This Air Fryer Butternut Squash makes a great side dish that is quick and easy. The squash comes out perfectly golden brown and flavorful in minutes thanks to the air fryer. Plus, it cooks much faster than in the conventional oven.
You know how we’re always looking for easy yet delicious air fryer recipes? Well, I’ve been experimenting with this air fryer butternut squash lately, and I’ve got to tell you, it’s a game changer, After a few tweaks, I believe I’ve mastered it!
Initially, the squash comes out with an incredibly crispy layer on the outside. Meanwhile, on the inside, it remains beautifully soft. Not only is it straightforward to make, but also, honestly, I believe the kids might even try it!
Since it’s squash season, it’s the perfect time to give it a whirl. It pairs so well with almost everything—think of it next to a roast chicken or even pork. And remember how versatile butternut squash is? We can easily turn leftovers into soup or mash or even into noodles. You’ve got to try it in the air fryer, trust me!
Why You’ll Love This Air Fryer Butternut Squash
- Convenient & Quick: Seeing that air frying is faster than oven roasting, perfect for quick tasty sides like this one without the need to use any pots and pans.
- Consistent Results: Air fryers ensure even cooking for uniformly textured squash.
- Crispy Exterior: The squash gets a crispy outer layer, contrasting its soft inside.
- Versatility: Season the squash with anything from salt to spices or maple syrup.
- Nutrient Retention: In fact, air frying retains more vitamins and minerals than boiling, which is a huge bonus!
- Why You’ll Love This Air Fryer Butternut Squash
- Ingredients for air-fried butternut squash
- Recipe Variations for air fryer butternut squash
- How to cut butternut squash
- How to cook butternut squash in the air fryer
- Can I use frozen butternut squash in this recipe?
- Is it necessary to peel the squash before cooking it?
- How do you cook whole butternut squash in the air fryer?
- Tips for Success
- Serving Suggestions
- Storing and reheating leftovers
- More butternut squash recipes
- Other air fryer recipes
- Air Fryer Butternut Squash
Ingredients for air-fried butternut squash
Above all, to make butternut squash in the air fryer, you only need a few simple ingredients. Provided that you can easily find a nice ripe squash, which should be pretty easy this time of year.
- Butternut Squash: Fresh whole butternut squash is ideal, but pre-cubed store-bought versions that you can find at any grocery store will also work!
- Avocado Oil: Alternatively, you can use olive oil.
- Seasoning: While this recipe sticks to basic salt and pepper, feel free to get creative. A hint of chili powder or Cajun seasoning adds spice, while garlic powder and oregano are also great additions.
*Check out the recipe card located at the bottom of this post for the complete list of recipe ingredients, instructions, and nutrition.
Recipe Variations for air fryer butternut squash
- Sweet & Spicy Squash:
- Drizzle with honey or maple syrup.
- Sprinkle with a pinch of cayenne or chili powder.
- Herbed Butternut Squash:
- Toss with a mixture of dried or fresh rosemary, thyme, and sage before air frying.
- Parmesan Crusted Squash:
- After air frying, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and return to the air fryer for a couple of minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly crispy.
- Asian Inspired Squash:
- Mix a little soy sauce, sesame oil, and a sprinkle of five-spice powder. Toss the squash in this mix before air frying.
- Curry Spiced Squash:
- Toss squash with a mix of curry powder, turmeric, and a little cumin.
How to cut butternut squash
- First, clean the outside of the squash, then wipe it dry with a clean cloth or paper towel. Next, using a sharp knife, trim both ends of the squash off about ¼ inch from the top and bottom.
- Secondly, stand the squash upright and slice it horizontally in half. Once split, utilize a vegetable peeler to remove the skin until you unveil the bright orange flesh beneath. For the long neck of the squash, start by cutting it into flat planks.
- Thirdly, chop these planks into 1-inch cubes.
- Finally, halve the base of the squash lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and dice it into uniform 1-inch cubes.
Check out this post that shows you, in detail how to cut butternut squash a few different ways.
How to cook butternut squash in the air fryer
Step one: Cut and peel the butternut squash into 1-inch, even-size squash cubes. Add the cubed squash to a large bowl, drizzle it with avocado oil and a sprinkle of salt and black pepper, and toss.
Step two: Add the cubed, seasoned squash to the air fryer basket in a single layer.
Step three: Cook at 400° F for 17-20 minutes until golden and fork tender.
Step four: 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.
Is it necessary to peel the squash before cooking it?
Yes, in order to cook butternut squash cubes, you will need to peel the squash and then cut it. With this in mind, as a time saver, buy pre-cut peeled and cubed squash from the grocery store.
How do you cook whole butternut squash in the air fryer?
However, if you prefer to cook the squash in the skin, begin by slicing the squash in half and scooping out the seeds. Afterward, generously drizzle it with olive oil, followed by a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Once seasoned, position it with the cut side facing up in the air fryer. Subsequently, set the temperature to 350°F and let it cook for 40-50 minutes until it reaches a tender consistency. Once it’s done, you can effortlessly scoop out the flesh. From there, mash it to create delicious mashed butternut squash or even incorporate it into a butternut squash soup.
Tips for Success
- Even Cubes: Make sure to cut the butternut squash into evenly sized cubes. This ensures that they all cook at the same rate, leading to consistent results with every piece being perfectly done.
- Avoid Overcrowding: Place the squash cubes in a single layer without overlapping in the air fryer basket. Overcrowding can hinder the hot air circulation, resulting in uneven cooking. You might need to cook in batches, depending on the size of your air fryer.
- Regular Shaking: Halfway through the cooking time, give the basket a good shake or use a spatula to turn the cubes. This promotes even browning and prevents any pieces from sticking to the bottom.
- Seasoning Matters: While basic salt and pepper will do, considering the squash’s mild flavor, it readily absorbs other flavors. Feel free to experiment with different herbs and spices to elevate the dish. Whether it’s a sprinkle of cinnamon for a sweet note or some rosemary and thyme for a savory touch, the right seasoning can transform the dish.
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
Storing and reheating leftovers
Leftover squash can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Easily reheat portions in the microwave or the air fryer until warmed through.
More butternut squash recipes
- 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 recipes
- Air Fryer Cauliflower
- Air fryer Broccoli
- Roasted Air fryer Mushrooms
- Air Fryer Spaghetti Squash
- Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts