Air Fryer Butternut Squash uses just a few simple ingredients and is one of my FAVORITE ways to cook squash. Cooking butternut squash in the air fryer results in pieces that are tender, slightly caramelized with brown edges, and are super flavorful.
⭐Why I Love It:
- Slightly Sweet - Adding a little brown sugar helps bring out the butternut squash's sweetness.
- Cooks Fast - Cooking butternut squash in the air fryer cuts the cook time in half vs if you made it in the oven.
- Versatile - Serve them as a side, on a salad, or in a grain bowl.
🥘Ingredients and Equipment
- Butternut Squash - You can buy a whole squash and peel/dice it or you can buy pre-diced squash cubes. Also try this Butternut Squash Pasta, or Harvest Pasta Salad.
- Spices - Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, Kosher Salt and Pepper
- Brown Sugar - This is optional but the slight added sweetness is so good with the squash!
- Olive Oil
- Air Fryer - You can use a basket-style air fryer, like pictured, or one that has pull out racks.
- Large Bowl - You'll want a bowl to toss the squash with the oil and spices.
- Sharp Knife and Peeler - Unless you buy pre-diced, you'll want a large sharp knife to cut up the squash as well as a peeler to remove the skin (or you can carefully use your knife to do this.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Sweet Potatoes - You can swap in diced sweet potatoes for the butternut squash. The cook time will change slightly, so air fry until they are also tender and have lightly browned edges.
- Brown Sugar - Instead of brown sugar, try swapping in pure maple syrup or honey.
- Oven Roasted - Instead of air frying butternut squash, you can spread out the coated diced squash on a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees F 400 for 25 to 30 minutes, until tender.
🔪Step by Step Instructions
Air fried butternut squash takes only minutes to prep and cooks in under 20 minutes!
Photo 1 - Peel your squash and dice into 1-inch cubes. Try to make them all the same size so they cook evenly.
Photo 2 - In a large bowl, toss the squash in the olive oil to coat then in the brown sugar and spices until evenly coated.
Photo 3 - Add to your air fryer basket. They should be in an even layer, but a little overlapping is okay.
Photo 4 - Air fry until the butternut squash is tender and have a few brown edges. I like to give it a shake halfway through to avoid any sticking.
🍽Leftovers and Reheating
Leftovers - Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Reheating - I reheat leftovers at 400 degrees F for 5 minutes. They aren't as crispy as when they are first made, but they are still good.
- Shake Halfway - I like to give the air fryer basket a shake about halfway through to help keep the butternut squash from sticking and to help ensure even cooking. This is especially important if you had to overlap your diced squash slightly.
- Cut into Even Cubes - This helps make sure that it all cooks evenly. If you have some pieces that are much larger then they will need longer to cook and the smaller pieces may become too soft in that time.
- Preheating Air Fryer - Preheating your air fryer (or letting it run empty for a few minutes to warm the basket) is optional in air fryer recipes, but it does result in slightly better browning on the bottom of the food.
The amount of time for butternut squash to cook in the air fryer will depend on the size of the squash pieces. But butternut squash cubes will cook in about 15 minutes.
Butternut squash pairs well with both sweet and savory flavors! For savory spices, try rosemary, thyme, sage, paprika, and cayenne pepper. For sweeter spices and flavors, try brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, or cinnamon.
You can cook frozen butternut squash in the air fryer! You can follow the recipe as written, but you may need to add an extra minute or two to the cook time. Be aware that due to the excess moisture, it won't get quite as crispy or golden brown as if you use fresh.
🥔Related Air Fryer Recipes
Like this recipe? Sign up for my e-mail list so you get a weekly e-mail with new recipes from the week as well as occasional ‘bonus’ content not found on the blog! E-mail link sign up!
Those ads on the page? A portion of all ad revenue is being donated to Warrior Dog Rescue. A MN-based dog rescue that I foster and volunteer with.Print
Air Fryer Butternut Squash
Air Fryer Butternut Squash uses just a few simple ingredients and is one of my FAVORITE ways to cook squash. Cooking butternut squash in the air fryer results in pieces that are tender, slightly caramelized with brown edges, and are super flavorful. Serve as a side on their own or add to a leafy green or grain salad.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 3-4 servings
- Category: Sides
- Method: Air Fryer
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
- 4 cups peeled and diced (1-inch) butternut squash, About 20 ounces
- 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar, light or dark
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper, adjust or omit to taste
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Dice Squash - Peel your squash and dice into 1-inch cubes. Try to make them all the same size so they cook evenly.
- Optional - Preheat Air Fryer - For crispier edges, you can let the air fryer run empty at 400 degrees F for a couple of minutes to preheat the basket.
- Toss Squash - In a large bowl, toss the squash in the olive oil to coat then in the brown sugar and spices until evenly coated.
- Air Fry - Add to your air fryer basket. They should be in an even layer, but a little overlapping is okay. Air fry at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes until they are tender and have a few brown edges. I like to give it a shake halfway through to avoid any sticking.
Serving Ideas - Serve as a side with a protein or add to salads like a grain salad or a leafy green salad.
- Serving Size: 1 heaping cup
- Calories: 164
- Sugar: 7.2 g
- Sodium: 216.6 mg
- Fat: 7.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 26.8 g
- Fiber: 4.2 g
- Protein: 2.2 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: Air Fryer Butternut Squash, Butternut Squash in air fryer