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Air Fryer Butternut Squash is the perfect healthy side dish that goes with so many recipes. It is one of the best ways to cook this delicious winter squash!
Butternut squash intimidates a lot of people because you need to peel and cut it but trust me, it is way easier than you think and it is so worth it! The flavor you get from using fresh peeled and chopped squash is incredible! Especially when it is in season. Plus it is so inexpensive!
And once you peel and cut it, the possibilities of how to use it are endless! You can make roasted squash, mashed squash, butternut squash lasagna, or even butternut squash soup! Do the prep work in advance and store it in the refrigerator, ready to use!
Roasted squash in the air fryer is a great side dish for the holidays and it pairs so well with pork loin or glazed ham.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- One of the best, easy ways to cook squash!
- It makes a great healthy side dish that goes with anything.
- Naturally vegan, gluten-free, and Whole 30.
- Packed with flavor!
How do you pick a ripe butternut squash?
When selecting a squash you want to consider a few things.
- The color of the squash should be a darker beige without any large dents or blemishes on it. The deeper the color the better.
- You also want to make sure that the skin of the squash is not too shiny and is duller. A shiny squash means it has not fully ripened yet.
- Check the squash for any soft spots or mold, which will indicate the squash has gone bad.
Ingredients you will need
- Butternut squash – fresh works best in this recipe but you can use store-bought, cubed squash.
- Avocado oil – Olive oil also works.
- Salt and pepper – I kept this recipe pretty simple but you can also add your own spices as well. I like to add a pinch of chili powder or cajun seasoning to the squash for a nice spicy kick. Garlic powder and oregano also work as well.
Variations and substitutions
- Squash – You can use acorn squash (peeled and diced), pumpkin, or delicata squash.
- Seasonings – Paprika, garlic, cinnamon, ginger. Check out more seasoning tips below.
- Oil – You can use olive oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil in this recipe
How to cut butternut squash
- Clean the outside of the squash and wipe it dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.
- Cut both ends of the squash off about 1/4 inch from the top and bottom with a sharp kitchen knife.
- Then stand the squash upright and cut the squash in half horizontally. Then use a vegetable peeler to peel the skin off until you reach the bright orange flesh of the squash.
- Cut the long neck of the squash by slicing it into planks and then cut the planks into 1-inch cubes.
- Slice the base of the squash in half, lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and cut it into 1-inch cubes.
Check out more detailed steps and photos on how to cut butternut squash here.
How to cook butternut squash in the air fryer
- Cut and peel the squash using a sharp vegetable peeler or knife to peel the skin off of the squash until you get to the dark orange flesh. Then use a sharp kitchen knife to cut the squash into 1-inch, even-size cubes.
- Add the cubed squash to a bowl and drizzle it with avocado oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and toss.
- Cook in a preheated air fryer at 400 degrees F for 17-20 minutes.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
Can I use frozen butternut squash in this recipe?
I do not recommend using frozen butternut squash in this recipe since it will not get as crispy and may turn out mushy.
Do I need to peel the squash before cooking it?
In this recipe, you do need to peel and cut the squash before cooking it. You can also cook it in the skin by slicing it in half, scooping out the seeds, and drizzling it with olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Then place it cut side up in the air fryer and cook it at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes until it is tender. Then scoop out the flesh and mash it up for delicious mashed butternut squash or butternut squash soup.
Ways to season butternut squash
Here are two seasoning combinations that I love for butternut squash. If you are using one of these variations then add the seasoning to the squash along with the salt and pepper before you cook it.
- Savory – 1/2 teaspoon garlic + 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
- Sweet – 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger + 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
How to serve air fryer butternut squash
Air fryer butternut squash makes the perfect side dish for any meal. Here are a few other recipes that would go great with it!
- Air Fryer Whole Chicken
- Crispy Breaded Chicken Breast
- Healthy Air Fryer Meatloaf
- Salmon Patties
- Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin
How do you reheat air-fried butternut squash?
To store this squash after you cook it, let it cool completely then transfer it to an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can easily reheat it at 350 degrees F right in the air fryer for 3-4 minutes. It may not be as crispy as it was when first cooked but the leftovers are still delicious!
More healthy butternut squash recipes to try!
- Sausage and apple stuffed butternut squash
- Healthy Butternut Squash Lasagna
- Curry Butternut Squash Soup
- Easy Butternut Squash Noodles
- Roasted Beets and Butternut Squash Salad
Other air fryer side dishes
- Air Fryer Cauliflower
- Air fryer Broccoli
- Roasted Air fryer Mushrooms
- Air Fryer Spaghetti Squash
- Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts
Did you make this air fryer butternut squash recipe? If you did, then please leave a rating and comment below. You can also tag me on Instagram @pinchmegoodfood so I can see your creation.Print
Easy Air Fryer Butternut Squash
- Total Time: 23 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 medium butternut squash – peeled, seeds removed and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 5–6 cups)
- 3 teaspoons avocado oil or olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Cut and peel the squash – use a large kitchen knife to cut the ends off of the squash then cut it where the neck meets the base of the squash. Use a vegetable peeler or knife to peel or cut the skin off of the squash. Then cut the neck into thick planks and then into 1-inch cubes. Remove the seeds from the base of the squash and cut them into 1-inch cubes as well.
- Season – Add the cubed squash to a large bowl, drizzle it with the oil and season it with salt and pepper and toss to coat it all really well.
- Cook – Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F and spray the basket with cooking spray. Add the squash and cook for 17-20 minutes until the squash is cooked through and slightly crispy. Toss the squash in the basket halfway through the cooking time for the best results.
- Serve – serve hot with your favorite main dishes!
- Select a squash that is medium in size, dark beige in color that has dull and not shiny skin.
- You can store this squash in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat it right on the air fryer at 350 degrees for a few minutes.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 18 minutes
- Category: Healthy side dishes
- Method: Air Fryer
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: air fryer butternut squash, butternut squash in the air fryer, squash, butternut squash
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