This air fryer butternut squash makes the perfect side dish, snack or addition to a balanced meal. Packed with flavour and baked to perfection this recipe is sure to be a hit!
Why I love this air fry butternut squash recipe
Here is what I love about this recipe as a dietitian:
- Easy: This air fryer butternut squash is ready in 15 minutes and you only need a few simple ingredients. It makes the perfect weeknight side dish!
- Tasty: This is a recipe the entire family will love. Made with the perfect blend of seasoning and maple syrup, this air fry butternut squash is so good you'll want to eat the entire bowl!
- Nutrient packed: Packed with fiber to support your gut health and beta carotene to support your immune system, butternut squash is a vegetable that's great to include in your diet once colder weather hits!
Butternut squash- DUH! To air fryer butternut squash you will need butternut squash. You have two choices. You can either use a fresh butternut squash and peel/ cut it yourself (tips on how to do this below)- I have also seen pre-cut butternut squash packs at the store! Or you can buy frozen butternut squash. If you choose to use frozen, I recommend to cook them straight from frozen!
Spices- Garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, salt, black pepper and oregano are the spices you will need to make these amazingly tasty air fryer butternut squash fries!
Maple syrup- We add a touch of natural sweetness to our butternut squash. I only add half of a tablespoon so there is enough that you get that sweet flavour without it being overpowering! I have not tested this recipe using honey or omitting the maple syrup completely- if you try let me know how it turns out!
Olive oil- To get the squash nice and crispy! I use olive oil in most of my air fryer veggie recipes because that is what we commonly have on hand however any neutral tasting cooking oil will work!
Rosemary- A touch of fresh rosemary brings this butternut squash recipe together! If you don't have nay fresh rosemary don't worry you can use dried rosemary (just use ½ of the amount in the recipe) or just leave it out!
This isn’t an ingredient but to make these air fryer butternut squash fries you will also need an air fryer (unless you follow the oven directions listed below). I personally love this one! However any air fryer will work!
How to cook butternut squash in air fryer
This recipe is incredibly simple to make! The trickiest part will be cutting your butternut squash. Butternut squash can be super intimidating when you are first learning how to cut it but hopefully these tips will help!
Step 1: Prepare your squash-
- Pierce your butternut squash with a fork a few times on each side and microwave on high for two minutes. This helps soften the squash to allow for easier cutting.
- Next, you are going to want to slice off the ends using a sharp knife. This gives you a flat surface making it easier to cut and peel! To peel your squash I recommend starting from one end using a wide peeler and peeling in long strips. Once your squash is peeled it's ready to be cut.
- To cut your squash, slice the squash in half vertically. Set the cut side of the halves facing up and use a spoon to scoop out all of the seeds. Discard the seeds and dice the squash into 1-inch cubes. It gets a little tricky when you get to the base of the squash but try your best to create even cubes!
- I highly recommend watching this video if you need a visual representation:
Step 2: Once your squash is cubed and ready to go, add it to a large mixing bowl along with the olive oil, spices and maple syrup. Toss until the squash is fully coated.
Step 3: Arrange your squash cubes in a single layer along the bottom of your air fryer basket (note: you may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your air fryer). Air fry at 400 degrees F for about 12 minutes, shaking halfway.
I highly recommend eating this air fry butternut squash as soon as it's cooked for the crispiest results! However if you have leftovers or want to make it ahead of time I recommend storing in an air tight container in the fridge for up to five days. This butternut squash also stores great in the freezer! Just place it in a large Ziploc bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
To reheat: I recommend popping the squash back in the air fryer at 400 degrees F for about 5 minutes (for the crispiest results)- the oven will also work, or microwaving for about 1 minute.
Do I need to air fry butternut squash?
In other words... can you use an oven to make this tasty butternut squash? This is a question I get asked every single time I post an air fryer recipe and the answer is... YES you can definitely use an oven. The only different is the cook time will vary slightly! For this butternut squash recipe I recommend following the recipe as written, spreading the butternut squash pieces evenly on a parchment paper lined baking tray and roasting at 400 degrees F for about 30-40 minutes, flipping the squash halfway through cooking.
If you follow these oven directions the butternut squash *might* not be as crispy as it gets in the air fryer but it will still be just as tasty!
How to serve
Honestly I used to be a butternut squash hater but after this recipe my mind is forever changed. This squash is so good I could honestly eat the entire bowl alone.
However if you are looking for some serving ideas I recommend:
- Adding this squash to a fall harvest bowl or salad
- Pairing with your favourite protein and green veggie for a balanced meal
- Adding to quesadillas, or burritos for added texture and flavour
- Serving with eggs as a great home fry alternative
- Bringing it as a side dish to your family holiday party
More easy air fryer vegetables
If you love this easy butternut squash air fryer recipe you NEED to try my other air fryer veggie recipes.
Some of my favourites include:
- spicy garlic asparagus
- spicy balsamic brussel sprouts
- eggplant parmesan
- lemon and parmesan zucchini sticks
PS. I love seeing my recipes in action! If you decide to make this air fryer butternut squash don't forget to tag me on Instagram- @nourishedbynic or leave a comment below!
Air Fryer Butternut Squash
- 4 cups butternut squash cubed (about 1 medium butternut squash)
- 1.5 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried paprika
- 1.4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
- Preheat air fryer to 400°F.
- To a large mixing bowl, add cubed butternut squash, olive oil, spices, maple syrup and rosemary and toss to coat.
- Spray the air fryer basket with olive oil cooking spray or line it with foil and spray.
- Arrange seasoned squash cubes in a single layer along the bottom of your air fryer basket (this may need to be done in batches). Bake for about 12 minutes (shaking the basket halfway) or until the squash begins to brown and the edges appear crispy.