Prepare to have your mind WOWed. Making frozen vegetables in the air fryer is going to save you time, money, and the mental load of figuring out yet another way to get vegetables into the mouths of your family.
Asparagus is the perfect spring vegetable, but lucky for us it can be enjoyed year-round when frozen! It has both bitter and sweet notes with subtle hints of grass and a crisp, tender texture. This air fryer method will keep the stalks tender, crisp, and wonderfully cooked every time!
You truly need only a few simple ingredients for this recipe. Of course, you can always add additional spices and seasonings to fit your meal — but more on that in a minute. Right now, let’s talk about ingredients.
See the full recipe card below for details.
- Frozen Asparagus: I recommend using whole asparagus spears, which is generally what you’ll find in the frozen section of the grocery store anyway. If you do find cut pieces, reduce the cooking time.
- Olive Oil: only a little olive oil is needed to help the outside crisp up.
- Salt: of course, I’m not going to make a veggie without a little salt! Add a few grinds of black pepper if you want. You can also toss them in some garlic or onion powder for extra flavor, too.
Did you know that frozen veggies are the same, or sometimes more nutritious than fresh? They’re picked and then flash-frozen at the peak of their ripeness, which preserves all the goodness.
I have a 4-Quart Ninja Air Fryer and it is what I use for this recipe.
You, of course, can use the air fryer you have. I recommend noting its size as you may have more or less space. Air fryers can vary by make and model, so use your chef’s eye to keep watch as you cook the beans.
This air fryer is easy to use and is the perfect size for two or a small family.
How to Cook Frozen Asparagus in the Air Fryer
This is truly such an easy way to prepare a vegetable side dish! And I did say it was basically a non-recipe, right? Here it goes…
Toss frozen asparagus stalks – yes, straight from the freezer, no thawing required – with olive oil, and salt. A little olive oil helps them crisp up, but don’t drizzle on too much or they’ll turn out soggy.
You can also lightly spray them with cooking oil if you prefer, but beware that some cooking sprays can ruin the lining of an air fryer basket.
If you want to add garlic powder, onion powder, or another spice, do so now, too!
Spread the spears in an even single layer on top of the crisper rack so the air can circulate around them evenly to encourage the best crisping. Don’t worry too much though, some overlap is fine.
I really don’t like to wait for my air fryer to preheat…so, this recipe doesn’t require any preheating time! Unless of course your air fryer recommends it regardless of what you’re cooking, be sure to read that manual!
Time & Temperature
Air fry the asparagus at 390°F for 7-9 minutes, if whole. Be sure to shake the basket to toss halfway through the cooking time.
This accomplishes two things, helps to move the spears around to encourage crisping all around, especially if they’re overlapped. They’ll shrink in the cooking process, so the toss helps them spread evenly, too. It also gives you an opportunity to check on them and monitor their progress.
You’ll know they’re done when the stalks are fork-tender and the tips are slightly crisp. The size of asparagus spears can vary greatly, which will influence the cooking time. Thin spears require less cook time.
NOTE: Because air fryers vary in temperatures, wattages, and sizes, you may need to adjust your cook time.
Additional Flavors & Garnishes
Cooking vegetables in the air fryer is one of my favorite ways to jazz up frozen veggies. The texture is so much better than microwaving (no mushy veggies here!) and it allows for the perfect base to add layers of flavor.
Here are a few of my other favorite ways to garnish and add flavor:
- Lemon Herb Tahini Sauce – a super bright addition to drizzle on the finished dish and asparagus is LOVELY with lemon!
- Toss with dry ranch seasoning before cooking, or finish with a drizzle of ranch dressing.
- Toss with goat cheese and pine nuts like in this sauteed version of green beans
- Sprinkle on chopped hazelnuts, almonds, or walnuts
- Serve with fresh herbs like basil, parsley, or tarragon
What to Serve with Asparagus
Vegetable on the table? Check. Now…what are you going to serve with it? Here are a few menu ideas to try:
- Parmesan Rosemary Fish
- Roasted Cauliflower Steaks
- White Wine Mac and Cheese (or any mac and cheese!)
- On that note, any creamy pasta like fettuccine or garlic and scallops pasta
- They’ll pair with just about any main meat dish from chicken, salmon, steak, shrimp…you name it.
Storage and Reheating
If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the air fryer at 400°F for a few minutes until warmed through.
It’s not recommended to refreeze these as the texture will not be great after thawing again.
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Get the Recipe How to Make Air Fryer Frozen Asparagus
- In the basket of the air fryer (or a separate mixing bowl) toss frozen asparagus spears with olive oil, salt, and pepper. If you want to add spices like garlic or onion powder, do so here, too. Spread in an even layer in the air fryer basket.
- Set the air fryer to 400°F. Cook for 8-10 minutes. For thin asparagus spears, you'll need less time, around 6-7 minutes. Toss halfway through. Time may vary depending on the model of air fryer you use. Once they're fork-tender yet slightly crisp, they're ready!
- Serve immediately. Garnish with a squeeze of lemon juice, grated parmesan cheese, or chopped nuts as desired. See the post for more serving suggestions, too!
- Air Fryer: this recipe was tested with a 4-quart Ninja air fryer. The exact cook time may vary depending on the model of your air fryer.
- Storage: store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the air fryer at 400°F until crisp and warm.
- You can use a different size bag of frozen asparagus, just be sure to not overcrowd the pan or they will steam instead of crisp. If they’re too piled, make two batches.