How To Cook Butternut Squash In The Air Fryer

How to Cook Butternut Squash in the Air Fryer

Last Updated on May 19, 2024 by Shari Mason

One day, I chose to experiment with cooking butternut squash in an air fryer. The outcome was a pleasant gastronomic surprise that was waiting to be unveiled.

It’s not just about cooking; it’s about creating something delicious without the fuss.

Today, I’ll show you how to cook butternut squash in the air fryer. Read on.

Step By Step Guide On How To Cook Butternut Squash In The Air Fryer

Butternut Squash In The Air Fryer

1. Preparation:

a. Begin by washing the butternut squash [1] thoroughly.

b. Using a sharp knife, cut off the ends.

c. Slice the squash in half lengthwise.

d. Using a spoon, scoop out and discard the seeds.

2. To Peel or Not to Peel:

Decide if you want the skin on. The skin becomes crispy when air-fried. However, if you prefer, you can peel the skin off using a vegetable peeler.

3. Cutting the Squash:

Chop the squash into 1 to 1.5-inch cubes for even cooking. Cut them about half an inch thick if you’re aiming for slices.

4. Seasoning:

a. In a large mixing bowl, toss the squash with 1-2 tablespoons of olive or your preferred cooking oil.

b. Season with salt and pepper. Add spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or herbs such as rosemary or thyme for a twist. Mix well to ensure all pieces are coated.

5. Preheat the Air Fryer:

Most air fryers perform best when preheated. Set your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) and let it warm for 2-3 minutes.

6. Arranging the Squash:

Place the seasoned butternut squash pieces in the air fryer basket in a single layer, ensuring they aren’t overcrowded. This promotes even cooking and crispiness.

7. Cooking:

a. For cubes: Air fry at 400°F (200°C) for 15-20 minutes. Shake the basket or stir the squash every 5-7 minutes to allow even browning.

b. For slices: Air fry at 400°F (200°C) for 10-15 minutes, checking halfway for desired doneness.

8. Check for Doneness:

The squash should be tender inside with a crispy golden exterior. You can test it with a fork or knife to ensure it’s cooked to your liking.

9. Serving:

Once cooked, transfer the squash to a serving dish. Add any additional seasonings or herbs if desired, and serve hot. Pair with your favorite main course or eat as a wholesome snack.


Do I Need To Coat The Squash In Oil Or Seasoning?

While it’s not strictly necessary to coat butternut squash in oil or seasoning when using an air fryer, it dramatically enhances the final product’s flavor and texture. 

“My go-to winter recipe is beef and butternut squash stew, cooked in the slow oven all day.”

– Jojo Moyes, Novelist

Oil helps achieve a crispy exterior and prevents the squash from drying out. On the other hand, seasonings elevate the squash’s natural sweetness and can be tailored to complement various dishes. 

A light toss in oil and a sprinkle of your chosen seasonings is recommended for the best results before air frying.

How Long Should I Air Fry Butternut Squash?

Cooking  Butternut Squash

The optimal time to air fry butternut squash largely depends on the size and thickness of the pieces. 

Generally, for cubed butternut squash of about 1-inch pieces, it’s advisable to air fry at 400°F (200°C) for 15-20 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through to ensure even cooking. 

If you have thinner slices or wedges, they may take a bit less time, while thicker chunks might require a few extra minutes. Always watch them and check for your desired level of tenderness and browning.

Can I Mix Butternut Squash With Other Vegetables In The Air Fryer?

Absolutely! Butternut squash pairs beautifully with various vegetables when air-fried. For a colorful and delicious medley, consider combining it with Brussels sprouts [2], bell peppers, or zucchini. 

However, it’s essential to be mindful of the different cooking times of each vegetable. Some may cook faster than others. 

“Air frying butternut squash: Where modern technique meets nature’s golden sweetness.”

– Eat Pallet Restaurant & Food Advice

To achieve even cooking, you can either cut quicker-cooking veggies into larger chunks than the squash or add them partway through the cooking process.

This ensures everything reaches its optimal tenderness at roughly the same time.


u003cstrongu003eDo you add water to the air fryer for vegetables?u003c/strongu003e

You do not add water to the air fryer when cooking vegetables or other foods. The air fryer uses hot air circulation to cook, and adding water would inhibit the crisping process.

u003cstrongu003eCan squash be overcooked?u003c/strongu003e

Yes, squash can be overcooked, resulting in a mushy and unappealing texture. Monitoring its doneness is essential to maintain its desired consistency and flavor.

In Conclusion

Cooking butternut squash in the air fryer is an efficient and healthier alternative to traditional frying. The process retains the vegetable’s natural sweetness while giving it a delightful crispy exterior. 

Whether seasoned or left in its natural state, butternut squash emerges from the air fryer with enhanced flavors and a soft and slightly crunchy texture. 

It’s a testament to the versatility of the air fryer and the simple elegance of butternut squash. Embrace this method for a quick, nutritious, and delicious meal addition.


Shari Mason

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