When the temperatures start to drop and fall is right around the corner, you know the time is right to break out the air fryer. Air Fryer Butternut Squash is the perfect recipe for chilly fall evenings and for the holidays. It’s one of the best Thanksgiving side dishes you can make!
But don’t leave it just for the holidays. Once you learn how easy it is to make this roasted butternut squash, you’ll want to enjoy it all fall and winter long!
Why You Will Love Air Fryer Butternut Squash
Crispy roasted squash is a perfect side dish for almost any meal, making this a great recipe to have in your back pocket through the holiday season and beyond!
Making vegetables in your air fryer is a great way to keep them healthy and also to save oven space if you’re making a big meal!
- Pairs well – It’s really a great side dish for so many different meals and pairs well with everything from chicken and turkey to steak!
- Simple Ingredients – This recipe includes very simple ingredients and seasonings.
- Versatile – You can also adjust the seasonings to fit your preferences which makes it easy to adjust the flavors if you’re leaning more savory or more sweet. You can also change the shape a bit too. For example, you can cut the squash into longer pieces and make butternut squash fries!
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Salt and black pepper
This is a very simple ingredient list that’s easy to add to your shopping list when you’re planning for your Thanksgiving side dish!
Air Fryer Butternut Squash Recipe
Peel and dice the squash into 1-inch cubes.
Preheat the air fryer to 400°F, if required by your air fryer model.
Put the butternut squash cubes in a medium bowl and combine with the other ingredients.
Toss to coat the squash in the seasoning.
Transfer the seasoned squash to the air fryer basket in a single layer.
Roast in the air fryer for 12 to 15 minutes, removing the basket halfway through the cook time to toss.
You want your finished squash to be tender and crispy. You can season with additional salt and pepper and garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.
Butternut Squash Seasonings
This recipe keeps the seasoning very simple but the beautiful thing about it is that you can change up the seasonings to change the flavor profile.
This recipe goes a more savory route with garlic, onion and paprika but you can try other combinations. Here are some ideas:
- Add some heat – stick with the paprika and add some chili powder to spice it up.
- Add some sweet – use cinnamon and brown sugar to make a sweet version. You can also add a little nutmeg to this combination to really bring out those fall flavors. Drizzle with a bit of maple syrup or honey, if desired.
- Add variety – you can use also try a variety of more savory spices and herbs like cardamom, rosemary, sage, and thyme.
Butternut squash can be a great alternative to the usual sweet potatoes you might make. (Though you can also make sweet potatoes in the air fryer too!)
Tips & Tricks for Air Fried Butternut Squash
How to Choose a Butternut Squash
Butternut squash might not seem like the easiest thing to choose when you’re in the grocery store. You want to look for a squash that has the following qualities:
- Solid, beige in color with hard skin
- Feels heavy for its size
- Doesn’t have any cuts in the skin (it might have some minor scratches but no deep cuts)
- No bruises or brown patches
How to Store Leftovers
You can store leftover air fried squash in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
How to Reheat Leftovers
If you want to reheat leftovers, place them in the air fryer and cook for about 5 minutes at 400°F. Reheated squash won’t be as crispy as when first cooked.
You can also use leftover air fryer squash to make butternut squash soup if you don’t like the texture when reheated.
Is squash good in the air fryer?
The air fryer is a great way to cook squash quickly and easily! You get a great side dish recipe that is also gluten-free and vegan if you’re looking for those types of recipes.
How do I prepare butternut squash for air frying?
First, you need to peel the butternut squash. You can use a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife to do this.
Once you peel it, remove the the seeds from the center and cut into evenly sized cubes. Having similarly sized pieces of squash will help them cook more evenly.
Do you have to peel butternut squash?
Yes, if you cook the butternut squash with the peel on, it will not cook up as crispy. You also won’t be able to use leftovers in things like soup.
Can I use pre-cut butternut squash for this recipe?
You can use pre-cut squash cubes. I recommend using fresh ones if they’re available. They will cook the best. But you can also use frozen squash cubes.
Can I use frozen butternut squash in the air fryer?
You can but it usually won’t turn out as crisp as fresh squash would be.
It has may release more moisture during cooking so that can change the texture. You might also need more cooking time if using frozen squash cubes.
What is the easiest way to remove the skin from butternut squash?
My favorite way to peel is to use a Y Peeler. It’s a type of vegetable peeler but I feel like I get a better grip with it. I didn’t own one until a few years ago, but now I’ll never go back!
Should I preheat the air fryer before cooking butternut squash?
Some air fryer models require preheating and some do not. If yours does not, you can still preheat it by turning it on for a few minutes with the basket empty.
This can help your squash brown up a bit more.
More Air Fryer Side Dishes
If you’re looking for more vegetable side dishes to make in the air fryer, try making one of these:
- Air Fryer Zucchini
- Air Fryer Green Beans
- Air Fryer Summer Squash
- Air Fryer Broccoli
- Air Fryer Cauliflower
Air Fryer Butternut Squash
- Peel and dice the butternut squash into cubes of equal size.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F, if required by your air fryer model.
- Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and toss to coat the squash in the seasoning.
- Transfer the seasoned squash to the air fryer basket and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, removing the basket halfway through the cook time to toss.