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Easy Instant Pot Asparagus with Garlic Butter Sauce

This easy Instant Pot Asparagus is tender with a little bite and topped with a lemon garlic butter sauce. Add a little shredded Parmesan cheese and you have a great side dish to complete any weeknight dinner or holiday feast!

Plus, since this quick-cooking vegetable is made in the Instant Pot, it keeps your kitchen cool and it cooks fast!

A fork in tender asparagus cooked in the instant pot with lemon wedges on the side.

Instant Pot Asparagus

We love asparagus….from a summertime cold asparagus salad to air fryer asparagus with parmesan, it’s a very versatile vegetable. Ahhh, I love a good alliteration, don’t you?

Asparagus is full of and vitamins, is low in calories and is a good source of fiber. Sure, it can make your pee smell kinda funny, but it’s delicious all the same and totally worth it.

Sidenote: my husband proofed this and informed me his pee does not smell, so maybe you’re in the same board. Mine does, so there’s that…

Yes, I just went there; nice to meet you and apologies if that’s TMI. But we should really talk about these things, you know???

Anyway, when I’m making supper during the week, I like to make one featured part of the meal and I keep the rest of the meal super simple.  This Instant Pot Asparagus fits the bill!

Plus, I can throw the Instant Pot insert into the dishwasher when it’s done cooking for easy cleanup.

If you’re scared of your Instant Pot (hey, it happens) or yours is still sitting in the box, no worries! You can check out this post about Instant Pot fear and see my tips for getting started with your Instant Pot.

Go ahead and save this recipe to Pinterest friends, you’ll want to grab this again come Easter!

How to store uncooked asparagus

If you buy asparagus it’s best to use it asap. The longer it sits, the bigger the chances are for mushy asparagus tips….and I think we can agree that we don’t want those.

You can stretch the life of asparagus by trimming off the bottoms of the spears when you get home from the grocery store. Place the the bunch of asparagus in a mason jar filled with an inch or two of water.

Cover the bunch with a plastic baggie and keep in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use. Ideally, that’s within 3-4 days.

Ingredients

Asparagus banded together with ingredients to make it in the Instant Pot.

Obviously, we’re starting with the basic bunch of asparagus. I’m also including an optional sauce that I’d love you to try! Here’s what you need to grab from the store or farmer’s market.

  • fresh asparagus
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • lemon

For the garlic butter sauce

  • unsalted butter
  • garlic powder
  • lemon slices for serving

How to make asparagus in your Instant Pot

Wash the asparagus, snap or cut off off the ends and set it aside so it will nestle nicely in your pot.

Trimmed asparagus on a wooden cutting board.

Add the water to the bottom of the Instant Pot and insert the trivet.

Place asparagus lengthwise on the metal trivet. Close the pot, set the valve to the sealing position and set it to low pressure for 0 minutes.

Yes, I’m serious – zero minutes. Keep in mind it will take several minutes (probably 5-7) to come up to pressure before the timer goes off.

Asparagus on a trivet in the Instant Pot.

While the asparagus is coming up to pressure we can make a super simple lemon garlic sauce. I like to use a microwave, but you could also use a small saucepan.

Melt the butter and add the garlic powder. That’s it!

Lemon and garlic powder in a small bowl with a whisk.

Once the asparagus is done, you’ll immediately move the vent to do a quick release and remove the asparagus from the pot.

Put it on a serving plate, seasoning with a little s&p, squeeze with lemon and drizzle the garlic butter over it.

A spear of asparagus on a fork above a platter of cooked asparagus.

You’ll get lots of ooooohs and ahhhhs if you give it a little sprinkling of parmesan cheese, too!

What size asparagus to use

We all know that Mother Nature doesn’t make picture perfect, uniformly sized produce like we see at the grocery store. If you can cook asparagus that’s about the same thickness, that’s what we’re going for here.

If you’re growing your own fresh asparagus, this recipe is perfect for the thick stalks in your garden.

If you have super thin asparagus, it may be better to roast it like this parmesan roasted asparagus.

Variations

Want to make this easy recipe but switch things up from the garlic butter sauce?

How about a sprinkling of chili flakes, crumbled feta cheese and a drizzle of olive oil? Yum!

Tips for cooking asparagus

Tender asparagus plated with lemon and parmesan.
  • If you overcook asparagus, it gets kinda soggy, limp and not so darn appealing. Once you start the asparagus cooking, don’t stray too far from the kitchen.

    I mean, you don’t have to be glued to it. Translation: you still have time to throw on your comfy pants after work. But then come right back so you can do a quick release and remove the asparagus from the pot to stop the cooking. 
  • Thicker asparagus will take a longer cook time but is still minimal

How to store leftovers

This asparagus is best served fresh but if you have leftover asparagus, it can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Asparagus can be reheated in the microwave with a reheat setting. Just a little reheat is all it needs!

What to serve with asparagus

Asparagus is an awesome side when paired with Garlic Butter Cod, Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin or Crockpot Mississippi Chicken.

More Instant Pot recipes

Instant Pot Corn on the Cob

Instant Pot Baked Potatoes

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

Instant Pot Iced Tea

made with love, Deanne
Yield: 4 small servings

Instant Pot Asparagus

Cooked asparagus on a plate with lemon and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese

This easy Instant Pot Asparagus is tender with a little bite and topped with a lemon garlic butter sauce. Add a little shredded Parmesan cheese and you have a perfect side dish to complete any weeknight dinner or holiday feast!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 1 cup water
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon (for squeezing juice)
  • 1 Tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese (optional but delicious!)

Garlic Butter Sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Additional lemon slices for serving

Instructions

  1. Wash the asparagus, snap off the ends and set it aside.
  2. Add the water to the bottom of the Instant Pot and insert the trivet.
  3. Place asparagus lengthwise on the metal trivet. Close the pot, set the valve to the sealing position and set it to low pressure for 0 minutes. (this will ensure that your asparagus is not overcooked).
  4. While the asparagus is coming up to pressure and cooking, prepare the garlic butter sauce. In a small microwave-safe bowl melt the butter in the microwave. Stir or whisk in the garlic powder until fully combined.
  5. When the asparagus has finished cooking, move the venting position to vent the air with a quick release and carefully remove the trivet using oven mitts.
  6. Transfer the asparagus to a serving plate. Season with salt and pepper to taste, squeeze lemon juice over the asparagus, and drizzle the garlic butter sauce over it. Finish by sprinkling with parmesan cheese if desired and serve immediately.

Notes

Cooking time is 0 minutes, that isn’t a typo. Basically, the time that it takes the pot to come to pressure is long enough! If you have thicker asparagus spears you can increase the cook time to a minute.

Tips

  • Stay close to the instant pot while the asparagus is cooking so you can quick release it immediately when it has finished cooking, otherwise, you will end up with the dreaded mushy asparagus.
  • You can use ¾ cup of water if cooking in a 6 quart Instant Pot. The 1 cup is needed if you’re using an 8 quart size instant pot.
  • You can use a steamer basket instead of a trivet if you prefer. Either way you'll end up with tender

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 66Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 171mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g

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