Air Fryer Butternut Squash is the best healthy side dish that pairs well with so many of your favorite dishes. It's easy, flavorful, and ready in 30 minutes.
While the idea of cooking a butternut squash may be intimidating for some people, it really couldn't be easier. By cooking it whole, we eliminate the fear of peeling and cutting the squash.
Why You'll Love Air Fryer Butternut Squash
- It cooks in just 30 minutes
- There's no need to peel it
- This recipe is gluten free and vegan
- Butternut squash is full of vitamins and nutrients
- It makes a great healthy weeknight or holiday side dish
What You Need To Make This Recipe
- Sharp knife
- Cutting board
- Air fryer
- Butternut squash: When choosing your squash, be sure to keep your basket size in mind and don't buy one that won't fit in your air fryer
- Olive oil: You can also use avocado oil
- Spices: I use a blend of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried sage
Variations And Substitutions
- Squash- You could use acorn squash, buttercup squash, or delicata squash
- Oil- avocado oil, melted coconut oil, or melted butter are all good substitutes
- Spices- add paprika, cumin, onion powder, etc. See more seasoning options below
Tips For Choosing A Ripe Butternut Squash
Choosing a ripe squash isn't as hard as your may think! Just follow these simple tricks and you'll pick a perfect squash every time.
- Look for one with a dark beige color. Any that have green striations are not ripe yet
- It should feel heavy for its size
- Make sure there are no bruises, marks, or blemishes
- Like a watermelon, if you knock on it and it sounds hollow then it's ripe
How To Cut A Butternut Squash
When I air fry my butternut squash I like to keep it whole. Not only is it easier, but it's also quicker because there is no need to peel it. Here's how I prepare mine.
- Begin by washing and drying the outside of the squash
- On a cutting board, use a sharp knife to chop off the end with the stem
- Carefully cut in half lengthwise then scoop out the seeds
How To Make Air Fryer Butternut Squash
- Take your prepared butternut squash and lay it flesh side up. Brush olive oil liberally on both sides
- In a small bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried sage then distribute it evenly over both oiled sides
- Place them side by side, flesh side up, in your air fryer basket and cook at 380 degrees F for 30-32 minutes, or until fork tender
- Once cooked, pull out of the air fryer, slice into pieces and serve
Do I Need To Peel The Squash Before Cooking It?
Since we're cooking the butternut squash whole instead of cubes there is no need to peel it.
While the skin is edible, if you'd rather not eat it you can easily peel it off once the squash is cooked.
Can I Use Cubed Butternut Squash?
Absolutely! A whole air fried squash becomes very tender and soft, but not so much crispy. If you'd rather have crispy bites of squash then peel and cut the squash into 1 inch cubes, season as directed and air fry at 380 F for 16-18 minutes until crisp on the outside and tender inside.
Want something different? Try changing up the flavor with one of these variations!
- Elote seasoning- sprinkle 1 ½ teaspoons of the blend evenly over both halves
- Sweet- Brush both halves with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup in addition to the oil then sprinkle over 1 teaspoon of brown sugar mixed with ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Spicy- substitute the dried sage with chili powder and a pinch of cayenne pepper
What To Serve With Air Fryer Butternut Squash
- Egg free meatballs
- Healthy turkey meatballs
- Air fryer turkey tenderloin
- Whole roast chicken
- Air fryer pork loin roast
Storing And Reheating Instructions
STORING: You can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
REHEATING: To reheat, add slices of the cooked squash to your air fryer basket and heat at 350 F for 3-5 minutes until warmed through.
What are the benefits of butternut squash?
Butternut squash has tons of benefits! It's relatively low in calories, high in vitamins and nutrients, rich in antioxidants, and may reduce certain illnesses caused by inflammation.
Can I use frozen squash?
Sure, you can definitely use frozen squash cubes! All you have to do is prepare as directed and add 2-3 minutes to the cooking time. Keep in mind, they won't turn out as crispy as if you used fresh.
More Air Fryer Veggies You'll Love!
- Air fryer zucchini and squash
- Air fryer spaghetti squash
- Sweet potato cubes in the air fryer
- Crispy air fryer frozen broccoli
Did you make this recipe?
If so, I would appreciate you leaving a comment and star rating down below. Also, follow me on Instagram and tag me or use #incoleskitchen so I can see what you made and share it!Print
Air Fryer Butternut Squash
Air Fryer Butternut Squash is a quick, easy, and healthy 30 minute side dish. It's gluten free, dairy free, and soy free so everyone can enjoy it. Serve as a healthy holiday side or whip it up on a busy weeknight for a delicious dish the whole family will love.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Air Fryer
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground sage
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat your air fryer to 380 degrees F
- While the air fryer is preheating, cut the top off of your butternut squash and cut it half lengthwise
- Scoop the seeds out of the squash, then brush the flesh side liberally with olive oil
- Combine the salt, garlic powder, ground sage, and black pepper in a small bowl and distribute the spices evenly over both halves of the butternut squash
- Lay them side by side, flesh side up, in your preheated air fryer basket and cook at 380 degrees F for 30-32 minutes until fork tender
- Take both halves out of the air fryer and set on a cutting board to cool for a few minutes, then cut and serve
- If you want the squash to be crispy, peel and dice it, season as directed, and cook for 16-18 minutes
- Change up the spices and adjust to your taste
- Cook the whole squash then use it for mash, soups, or to add to chilis
- Try to cut evenly in half so they cook for the same amount of time
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days
Keywords: butternut squash in air fryer, air fryer whole squash, whole butternut squash air fryer