Black Pepper
- Season the asparagus with the sauce we just made.
- Put back the asparagus to cook for another 4 minutes.
- Enjoy it as is, or serve as a side dish near your favorite piece of meat or fish.
I highly recommend reading the entire recipe to find more tips and notes about this recipe. Read Full Recipe ⇑
- Season the asparagus in the end, otherwise, you risk burning the garlic and you may get a bitter taste.
- When placing the asparagus in the air fryer basket, make sure to space them out evenly to allow for even cooking. Overcrowding the basket can lead to uneven cooking and soggy asparagus. If you’re cooking a larger quantity, consider cooking them in multiple batches for the best results.
- The cooking time for the frozen asparagus in the air fryer may vary depending on the size of your asparagus and the specific model of your air fryer. Thinner asparagus will cook faster than thicker ones, so it’s a good idea to start checking for doneness a bit earlier than the recommended time to avoid overcooking.
- Using melted butter is recommended in this recipe as it pairs well with asparagus, adds richness, and helps with browning in the air fryer. However, if you prefer a vegan option, you can substitute the butter with olive oil or avocado oil.
Can’t wait for you to give this recipe a try and enjoy the delightful flavors of air-fried asparagus! Please feel free to share your experience in the comments section. We’d love to hear how it turned out for you!