This Instant Pot Asparagus is a quick, weeknight favorite. The pressure cooker steams the Asparagus until perfectly crisp and tender and is ready to serve in less than 10 minutes! Great for beginners and new cooks.
📋 About the Recipe
- Consistent results every time. Unlike steaming vegetables on the stovetop, the Instant Pot yields consistent results with its timed pressurization and is the superior way to steam your veggies!
- Easy Instant Pot recipe. If you are new to the Instant Pot and intimidated by pressure cooking, starting with a quick and easy recipe like Instant Pot Asparagus is the perfect place to start.
- Customizable. I kept the seasonings basic here to allow this vegetable side dish to pair well with just about anything. Depending on the recipe, feel free to switch up the seasonings to better suit your taste and final dish.
A few notes about the ingredients:
- Asparagus - I developed this recipe using fresh asparagus and do not recommend using frozen asparagus. For best results, check out my helpful guide: How to Cut and Store Asparagus.
- Water - Just like in my Instant Pot Broccoli and Instant Pot Boiled Potatoes, you will need 1 cup of fresh water in the bottom of the Instant Pot to steam the asparagus. This is a general rule of thumb when using the pressure cooker to steam any vegetables.
- Olive oil, salt and pepper - Optional for seasoning. Save these ingredients until after the asparagus has cooked.
⁉️ Substitutions and Alterations
- How to make crispier asparagus: This recipe will make steamed, tender, and crisp asparagus. If you’d like a light char on your asparagus, spread the steamed asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil or butter and place directly under the oven broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, or until crisped and charred to your liking. Alternatively, you can place the asparagus on the BBQ grill over an open flame for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Cut the asparagus into 2 to 3 inch pieces. I steamed my asparagus in full spears, but if you are planning on adding the asparagus to a stir fry, such as my Teriyaki Salmon Stir Fry, feel free to cut the asparagus into bite-sized pieces before placing in the steamer basket.
- Prep the asparagus. Thoroughly rinse the asparagus, then cut off the woody bottoms. Make sure the length of the trimmed asparagus spears will fit lengthwise in the Instant Pot. If they are extra long, feel free to cut the asparagus in half.
- Prep the Instant Pot. Pour 1 cup of fresh water into the bottom of the pressure cooker. Place a metal steamer basket at the bottom of the Instant Pot. Alternatively, the trivet will work.
- Place asparagus spears in the Instant Pot. Make sure they are on the steamer basket, not directly in the water. The steamer basket should keep the asparagus from touching the water, allowing them to steam, not boil.
- Pressure cook. Secure the Instant Pot lid, set the valve to “sealing” position and pressure cook on manual high pressure for “0” minutes. As soon as the timer beeps, immediately switch the valve to “venting” and manually release the pressure.
- Serve. Serve asparagus while warm with optional melted butter or olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
Similar to my Instant Pot Broccoli, this Instant Pot Asparagus pairs well with several recipes and is a universal side to enjoy alongside dinner. Here are a few of my favorite suggestions:
- With steak and beef dishes, such as Cajun Steak Bites, Balsamic Glazed Steak, Homemade Beef and Bacon Instant Pot Dirty Rice.
- With chicken and turkey dishes, such as Dutch Oven Turkey Breast or Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Breasts.
- With pasta, such as Lemon Ricotta Pasta, Pink Sauce Pasta, or Rainbow Orzo Salad.
- With rice dishes, such as Instant Pot Rice Pilaf or Wild Rice for Thanksgiving.
❄️ How to Store
To store: If you are curious on how to properly store uncooked asparagus spears, check out my in-depth post on How to Store Asparagus. When storing cooked asparagus, place in an airtight container and store asparagus for up to 3 days.
Cooked asparagus spoils quickly, so only cook the amount you need at a time for optimal freshness.
To freeze: Freezing is not recommended.
To reheat: Cooked asparagus can be reheated in the microwave, Instant Pot, or in a steamer basket on the stovetop. Avoid overheating as this will make the asparagus chewy and mushy.
🔍 Recipe FAQs
The best way to prevent asparagus from becoming soggy is to cook it for the correct amount of time. Pressure cookers steam vegetables consistently every time.
When cooked for “0” minutes, this Instant Pot asparagus is perfectly cooked, crisp, and tender. If you do not release the pressure immediately, it is likely to overcook as the heat from the remaining pressure will continue to cook the asparagus.
Absolutely! Place the fresh asparagus directly into the steamer basket in the bottom of the pressure cooker. No additional preparation is necessary.
When preparing asparagus, you want to remove the woody bottoms before steaming and serving. These bottom portions of the asparagus grow directly in the ground and are very tough. When prepping, cut this part off then use the rest of the stalk.
💭 One More Tip
Stay close by during pressure cooking. This recipe cooks very quickly (about 10 minutes!) Since overcooking can make your asparagus mushy, make sure to pay attention to the cook time and release remaining pressure immediately upon the timer beeping.
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Instant Pot Asparagus
- 1 bunch fresh asparagus
- 1 cup water
- melted butter or olive oil, optional
- kosher salt, optional
- black pepper, optional
- Rinse asparagus. Cut off ends and make sure each piece can fit lengthwise in your instant pot.
- Add water to the bottom of the instant pot. Place a metal steamer basket at the bottom.
- Add asparagus to the basket.
- Cover instant pot with the lid. Set the valve to the “sealing” position and pressure cook for 0 minutes on high. As soon as the timer beeps, switch the valve to “venting” and manually release the pressure.
- Serve steamed asparagus warm with optional melted butter or olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- The instant pot is set to 0 minutes because the asparagus cooks while the pot comes to pressure. This is enough time to make it tender. If you add extra time, the asparagus may turn mushy.
- This recipe provides you with perfectly steamed asparagus. However, for added flavor feel free to add your favorite seasonings.
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