You may not have thought you could make perfectly tender and crisp asparagus in the Instant Pot, but it’s actually the best way to make perfect asparagus every time.
Pressure cooking asparagus seems a little strange, sure, but it’s really just a super fast way to steam vegetables so they cook to perfection without getting soggy or browned.
>>You might want to check out these 15 Instant Pot Accessories that can help you save time and maximize your Instant Pot to its fullest.
Asparagus is one of those veggies that should be easy to cook, but it can turn out mushy and flavorless when boiled, limp and soft when steamed on the stove top, and completely over done when grilled. That leaves the Instant Pot, which, it turns out is the perfect way to cook asparagus.
The Instant Pot is a great way to cook many different vegetables. Artichokes come out tender and perfectly steamed in 15 minutes and it might sound strange but corn on the cob turns out perfect every time!
Why Use An Instant Pot?
The Instant Pot is one of the most useful kitchen appliances you can buy, because it drastically cuts down on the cooking time for developing flavors in soups and stews, getting tough cuts of meat tender, and even baking a cheesecake. And there are many accessories that will help you get more out of your Instant Pot.
Ingredients You Need
This isn’t surprising, but you don’t need many ingredients to make Instant Pot asparagus. In fact, you really only need asparagus and water. However, you can boost the flavor by adding a few additional items.
- Water (or broth)
- Olive oil
- Salt & Pepper
- Garlic salt
- Lemon juice
If you want to stick with the easiest possible method, you just need to add water and asparagus. There’s no need to coat the asparagus in anything before you cook it.
However, adding olive oil, salt and pepper, and maybe even some garlic salt will boost the flavor. You can also add those things AFTER cooking, rather than before, to add even more flavor. I find that a drizzle of high-quality olive oil, some salt, pepper, garlic salt, and a squeeze of lemon makes the asparagus perfect for serving.
What Size Asparagus to Use
Asparagus comes in many different sizes (can colors!). You can cook any size in the Instant Pot, but a larger stock is going to be easiest to perfect. They don’t all need to be the exact same diameter, but get as close as you can.
Pencil thin asparagus is harder to cook to perfection in the Instant Pot because it’s so thin. With medium stock asparagus, like the ones pictured above, you set the cook time to zero. But it’s not possible to set the cook time to anything less than zero, so pencil thin asparagus may get over cooked. It really depends on how you like to eat your asparagus. If you want it to be tender but still a little crisp, it might be impossible in the IP.
With larger stocks of asparagus, you’d set the cook time to 2 minutes. Also, if you want your asparagus to turn out tender with no crisp or snap left to then, you can set the time to 2 minutes, or allow a longer natural pressure release.
How to Cook Asparagus in the Instant Pot
Wash the asparagus and remove the hard stems. You don’t want to take off too much of the ends, but the spears need to fit in the Instant Pot, so you can’t leave them too long.
Place the trivet in the Instant Pot inner pot. Pour in the water. Place the asparagus on the trivet. If you don’t have a trivet, you can use a steamer basket. It just needs to be raised up out of the water, because the asparagus will become soggy if it’s placed directly into the water.
Close and lock the lid. Set the vent to sealing. Press the pressure cook button, set on high, and put in a cook time of zero minutes. That’s right – zero minutes. It sounds strange, but it’s possible to do.
It will take about 5 minutes to come up to pressure, then with zero cook minutes, go immediately into keep warm mode.
If you like your asparagus slightly firm, do a quick release as soon as you hear the beeps. If you like asparagus without much bite, leave it for 2-3 minutes before doing a quick release.
Remove the asparagus to a plate right away so it doesn’t continue steaming in the pot. Drizzle on the olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic salt, and serve.
What to Serve With Asparagus
We love to serve asparagus on the side of a brisket or rack of ribs. Both of those things can also be made in the Instant Pot. Asparagus is a great side for any chicken dish, or you can make it for a pot luck. It doesn’t have to be served hot.
Other Recipes to Try
Instant Pot Asparagus
Note: Made in a 6-qt Instant Pot
- 1 lb medium stock asparagus hard stems removed
- 1 cup water
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- Garlic salt
- Wash the asparagus and remove the hard stems.
- Close and lock the lid. Set the vent to sealing.
- Press the pressure cook button and set to zero minutes. It will take about 5 minutes to come up to pressure and complete cooking.
- If you like your asparagus slightly firm, do a quick release as soon as you hear the beeps. If you like asparagus without much bite, leave for 2-3 minutes before doing a quick release.
- If preparing the optional dressing, mix the fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt, garlic salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Drizzle the olive oil on, sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic salt, and serve.
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Laura spends a lot of her time cooking and creating recipes to share. She loves traveling and learning about new foods around the world to bring into her own recipes at home.