Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Asparagus is a simple and quick appetizer or side dish that comes together in about 20 minutes. Make this with common pantry staple items found in your home. The air fryer makes the bacon come out crispy and the asparagus tender without being overcooked.
Why this works
- Quick - this can be made in about 20 minutes. While you wait you can make some salmon in your Instant Pot for a complete meal.
- Impressive - very simple to make but it stands out on the table as a fancy side dish that is sure to stun your guests.
- Low-carb and keto - Take advantage of the abundance of Spring and Summer to make this delicous snack. I can't make this asparagus quick enough and the family is always looking for more of them.
- Bacon - it just makes everything better, doesn't it?
Ingredients you will need
Here is a quick snapshot of the ingredients you'll need. Scroll down to the recipe card where you'll find exact measurements.
- Asparagus - look for asparagus that is average to large size. The spears should be firm and bright green in color. The tips should be tightly closed, and stored in the the chiller section of the produce department. The asparagus should not be dried out at all.
- Bacon - regular cut or thick cut will work for this recipe.
How to make this
Step 1: Trim and assemble the asparagus
First you need to trim the ends of your asparagus or gently break the ends. By breaking the ends, if you bend the asparagus gently it will naturally break the tough end of the stem off. Either way you decide to do it is perfectly fine.
If your asparagus spears are very thin, then you will want to bundle them together two or three at a time.
In a small bowl combine the salt, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper.
Put the asparagus on a plate or in a large bowl. Lightly drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle the seasoning mixture on them. Toss everything to coat as evenly as possible.
Wrap each spear or bundle in a half strip of bacon. Spiral the bacon around each spear. If bundling then wrap, and place seam side down or secure with a toothpick.
Step 2: Cooking the asparagus
Put the bacon wrapped asparagus in your air fryer basket or tray. I remember Julia Child's once said when pan frying whole mushrooms that "mushrooms don't like being crowded". Well, neither does your asparagus.
I did not preheat my air fryer as I don't think that it should be a required step. I cooked at 390-degrees for 10 minutes or until the bacon is done to your liking. Be sure to flip, and check them halfway through the cooking time.
The asparagus can be assembled ahead of time, and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container a day ahead. Depending on how thick or thin your asparagus spears are this may increase or decrease your cooking time by a couple of minutes. Very thick spears of asparagus may require up to 10 additional minutes of cooking time.
If your bacon is very thick you run the risk of overcooking the aspargus spears. Par-fry the bacon prior to wrapping the spears at 375-degrees for 3 minutes. If your asparagus spears are very thin you can bundle them to help prevent overcooking them.
To switch up the flavor of this recipe you can substitute the olive oil with melted butter and some brown sugar for salty sweet combination. A splash of lemon and some Parmesan cheese added the last half of the cooking time is a refreshing change too.
You can also add cream cheese by spreading on the bacon. Sprinkle a little cheddar inside as well for a real treat. Cut the asparagus spears in half then bundle, and cook as directed.
Yes, you can bake in a 400-degree oven for 30 minutes.
You do have to trim off the ends of the asparagus because this is the "woody" part of the plant. It is tough, and not edible.
If you are concerned about the bacon splattering your air fryer just wrap the asparagus in foil. It will prevent grease spillage on the bottom of your air fryer, and keep it from splattering the top as well.
This dish can be served as an appetizer, snack, or a side dish making it super versatile. Serve it along side other appetizers like Buffalo chicken meatballs, or with some coconut rice with a main dish.
Storage & Reheating
This is best eaten fresh as soon as it is made for optimal crispiness. If you want to make it in advance it can be prepared up to one day in advance. Store in an airtight container until ready to use. Reheat in the air fryer for a few minutes at the same temperature you cooked it to warm it just prior to serving.
How to video
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Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
- 1 pound asparagus trimmed
- ½ pound bacon each slice cut in half, enough bacon for each spear
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Cut the bacon in half, and trim the ends of the asparagus. Place the asparagus in a large bowl.
- Drizzle olive oil on asparagus. Season with garlic powder, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper. Toss to coat evenly.
- Wrap a half slice of bacon around two spears of asparagus.
- Air fry at 390-degrees for ten minutes, and then turn and cook for an additional ten minutes.
- Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to three days. This is best served immediately.
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