Parmesan Roasted Asparagus {Air Fryer or Oven}

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Parmesan roasted asparagus can be cooked in an air fryer or oven for a 15-minute side dish for chicken or fish. This delicious green vegetable is perfect for an elegant holiday side with a glazed ham, too.

A white platter of parmesan roasted asparagus.

Fresh asparagus was the first vegetable upgrade I mastered as a newlywed and has been part of our family menu for decades!

When you roast fresh asparagus with shredded parmesan on top, it gets a perfectly crispy tipped texture with tons of salty goodness from the fresh cheese.

With just 5 minutes to prep and 15 minutes to cook, this easy side dish is perfect for weekday dinners but would be right at home on your Easter or Christmas holiday table, too.

Why This is the Best Recipe

I've been making this parmesan roasted asparagus recipe for over 20 years thanks to Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa cookbooks where I first spotted it as a newlywed. This is the very best recipe because:

  1. 5 Minute Prep: Wash the asparagus and toss with olive oil. That's about it!
  2. Quick Cook: I pop the asparagus into the oven or air fryer right at the end of cooking our meal because it takes so little time to finish.
  3. Elegant but Easy: This is one of our favorite holiday vegetable side dishes for Easter and Christmas because the asparagus feels so fresh and fancy but it is so crazy easy to make. I always pair it with my restaurant-quality macadamia crusted halibut with garlic lemon cream sauce for any special occasion.

Ingredients

The ingredients to make the roasted asparagus are on the counter.

This simple recipe takes such a short list of ingredients to make:

  • Fresh Asparagus: This dish is best with fresh asparagus from the produce department. Do not try this with canned asparagus.
  • Shredded Parmesan: You could also use a high quality grated parmesan. The better quality the cheese, the more delicious this side dish tastes. But I make it so often, I use a budget-friendly pre-shredded parmesan for ease.
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Pepper

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Prep the Asparagus

If you've never cooked fresh asparagus before, you're going to love how easy it is to prep. You don't even need a kitchen knife!

Run the asparagus spears under cold water and rinse them well.

The washed asparagus is drying on a kitchen towel.

It is important to dry them on a clean kitchen towel before adding them to the pan. Too much excess water from rinsing will cause them to steam instead of roast.

Take each spear in your hands and bend it towards the bottom edge. It will naturally snap right at the spot where the stalk gets too woody to be delicious.

Discard that bottom edge and place the top part of the asparagus on a large roasting sheet.

Drizzle the olive oil over the top and toss to coat. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over it and you're ready to cook.

The olive oil, salt, and pepper have been added to the fresh asparagus spears.

Oven Roasting Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Roast the asparagus for 12 minutes or until the tips just begin to crisp up.

Sprinkle the shredded parmesan over the top and roast for 3 minutes more or until the cheese has melted.

The shredded parmesan has been sprinkled over the asparagus on the baking sheet.

Air Fryer Instructions

You could also roast the asparagus in an air fryer.

Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.

Prep the asparagus as directed but then place it in single layers in the air fryer. Roast for 10 minutes and then sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top.

Roast for 2 - 3 minutes more or until the cheese has melted.

Variations

Fresh asparagus is absolutely delicious just as this recipe is given, but there are a few fun variations you could try:

Spicy Roasted Asparagus: Sprinkle crushed red pepper flakes over the top before roasting.

Lemony Roasted Asparagus: Zest a fresh lemon and sprinkle it over the asparagus after it has cooked.

Dairy-Free Roasted Asparagus: Skip the cheese altogether, roasted asparagus is delicious all by itself!

Serving Suggestions

The asparagus is served on a white platter.

I pair roasted asparagus with several of my family's favorite festive dinners.

It goes especially well at Easter or Christmas with a holiday spiral ham with brown sugar glaze or a seasoned baked salmon.

When it is fresh in season, you could also pair it with a simple baked chicken breast or shrimp scampi with breadcrumbs for a simple family dinner.

Any chicken or seafood dinner pairs quite well with asparagus, but if you're grilling steaks in the summer, this would be a great choice too.

More Easy Vegetable Recipes

If you love roasted asparagus, you won't want to miss this asparagus tart. You can add so much flavor to regular family dinners with these easy vegetable recipes at your fingertips:

📖 Recipe

A white platter of parmesan roasted asparagus.

Parmesan Roasted Asparagus

5 from 1 vote
Easy parmesan roasted asparagus takes just 5 minutes of prep and is the perfect green vegetable side dish to add to an elegant chicken or seafood dinner. Roast this easy vegetable in the oven or air fryer.
TOTAL TIME 20 minutes
PREP TIME 5 minutes
COOK TIME 15 minutes
YIELD 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Instructions

Roasted Asparagus in the Oven:

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Set out a large baking sheet.
  • Rinse the asparagus in cold water and dry the spears with a clean kitchen towel so they don't steam in the oven. We want to give them nice crispy tips.
  • Holding each spear in your hands, bend the asparagus until the bottom edge snaps off. This removes the woody end of the spear. Discard that end and place the top section of the asparagus on the baking sheet.
  • Drizzle the olive oil over the asparagus on the pan and gently toss to coat. Spread the spears into an even layer and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
  • Roast the asparagus for 12 minutes or until the tips begin to dry and crisp up. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top and bake for 3 minutes more or until the cheese has melted. Serve warm.

How to Roast Asparagus in an Air Fryer:

  • If you prefer to use your air fryer instead of the oven, prepare the asparagus as directed. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F.
  • Line the asparagus up in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Roast for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the cheese and roast for 2 - 3 minutes more until the cheese has melted. Serve warm.
COURSEVegetables
CUISINEAmerican

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A photo collage shows how to cook the roasted asparagus.

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