Fast and delicious, this easy Air Fryer Squash is great for topping salads, eating alongside your favorite meal, or even just a snack! Ready in just 10 minutes, and only 20 if using an oven (instructions provided).
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Hey Internet, I LOVE fall, and it’s not for the pumpkin spice lattes -- it’s for the squash! Winter squash is just awesome.
There are SO MANY great varieties of winter squash. My favorite is delicata -- the star of this recipe (but you can use any if you cut it small enough!).
Delicata squash is a cylindrical winter squash yellow with orange or green stripes. It has a very lightly sweet flavor, not as rich as squashes like Butternut--which I’m actually not a huge fan of as the sweetness is too much for me.
Delicata also has a very thin skin, meaning you can leave it on and eat it cooked! Not tough or chewy at all.
Like any winter squash, it also comes packed with seeds on the inside that are delicious for roasting.
As you can see from the picture, I LOVE putting air fried or roasted delicata squash on a nice fall salad, which I’ll also include the recipe for below, but you don’t have to make it if you just want the squash. You do you.
Anyway… let’s just get into this awesome recipe.
What You’ll Need
Ok I’m going to sound a bit dense here, but to make air fryer squash you’re gonna need some squash.
I’m only talking about the harder winter squash here: delicata, acorn, butternut, kabocha, pumpkin, carnival, etc.
Softer or summer squashes like zucchini might not work the same way, as they contain more liquid and have a different kind of flesh.
Depending on what you pick, you may want to peel your squash -- Delicata has a thin skin, so no need to peel it. But squash like pumpkin or butternut should probably be peeled.
This is my FAVORITE vegetable peeler and it’s also super inexpensive. It makes peeling even a butternut squash a breeze.
That’s basically all you need. I spray mine with water and sprinkle on salt and pepper (sometimes other spices, like garlic, chili, etc.), but you can use oil if you want to.
For the salad itself, it’s totally customizable but if you want a great fall salad, try these ingredients on for size: cucumber, tomatoes, pomegranate seeds (!), kale, roasted squash seeds (from whichever squash you use), and a good dressing.
Dressing-wise, I chose to use my vegan honey mustard dressing because the flavor goes awesome with this salad, but mostly because it takes like 1 minute to whip up using just 3 ingredients that I always have in my fridge.
Tips for Making Air Fryer Squash
Obviously this is the air fryer section. If you do not have an air fryer, you can check out the section below for oven roasted squash.
- So, cutting the squash. You will need a sharp knife. Delicata isn’t super hard to cut--I like to cut the top and bottom off, then slice it lengthwise down the middle. If you find the squash hard to cut, try microwaving it for a minute or two first.
- I highly recommend saving the seeds and roasting them! It’s so easy, and definitely worth it.
- I find it easiest to scoop out the seeds and membrane with a grapefruit spoon. Then I fill a medium sized bowl with water, so that the seeds mostly float to the top as I free them from the membrane. Roast and reserve for later (there’s a little section below on how to roast squash seeds).
- Cut the delicata (or other squash) into half inch thick pieces. You can leave delicata in a half ring shape, or you can slice it into smaller pieces (especially if feeding littles).
- Lightly spray the squash with water, (or oil, if that’s your thing) and season with salt, pepper, and whatever else you like (sometimes I use garlic, chili, etc.)
- Add to your air fryer. They will get crispier if they are in a single layer, however I’m lazy and don’t have a huge air fryer so I just dumped the whole sliced squash in my air fryer basket.
- Air fry at 375 degrees Fahrenheit (or 191 degrees Celsius) for about 10 minutes, shaking halfway through. If you like it more browned, you can keep cooking for another 5 minutes or so.
- That’s it! If making the salad I show here, you can cut up all the veggies and make the dressing while you wait for the squash to cook. Then just throw it all together and chow down on a delicious, hearty fall meal.
Oven Method: How to Make Oven Roasted Squash
It’s just as easy to make oven roasted squash, it just takes slightly more time than the air-fryer method.
Line a baking tray with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Lay the squash pieces out in a single layer with a little breathing room (about an inch) between each piece.
If you pack them too close together, you end up steaming them instead of roasting. Still tasty, but not really crispy. Use a second tray if you have to.
Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (or 205 degrees Celsius) for about 20-25 minutes, flipping the pieces halfway through.
How to Roast Squash Seeds
Separate the seeds from the membrane--I find this easiest to do in a bowl of water.
Lightly dry the seeds and while they’re still a little wet, season them with salt, pepper, and anything else you’d like. You can use oil if you want, but they get perfectly crunchy for me with no oil.
Add them to a lined baking sheet. I like to use a silicone baking mat. They save money and aren’t hard to clean.
Roast the seeds at about 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius) for 5-10 minutes, shaking halfway through.
Test 1, 2, or even 10. This is for science; you need to know if they’re cooked. ;)
You can store them in an airtight container for up to 5 days or so. I think. I mean, that’s what I’ve read, but they’re usually gone before dinner.
More Delicious Vegan Fall Recipes
I LOVE autumn / fall food, so I make a fair amount of it! Whether it features squash, apples, pomegranates, or just really warm cozy soup or pasta, I have a bunch of fall-themed recipes for you to try.
- Pumpkin Risotto
- Instant Pot Apple Butter
- And Vegan Apple Butter Thumbprint Cookies to go with them!
- Vegan Cream of Chicken Soup
- Apple Pie Baked Oatmeal
- Butternut Squash Carrot Ginger Soup
- Vegan Corn Chowder
As always, I hope you love this recipe--I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too. We kept eating this while we were trying to photograph it!
This air fryer squash is:
- Super easy
- Quick to make
- Sweet n’ salty
- And perfect for any salad, side, or snack!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!