This easy Instant Pot asparagus recipe uses olive oil, butter (dairy or plant-based) and garlic for a simple yet delicious side dish you can make in just minutes! Yes, it’s possible to get perfectly tender cooked asparagus in the pressure cooker!
So here’s an unbelievably easy side dish for you – asparagus cooked in the Instant Pot!
I’ll be the first to say (and I have, like in this Instant Pot bolognese recipe), I can’t stand when people use the Instant Pot (or any pressure cooker for that matter) to make things that are just not meant to be made in it.
Aka – pasta or anything else that usually requires a cooking time of 3 minutes or less.
Newsflash to those people – it’s just quicker and easier to make whatever it is on the stove or in the oven!
Now, you’re probably thinking doesn’t asparagus fit that description?
Well, yes, it does.
But hear me out, I had the Instant Pot out already to cook some celery root which I was turning into a mash with cauliflower (kind of like this celery root puree with roasted vegetables) and thought, hey, why not?
And if you’re looking for one of the easiest, no brainer ways to enjoy asparagus, I definitely recommend giving this recipe a try.
While I typically enjoy my asparagus roasted in the oven or grilled for a simple side dish, I was pleasantly surprised at how well the Instant Pot did with cooking these spears to the perfect texture.
With the right cooking time (and you’ll see below that’s an important part), the asparagus actually remains nice and tender with just the right amount of bite to it after pressure cooking.
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE ASPARAGUS IN THE INSTANT POT
Ready for this ingredient list? It’s short and sweet so don’t blink.
- 1 bunch asparagus, medium thickness spears are best
- extra virgin olive oil
- butter (dairy based or plant-based alternative)
- 1 clove of garlic
- salt & pepper
That’s it! For the base recipe at least.
If you want to pretty things up once the asparagus is cooked you can garnish with some sea salt, chili flakes, fresh parsley and/or lemon.
HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT ASPARAGUS
To get started, trim the asparagus so the woody ends are removed.
You’ll want the spears to be short enough to fit in the Instant Pot but they don’t have to lay flat on the trivet so don’t worry about cutting off too much of the ends.
Place the metal trivet inside the Instant Pot and pour 1/2 cup water into the pot.
Arrange the asparagus spears on top of the trivet and drizzle with olive oil. Dot the softened butter and sliced garlic clove atop the asparagus and season with salt and pepper.
Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set the valve to the sealing position.
Press manual cook and set the time to zero minute (yes, 0 minutes).
That’s highlighted because it’s important and it is not a typo.
The time it takes to come to pressure (about 5 minutes or so) is all the asparagus needs to cook properly in the Instant Pot.
Once it comes to pressure, it will beep that it’s done.
Quick release the pressure by manually turning the valve to the venting position and remove the lid once the metal float drops.
I don’t recommend this recipe or using a pressure cooker in general if you have very thin asparagus spears. This lemon roasted asparagus is a better option if you have thin asparagus.
If you have very thick spears, however, follow the same method but set the time to 1 minute for cooking instead of 0.
Once the lid is removed, transfer the asparagus to a serving plate and garnish as desired.
With asparagus everywhere right now as we’re smack in the middle of the spring season, this is a great way to enjoy seasonal produce.
Instant Pot asparagus goes with almost any meal from grilled steak, to a simple pork chop or chicken.
And for a bunch more ideas of how to use asparagus as well as information on how best to store it at home (spoiler: it’s not throwing it in the fridge in the plastic bag from the grocery store), check out my seasonal guide to asparagus.
And now, throwing it in the Instant Pot is just one more to add to your arsenal!
Prefer the air fryer? Try this quick and easy air fryer asparagus instead.
Throw the asparagus in the Instant Pot, maybe get a sheet pan of roasted peri peri potatoes in the oven and either some turmeric salmon or rosemary garlic flank steak depending on your mood and you’ve got a deliciously balanced easy dinner.
MORE INSTANT POT RECIPES TO TRY:
Instant Pot Asparagus
- 1 bunch medium thickness asparagus woody ends trimmed (*see note)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoons softened butter or butter alternative I use Miyokos plant based butter
- 1 large clove garlic sliced
- salt and pepper
- red chili flakes
- chopped fresh parsley
- sliced lemon
- Pour water into insert of the Instant Pot.
- Place trivet into the insert and lay the trimmed asparagus spears on top of the trivet. They don’t need to lay flat but make sure they fit well enough on a diagonal in the pot.
- Drizzle the olive oil on top of the asparagus and dot the softened butter or butter alternative on top of the spears along with the garlic slices.
- Season with salt and pepper then put the lid on the Instant Pot and set the valve to the sealing position.
- Press manual cook and set it for 0 minutes. Yes, zero.
- Let Instant Pot come to pressure and once it does it will beep that it’s finished.
- Quick release the pressure by turning the valve to venting.
- Once the metal float valve falls, remove the lid and transfer the asparagus to a serving plate.
- Garnish with red chili flakes, parsley and/or lemon to serve.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.