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Instant Pot Asparagus

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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!

Tender asparagus made in the Instant Pot on a plate with olive oil, butter, garlic and chili flakes.

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.

Raw asparagus spears inside an Instant Pot atop the metal trivet.

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.

Raw asparagus spears in an Instant Pot with olive oil, butter and garlic on top and water on the bottom of the insert.

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
  • water
  • 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.

Pressure cooked asparagus on a plate with a serving spatula garnished with garlic, fresh parsley and chili flakes.

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.

Tender cooked spring asparagus made in the Instant Pot on a plate with sea salt, parsley, garlic and chili flakes.

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.

You can use it to make an asparagus omelette souffle or in this simple bacon and asparagus fried couscous skillet.

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.

From asparagus fries to enjoying it raw and shaved in this blood orange asparagus salad, there are so many ways to enjoy this amazing spring vegetable packed with healthy prebiotics.

And now, throwing it in the Instant Pot is just one more to add to your arsenal!

Asparagus cooked in the Instant Pot in just minutes on a plate with a serving spatula.

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 bean soup
Instant Pot lentil vegetable soup
Instant Pot brisket (another great main dish to go with this asparagus)
Instant Pot tomato white beans
Instant Pot creamy tomato tortellini

Instant Pot asparagus

Instant Pot Asparagus

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

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!

Ingredients

  • 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

For Serving

  • red chili flakes
  • chopped fresh parsley
  • sliced lemon

Instructions

  1. Pour water into insert of the Instant Pot.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Season with salt and pepper then put the lid on the Instant Pot and set the valve to the sealing position.
  5. Press manual cook and set it for 0 minutes. Yes, zero.
  6. Let Instant Pot come to pressure and once it does it will beep that it's finished.
  7. Quick release the pressure by turning the valve to venting.
  8. Once the metal float valve falls, remove the lid and transfer the asparagus to a serving plate.
  9. Garnish with red chili flakes, parsley and/or lemon to serve.

Notes

*I don't suggest thin speared asparagus for this recipe. They will come out too mushy. For thick spears, set the cook time to 1 minute.

**Cook time is the approximate time it takes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure. It may vary slightly.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 94Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 125mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g

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.

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