If you’re like me, your favorite three words when it comes to recipes are: easy, healthy, and delicious.
This instant pot asparagus recipe is so insanely easy and it comes out crunchy and tender every time. Literally, perfect asparagus.
When I decided I wanted more vegetables in my diet, I wasn’t exactly sure the best way to prepare them.
After a lot of practice and trying different ideas, I discovered just how easy the instant pot is to make vegetables delicious!
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If you’re new to the instant pot, there’s a section below that provides the best quick tips on how it works. It can be a little intimidating at first! But, it’s definitely well worth it to learn and invest in.
Everything I make in the instant pot is super flavorful. Even vegetables!
WHAT IS ASPARAGUS?
Asparagus is a spear-like vegetable that grows mostly in California, Washington, and Michigan in the U.S. Outside of the U.S., it’s grown in Peru, China, Mexico, and Germany.
Spring is when it’s in season here in the U.S. Luckily, many stores will still carry asparagus throughout the year. They tend to be either thin or thick but always yummy! The thicker stalks will have a more meaty taste, and add to the heartiness of the dish.
IS ASPARAGUS GOOD FOR YOU?
Asparagus is super healthy! It’s packed with fiber, potassium, vitamin C, A, K, and folate. It’s also high in antioxidants and flavonoids which have been found to have blood pressure-lowering, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anticancer effects. (1)
It’s a great vegetable to have in your healthy routine – to support your immune system.
HOW MANY CALORIES ARE IN ASPARAGUS?
Asparagus is very low in calories. One cup of asparagus has approximately 30 calories. This is roughly 8 to 10 stalks. Making it a great choice for a healthy diet, and managing your weight.
HOW TO CHOOSE ASPARAGUS
Look for stalks that have closed tips and firm stalks. They should be bright green in color and not soft or limp. The brighter the better! If you can buy your asparagus from a farmer’s market, that would be the best! At the farmer’s market, you should find the most tender, fresh asparagus. If you break one of the stalks, it should ‘snap’ with freshness.
STORAGE OF ASPARAGUS
There are a few ways to store asparagus. You can simply put them in the crisper drawer in the fridge in a loose bag until you’re ready to use them. Or, some folks like to store asparagus by first putting them in a jar or vase with about an inch of water in the bottom. Trim the bottoms by about an inch.
Cover the top with a light bag as you receive at the grocery store. You can keep them in the fridge like this. The best advice is to eat it very soon, but if not, it should stay fresh for 4 or 5 days.
HOW TO PREP YOUR ASPARAGUS
Before you’re ready to cook your asparagus, rinse it under cold water. Trim the bottoms about an inch or so, so they’ll fit into your instant pot.
TOOLS NEEDED FOR THIS RECIPE
Instant Pot, trivet, or steamer basket with handles, oven mitt, and tongs for removing hot asparagus from the Pot.
INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED:
SALT & PEPPER
CAN YOU USE FROZEN ASPARAGUS IN THE INSTANT POT?
Yes! You’ll cook the frozen asparagus following this recipe exactly. Take a look at the bag to see if the asparagus is pre-cooked. If it’s completely not cooked, you’ll want to add 1 minute to the cooking time on your Instant Pot. Otherwise, follow the recipe as it is.
HOW TO COOK INSTANT POT ASPARAGUS
This recipe is so easy, you’re going to love it!
After the first time I made asparagus in my instant pot and tasted it – I just knew that it’d be something I’d do all the time from then on out. Seriously, it comes out as perfectly cooked asparagus every time.
- Rinse and trim your asparagus.
- Insert the trivet or steaming basket into the instant pot.
- Add the water to the bottom of the instant pot.
- Add your asparagus plus the lemon juice, oil, and salt and pepper. Optional: garlic
- Plug in your instant pot. Set the instant pot for “zero” minutes on “low” pressure.
- Close and lock on the lid.
- Turn the steam release handle to “sealing”
- Once the instant pot heats up (about 5 minutes) and then cooks for zero minutes, it will beep that it’s done. Hit cancel and do a quick release.
