Air fryer Butternut Squash is a great side dish to whip up to accompany any of your main dishes. Crispy, crunchy, small bite-size pieces of butternut squash seasoned to perfection come together in less than 20 minutes!
How’s that for a fast and healthy side dish?!
Made with only 4 simple ingredients, this easy butternut squash recipe is just what you need to add to dinner!
Quite a few people have asked “is butternut squash good in the air fryer?” and the answer is yes!
This Air Fryer Butternut Squash recipe is one of my favorite ways to serve up butternut squash. It’s so tender with a little crisp and just the right amount of sweetness.
With the added brown sugar, the sweet flavor is so loved by my family! I’m sure this will be one of your favorite recipes too, especially for Thanksgiving dinner.
For a holiday dinner, add these Air Fryer Ham Steaks with a brown sugar glaze.
What is Butternut Squash
- Butternut squash is a type of winter vegetable with a bell-like shape and a smooth, tan skin. It has a deep orange flesh that is slightly sweet with a nutty flavor.
- It’s actually harvested in late summer to early fall and since it’s so hardy it will last a long time.
- One thing to note is it has a hard skin and dense flesh. The skin really isn’t the best to eat, unlike summer squashes. You’ll want to remove the outer skin before cooking (see directions below).
- Overall, it’s full of fall flavors and is often served as a Thanksgiving side dish.
- But, you should be able to find it at your grocery store off season when it’s imported from other regions. And then you don’t have to wait for the fall season to add this to your rotation of side dishes.
How to Pick the Perfect Butternut Squash
You want the best for your air fry butternut squash! When picking a butternut squash, here are a few things you should look for:
- A good butternut squash should feel firm and heavy for its size.
- The skin should be a light tan color, without any bruises or cuts. It should also be free of any soft spots or blemishes.
- The stem should be intact and not cracked or split.
- A ripe butternut squash will have a hard skin that you cannot pierce with your fingernail. If the skin is too soft, it may be overripe and not as flavorful.
Why You’ll Love this Air Fryer Butternut Squash
- This butternut squash recipe is an easy way to get more veggies in your diet. It’s a tasty winter squash.
- Crisped to perfection with tender flesh.
- The perfect side to use during the holiday season.
- Easy clean up in the air fryer.
- This cooking process is faster than roasting in the regular oven.
More Air Fryer Recipes to Love
Air frying is my go-to for so many recipes these days! Here are a few of my favorite easy recipes:
Air fryer butternut squash kitchen equipment:
- Sharp Peeler / Vegetable Peeler
- Sharp Knife
- Wooden Spoon
- Large Bowl
- Air Fryer (of course!)
This easy air fryer recipe only needs 4 ingredients with simple seasonings:
BUTTERNUT SQUASH: The star of the show! You’ll need a 2 pound whole butternut squash to cube into 4 cups of bite size pieces. This is about a medium butternut squash in size.
OLIVE OIL: This helps crisp up your squash as it cooks.
BROWN SUGAR: Gives this vegetable a hint of sweetness.
ALLSPICE: The perfect blend of flavors to add to your vegetable.
Can I Use Frozen Butternut Squash?
You can use frozen butternut squash, but it doesn’t quite get the same texture as fresh.
If you’re in a hurry, frozen will work in a pinch and still taste good, but with fresh butternut squash, you’ll get a richer flavor and more crisp on the outside.
Do I need to Peel Butternut Squash Before Roasting?
Yes, grab that peeler and let’s peel our way to air frying excellence! Here’s why:
- Butternut squash skin can become tough and chewy when air fried. Peeling the squash ensures a more tender and delicious texture.
- Removing the skin ensures the butternut squash cooks uniformly.
- Peeling the squash allows the flesh to absorb seasonings better. Without the skin, the seasonings penetrates and infuses the squash for a more flavorful dish.
How to Cube Butternut Squash
Before we get started, here’s how to prep this veggie for really tender air fryer butternut squash:
STEP 1: Wash and scrub the whole squash, removing any roots or dirt. Pat them dry with paper towels
STEP 2: Cut off both ends of the squash, then use a potato peeler to remove the butternut squash skin.
