Enjoy cooked butternut squash WITHOUT heating up the house with this delicious air fryer squash recipe! It only takes 20 minutes to cook squash in an air fryer. After air frying, you can enjoy your roasted butter squash as-is, or you can drizzle it with browned butter and pineapple sage. This is a side dish that dazzles and helps to increase your carotenoid intake as well!
In my air fryer burgers post, I promised that an air fryer butternut squash recipe would be forthcoming. Well, here it is!
Misfits Market (use code: COOKWME-BS6FSP) has been blessing us with a ton of winter squash lately. Unfortunately, with this summer heat and a malfunctioning household cooling system, I can’t see roasting the squash in the oven. Once again, my air fryer comes to the rescue!
Air frying is pretty much the perfect solution for creating summer recipes. You can air fry winter squash without heating up the house with the oven. YAY!
To make this recipe extra special, crisp some fresh sage leaves in browned butter while the squash air fries. I used huge pineapple sage leaves for this recipe. If you use regular fresh sage, I suggest throwing in a few more leaves, since they tend to be smaller.
I had been on the lookout for a good pineapple sage recipe since I have a pineapple sage plant that is thriving. I feel like I wake up to new sage leaves on a daily basis!
My son remarked that this recipe tastes like holiday food. I’m thinking that’s because I don’t tend to cook with fresh sage outside of the window between Thanksgiving and Christmas. With my current bounty of sage, that will be changing!
Some Quick Tips for Awesome Air Fryer Squash
This recipe is relatively straightforward, and you only need a few simple ingredients to make it. Here they all are, minus the Parmesan cheese:
As I mentioned above, I seem to have A LOT of squash on hand lately. (Seriously, there is so much squash that my son used one as the antagonist in a horror film he made for his video production class last year. LMAO)
Because I have so much of this veggie, you’re getting a big batch of air fried squash here. I was able to fit it all in my large-capacity air fryer oven. If you have one of the smaller air fryers with the basket, you may want to halve this recipe.
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 two batches.
Another thing that I wanted to mention is that this recipe uses *a lot* of fresh sage. It may look like too much going into the butter, but it will shrink when it crisps. Don’t skimp on it!
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 sans rind in this recipe.
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!)
And now for the disclaimer…
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 this post. Let's get cooking!
Air Fryer Squash with Brown Butter and Sage
- 2 lbs. chopped, peeled, seeded butternut squash (save the seeds for roasting later)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- cooking oil spray of choice
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 12 leaves fresh pineapple sage, clipped in half (add a few extra if substituting with smaller grocery store sage leaves)
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 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.
- Put the racks in an air fryer oven and air fry at 375°F 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 for an additional 10 minutes. While the squash cooks, 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 oven. Toss it with the browned butter and sage. Sprinkle it with the parmesan shreds while it is still hot. Add more salt and pepper, if desired.
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). 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. If you wanted to lighten this squash up (i.e., make it lower in calories), I’d 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, I do like to offer more options for the foodies and folks with higher energy needs. Plus, it’s just plain fun to jazz a dish up once in a while. Nutrition information is for one serving of the recipe.
What sort of toppings (if any) do you enjoy on butternut squash? Have you ever tried a recipe with pineapple sage? Give me the 411 on the squash situation in your household!
If you haven’t tried air frying butternut squash yet, I hope this air fryer squash recipe inspires you to try something new! You can let me know how it worked out for you by leaving a comment and rating below!