Air fried butternut squash is a great addition to salads, grain bowls, soups, wraps, and more. It’s also delicious served plain on it’s own as a side dish! Using a bag of pre-chopped squash makes this even easier, and the air fryer is my favorite way to cook these. They get browned and a little crisp on the outside and tender and sweet on the inside. These are lightly seasoned and take just minutes to cook! If you’d like to cook a large batch in the oven, follow this recipe for Oven Roasted Butternut Squash, with a very similar flavor profile.
Ingredients and Equipment List
- Butternut Squash – You can chop up a fresh squash from the produce section (or your garden!) or use pre-chopped bagged squash like I’m doing here for an easy shortcut.
- Olive Oil – Use olive oil, or any other cooking oil of your choice. Avocado or vegetable oil would work as well.
- Air Fryer – I love cooking this recipe in the air fryer (this is my favorite air fryer), especially for a small amount, but you could easily roast these in the oven at 425 on a parchment-lined baking sheet until golden brown as well.
- Place peeled and chopped butternut squash in a medium mixing bowl.
- Drizzle squash with oil and sprinkle with spices and toss to coat.
- Place in an air fryer basket.
- Air Fry at 400, shaking half way through cooking. Cook time will depend on the size of your chopped pieces, the small pre-chopped bags I buy take about 10-15 minutes. I shake them when they look like the photo below-left, and take them out when they appear like below-right.
Note: with moisture loss, notice how the volume shrinks!
Air fried butternut squash is great served warm as a side dish or sprinkled on a salad or grain bowl, which is how I eat them, most often!
- Try them on this Autumn Harvest Salad, which is full of fall flavors.
- You could also sub them for the sweet potatoes in my Roasted Sweet Potato Chicken Quinoa Salad.
- I like to keep them in the fridge and add them (cold) to salads, grain bowls, soup, wraps, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is it okay to prep these ahead of time? Yes! I prep air fried butternut squash all the time just to keep in my fridge and use on lunch salads and bowls throughout the week. Of course when they are cold, the texture changes a bit and they soften, but I like them still!
- How much can I cook in my air fryer at once? Because air fryers work by the circulation of hot air, you don’t want to overcrowd it too much. I cook as many as two 16-oz packages butternut squash at one time in my 6qt air fryer. Note that the more you cook, the longer the cook time will be.
The air fryer is a quick and easy way to cook butternut squash!
- 16 oz peeled, chopped butternut squash
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (I do 2, but you can cut to 1.5 if you like)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (or regular paprika if that’s what you’ve got)
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees.
- Place squash in a medium mixing bowl and add all spices, toss to coat.
- Transfer squash to basket of air fryer, shake to evenly distribute.
- Cook for 8 minutes, shake basket to toss squash, return to cook for 5-10 minutes longer, or until squash is browned and toasty on the sides. Cook time will vary depending on the size and ripeness of your squash.
- Remove from air fryer and either serve warm or let cool and store in fridge.
Oven Instructions: Preheat oven to 425, line a baking sheet with parchment. Spread out your seasoned butternut squash cubes on the sheet in a single layer and roast until golden brown. Timing depends on size, usually about 20-ish minutes, keep an eye on them! Feel free to toss mid-way through. If you have a convection setting on your oven, that helps to brown all the sides, just watch to make sure the tops aren’t getting overdone as it will cook faster.
Depending on your style of air fryer and the size of your chopped squash, you may want to use a liner. Some smaller pieces fall through the holes in my tray, but I just collect them all after!
Keywords: roasted air fryer butternut squash