Air Fryer Butternut Squash is so easy to make and comes out tender, caramelized, and crispy on the edges. It comes together quickly with only a few ingredients and makes a tasty side dish, perfect for the holiday table.
Butternut squash is delicious and gives us all the fall flavors and vibes. This versatile winter squash can be roasted, added to salads, mashed, or pureed into soups like my favorite Instant Pot Curried Butternut Squash Soup.
But my favorite way to enjoy this nutritious vegetable is roasted in the Air fryer. This Air fryer butternut squash recipe is easy and so simple. The roasted butternut squash comes out tender, crispy, and caramelized on the edges. They're sweet and spicy and well seasoned. They make a great Thanksgiving side dish.
For more Air Fryer Side Dishes, check our Air Fryer Recipe Collection.
Why We Love this recipe:
- Tender, crispy and caramelized and so flavorful butternut squash cubes
- So easy and needs only a few ingredients
- Frees up your oven for other holiday dishes
- This recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free
- Butternut Squash - you can buy pre-cut butternut squash for this dish.
- Olive oil - use light-tasting olive oil, vegetable oil or avocado oil.
- Cinnamon - quintessential fall spice and adds warmth.
- Maple syrup - makes the dish sweet.
- Brown sugar(optional) - I use brown sugar to enhance the sweetness and help with caramelization.
- Kosher salt and pepper
How To Cut Butternut Squash
If you want to cube the squash for roasting, you need to peel and cut it. It may look a bit intimidating at first, but you'll get the hang of it. Use a sharp knife and a non-slip cutting board for best results and to avoid injury.
Place the butternut squash on the cutting board, and cut off both ends using a sharp knife.
Next, peel butternut squash using a vegetable peeler. Peel the white skin completely until you see the orange skin beneath.
Cut the squash in half. Scoop the seeds and stringy part out. You can roast the full halves of the butternut squash at this point or proceed to cut them into cubes.
Slice both halves into 1-inch thick slices. Cut each slice in half and into 1-inch cubes.
*To make butternut squash fries, cut the slices into sticks.
*Alternatively, you can buy pre-cut squash from the grocery store.
How to Make Air Fryer Butternut Squash
*Scroll below for the printable recipe card and ingredient measurements.
STEP ONE: Place the cubed squash into a large bowl. Add olive oil, and give it a good stir.
STEP TWO: Add cinnamon, salt, and black pepper to the squash.
STEP THREE: Next add maple syrup and brown sugar if you're using. Toss squash until all the cubes are coated with oil and seasonings.
STEP FOUR: Preheat the air fryer to 400˚F. Line the Air fryer basket with parchment liner for ease of cleaning.
STEP FIVE: Place the butternut squash cubes in a single layer in the Air fryer basket. Cook butternut squash for 20 to 25 minutes until fork-tender and caramelized. Shake the basket halfway through.
STEP SIX: Check for doneness at 20 minutes. If they aren't caramelized on the edges yet air fry them for a few more minutes. Remove the cooked butternut squash from the air fryer and serve warm.
*Air fryers come in different sizes and models, and you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Seasonings And Variations
Butternut squash is a perfect blank canvas to add your favorite seasonings and spices. It tastes delicious both savory and sweet. Here are some options for you to try.
- Smoked paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper, red chili flakes - Use one or a combination of two or more for heat and smokiness.
- For a savory version, add garlic powder, paprika, dried oregano or dried thyme, and cayenne pepper.
- Cut the squash into the same size so they cook evenly.
- Preheating the Air fryer helps the squash cook to crispy perfection with less oil.
- Line the Air fryer basket with parchment liners or aluminum foil for easy cleanup.
- Place the squash in a single layer in the Air fryer basket as much as possible and leave some space for the hot air to flow. Cook in batches if needed.
- Once cooked, carefully remove the roasted squash as they will be very tender.
Storing and Reheating
Store- Leftover squash can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.
Reheat- To make them taste like fresh, reheat them in the Air fryer at 400˚F for a few minutes until warm and crispy.
Make ahead - Season the squash and keep it in the fridge until ready to cook. This is especially useful during holiday times when you have so many dishes to cook.
Can You Cook Frozen Butternut Squash In The Air Fryer?
Absolutely. It's so convenient having frozen butternut squash for a quick side dish.
To cook from frozen, oil and season the frozen butternut squash. Air fry as per the recipe below. You will need to add a few more minutes to the cooking time. When they are tender and caramelized to your liking you can remove from the Air fryer and serve them.
More Air Fryer Side Dishes You'll Love:
Check out my Air Fryer Recipe Collection for more Air fryer recipes.
Air Fryer Butternut Squash
- 1 butternut squash peeled and cubed into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoon olive oil light tasting or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar optional
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the air fryer to 400˚F.
- Place the cubed squash into a large bowl. Add olive oil, give it a good stir and add the salt and black pepper.
- Next, add cinnamon and maple syrup. Add brown sugar if you're using.
- Mix everything well until all the squash cubes are coated with oil and seasonings.
- Place the butternut squash cubes in the Air fryer basket. Air fry for 20 to 25 minutes until caramelized , shaking the basket halfway through.
- Remove the roasted squash from the Air fryer and serve warm.