This air fryer lemon tahini asparagus recipe makes tender-crisp asparagus drizzled with lemon tahini sauce and sprinkled with crunchy hemp hearts! This post outlines what temperature to use and how long to roast asparagus in an air fryer. It also includes oven-roasting instructions.
What is consistently delicious with asparagus? Lemon sauce! This recipe combines the two with the added benefit of a drizzle of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich lemon tahini!
Asparagus has a mild, slightly bitter flavour. It pairs well with citrus juices or other strong flavours like miso. I often make this Charred Asparagus with Warm Citrus Sauce or this Sesame Miso Air Fryer Asparagus, but today I'm pairing it with lemon tahini!
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- A quick side dish! Whether you air fry asparagus spears or roast them in the oven, this is a side dish that takes very little time to make.
- Nutritious! Here's a healthy side of asparagus with a tart lemon tahini sauce.
- Easy clean-up! No pots or pans to scrub.
You'll find a complete list of ingredients with amounts in the recipe card below. But before we get to the full recipe, here are a few notes about the key ingredients.
- asparagus: choose thicker spears between ½ to ¾ inch in diameter for air frying or roasting. The pencil-thin spears can quickly become overcooked.
- lemon tahini dressing: see my 5-minute recipe for Simple Lemon Tahini Dressing.
- hemp hearts: for garnish. These little seeds add plant protein, Omegas 3 and 6, and essential amino acids. They're not only nutritious, but they also add a delicious layer of crunchiness to this lemon asparagus side dish!
Here's an overview of what you'll do to make this recipe perfectly. You'll find complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post.
Start by making the lemon tahini dressing. Set it aside on the counter at room temperature.
Trim the asparagus spears. Snap off the tough, woody ends where they naturally bend, or slice them off with a sharp knife. Save them to add to asparagus soup.
Toss the spears with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Preheat your air fryer then arrange the spears in a single layer in the basket. Air fry for 5 minutes, check, then continue cooking for 2 - 3 minutes or until the tspears are barely crisp-tender. Transfer to a serving dish, drizzle them with lemon tahini dressing, sprinkle with hemp hearts and serve hot.
Air fryer cooking time and temperature
After preheating at 360°F. for 3 minutes, air fry for 5 minutes. Remove the basket to check, then shake or use tongs to flip the spears over. Cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes or so. The time needed will depend on the thickness of the asparagus spears. They should be barely fork-tender when done.
Oven roasting time and temperature
To roast the spears in the oven, preheat a rimmed baking sheet at 450°F. Toss the spears with olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange them in a single layer, then roast for 8 to 10 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting the tip of a paring knife in the base of one of the largest spears. It should meet slight resistance. Return to the oven to cook a little longer if they're not quite ready.
Once they're done, transfer them to a serving dish, drizzle with lemon tahini sauce and sprinkle with hemp hearts. So tender and so good!
🔁 Possible Variations
You can substitute toasted flaked almonds or finely chopped pistachios for the hemp hearts if you like.
👍🏼 Helpful Tips
If the stalks of the asparagus are tough, peel the lower half with a vegetable peeler. While roasting or air frying asparagus brings out its best flavour, delicate asparagus spears may become a little tough. Remove any parts that look like they might prevent the spears from becoming crisp-tender.
The short answer is: Yes!
Asparagus has many health benefits! It's low in calories, but high in fiber, essential vitamins and minerals.
It's a rich source of glutathione which may help fight several types of cancer.
Not only that, asparagus is one of the top-ranked vegetables for its anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties (and who doesn't want that?)
Did you know asparagus may also keep our brains sharp? It contains folate which, along with B12 may help with cognitive decline, especially after the age of 50.
And one more benefit: It's also a natural diuretic, which leads to the next question=>
Asparagus, particularly the young shoots, contains a compound that, when metabolized, may give off a distinctive smell in the urine in some people. However, it's harmless, and not all people can detect it. The benefit of increased urination helps to rid your body of excess salts.
You can read more about the health benefits in this article, 5 Powerful Health Benefits of Asparagus You Probably Didn't Know.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
This air fryer asparagus with lemon tahini goes well with almost any protein, and it's particularly good with salmon. Try it with any of the following favourites!
⏰ Storage Instructions
Air-fried or roasted asparagus is best eaten fresh, but you can store leftovers in a covered container in the fridge for a few days. I'd suggest reheating them in a skillet on the stovetop.
🗒 More healthy side dish recipes
When you make this recipe for asparagus with lemon sauce, please leave a comment and a rating below. I love hearing from you! Thanks in advance. Subscribe to my newsletter and receive new recipes delivered straight to your inbox once a week.
📖 Recipe Card
Lemon Tahini Asparagus
Air Fryer Lemon Tahini Asparagus
- Snap off (or slice) the woody portion of the asparagus spears. Save to make soup.
- Wash the spears and pat them dry. Toss with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Preheat your air fryer then arrange the spears in a single layer in the basket. Air fry for 5 minutes, check, then continue for 2 - 3 minutes or until spears are barely crisp-tender. Transfer to a serving dish, drizzle with lemon tahini dressing, sprinkle with hemp hearts and serve hot.
Oven Roasted Lemon Tahini Asparagus
- To roast the spears in the oven, preheat a rimmed baking sheet at 450°F. for aobut 5 minutes. Toss the asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer, then roast for 8 to 10 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting the tip of a paring knife in the base of one of the largest spears. It should meet slight resistance.
- Transfer to a serving dish, drizzle with lemon tahini sauce and sprinkle with hemp hearts.