If you haven't cooked delicata squash in the air fryer yet, this is your sign to try it! Deliciously tender with a crispy touch, the squash is seasoned with simple spices, finished with fresh parmesan, and ready to eat in less than 25 minutes. Let me show you how to easily prepare this seasonal favorite!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Air fryer delicata squash is such an easy and delicious fall side dish! No need to peel delicata squash, it's easier to work with than other squashes and doesn't require a ton of work. Ready to eat after cooking for less than 15 minutes which is faster than using the oven.
- The texture is perfection! It's tender, sweet and savory at the same time, and the skin gets crispy giving the squash such a great contrast of texture and flavor. Seasoned with garlic and onion powders, salt and pepper and finished with freshly grated parmesan.
- Delicata squash is low in calories and nutrient-rich. It's a good source of vitamin A, C, potassium and fiber which is important for gut health. We also use minimum oil to air fry it but still get a crispy result.
- It's very versatile and customizable! Like air fryer butternut squash, you can use any spices or herbs that you love to season it, from savory to sweet with a little cinnamon, or had a spicy twist with cayenne or chili powder. Use it as a side dish, in a fall hearty salad, mixed with pasta.
- This recipe uses very minimal ingredients, and spices you most likely already have in your pantry. Garlic powder, onion powder, salt and black pepper, oil cooking spray and fresh parmesan which you can skip if you want to keep this recipe dairy-free.
How To Cut A Delicata Squash
- Wash: since delicata squash doesn't need to be peeled, start by washing and scrubbing it under cold running water. Then pat it dry.
- Cut: with a sharp knife, trim both ends of the squash, then cut it in half lengthwise.
- Scoop: scoop out the seeds and pulp by scrapping the inside with a spoon. I love using my favorite grapefruit spoon for this task, but a regular spoon works too.
- Slice: slice the delicata squash into half-moon rings that are about ¼-inch thick. Try to make them close in size so they cook evenly. The thinner they are, the quicker the'll cook and vise-versa, if they're thick they'll need a few extra minutes.
Trim both ends of the squash, then cut it in half lengthwise.
Scoop out the seeds and pulp by scrapping with a spoon.
Slice delicata squash into half-moon rings that are about ¼-inch thick.
How To Make Air Fryer Delicata Squash
- Once the delicata squash is sliced, add it to a bowl, then add the spices and stir to coat every piece.
- Preheat your air fryer to 400° Fahrenheit.
- Once hot, spray the air fryer basket (or tray) with spray cooking oil.
- Then add the sliced squash. Spray a little more cooking oil on top of the squash. Don't overcrowd the air fryer, if you're cooking multiple squashes, you might need to cook it in batches depending on how big the basket is. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, shaking the basket a few times in between. The squash is ready when tender when poked with the tines of a fork, and the edges are just starting to brown.
- Once cooked, carefully remove the squash from the air fryer, and sprinkle with fresh parmesan and chopped parsley is you wish. Serve and enjoy!
Season the squash with the spices.
Spray the preheated air fryer with spray cooking oil.
Add the sliced squash and spray a little more cooking oil over it. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes.
Remove air fried delicata squash from air fryer, sprinkle with fresh parmesan and serve.
More Air Fryer Recipes You'll Love
- Always preheat your air fryer before adding any food to it.
- Try to slice the delicata squash rings uniformly, so they cook evenly.
- Don't overcrowd the air fryer. This is a rule for many air fryer recipes because the air needs to be circulating well in order to give food those crispy edges. When it's too full, food doesn't get crispy and steams instead of air frying. If you double the recipe, I'd recommend cooking it in batches, and add the 1st batch back in the air fryer for a couple minutes right before serving.
- Make sure to shake the basket a couple times during the cooking time. And check for doneness by poking a piece with the tines of a fork. Cooking time will vary by a few minutes depending on the model of the air fryer.
- Play with your seasonings! You can completely change the flavor profile by using different spices, herbs and spice mixes.
- Air fryer squash is best enjoyed immediately after cooking, but leftovers can be stored refrigerated for up to 4 days.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do you choose a delicata squash?
- The squash should feel firm and heavy, without bruises or soft spots, and should be a beige-yellow color with green or orange stripes. The more orange the squash is, the riper it is. If it looks light green, it's not ripe enough. If it feels light for its size, it could be dried out inside, so skip.
Can I use any spray cooking oil?
- No! Make sure your spray is suitable and safe for air fryers. You should not use nonstick spray as it usually contains propellant or other chemicals added to them, which can damage the lining of the air fryer. Instead use oil spray that only contains oil. If you don't have a spray, you can drizzle a little oil instead. I prefer avocado or olive oil for cooking when possible.
Does delicata squash need to be peeled?
- No need to peel this squash. The skin is edible, more tender than other squashes and actually has a great texture when cooked. But make sure to wash it though.
Air Fryer Delicata Squash
- Wash the squash under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels or a kitchen towel. With a sharp knife, trim both ends of the squash, then cut it in half lengthwise. *No need to peel delicata squash.
- Preheat the air fryer at 400° Fahrenheit.
- Scoop out the seeds and pulp by scrapping the inside with a spoon.
- Slice delicata squash into half-moon rings that are about ¼-inch thick.
- Add delicata squash to a bowl and add the garlic, onion powders, salt and pepper and mix until all the slices are coated.
- Spray preheated air fryer with spray cooking oil.
- Add the delicata squash rings, then spay with a little more spray cooking oil. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the squash is tender and just starting to get brown edges, shaking the basket a few times in between.
- Once squash is cooked, careful remove from air fryer.
- Sprinkle freshly grated parmesan over the warm squash if desired, and serve right away with sides of choice. Enjoy!
- If you double or triple the recipe, don't overcrowd the air fryer, depending on the size of your air fryer, I would recommend cooking the delicata squash in batches.
- Cooking time will vary by a few minutes depending on your the model of your air fryer.