Air Fryer butternut squash is one of the easiest ways to prepare a healthy side dish using this seasonal winter squash variety. You can get a crispy crust and delicious flavors without using a lot of oil. Serve it as a healthy Thanksgiving side dish (or a side to any regular meal), or use it in salads, bowls, or for preparing soups.
The fall season is a great time to get freshly harvested seasonal butternut squash. Just looking at them in the grocery stores gives me the vibes of the holiday season.
How do you cook them at home?
I cut it into small pieces and roast them in the oven to prepare this delicious butternut squash quinoa risotto or creamy golden butternut squash soup to enjoy on cold nights.
And my recent favorite way is making this Air Fryer butternut squash fries.
What is special about This Dish
- easy to prepare using simple seasonings.
- get fried texture without using lots of oil.
- perfect for snacking or serving as a side to any meal.
- and with some extra garnishing, you can turn it into a healthy Thanksgiving side dish.
- Butternut squash – buy firm, spotless, and uniform-colored butternut squash. I always prefer to buy the smallest squash to prepare in one single batch of my Philips XL Air Fryer.
- Cooking oil – I mostly use olive oil suited for sauteing and grilling.
- Seasonings – I only use salt and pepper to season the butternut squash pieces before frying. You can also add a little bit of paprika and/or Italian seasoning blend or sage to flavor the dish.
See the recipe card below for a detailed list and quantities.
How to Cut Butternut Squash?
Cutting butternut squash is sometimes tricky because of its hard skin and tough texture. It is a three-step process.
1. Peel – Hold the butternut squash on the cutting board firmly and vertically, and peel from top to bottom. Cover as much area as possible in every stroke.
2. Remove seeds – Once you’ve peeled, clean the squash thoroughly to remove dirt from the surface. Trim both ends of the squash and then cut it in half vertically. Remove the seeds using a spoon. You may also need to scrape slightly to remove all the threads and make it nice and smooth.
3. Cut – Now cut each half at the neck where the round and straight parts of the squash meet. Dice it into 1-2″ even pieces.
How to Make Air Fryer Butternut Squash
Step 1 – Cutting butternut squash
Peel and dice butternut squash into bite-size pieces. See details above. In a mixing bowl, combine diced squash with oil, salt, and pepper; mix well.
Step 2 – Cooking in Air Fryer
Preheat the Air Fryer to 390F. Add seasoned butternut squash pieces and spread them evenly in the basket. Cook them for about 15-20 min or until you get the desired texture and color. After every 5 mins., stir the basket to help in cooking the squash pieces evenly. See the images and their captions below for more details.
Step 3 – Giving the finishing touch
Remove air-fried butternut squash from the serving dish or bowl. Serve while it is warm and fresh.
Thanksgiving butternut squash side dish – Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil or brown butter and garnish with herbs like fresh sage leaves or parsley. Serve this pretty dish along with skillet-roasted green beans and potatoes, easy roasted sweet potato wild rice salad, Instant Pot whole chicken with gravy, homemade whole wheat dinner rolls, etc.
- Buy a small-sized squash for making these roasted butternut squash in Air Fryer in a single batch. For large butternut squash, you may need to cook it in two batches.
- Use a good quality peeler and a sharp knife to make peeling and cutting the squash a bit easier.
- You can dice the squash in advance and store it in a refrigerator in an air-tight container. Then Air-fry it just before serving to enjoy these freshly roasted butternut squash bites.
- Use leftovers to prepare soup or add in salads or mash roasted butternut squash and then add them to prepare quinoa risotto.
- You can also use an Italian seasoning blend (or just oregano or thyme) and/or paprika to flavor the dish. Mix it before air frying.
Store leftover butternut squash bites in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. Before serving next time, put them in a preheated Air Fryer basket and cook for 1-2 min at 390F. This will make them look and taste fresh.
NO. Frozen butternut squash will not work in making these Air fryer butternut squash. Freezing and thawing change the cellular structure of fruits and vegetables and will not result in the crispy texture of butternut squash after air frying.
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments if you REALLY like this recipe. Thank You!
Air Fryer Butternut Squash
- 1 butternut squash peeled and diced
- 2 teaspoon cooking oil
- salt and pepper
- ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or brown butter
- 8-10 fresh sage leaves or parsley
- 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
- In a large mixing bowl toss diced butternut squash with cooking oil, salt and pepper.
- Preheat the Air Fryer to 390F.
- Then spread butternut squash pieces evenly in the Air Fryer basket and cook them for 15-18 min. Stir every 5 min for even cooking.
- Once frying is done, take the fries out in a serving dish and serve warm. Optionally, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil, fresh herbs and parmesan cheese.
- Make sure to spread the butternut squash pieces evenly in the Air Fryer basket the first time and whenever you stir them. This will help in even cooking and getting a roasted color.
- After adding optional ingredients, this dish will be perfect for serving on a Thanksgiving table or festive gatherings as a healthy side.
- Air-fried butternut squash bites taste amazing when they are fresh and warm (just like potato fries). For this, you can dice the squash in advance and cook just before serving.
- You can also cut the squash into long strips, like potato fries, to make butternut squash fries.