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!
How to Cook Asparagus in the Instant Pot
Once you gather your ingredients, here is how to make this effortless asparagus in the Instant Pot:
Steam the asparagus.
Transfer the asparagus to a plate.
Sauté the garlic in the Instant Pot.
Make the sauce.
Drizzle the sauce over the steamed asparagus and serve.
For the detailed instructions, please go to the recipe card at the end of this article.
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.
If you love simple instant pot recipe like this one, we also have an Instant Pot dinner recipes that you may like.
How to Tell if Asparagus Is Bad
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.
Easy and Delicious Instant Pot Vegetable Recipes:
- Instant Pot Brussels Sprouts Recipe
- Instant Pot Green Beans Recipe
- Instant Pot Broccoli Recipe
- Instant Pot Zucchini Recipe
Instant Pot Asparagus Recipe
This easy Instant Pot asparagus recipe features fresh crunchy asparagus with simple seasonings for a healthy and tasty side dish in 15 minutes.
- cook TIME 8 mins
- prep TIME 7 mins
- total TIME 15 mins
- COURSE Side Dish
- CUISINE American
- SERVINGS servings
- CALORIES 115 kcal
- 18 oz asparagus
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tsp garlic (chopped)
- 2 tsp all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp water
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 tbsp heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 0.5 oz shredded parmesan cheese
- 0.5 oz pan-fried bacon (chopped)
- 1 tbsp parsley (chopped)
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 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 chees, and 1 tbsp parsley. Serve.