Soft, creamy, and easy, this Air Fryer Butternut Squash makes an impressive and delicious side dish. A crispy show-stealing side!
- 1 small butternut squash (around 4-6 cups diced) (see note 1)
- 1-2 tablespoons neutral high heat oil, optional (like grapeseed) (see note 2 to cook without oil)
- Salt and pepper to taste (or your choice of seasonings)
- Add peeled and cubed butternut squash to a large bowl.
- If using oil, drizzle the squash with the oil and stir with a spatula.
- If you are not using oil, I recommend tossing the squash with a tablespoon or two of water or broth so your spices are able to adhere to the squash cubes.
- Season: Sprinkle on your spices and stir again to combine.
- Add the squash to your air fryer in a single layer. You may need to do this in a few batches. Cooking the squash in a single layer is crucial to getting crispy and browned edges. Cooking air fryer butternut squash in a thicker layer will result in the squash just becoming steamed. Still tasty, but that might not be what you’re looking for.
- Cook the squash at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius) for 14-20 minutes, shaking the basket vigorously halfway through (be careful, the hot oil can splatter). If your air fryer was already hot from a previous batch, check it a little sooner. Repeat with remaining squash.
- Serve immediately and enjoy alongside your favorite main, or as an appetizer.
- Store: Refrigerate leftover cooked squash in an airtight container for up to 4 days and reheat on low heat in the air fryer for best results. If you have leftover squash that you did not cook, you can store this for up to a week in the refrigerator in an airtight container or reusable food storage bag.
- Note 1: I like to use a butternut squash on the smaller side for air fryer butternut squash because there’s a lot to cook and it really turns out better when you air fry the butternut squash cubes in a single layer. No matter the size of your squash, cook in a few batches (or save the rest for another time if you’re cool with a smaller portion) for best results. This method will work with any other winter squash (delicata, acorn, buttercup, honeynut, etc.).
- Note 2: Oil is an optional ingredient, but if you’re not oil-free I would not recommend skipping it. The oil allows us to get slightly crispy and browned edges on our air fryer butternut squash (as does cooking them in a single layer). Oil-free air fried butternut squash will still be soft and delicious (this is how I usually eat it), but will likely not get crispy edges, at least not without overcooking them, which I don’t enjoy. If you are using oil, I recommend a neutral flavored, high heat oil like grapeseed or avocado oil.
- Note 3: I love the contrast of the sweet squash with salt and pepper, but if you want your air fryer butternut squash to be sweet, try adding cinnamon and a sprinkle of sugar or another warming spice.
- Note 4: If it’s hard to cut the squash you have a few options. Check out my article above for tips (there’s a heading called “cutting the butternut squash”) or you can use pre-chopped butternut squash from the store (usually in the prepared produce section). If the pieces look uneven, try to even out the batch if you can (cut the larger pieces in half).
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Vegetable, Sides
- Method: Air Fryer
- Cuisine: American, Health
Keywords: Air Fryer Butternut Squash, vegan sides