STEP 3: Stand the butternut squash up right and cut it in half (long ways).
STEP 4: Using a spoon, remove all the seeds. We don’t want any of the tough seeds in our air fry butternut squash!
STEP 5: Chop into bite sized cubes. Try your best to make the squash cubes the same size (about 1-inch cubes) so your air fryer butternut squash will cook at the same rate. Place the cubes in a large bowl.
Pro Tip: Most grocery stores sell fresh pre-cut butternut squash, So, if you want to save even more time on this delicious side dish, then pick up a tub that is pre-cut and ready to go.
How to Make Air Fryer Butternut Squash
Here are the step-by-step instructions to make air fryer butternut squash:
STEP 1: Add olive oil, brown sugar and allspice to your bowl of chopped butternut squash. Toss all together until all the butternut squash is covered in oil and spices. It’s easiest to use a wooden spoon or even your clean hands.
STEP 2: Preheat your Air Fryer to 400 degrees F. Preheating usually takes 1-2 minutes depending on your air fryer model.
STEP 3: Spray the Air Fryer basket lightly with olive oil spray.
STEP 4: Place the cubed squash in the air fryer basket. It doesn’t need to be in a single layer, but it shouldn’t be over crowded either. You still want to make sure he hot air can evenly circulate around the food. If the basket is too crowded, you can end up with some under cooked pieces.
STEP 5: Air fry the squash for 8 minutes. Then stir with a wooden spoon or give the basket a really good shake to move the cubes around. Then set the cooking time for another 8 minutes.
NOTE: Cook times can vary depending on the size of your cubed squash.
STEP 6: The squash should be fork tender, if not, add 2 minutes and check again for doneness.
Tips and Variations
Here are a few variations you can try for you air fry butternut squash:
- You may need to work in batches depending on the size of your air fryer.
- Want even more flavor? Add some black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder to really help enhance the allspice and natural flavor of the vegetable.
- If you want a slightly sweeter version of this easy side dish, drizzle some maple syrup on the squash before air frying.
Any leftover squash pieces are best kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
How to Reheat Air Fryer Butternut Squash
To reheat your perfect side dish, one of the easiest ways to do so is by using the air fryer again!
It’s a good idea to preheat your Air Fryer to 370 degrees F for just a minute or two while you’re pulling out your leftovers. Toss air fry butternut squash bites back in the basket of your air fryer for just a few minutes. This will crisp them up a little and warm them all the way through again.
If you’re looking for a flavorful, yet super simple way to cook your Butternut Squash in a fraction of the time, this easy Air Fryer Butternut Squash recipe is exactly what you need!
- 4 cups Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Allspice
Prep / Cube Butternut Squash
- Wash and scrub the whole squash, removing any roots or dirt. Pat them dry with paper towels
- Cut off both ends of the squash, then use a potato peeler to remove the butternut squash skin.
- Stand the butternut squash up right and cut it in half (long ways).
- Using a spoon, remove all the seeds.
- Chop into bite sized cubes (about 1-inch cubes) so they cook at the same rate. Place the cubes in a large bowl.
- Add olive oil, brown sugar and allspice to your bowl of chopped butternut squash.
Preheat your Air Fryer to 400 degrees F. Preheating usually takes 1-2 minutes depending on your air fryer model.
- Spray the Air Fryer basket lightly with olive oil spray.
- Place the cubed squash in the air fryer basket. It doesn't need to be in a single layer, but it shouldn't be over crowded either. You still want to make sure he hot air can evenly circulate around the food. If the basket is too crowded, you can end up with some under cooked pieces.
- Air fry the squash for 8 minutes. Then stir with a wooden spoon or give the basket a really good shake to move the cubes around. Then set the cooking time for another 8 minutes.
- The squash should be fork tender, if not, add 2 minutes and check again for doneness.
See recipe post for tips and variations.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 164Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 10mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 7gSugar: 9gProtein: 2g
Nutritional values are estimates and not exact.