Air Fryer Asparagus with Garlic Breadcrumbs

This post may contain affiliate links.

Say goodbye to limp and lifeless asparagus with this PERFECT Air Fryer Asparagus. Topped with toasty garlic butter breadcrumbs, this air fried asparagus is a 10 minute side dish you’ll make over and over again.

air fryer asparagus topped with breadcrumbs on a large oval serving platter

Surprisingly Simple and Perfect Air Fryer Asparagus

I’ve always found asparagus to be tricky to cook–it seems there are mere moments between crisp, tender asparagus and limp, wet noodle asparagus. I’ve tried boiling it, sauteeing it, and even microwaving it, with mixed success.

Then one day, I popped some asparagus in the air fryer with a slew of breadcrumbs I made from a nub of leftover sourdough loaf.

My expectations were low, but I hit the button and came back in 7 minutes to absolute ASPARAGUS PERFECTION. It was by far the best asparagus I had ever made–full of flavor, garlicky, crisp, and buttery.

After years of experimenting I finally found the best asparagus recipe, and now it’s my go-to side for everything from Orange Glazed Ham to Honey Soy Salmon.

Today, I’m here to help you achieve Asparagus Gold Status (a very exclusive title I just made up), with plenty of tips, including how to buy, prep, and, of course, air fry asparagus!

Up close image of fried asparagus with garlic butter breadcrumbs.

Ingredients in Air Fried Asparagus

Asparagus doesn’t need a lot of dressing up to enhance its flavor. A little garlic and butter go a long way! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Asparagus
  • Melted butter
  • Garlic
  • Lemon zest
  • Fresh breadcrumbs–these should be crumbs made from bread (it’s okay if it’s on the stale side), not store bought dry breadcrumbs. I find it easiest to pulse them up in a food processor.
  • Salt

How to Make Asparagus in the Air Fryer

  1. Wash and dry the asparagus, then cut in half.
  2. Place the asparagus and the bread crumbs in a medium bowl. In another bowl, combine the butter, garlic, and salt. Pour the butter mixture over the asparagus and use your hands to toss together.
  3. Place the asparagus in the air fryer, being sure to dump any breadcrumbs from the bottom of the bowl on top. Don’t worry if the breadcrumbs don’t really “stick” to the asparagus. Just dump them on!
  4. Air fry for 6-8 minutes or until asparagus is tender and breadcrumbs are browned. Serve immediately.
Halved asparagus stalks in an air fryer basket with breadcrumbs.

How to Buy and Prep Asparagus

Eat it in season! Though you can usually find asparagus year round, it tastes best from February to May, when it’s at its peak.

Look for bright green stems that are firm and stand tall without flopping over. The buds should be tightly closed, not mushy, and may have dark green or purple flecks.

Trim any woody ends off of the asparagus before preparing. If your asparagus is thick and fibrous on the cut side, chop or snap it off. This avoids that stringy texture so many people (not so fondly) associate with asparagus.

Don’t overcook. Asparagus is best served crisp tender, not cooked to mushy oblivion. The air fryer really helps to avoid overcooking!

Get the Most Out of Your Air Fryer

Every air fryer is different, so I always recommend reading your manual, especially for instructions about preheating.

We have this Ninja Air Fryer and love it, but I’m actually hoping to get something a little bigger soon. I find my air fryer works fine without preheating, but do what works best for your model.

Depending on the shape of your fryer, you may be able to put the asparagus spears in whole. Mine is rounded and works better with the stems cut in half.

Want to make the rest of dinner in the air fryer too? Try these Air Fryer Chicken Thighs, Air Fryer Hot Dogs, and Air Fryer Pork Chops.

Air fried asparagus with breadcrumbs on a blue gray platter.

More Asparagus Recipes to Enjoy This Spring

Make the most of asparagus season with this Parmesan Asparagus Tart, Asparagus, Ham, and Cheese Frittata, or Creamy Lemon Chicken with Asparagus.

We also love to add asparagus to these Balsamic Grilled Vegetables with Goat Cheese!

Up close image of fried asparagus with garlic butter breadcrumbs.

Air Fryer Asparagus

Air Fryer Asparagus is topped with buttery garlic breadcrumbs for a super flavorful side dish. This air fried asparagus is foolproof, with a great crisp tender texture and fresh, garlicky flavor!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 11 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 103kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 lb. asparagus spears
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs (not dried store bought crumbs)
  • 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

Instructions

  • Trim any woody ends off the asparagus. An easy way to do this is to hold both ends of the asparagus and bend them-the fibrous ends will snap right off. Wash and dry the asparagus, then cut in half.
  • Place the asparagus and the bread crumbs in a medium bowl. In another bowl, combine the butter, garlic, and salt. Pour the butter mixture over the asparagus and use your hands to toss together.
  • Place the asparagus in the air fryer, being sure to dump any breadcrumbs from the bottom of the bowl on top. Don’t worry if the breadcrumbs don’t really "stick" to the asparagus. Just dump them on!
  • Air fry at 390 degrees for 7-8 minutes or until asparagus is tender and breadcrumbs are browned. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Always check your air fryer’s manual for instructions about preheating.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword air fried asparagus, air fryer asparagus, asparagus in air fryer, garlic butter asparagus

Nutrition

Calories: 103kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 392mg | Potassium: 184mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 688IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 2mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a review, Mention @NeighborFoodie, or tag #neighborfoodies!

2 Comments

  1. We made this tonight and it was fantastic! The texture and the flavors were top notch! I’ll never make asparagus any other way. For us it was a little heavy on the salt so we plan to reduce to 1/2 teaspoon next time. We didn’t have fresh lemon but we had lemon juice so we used a smidge of that instead of zest.
    Thanks for another winner, Courtney!

    1. Yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for coming back to let me know! It always makes my day! ๐Ÿ™‚

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.