Dysregulation of circular RNAs (circRNAs) has recently been shown to play important regulatory roles in cancer development and progression, including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, the roles of most circRNAs in NSCLC are still unknown. In this study, we found that hsa_circ_0001421 (circ-SEC31A) was upregulated in NSCLC tissues and cell lines. Increased circ-SEC31A expression in NSCLC was significantly correlated with malignant characteristics and served as an independent risk factor for the post-surgical overall survival of NSCLC patients. Reduced circ-SEC31A expression in NSCLC decreased tumor cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and malate-aspartate metabolism. Mechanistically, we demonstrated that silencing circ-SEC31A downregulated GOT-2 expression by relieving the sponging effect of miR-520a-5p, which resulted in significantly reduced malate-aspartate metabolism in NSCLC cells. Taken together, these results revealed the important role of circ-SEC31A in the proliferation, migration, invasion, and metabolic regulation of NSCLC cells, providing a new perspective on circRNAs in NSCLC progression.