Air Fryer Butternut Squash is slightly crispy on the outside and is fully tender inside. It makes an excellent side dish in less than 20 minutes this holiday season!
Butternut Squash In Air Fryer
The marvel of air frying has transformed how we approach classic dishes, and this fall, we’re putting a spin on a seasonal favorite: butternut squash. Imagine the natural sweetness of butternut squash intensified by the air fryer’s magic, resulting in crispy edges and a perfectly tender interior.
Say goodbye to long roasting times and hello to this efficient, flavor-packed method. Dive in as we explore the delightful world of air-frying butternut squash and uncover the secret to a quick, golden, and utterly delicious autumn treat!
If you love the taste of slow-roasted vegetables from the oven or crockpot, I hope you try out these Air Fryer Roasted Vegetables. They are so good! Some more of my favorite recipes are AIR FRYER PARMESAN CRUSTED ZUCCHINI CRISPS, AIR FRYER SOUTHERN FRIED SQUASH, AIR FRYER CHILE RELLENO, and AIR FRYER PARMESAN TOMATOES.
Can You Cook Butternut Squash In Air Fryer?
Yes! The air fryer is a versatile kitchen tool that can efficiently cook various foods, including butternut squash. Cooking butternut squash in an air fryer is quick and yields a delightful texture — crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside. The high heat circulation within the air fryer caramelizes the natural sugars in the squash, enhancing its sweetness and flavor. So, if you’re looking for a faster, more energy-efficient, and more flavorful method to enjoy this seasonal vegetable, the air fryer is your go-to appliance!
This delicious recipe is perfect for squash seasonings and full of fall flavors! I love serving this alongside my recipe for Air Fryer Cider Pork Tenderloin, and don’t forget to pin this recipe, which will make a perfect Thanksgiving side dish!
Ingredients Needed For Air Fryer Butternut Squash
Unveil the power of your air fryer as we delve into a golden, crispy, yet tender butternut squash dish, perfect for elevating your autumn meals. You can make this delicious side dish with only a few simple ingredients!
Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information.
- Whole Butternut Squash: Our dish’s star brings a naturally sweet and nutty flavor, making it a fall favorite. When cooked, its texture turns velvety and soft, providing a comforting warmth to any meal.
- Olive Oil (or preferred cooking oil): Acting as a medium for even cooking, olive oil ensures the squash gets that desirable crispy exterior. Its subtle flavor complements the natural taste of butternut squash without overpowering it. I recommend using extra virgin olive or avocado oil for the best flavor.
- Kosher Salt: A pinch of salt enhances the squash’s sweetness and balances its flavors, making every bite savory and delightful.
- Pepper: Adding a slight kick, pepper introduces a mild heat that contrasts the sweetness of the squash, resulting in a more rounded taste.
- Optional seasonings (e.g., garlic powder, rosemary, thyme): These add depth and complexity to the dish. Whether you’re going for a hint of aromatic garlic or the earthiness of herbs, your choice of seasonings can transform your butternut squash into a gourmet treat.
How To Cook Butternut Squash In Air Fryer
Cooking butternut squash in an air fryer is a simple and efficient way to achieve a perfectly roasted texture with a caramelized exterior. Here’s a straightforward guide:
Step One: Preparation:
- Peel: Remove the skin from the butternut squash using a vegetable peeler or sharp knife.
- Cut: Slice the squash in half lengthwise and scoop the seeds using a spoon. Then, cut the squash into 1-inch cubes or slices, depending on your preference. Aim for uniform pieces to ensure even cooking.
Step 2: Seasoning
- In a large bowl, toss the diced butternut with olive oil (or your choice of oil) until well coated.
- Sprinkle your desired seasonings over the squash. This can range from salt and pepper to a combination of herbs and spices.
- Toss again to ensure all pieces are evenly coated with the seasonings.
Step 3: Air Frying
- Preheat the air fryer to 380 degrees F (193°C) for 3-5 minutes.
