How do you cook butternut squash in an air fryer? Learn how to air fry butternut squash with this easy butternut squash air fryer recipe. After air frying, you can enjoy your roasted butter squash as-is, or you can drizzle it with browned butter and sage leaves. (YUM!) My air fryer butternut squash is gluten free, vegetarian, and added sugar free.
Are you looking for an easy side dish recipe that works for a busy weeknight or for fancy holiday fare? If so, you need this air fryer butternut squash recipe in your life.
I love all the winter squashes, but I don’t love all the preparation that can be involved. There’s the peeling, the chopping, the 45 minutes to an hour in the oven...
When you learn to make air fryer butternut squash cubes, you will save yourself a lot of time. This butternut squash in air fryer takes only 20 minutes to cook. You don’t even have to preheat the air fryer to make air fryer winter squash!
After making this recipe, you may never want to oven bake butternut squash again. I think those of you in warmer climates are going to especially love me for this one. The air fryer won’t heat your house like using the oven does.
So, are you ready to learn how to roast butternut squash in an air fryer? If not, let’s start with a few more advantages of this easy squash recipe first!
- ⭐ Benefits
- 🥘 Ingredients
- ❓ Do you leave the skin on when roasting butternut squash?
- 🙋 Can you make frozen butternut squash in the air fryer?
- 🍽 Equipment
- 🔪 How to Cut Butternut Squash
- 👨🏾🍳 How to Make Air Fryer Butternut Squash
- ️⏲️ Cooking Time and Temperature
- 🌡️ Leftovers
- 🍗 How to Serve
- 📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
- 💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- 👩🏻🍳 Other Air Fryer Squash Recipes
- The Disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
Why cook butternut squash in the air fryer? Here are some advantages of this recipe:
- Saves energy: Enjoy cooked butternut squash WITHOUT heating up the house with this delicious air fryer squash recipe! (I know I mentioned this above, but it deserves repeating!)
- Easy: It only takes 20 minutes to cook squash in an air fryer. If you get precut butternut squash from the store, you can save yourself a lot of chopping too!
- Healthy: Butternut squash is an excellent source of provitamin A carotenoids. You’re also getting plenty of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber here.
- No sugar added: Butternut squash is considered a starchy veggie that contains natural sugars. However, this recipe is sugar free in the sense that it contains no added sugar. This means ingredients like brown sugar, maple syrup, and honey that are typically added to butternut squash.
- Snack or side dish: You can use this recipe for Thanksgiving butternut squash, part of the Christmas meal, or a weeknight side dish. Alternatively, enjoy this winter squash as a snack. Talk about versatility!
- Delicious: This easy butternut squash recipe tastes like fall. It’s a crowd pleaser that tastes like holiday food.
This recipe is relatively straightforward, and you only need a few simple ingredients to make it. Here’s your shopping list:
- Fresh butternut squash
- Olive oil
- Cooking oil spray (non-aerosol)
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh sage leaves
- Grated Parmesan cheese
Get specific quantities of ingredients in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. When choosing butternut squash, look for one with smooth skin and no mushy spots.
IMVHO, butternut squashes that are in season and local win in terms of taste. I can usually find them in grocery stores and farmer’s markets in the autumn.
I’m seasoning the squash simply with some salt and black pepper before adding the sage. Some other seasonings for butternut squash include cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic, and herbs such as rosemary and thyme.
❓ Do you leave the skin on when roasting butternut squash?
The skin of butternut squash is edible, though it tends to be tough in older, larger squash. I usually skip peeling if I have a young, tender squash. This helps prevent food waste and saves me a lot of work.
However, here I did decide to peel the squash. Air frying is a little different than oven roasting, and I felt the squash was better without the rind in this recipe.
🙋 Can you make frozen butternut squash in the air fryer?
Yes! Find directions for air fryer frozen butternut squash in my air fryer frozen vegetables recipe. In this recipe, we’re seasoning frozen cut butternut squash with everything bagel seasoning before air frying. It’s delish and simple.
You need a good knife, an air fryer, and a small saucepan for this recipe. The Ninja Foodi, Philips, Nuwave, Kalorik, Pampered Chef, Actifry, Instant Pot Vortex, Cosori, Breville, and other air fryers can be used.
However, keep in mind you’re getting a big batch of air fried squash here. I was able to fit it all in my air fryer oven. If you have a small air fryer basket, you may want to cut this recipe in half.
On the other hand, if you’re feeding a crowd, you may not want to cut the recipe in half. If that’s the case, just cook it in 2-3 batches.
Cooking times may need to be adjusted depending on the air fryer you use. If you halve the recipe, start with trying half the cooking time. Air fryer oven recipes made on two trays can take longer because the food on the lower tray isn’t right next to the heat source.
🔪 How to Cut Butternut Squash
Ever wondered how to prepare butternut squash? Rinse the squash in cool water, brushing away any dirt. Pat the squash dry with a paper towel.
Cut the blossom and stem ends off the squash with a sharp knife. If you’ll be peeling the squash, you can do that with the knife as well. I find that butternut squash skin is often too tough for my vegetable peeler.
Now you can cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. The butternut squash seeds can be roasted and enjoyed just like pumpkin seeds, so don’t throw them out!
Like all seeds, they are a high-calorie food, so I recommend remaining mindful of portions if fat loss is your goal. (They’re great for kid snacks, though!)
Slice or cube butternut squash as needed for your recipe. We’ll be cutting the squash into ½-1 inch (1.27-2.54 cm) cubes here.
Hot tip! Cut and peeled butternut squash from the store can save you a lot of time. You can find fresh cubed butternut squash at Trader Joe’s, especially around the holiday season.
