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Bowl of delicata sqaush salad

Air Fryer Squash with Kale Salad

  • Author: Liz Madsen
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Fast and delicious, this easy air fryer squash is great for topping salads, eating alongside your favorite meal, or even just a snack!




  • 1 medium delicata squash (see note 1)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (or other spices)


  • 8 oz kale or other green, chopped
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup squash seeds, roasted, optional
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced, optional
  • 1/2 cup vegan honey mustard dressing, or any dressing


  1. Cut the squash: If using delicata, cut the top and bottom off, then slice it lengthwise down the middle. 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) (bigger is fine, but will take longer to cook). If you find the squash hard to cut, try microwaving it for a minute or two first.
  2. Save the seeds: 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 fill a medium sized bowl with water, so that  the seeds mostly float to the top as I free them from the membrane.
  3. Season: 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.)
  4. Air Fryer Method: Add to your air fryer. They will get crispier if they are in a single layer. Air fry at 375 degrees F (or 191 degrees C) for about 10 minutes, shaking halfway through. If you like it more browned, you can keep cooking for another 5 minutes or so.
  5. Oven 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. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (or 205 degrees Celsius) for about 20-25 minutes, flipping the pieces halfway through.
  6. Roast the seeds (optional): 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. ;)
  7. Make the salad (optional): Cut up all the veggies and make the dressing while you wait for the squash to cook. I recommend massaging the dressing into the kale for a minute or two--this breaks down the fibers and makes it easier to chew--and it tastes good this way, rather than just tossing the greens in the dressing. Then just throw it all together and chow down on a delicious, hearty fall meal.
  8. Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container. The salad will keep for about 3 days (if dressed), the squash about 5 days (keep separate from salad if possible). The seeds should keep on the counter in an airtight container for about 5 days.


  • Note 1: You can use any 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. 
  • Note 2: 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.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Airfryer, Oven
  • Cuisine: American, Fall

Keywords: Vegan, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Nut-Free, Can Be Sugar-Free,