- After the float valve clicks down, you can open the lid.
- Remove your asparagus spears with tongs and place them on a serving dish.
- Add any additional toppings and serve!
QUICK GUIDE ON USING AN INSTANT POT
- Make sure the lid is closed and secure prior to cooking.
- Move the steam release handle to “sealing” or else steam will escape.
- The instant pot will need to warm up before the timer will start the count down. Once you set the timer and set the pressure on either high or low, the display will show “on” for a bit, while it’s warming up.
- Once the instant pot has cooked for the amount set on the timer (in this case, zero!) you will hear beeping to indicate that the cooking time is done.
- Use an oven mitt, dish towel, or utensil to push the steam handle to release. Be careful as the steam will come directly out.
- If you’d like to learn more about the Instant Pot I own, check it out here!
INSTANT POT ASPARAGUS
- Instant Pot
- Trivet or steaming basket
- 2 lbs asparagus (approx 17-20 spears)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1.5 tbsp lemon juice
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tsp salt (sea salt)
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper (freshly ground is best)
- 1 clove garlic (optional)
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- Rinse to clean your asparagus well
- Insert the trivet or steaming basket into the instant pot
- Add your trimmed asparagus to the instant pot
- Sprinkle with olive oil and lemon juice
- Add salt and pepper
- Add garlic and red pepper flakes (if using)
- Close and lock lid securely on the instant pot
- Set the steam release handle to "sealing"
- Set the instant pot to "zero" minutes and "low" pressure
- Once it's done heating up and then cooking for "zero" minutes, it will beep
- Hit "cancel" and do a quick release to release the steam
- Carefully remove the lid and remove the asparagus with tongs
- Add any additional toppings you prefer, serve, and enjoy!
WHAT DO YOU EAT ASPARAGUS WITH?
- As a side dish: Serve on the side of a hearty baked potato, cauliflower steak, seafood, or a meat protein (if not vegan or vegetarian)
- Tossed in a salad: Chop the asparagus and add it to your favorite big salad!
- In creamy pasta: Toss your vegetables into a vegan creamy white pasta dish for a colorful veggie, and some additional nutrition.
- In a buddha bowl (or grain bowl): Asparagus is a perfect healthy green to add to a buddha or grain bowl. A grain bowl typically includes a grain, freshly chopped vegetables, roasted red peppers, any additional veggies of your preference, nuts or seeds, and a creamy tahini dressing. Or, another dressing of your choice.
- Risotto: Chop the asparagus and add it to your risotto when it’s almost done cooking. Leave the asparagus tops out until you’re done, and add it at the very end.
OTHER ASPARAGUS TOPPINGS
Lemon zest or lemon juice
Red pepper flakes
Parmesan cheese (if you eat dairy)
Vegan butter or non-vegan butter
Lemon sauce made with dijon
Vegan “cheese” sauce or non-vegan cheese sauce
HOW TO STORE COOKED ASPARAGUS
Keep your cooked asparagus in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. You can also use aluminum foil or plastic wrap, but the airtight container will do the best job.
WHY DOES ASPARAGUS MAKE YOUR PEE SMELL FUNNY?
Asparagus has a sulfur-containing compound called asparagusic acid that produces a sulfurous odor. (2)
After ingesting asparagus, you might notice the effects of this acid on urine odor. During digestion, the sulfurous amino acids break down into smelly chemical components. Then, when you pee, the odor makes its’ way upward to your nose. This effect is totally normal and no need for concern!
INSTANT POT ACCESSORIES I USE:
Instant Pot Stainless Steel Inner Cooking Pot – 6 quart
Mesh Steamer Baskets (2)
Sealing Rings, set of 6 (it’s good to have extras!)
Instant Pot Silicone Lid 6 Quart
18-pieces Pressure Cooker Accessories Set
Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid (This is new for me! It came very highly recommended to me. Can’t wait to try it!)