👨🏾🍳 How to Make Air Fryer Butternut Squash
Now that we’ve cut butternut squash, we’re ready to get cooking! Put your cubed butternut squash in a medium-sized bowl. Drizzle the squash with olive oil, and give it a stir.
Mist two air fryer trays with cooking spray. Spread the squash out in a single layer on the trays. Sprinkle the squash with salt and pepper, and put the trays in the air fryer.
️⏲️ Cooking Time and Temperature
How long do you air fry butternut squash? What temperature to air fry butternut squash? Cook butternut squash for a total of 20 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190C).
Begin by air frying the squash for 10 minutes. Then flip the squash, switch the position of the trays in the air fryer, and air fry 10 minutes more. The squash should be fork tender with slight browning on the edges.
You can serve the roasted squash as it is, or add some sage and butter. To do so, melt butter in a small pan over medium-low heat. Add fresh sage (cut large leaves in half) and cook 3-5 minutes more, stirring constantly.
The sage will get crispy and the butter will brown. Pour this mixture over the squash, stir, and serve immediately. I like to add some shredded or grated Parm on top for a finishing touch.
Leftover butternut squash can be stored in a covered container in the fridge for 3-4 days. To reheat squash, microwave on high for 2½ minutes. You can freeze this squash as well, but it will be a bit mushier when defrosted.
🍗 How to Serve
What to serve with air fryer butternut squash? You can add plain roasted butternut squash to a nourish bowl, salad, or grain bowl. Here are some main dishes that go with butternut squash:
- Air Fryer Rotisserie Chicken
- Pork Belly Air Fryer Recipe
- Frozen Fish in Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Chicken Patties
Also, if you don’t like the butternut squash toppings I’m using here, you can change things up! Top with goat cheese (chevre), feta, or nuts and seeds (like pumpkin seeds or pepitas).
📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
One serving of air fryer butternut squash has 235 calories, 22 grams net carbs, and 4.3 grams protein. Nutrition information is for the squash with the browned butter and sage.
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Is butternut squash good for weight loss? Butternut squash is considered a starchy vegetable, and thus one of the higher-calorie veggie options. That, combined with the added oil and browned butter, means you get a side that is high in carbs and fat and fairly low in protein.
For these reasons, I would not consider this side dish to be your best option if your goal is fat loss. The combination of fat and carbs with minimal protein typically doesn’t promote fullness on fewer calories.
Is butternut squash healthier than potatoes? Both potatoes and butternut squash are nutritious options, and I personally enjoy both in my diet. That (of course) doesn’t mean these foods are the best choices for you.
Here’s a little nutritional comparison of butternut squash versus potatoes (per 100g). As you can see, butternut squash is a better choice for low carb diets than potatoes. It's also lower in calories and an excellent source of vitamin A.
|Calories||Net Carbs (g)||Protein (g)||Fiber (g)||Vitamin A (% DV)||Vitamin C (% DV)|
If you want to lighten this squash up (i.e., make it low calorie), skip the browned butter and Parm topping. When I’m busy, I often serve roasted or air fried veggies with little more than salt and pepper. I promise they are perfectly fine on their own!
That said, the butter and Parm is a fun option for foodies and folks with higher energy needs. It also turns this humble veggie into a holiday-worthy side dish.
Simply add a few more minutes to the cooking time for crispy air fryer butternut squash. Be sure to watch the squash closely if you do this! Butternut squash goes from caramelized to black and burnt very easily.
You can make vegan air fryer butternut squash by simply omitting the browned butter topping and Parm. This also makes this a Paleo and whole30 air fryer butternut squash recipe. Alternatively, substitute vegan “butter” and vegan Parmesan cheese for the dairy.
Cut the butternut squash into fry shapes instead of cubes. The air frying time at 400F (200C) will depend on how thick the strips are and how many are cooked at once. Start with 10 minutes in the air fryer, and keep adding 2-3 minutes until they reach the desired doneness.
Butternut squash is considered a starchy vegetable, but it’s a whole food and not a “bad carb.” You may be able to fit some butternut squash on relaxed low carb diets. Butternut squash will not fit most keto diets well, where the daily carb limit is 20-50 grams net carbs daily.
Yes, you can make air fryer butternut squash halves! Cut the squash in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, and brush with oil. Air fry squash (cut-side up) for 30-50 minutes, depending on your air fryer and the size of the squash you start with.
👩🏻🍳 Other Air Fryer Squash Recipes
Need more air fryer recipes for squash? I’m on it!
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
Butternut Squash Air Fryer Recipe
- 2 lbs. butternut squash 907 grams
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- cooking oil spray
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 12-15 leaves fresh sage (clip large leaves in half)
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- With a sharp knife, cut the ends off the butternut squash and peel it. Halve the squash and scoop out the seeds. Cut into ½-1 inch (1.27-2.54 cm) cubes.
- Mist your air fryer racks with the cooking spray. Mix the cut and prepared squash with the olive oil, and arrange the squash pieces in a single layer on the racks. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, if desired. (Note: you may need to cook the squash in batches if you have a small air fryer basket.)
- Put the racks in the air fryer and air fry at 375°F (190°C) for 10 minutes.
- After the 10 minutes is up, flip the squash and switch the position of the trays in the oven. Air fry at 375°F (190°C) for an additional 10 minutes. While the squash cooks, you can prepare the browned butter.
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. After the butter is melted, add the sage leaves and let them crisp up as the butter browns, stirring often. This will only take 3-5 minutes.
- After the squash has finished cooking, remove it from the air fryer. Mix it with the browned butter and sage. Sprinkle it with the parmesan while it is still hot. Add more salt and pepper, if desired.