Air Fryer Butternut Squash makes enjoying this seasonal squash easy and delicious. Crisp edges, perfectly tender, and beautifully seasoned, this healthy vegetable side dish is on the table in 20 minutes!
I have been loving my air fryer for getting veggies perfectly cooked and on the table during those busy weeknights. Recently, I have discovered how amazing cooking good-for-you butternut squash can be in an air fryer!
Butternut squash is a nutrient dense veggie that is pretty easy to find in the fall and winter. It has a lovely mild flavor that can easily go sweet or savory. The only problem with it (for me) was trying to find a way to EASILY get it cooked so that dinner could be on the table ASAP. I have found that cooking it in the air fryer gives butternut squash a lovely roasted texture and flavor, but is done in 20 minutes with minimal work! This butternut squash is the perfect veggie side and is naturally vegan, gluten free, Paleo, and Whole30 friendly.
How to cut a butternut squash
Okay, first. I am all for buying that precut squash in the refrigeration section of the produce section of your grocery store. I love butternut squash, but they are not the easiest things to cut and that fact often stands in the way of people buying (and eating) them. So if you need to take the time-saving route of using precut squash, I hear ya!
But, if you like to buy your veggies whole, I am also here for that! Cutting and peeling a whole butternut squash can be a pain at first, but once you get the hang of it, it is pretty easy and a much cheaper way of getting this winter squash onto the menu. Bonus: whole butternut squash lasts a really long time at room temperature, so you can stock up on them and enjoy this air fryer butternut squash whenever the mood strikes!
Having cooked butternut squash a lot over the years, I have found a few hacks that make it easier (like cooking a butternut squash whole). But cutting a whole squash is pretty easy with some practice and a few basic tips.
TIP: make sure you have a sharp knife. This is a safety thing as well as a tip to make the process of cutting a squash easier. Dull knives can lead you struggling with the squash and possibly lead to the knife slipping or your hand or fingers being injured. Ouch! No good. Keep those kitchen knives nice and sharp please!
Step 1: Cut the top and bottom off of the squash. Discard.
Step 2: Using a peeler, peel the skin off of your butternut squash. I find this works much easier if I start the blade of the peeler at one of the freshly cut ends and work down. Discard peel.
Step 3: Slice the round bottom portion of the squash off. Slice the round portion in half, exposing the seeds.
Step 4: Use a large metal spoon to scoop out seeds. I found metal works best for scrapping the seeds and pulp away easily.
Step 5: Cut peeled and deseeded portions of squash lengthwise. Then turn slices, arrange in a stack, and cut into cubes of desired size.
How to select a butternut squash
Whole butternut squash has a wonderfully long shelf life, so you can buy one or five so that you always have a squash on hand to toss in your air fryer.
When picking out a whole butternut squash at the grocery store, here are a few things to look for:
- Pick a squash that doesn’t have any bruises, soft spots, or dents.
- A good butternut squash should be firm and have some weight to it.
- If the squash still has its stem, it should be dark brown.
- The squash should be light orange in color. If it has green spots, it means it isn’t quite ripe. If there are brown spots, it means it is starting to go bad.
Tips and tricks for the best air fryer butternut squash
Cut squash into even pieces. This will help the butternut squash to cook evenly. Smaller chunks will cook faster than big ones. Aim to make the pieces of squash as close in size as possible so that they will cook up beautifully tender and even in your air fryer!
Don’t skip the shake! In the instructions, I mention shaking the basket at the 10 minute mark. This is important because it helps to “flip” and rotate the pieces of squash so that all sides get roasty and delicious.
Don’t skip the oil. The oil helps to make this squash crisp and delicious without drying out in the air fryer. I tried to keep the amount of oil in this air fryer butternut squash recipe to a minimum without compromising flavor. I have found reducing or skipping the oil makes for a dry and blah squash.
Here are some more delicious vegetable sides you might enjoy
- 20+ Healthy Vegetable Side Dishes
- Parmesan Kale Chips
- Sautéed Carrots
- Mashed Butternut Squash
- Easy Roasted Radishes
- Air Fryer Green Beans
- Roasted Carrots and Potatoes
Loving this air fryer squash recipe and are hungry for more?
Air Fryer Butternut Squash
- 1 pound peeled, deseeded butternut squash cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or to taste
- In a bowl, combine the cubed butternut squash with other ingredients. Toss to evenly coat.
- Place the squash in an even layer in air fryer basket, making sure not to overcrowd. If you are making more than a pound of squash, work in batches so that your squash evenly cooks.
- Cook at 400° F for 18-20 minutes, shaking the basket at the 10 minute mark. This will help to rotate the pieces of squash so that they evenly cook. You will know your squash is done when squash is tender, has crispy edges, and is slightly golden brown.
- Remove from air fryer and enjoy warm.
The nutritional information is provided as an estimate only and may vary based on the product type, servings and other factors. If you are following a diet, please consult with a professional nutritionist or your doctor. Stay healthy!