This instant pot asparagus recipe is a delicious and easy way to cook asparagus! The asparagus is seasoned with spices and parmesan cheese, and then garnished with lemon juice for a slight citrus kick. This recipe transforms boring old asparagus into a flavorful side dish.
My family and friends have all approved of the recipe and said that it is one of their favorite asparagus recipes. Cooking asparagus in the instant pot is an easy way to steam it and create a slightly crispy, flavorful vegetable. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!
Why Use the Instant Pot to Cook Asparagus?
Cooking asparagus in the instant pot is very similar to using a steamer. The instant pot cooks with “moist” heat, meaning that it will not dry the asparagus out when cooking. You can also cook asparagus in the pressure cooker, which is very similar to the instant pot, just a different brand.
The asparagus only takes 10 minutes to cook in the instant pot. The instant pot consistently makes a perfectly cooked bunch of asparagus. You don’t have to worry about over cooking it or under cooking it. Simply set the instant pot and walk away!
Ingredients Needed For Instant Pot Asparagus
- Asparagus: this calls for 1 bunch of asparagus, which is typically about 25-30 pieces of asparagus.
- Lemon Juice: use ½ of a teaspoon of lemon juice. The juice can either be fresh from a lemon or from a bottle of lemon juice.
- Spices: garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper: adjust to taste. This is what adds the excellent flavor to the asparagus.
- Parmesan Cheese: use fresh, grated parmesan cheese.
What Size Asparagus Should I Use?
Asparagus can vary greatly in size- some bunches of asparagus are very thin (⅛ inch thick) while other asparagus can be very thick.
When making this recipe, I recommend using a medium thickness asparagus. I personally think it has the best flavor and texture. Thin asparagus are often stringy and not very tender.
This recipe will work with any size of asparagus, however the cook time will need to be adjusted slightly.
How Long Do I Cook the Asparagus?
The cook time in the instant pot depends on two factors: how crispy or soft you prefer your asparagus and also how thick the asparagus is.
Slightly Crunchy Asparagus: to make asparagus that has a slightly crunchy outside (particularly in the stem), yet the inside and top part of the asparagus are soft, you will set the cook time to 0 minutes. This is not a mistake- enter zero minutes cook time on the instant pot.
The instant pot typically takes 8-10 minutes to heat up, and during this preheat process, it is steaming the asparagus and cooking it. Once the Instant Pot reaches pressure, you will immediately do a release. This works best for asparagus that are a medium thickness.
To Make Soft Asparagus: If you prefer asparagus that is very soft with no crunch to it, add 1 minute to the cook time (instead of setting it at 0 minutes). Follow the instructions the exact same for every other part of the recipe.
For Asparagus That Has Very Thick Stalks: add 1 minute to the cook time. Follow the instructions for the rest of the recipe.
Asparagus are very low in calories. 1 cup of asparagus contains about 25 calories. A serving has 3 grams of fiber. Asparagus is a food that is considered nutrient dense. This means that is low in calories, yet high in nutrients. Find out more health benefits of asparagus here.
How to Pick a Good Asparagus Bunch
Color: Look for asparagus that is bright green in color with a hint of purple in the tip.
Texture: The stalks should be smooth and firm. There should not be any wilting evident.
Thickness: I generally look for a medium sized bunch of asparagus. Thin asparagus is sometimes stringy, while thicker stalks can sometimes be chewier
Avoid: Try to avoid asparagus that appears “woody”. This means that asparagus has matured for too long and will be tougher and very “stringy”.
How To Make The Best Instant Pot Asparagus
Prep the Asparagus
Rinse the asparagus under warm water to remove any dirt. Pat dry. Trim the ends by cutting 1 inch off the bottom of the asparagus.
Add Ingredients to the Instant Pot
Add the water and butter to the bottom of the instant pot. Cut the butter into four even pieces and place evenly in the bottom of the instant pot.
Place the metal trivet rack in the bottom of the instant pot. Add the asparagus. The asparagus should be spread out as much as possible. It’s fine if the asparagus is overlapping slightly.
Sprinkle the garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper evenly over the top.
Cook the Asparagus
Set the instant pot timer to zero minutes. The instant pot will start heating up and cook the asparagus as it heats.
Once the instant pot beeps that it is heated, do a quick release. The pin will drop once all pressure has released. Open immediately and remove the asparagus.
Set on a plate and top with Parmesan cheese and lemon juice.
Related Vegetable Side Dish Recipes
Instant Pot Asparagus
- 1 bunch fresh asparagus about medium thickness, usually about 15-20 spears
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese garnish, optional
- Rinse the asparagus under cold water to remove any dirt. Trim the ends of the asparagus (cut off about ½ inch with a knife to remove any dead ends). You may have to trim off more in order for the asparagus to fit in the instant pot.
- Cut the butter into 4 pieces. Place the water and butter in the bottom of the instant pot. Add the trivet rack.
- Place the asparagus on the trivet rack. The asparagus should lie flat on the rack and be spread out as much as possible (don’t leave it in a large bunch).
- Sprinkle the garlic powder, onion powder, pepper and salt evenly over the top of the asparagus.
- Close and lock the lid.
- Set the instant pot to pressure cook for 0 (yes zero) minutes. The instant pot will take 8-10 minutes to heat up and the asparagus will cook during this time.
- Once the pressure cooker has heated and beeps that it is ready to start cooking, do a quick release on the instant pot.
- The pin will drop once all pressure has released. Open immediately and remove the asparagus.
- Season with parmesan cheese and lemon juice. Serve immediately.
Final Thoughts On Instant Pot Asparagus
- Asparagus in the instant pot is perfect for an easy weeknight dinner side dish.
- This passed the approval of my husband (which is saying a lot..)
- Don’t forget to garnish with lemon juice and Parmesan cheese after cooking!