Tender with crispy edges, this air fryer butternut squash is such an easy and delicious healthy side dish everyone will love. Perfectly seasoned with simple ingredients and ready to eat in just 20 minutes, this method is about to become your favorite way to cook butternut squash!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Cooking butternut squash in the air fryer is so easy and quick! It's faster than roasting it in the oven and delivers the same delicious result. The side dish will be ready just around 20 minutes. I love to cook veggies in the air fryer, it's so convenient and delicious like these edamame, garlic parmesan potatoes, delicata squash and steak fries.
- The texture of the butternut squash is irresistible! Seasoned with garlic, onion powder and smoked paprika, the squash ends up tender and sweet on the inside with satisfying crispy edges on the outside. So delicious!
- Butternut squash is nutrient-rich! It's packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It's high in vitamin A and C as well as B, E and magnesium and it's a great source of fiber too. This starchy vegetable is a nutritional powerhouse and will keep you full and satisfied. And we're using minimal oil keeping the recipe healthier without excessive calories or added fats.
- It's versatile and customizable. You can change up the spices, making it more savory with different spices and herbs, a little spicy or even sweet with cinnamon and a touch of brown sugar. It's a great dish to make all fall and winter long, and to add to your holiday menus.
- Cubed butternut squash: it's an obvious one right haha! You can cut your own squash (I will give you the technique below), or buy it already cut-up which is very convenient. Don't cut it too small because butternut squash shrinks a lot when cooking.
- Smoked paprika: I absolutely love this spice. Its smokiness and flavor complement the sweetness of the butternut squash.
- Onion and garlic powders: this is the magical mix to use on pretty much everything in my opinion, they just bring so much flavor.
How To Cut A Butternut Squash
- Cutting a butternut squash can seem a little intimidating, but once you've done it a few times, it becomes so much easier. You'll need a cutting board, a vegetable peeler, a spoon, a sharp knife and a little arm muscle.
- Rinse: start by rinsing and drying the squash to remove any dirt.
- Cut off each end of the squash with your sharp knife and discard.
- Peel: using a vegetable peeler, peel off the tough skin and discard.
- Separate the neck to the bottom by cutting right where the thiner part of the squash meets the round bottom. Be careful, peeled butternut squash is slippery. If it's too uncomfortable, you can use a paper towel or kitchen towel to hold it.
- Cut both bottom and neck in half lengthwise by placing them on the flat side upright (where the end was cut off) and carefully cutting down.
- Scoop: using a spoon, scrape out all the seeds from the middle of the bottom round part and discard.
- Depending on the size of the squash you're cutting, cut each half in half again lengthwise, or 3 or 4 strips, or you can cut everything in 1-inch rings and then cut everything into cubes that are about ¾-inch to 1-inch large.
- And voilà, you've got a cubed up butternut squash ready to cook.
How To Make Air Fryer Butternut Squash
- Preheat the air fryer at 400° Fahrenheit.
Season the butternut squash with smoked paprika, garlic & onion powder, salt & pepper and a little oil.
Stir everything well until the squash is fully coated.
Add squash to preheated air fryer at 400°F.
Cook for 18 to 22 minutes until tender, shaking the basket in between. Enjoy!
More Delicious Air fryer Recipes To Try
- Air Fryer Chicken Tacos
- Air Fryer Apples
- Air Fryer Diced Potatoes
- Air Fryer Shrimp Tacos
- Air Fryer Chicken Cutlets
- Air Fryer Salmon Bites with Mango Salsa
- Don't overcrowd the air fryer. If you plan on doubling or tripling the recipe, I would cook it in batches and add the 1st batch back in the air fryer for a few minutes right before serving. If the basket is too full, the squash will steam and you probably won't get crispy edges.
- Be aware that butternut squash shrinks a bunch when cooking. Four cups of raw squash will give you about 2 ½ to 3 cups of cooked squash.
- Play with the seasoning! You can make the butternut sweet by adding some brown sugar and cinnamon, savory with different herbs or spices like Italian herbs or ranch mix, or even spicy with a little chili powder or cayenne pepper.
- Leftovers can be stored refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- Reheat in the microwave or in the air fryer for a few minutes.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The skin is thick and a little tough so I definitely recommend peeling it.
Air Fryer Butternut Squash
- 4 cups cubed butternut squash about 1 medium-large squash. Instructions on how to cut it in recipe post above.
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon salt more or less to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper more or less to taste
- fresh chopped parsley optional; for garnish
- Preheat air fryer at 400° Fahrenheit.
- Add cubed butternut squash to large bowl. Then add oil and all the spices.
- Toss well until every piece of squash is coated.
- Add butternut squash to the air fryer, and cook for 18 to 22 minutes, shaking the basket a few times in between. *Optional: at about 7-8 minutes left, spray a little cooking oil over the squash and shake before finishing cooking.
- When the squash is tender when poked with the tines of a fork, carefully remove from air fryer, sprinkle a little salt and fresh chopped parsley if you wish and serve with side of choice. Enjoy!
- Keep in mind that butternut squash shrinks when cooked. 4 cups of raw cubed squash will give you 2 ½ to 3 cups of cooked squash.
- If you double or triple the recipe, depending on the size of your air fryer, cook the butternut squash in batches. Don't overcrowd the air fryer.
- Cooking time will vary by a few minutes depending on the model of your air fryer. Start checking for doneness at 15 minutes. Poke a piece of squash with tines of fork or knife, it should feel tender.