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Air Fryer Butternut Squash ~ From Fresh or Frozen

Air Fryer Butternut Squash ~ From Fresh or Frozen

The versatility of this air fryer butternut squash recipe is surprising. Cook up a batch, let it cool, and give it to the kids as a healthy snack. Because the air fryer gives the outside a little crispness, it makes it a great finger food.

You can use fresh or frozen butternut squash in an air fryer. Butternut squash has such a nice texture and mildly sweet taste. It’s great just about any way you prepare it. Cooking this butternut squash in the air fryer brings out a rich roasted flavor and slight crispiness on the outside that just can’t be beat.

You can buy a whole butternut squash from your local grocery store when it’s in season. This is usually in the fall and winter months in North America. It’s considered to be a winter squash. It has orange meat. Choose one with hard skin and a fat neck.

You can also find bags of frozen butternut squash already peeled and cubed. Costco sometimes has organic butternut squash. I’ve also seen the Great Value brand at Walmart. Otherwise, your grocery store will likely have it at well. I’ve bought O Organics Butternut Squash and Earthbound Farm Organic Butternut Squash from the grocery store.

Air Fryer Butternut Squash

Whether you make fresh or frozen butternut squash in the air fryer, this recipe is quick, easy and flavorful. 

If you plan to use fresh butternut squash, look for a medium-sized squash. You can weigh it at the store or just use your judgement. A three pound butternut squash yields around 4 cups which is perfect for this recipe. A four pound fruit will contain about 6 cups of cubed butternut squash. 

If you want to use a bag of frozen squash, you can easily measure out the quantity you need. Set it in a covered container overnight to thaw in the refrigerator. Drain the excess liquid before air frying.

This flavorful recipe uses just a few ingredients. Air fryer butternut squash is crispy and caramelized. You may feel like you are eating a sweet dessert, especially with the sprinkling of cinnamon. Squash cooks well in an air fryer.

It takes just 15 minutes of prep time and 20 minutes to cook in the air fryer. 

Here’s how to make butternut squash in air fryer. Use these step-by-step directions and serve up this healthy dish.

What You Need to Make This Recipe

  • 4 cups butternut squash, sliced or cubed
  • 2 tablespoons honey, pure maple syrup, or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Olive oil

Makes 4 cups for 8 servings. 

How to Make Air Fryer Butternut Squash

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees F. Grease the air fryer basket with the olive oil. Or you can line it with aluminum foil and use olive oil spray. Another option is to use a small baking pan greased with olive oil.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss the butternut squash with a little olive oil. Add the honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Toss again to thoroughly coat.

  3. Arrange the butternut squash in the basket or pan.

  4. Cook in the air fryer at 390 degrees F for 20 minutes. Check at around the 10-minute mark and spray a little olive oil over the squash. You can add a little more cinnamon if you like. You should also test for doneness since all air fryers differ a little.

  5. Serve and enjoy.

Serving Suggestions

You can serve this alongside your favorite fish recipe or with a nice roasted chicken. It’s a great dish to serve for Thanksgiving.

Serve as a side dish or snack to enjoy delicious fall flavors. It pairs well with roasted Brussels sprouts and carrots for a healthy and hearty meal.

Yum! My kids love it. Just put it in a bowl and let them eat it like popcorn. Serve with a side of honey or maple syrup for dipping. 

Butternut Squash FAQs

Is butternut squash supposed to be refrigerated?

If you buy whole butternut squash, set it out on the kitchen counter in a place without direct sunlight. It does not need to be refrigerated. However, once you cut it, you do need to refrigerate it.

Can butternut squash be bought frozen?

Yes, you can buy butternut squash frozen. It will already be peeled and cubed which makes it easy to use. It’s also handy to be able to enjoy year round. Butternut squash isn’t in season all year. I have bought frozen organic butternut squash from Costco as well as organic and non-organic Safeway, Fry’s, Sprouts, and Walmart before.

How do you thaw frozen butternut squash?

You can thaw frozen butternut squash just like other frozen foods. Simply take out the quantity you need and leave it in the refrigerator overnight. If you plan to sauté it or using it in a soup, you can keep the extra juices. If you are using in it a recipe for the air fryer, you should drain out the excess liquid.

How to cut a butternut squash?

Learn how to cut a butternut squash safely. Cutting a butternut squash into cubes is super easy. A sharp knife will do; you don’t need to use a mandoline slicer. Cut off the stem (top) and base (bottom). You’ll want to slice off both ends first so they don’t roll around while you’re cutting.

Use a vegetable peeler and peel the skin off. Next, cut lengthwise through the center. Set down the knife, and with a spoon, scoop out the seeds. (The peels and seeds are great to add to compost.)

Cut the squash into bite-sized cubes, approximately 1 inch. You don’t want them too large because they’ll take longer to cook through.

Do you need to peel butternut squash before cooking?

Yes, you need to peel butternut squash before cooking or putting in the air fryer. The skin or peel is thick. 

Squash in Air Fryer

Making butternut squash in an air fryer is easy to do. I use mine every chance I get because I want to feel good about having purchased it. I only have so much room in my kitchen so every appliance I have, I use a lot. They sell ovens now with an air fryer function which sound really amazing.

There are so many foods you can cook in an air fryer

I’m always looking for ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into my meals. I try to buy fresh squash in the fall and winter when it’s in season and when it’s more affordable. Throughout the rest of the year, I buy frozen butternut squash. You can cook frozen butternut squash in the air fryer as well.

Love squash? Try my grilled acorn squash recipe. 

If you make this air fryer butternut squash recipe, please drop a note in the Comments. I’d love to know what you think of it and if you will make it again. I hope it makes its way into your rotation. If you have room in your freezer, buying a big bag of frozen squash is a way to always have it on hand. 

air fryer butternut squash
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Air Fryer Butternut Squash

Cooking butternut squash in an air fryer brings out a rich roasted flavor and slight crispiness on the outside with a hint of caramelization that just can’t be beat. You'll find this air fryer butternut squash recipe is versatile. Serve it as a finger food or as a delicious side dish.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword air fryer butternut squash, butternut squash air fryer, butternut squash recipe air fryer, how to make air fryer butternut squash, how to make butternut squash air fryer
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 4 cups butternut squash sliced or cubed
  • 2 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Olive oil spray
  • Olive oil

Instructions

  • Preheat your air fryer to 390 degrees F. Spray air fryer basket with the olive oil, line it with foil and spray, or use a small baking pan sprayed with the oil.
  • In a medium bowl, toss the butternut squash with a little olive oil. Add the honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Toss again to thoroughly coat.
  • Arrange the butternut squash in the basket or pan.
  • Cook in the air fryer at 390 degrees F for 20 minutes. Check it after 10 minutes, and spray a little olive oil over the squash. You can add a little more cinnamon if you like. You should also test for doneness since all air fryers differ a little.
  • Serve.

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