Instant Pot asparagus cooks the veggie in under 10 minutes until it's perfectly tender and crisp. It steams with a fresh garlic, lemon and olive oil mixture.
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Asparagus is one of those ingredients we like to add to any meal, especially with seafood, like our blackened salmon. It tastes delicious and is packed with folate, fiber and other vitamins and nutrients we all need with every meal. We've made air fryer asparagus, but we wanted to add another delicious side dish to make in the Instant Pot.
Why Use An Instant Pot?
An Instant Pot is one of the most useful and versatile kitchen tools. It develops flavor in your recipes in a much shorter amount of time. It's why our Greek Chicken and Rice and Instant Pot Mongolian Beef are some of the most popular on the site. We love using this appliance for a side dish, like asparagus, to cook them quickly and free up stove or oven space in the process.
When you steam asparagus in the Instant Pot you're left with crispy, tender veggies in a few minutes.
- Asparagus: fresh asparagus takes minutes to make and it's especially delicious when it's in season in the Spring.
- Olive oil: drizzle a quality oil on top of the asparagus. You could also use melted butter for a rich flavor.
- Salt + black pepper
- Garlic: I like to use fresh minced garlic for bold flavor, but garlic powder works well too.
- Lemon juice: fresh juice from a lemon is our favorite, rather than store bought lemon juice.
How to Make Instant Pot Asparagus
- Prep the asparagus: wash and dry the asparagus spears well then snap off thewoody ends.
- Add the ingredients: add water to the bottom of the instant pot then place the metal trivet in the bottom and place the asparagus on top in an even layer. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice then sprinkle with salt and garlic.
- Pressure cook: close the lid and make sure the vent is set to the sealing position. Pressure cook (or manual cook) on high for 0 minutes. Yes, that cook time says 0 minutes! By the time the Instant Pot comes to pressure (5-10 minutes) the asparagus will be steamed and tender. Press the Cancel button then quick release by switching the knob to the venting position right away. Open the lid when pressure gauge has dropped and the lid opens easily.
- Serve: Carefully remove the steamer basket and asparagus from Instant Pot and transfer to a large platter with more extra-virgin olive oil, parmesan cheese, nutritional yeast, or red pepper flakes.
What to Serve With Asparagus
Any protein dish is a great main course to pair with asparagus. We especially love this easy Instant Pot Asparagus recipe with our blackened salmon, blackened chicken tenders, Greek chicken meatballs, and cilantro lime chicken thighs. !You can serve this dish warm or cold (though I prefer it warm).
Asparagus with a thicker stalk is ideal for this recipe because it holds up to the high pressure. Pencil thin asparagus has a tendency to overcook quickly.
Asparagus requires minimal prep work. The steps to prep asparagus before serving include washing and drying them well and removing the woody ends from the stalk. You can also take a paring knife and carefully remove the little notches of asparagus along the sides of the stalk. This is a technique of refinement and definitely not necessary!
Some people soak asparagus in cold water to help remove some of the grit, but I find this adds an extra step and simply washing them well is enough.
Asparagus fades in color and loses its crispness the longer it cooks. Because of this, cook the asparagus until it's just tender. Mushy, stringy asparagus is a result of overcooking.
All vegetables are different and require different cook times, but most cook very quickly in the Instant Pot. Larger vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower will pressure cook in less than 10 minutes, while asparagus takes 0 minutes to cook. Set the timer for 0 minutes and it will beep and let you know it's done right when it comes to pressure. That's all you need!
More Veggie Side Dishes to Try
Instant Pot Asparagus
- 1 lb asparagus washed and ends trimmed
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Optional garnishes: chili flakes, parmesan cheese, sesame seeds
- Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot)
- Place the metal trivet in the bottom of the Instant Pot then pour the water into the bottom and place the trimmed asparagus in an even layer on top, so it’s resting on the trivet above the water.
- Drizzle the asparagus with olive oil and lemon juice then sprinkle it with the salt, pepper and garlic. Close the lid and make sure the vent is set to the sealing position. Pressure cook (Manual cook )on high pressure and set the timer to 0 minutes. The Instant Pot will take about 5-10 minutes to come to pressure, then notify you it's done by beeping. Setting the timer to 0 minutes allows the asparagus to cook for only the time it takes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure. Any longer and the asparagus will overcook.
- Press the Cancel button then quick release the Instant Pot by immediately switching the seal to venting. i like to use the end of a wooden spoon to carefully do this because the steam releasing will be hot. Open the lid when pressure gauge has dropped and the lid opens easily.
- Carefully remove asparagus and serve with a drizzle of olive oil, parmesan cheese, or red pepper flakes.