Today’s Instant Pot asparagus recipe is one of the easiest and healthiest side dishes that you can make in just 15 minutes. It can help you celebrate National Yorkshire day (August 1) by exhibiting its local produce (asparagus) in an irresistible side dish.
Fresh asparagus is steamed in the Instant Pot until tender but still crisp, then drizzled in a flavorful dairy-based sauce, and topped with smoky bacon and cheese. The dish is elegant enough to serve at holiday gatherings and easy enough to add in your weekly meal rotation.
Is Asparagus Healthy?
Asparagus is loaded with nutrients. It is a great source of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, and is extremely low in calories, fat, and sodium. Consuming asparagus can provide a great range of health benefits:
Helps Digestion: Asparagus is a great source of fiber and water. Both help to stabilize digestion and maintain a healthy digestive tract.
Lowers Blood Pressure: Research shows that increasing potassium intake while reducing sodium intake can significantly lower blood pressure in our body. Potassium in asparagus does the job in two ways: relaxing the walls of blood vessels and discarding the excess sodium through urine.
However, further studies need to be done to determine this potential effect in humans.
Supports Fetal Development: Asparagus is rich in folate or vitamin B9. One cup of this veggie provides up to 17% of the daily requirement from the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines.
Folate or vitamin B9 is an essential nutrient in the development of cells. People who do not get enough folate in their daily diet often tend to experience unpleasant conditions like weakness and tiredness.
How to Prepare Asparagus for Instant Pot Asparagus
Buy: When buying asparagus, choose the firm, bright green stalks that have tight tips, but are not too dry or wooden. A pro tip: Asparagus comes in different sizes — from pencil-thin to carrot thickness — if possible, buy ones of similar size so they can be cooked evenly in the same amount of time.
Clean: The best way to clean asparagus is to rinse it under running water to remove any grit. Then dry the spears by rolling them between kitchen towels.
Season: You don’t need to use too many seasonings in this Instant Pot asparagus recipe since they can overpower the sweetness and freshness of the asparagus. Salt and pepper are used to set the basic foundation of the dish, then we love to add a bit of garlic for a greater depth of flavor.
Cook: Our favorite way to cook asparagus is to coat it with a bit of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt, and then stir fry in a pan or quick roast in the oven until the outside is brown and crispy. Another tasty way to cook this veggie is to poach it in salted water and throw bite-size pieces into other dishes like pasta, frittata, or grilled meat.
There are a thousand ways to prepare asparagus and make it part of your daily rotation. In today’s recipe we use an Instant Pot for a quick and messy-free way to make delicious asparagus in the blink of an eye!
Gather your ingredients:
Can I Use Frozen Asparagus?
Yes, frozen asparagus is an option and it’s relatively easy; you don’t even have to defrost it before cooking. In instant pot asparagus recipe, simply place the frozen veggie in the Instant Pot or a pan, add a tablespoon of water and let the steam do the thawing process.
However, please note that frozen asparagus tends to be softer than its fresh counterpart. Therefore, you should only use the frozen kind for dishes where you don’t need it to be firm and crispy like soups or stews.
There are a couple of indicators that can point out if asparagus has gone bad. The four things to notice are appearance, color, texture, and smell.
Appearance: If you spot fuzzy mold on your asparagus, chances are they are no longer safe to eat, and you should discard them.
Color: When you notice the color has gone from light green to pale green or yellow, it’s also better to get rid of it.
Texture: The tips becoming soft is the first sign that your asparagus is a bit too old. And when the stalk becomes limp and mushy, this also means they are too far gone and need to be thrown out.
Smell: Do a sniff test; if you detect a sulfur-like smell, it’s time to buy a new bunch of fresh asparagus.
What to Eat With Instant Pot Asparagus
The distinctive sweet, earthy-grassy flavor of asparagus makes it a great companion for a wide variety of food. Here are some suggestions for what to pair it with:
Pasta: To balance out the significant amount of cream and cheese in many pasta sauces, go ahead and add some greens. This Instant Pot asparagus with its crunchy exterior and juicy interior will brighten up the whole dish and always leave you wanting another taste.
Salad: Get your green fix with some roasted asparagus. You can toss this crunchy veggie with cucumber, onion, tomato, and any other of your favorites; drizzle it all with homemade dressing for a refreshing and colorful salad.
Pour 1 cup of water into the Instant Pot and place the steamer rack in the pot. Put 18 oz asparagus on the steamer rack, close the lid and set to Steam Mode for 5 minutes.
Naturally release the steam. Then transfer the asparagus to a plate.
Drain the hot water and towel dry the inner pot. Turn on the Sauté Setting. Add 1 tbsp unsalted butter and 2 tsp garlic. Sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Then add 2 tsp all-purpose flour and whisk until well-combined, about another 30 seconds.
Add in 2 tbsp water, 1/3 cup milk, 1 tbsp heavy cream, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 1/2 tbsp lemon juice. Stir to combine then transfer the sauce to a small bowl.
Drizzle the sauce over the steamed asparagus. Top with 0.5 oz cooked bacon, 0.5 oz parmesan cheese, and 1 tbsp parsley. Serve.
Instant Pot Asparagus
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 115Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 4g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Vitamin A 1091IU
Vitamin C 10mg
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Lizzie Streit is a Minneapolis-based dietitian and founder of It’s a Veg World After All. She completed her MS in Human Nutrition from Drexel University, and is an expert in culinary nutrition, recipe development, and nutrition communications. Lizzie’s philosophy is centered around making nutrition recommendations, and especially the advice to eat more vegetables, approachable and realistic. She is excited to be working with the team at Healthy Recipes 101 to ensure that their recipes are both nutritious and delicious.