- Place the seasoned butternut squash pieces in the air fryer basket in a single layer, ensuring they are not overcrowded. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook in batches.
- Set the cook time to 15-20 minutes or until the pieces are tender and have a golden brown exterior. Shaking the basket or using tongs to turn the pieces halfway through the cooking time is a good idea to ensure even roasting. The total cook time will depend on the air fryer you are using.
Step 4: Serving
- Once cooked, carefully remove the butternut squash from the air fryer.
- Garnish with additional fresh herbs or seasonings if desired, and serve immediately.
The air fryer delivers a roasted butternut squash with a crisp exterior and soft interior in a fraction of the time compared to traditional oven roasting. It’s a convenient method, especially for those looking for a quick and delicious side dish. Enjoy your perfectly air-fried butternut squash!
Pro Tips For Cooking Butternut Squash In Air Fryer
Cooking butternut squash in an air fryer can be a game-changer, but knowing some pro tips can elevate your results from good to gourmet. Here’s how to make the most of this seasonal treat:
- Even Cuts Matter: Aim for uniformly sized pieces of squash. This ensures even cooking and that all pieces will be ready simultaneously. You can also use pre-cut butternut squash, which you will find at your local grocery store.
- Preheat Your Air Fryer: Just like an oven, preheating your air fryer can lead to better results. It ensures the squash starts cooking immediately once placed inside.
- Don’t Overcrowd: Place the butternut squash pieces in a single layer without overlapping. This ensures even air circulation and crispiness. If necessary, cook in batches.
- Shake or Toss Midway: Halfway through cooking, give the basket a shake or use tongs to flip the pieces. This helps in achieving an even golden-brown color on all sides.
- Season to Perfection: While salt and pepper are basics, don’t be shy to experiment with other seasonings like paprika, cinnamon, or even a touch of nutmeg for a fall-inspired twist.
- Oil Evenly: Instead of pouring oil over the squash, try using a spray or brush. This ensures a light, even coat, which is key for even browning.
- Test for Doneness: Use a fork to test a piece. It should easily pierce the squash when it’s done. The cooking time will vary based on the side of the butternut squash.
- Keep an Eye on Time: Depending on the size of your butternut squash cubes and the power of your air fryer, cooking times may vary. It’s always good to check a bit earlier than the recommended cook time.
- Serve Immediately: While butternut squash holds well, serving it right out of the air fryer ensures you enjoy its crispy exterior and tender interior.
- Storage and Reheating: If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge. To reheat, pop them back in the air fryer for a few minutes to regain that fresh-cooked crispness.
With these pro tips in your culinary arsenal, you’re all set to turn out a batch of butternut squash that might steal the show at your next autumn feast!
Best Seasonings For Roasted Butternut Squash
Roasted butternut squash is a delightful treat characterized by its sweet, nutty flavor that harmonizes with a wide range of seasonings. Selecting the right spices and herbs can elevate this humble vegetable to a gourmet dish, enhancing its sweetness and drawing out its rich flavor profile. The top contenders are classic salt and pepper for a clean, savory flavor.
Herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage add an earthy, aromatic touch reminiscent of cozy fall evenings. For those with a penchant for warmth, spices like cinnamon and nutmeg or even a hint of chili powder or cayenne can add depth and a spicy kick.
Drizzles of maple syrup or honey can create a caramelized glaze, merging sweetness with the savory. Garlic, either minced or powdered, offers a robust flavor punch that pairs seamlessly. Finally, a sprinkle of Parmesan or feta introduces a creamy, salty dimension. With myriad seasoning options available, one can craft many delightful roasted butternut squash dishes, each with its unique flavor profile.
Is Air Fryer Butternut Squash Healthy?
Certainly! Butternut squash is a nutritional powerhouse, boasting numerous health benefits in its vibrant orange flesh. Rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C, minerals, and antioxidants, butternut squash is an excellent addition to a balanced diet.
FAQ’s Air Fryer Butternut Squash Recipe
Do I need to peel the butternut squash before air frying?
While the skin of butternut squash is edible, it’s recommended to peel it for a more tender texture and better flavor absorption. However, you can leave it on for a slightly different texture if you prefer.
How long does it take to cook butternut squash in the air fryer?
Typically, it takes 15-25 minutes at around 380°F (193°C), but this can vary based on the size of your squash pieces and your specific air fryer. Always check for tenderness with a fork to determine doneness.
Can I cook frozen butternut squash in the air fryer?
Yes, you can air fry frozen butternut squash. It may require a slightly longer cooking time, and shaking or stirring midway through even cooking is advisable.
Why is my butternut squash soggy and not crispy?
Overcrowding the air fryer basket can cause this. Ensure pieces are in a single layer and have space around them for proper air circulation.
Can I add other vegetables with the butternut squash in the air fryer?
Absolutely! Just ensure the added vegetables have a similar cooking time or adjust the sizes accordingly. For instance, Brussels sprouts or bell pepper chunks complement the squash nicely.
How can I add a sweet twist to my butternut squash?
Drizzle with some maple syrup or sprinkle with cinnamon before air frying for a sweet variation.
How do I store leftover air-fried butternut squash?
Let it cool completely, then store leftover squash in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
How do I reheat leftover air-fried butternut squash?
For best results, reheat in the air fryer for a few minutes at 350°F (175°C) until warmed. This will help retain its crispiness.
More Air Fryer Recipes
- AIR FRYER SOUTHERN FRIED SQUASH
- AIR FRYER PARMESAN CRUSTED ZUCCHINI CRISPS
- EASY AIR FRYER ROASTED BROCCOLI WITH GARLIC
- IR FRYER PARMESAN TOMATOES
- AIR FRYER FROZEN GREEN BEANS
Air Fryer Butternut Squash
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat air fryer to 400˚F (200˚C), air fryer setting.
- Peel the butternut squash and cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
- Toss the butternut squash pieces with olive oil, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.
- Spread the butternut squash pieces in a single layer in the basket of your air fryer (if the pieces don't all fit in one layer, cook them in batches).
- Cook for 15-18 minutes or until turning golden in color and fork-tender, shaking every 5 minutes to ensure even cooking.
- Remove from air fryer and serve.
- Air Fryer
- Cooking Spray
- Parchment Paper, optional
- Cool Down: Allow your dish to cool to room temperature before storing. This prevents condensation, which can affect the dish’s texture and flavor.
- Air-Tight Containers: Use sealable containers or plastic wrap to keep out air and moisture, preserving the freshness of your dish.
- Label and Date: If storing multiple dishes or for extended periods, label with the dish name and date prepared to ensure you consume it while still fresh.
- Refrigeration: Store in the refrigerator for short-term storage (typically 3-5 days, depending on the dish).
- Portioning: If possible, freeze in individual portions for easier defrosting and reheating.
- Use Freezer-Safe Bags/Containers: Ensure containers are airtight and moisture-proof to prevent freezer burn.
- Label and Date: Clearly mark the dish name and freezing date.
- Lay Flat: If using freezer bags, lay them flat for space-efficient storage. Once frozen, you can stand them upright.
- Consume within 3 Months: While many dishes can last longer, consuming within this timeframe ensures optimal flavor and texture.
- Thawing: If frozen, it’s best to thaw in the refrigerator overnight for even reheating.
- Oven/Microwave: Depending on the dish, reheat in an oven (covered with foil to prevent drying out) at a moderate temperature or in a microwave using a microwave-safe container. Always ensure the food reaches a safe internal temperature.
- Stir Occasionally: If reheating stews, soups, or saucy dishes, stir occasionally for even heating.
- Avoid Repeated Reheating: For food safety and quality, only reheat what you plan to consume, and avoid reheating more than once.
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