Air-fried butternut squash is a delicious and healthy side dish that can be easily prepared in the air fryer. Whether you prefer to roast the squash whole or cut it into cubes, the air fryer provides a quick and easy method to achieve perfectly caramelized and roasted squash. In this article, we will guide you through the simple steps to make air-fried butternut squash in the air fryer.
- 1 small butternut squash (approximately 1 to 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the air fryer to 375°F for 3-5 minutes.
- Carefully cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp with a spoon.
- Rub or brush both sides of the butternut squash with olive oil.
- Season the squash with salt and pepper (or add cinnamon and brown sugar for a sweeter flavor).
- Place the squash cut side down in the air fryer.
- Air fry the squash for 20 minutes.
- Carefully flip the squash and sprinkle with more cinnamon and sugar if desired.
- Air fry for an additional 20-25 minutes, or until the squash is fork-tender.
- Remove the squash from the air fryer and use or serve as desired.
- You can scoop out the flesh to make butternut squash mash or add it to soup. Alternatively, you can cut the squash into horizontal slices to serve as a side dish.
Recipe Variations and Customizations:
- Make it Sweet: Sprinkle the squash with cinnamon and maple syrup or brown sugar halfway through the cooking process.
- For an Herbaceous Flavor: Season the squash with dried herbs and a mix of fresh herbs like sage, rosemary, and thyme. Add the herb mixture halfway through cooking to prevent burning.
- Make it Spicy: Add cajun seasoning and cayenne pepper for a spicy kick!
Q: What's the best way to cut a butternut squash? A: Using a sharp chef's knife, cut the top off the squash and about 1/4 inch from the bottom. Stand the squash upright and carefully cut it from top to bottom to cut it in half. If you want peeled butternut squash, use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin before slicing the squash in half.
Q: How to air fry pre-cut butternut squash? A: Place the butternut squash cubes in the air fryer basket in a single layer and toss them in a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Air fry the squash cubes at 400°F for 25 minutes or until fork-tender, flipping them or shaking the basket halfway through.
Q: Does butternut squash need peeling before roasting? A: No, it is not necessary to peel the butternut squash before roasting. You can leave the peel on if you are roasting large halves. After roasting, you can scoop out the flesh or peel the skin and slice the squash as desired.
Ways to Use and Serve Butternut Squash:
- Use air-fried butternut squash in any recipe that calls for roasted butternut squash. It will save you time and effort!
- Blend it to make a pasta sauce, like in this Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta recipe.
- Use it as a base for soup. Butternut squash soup is always a good idea.
- Add it to a salad. Butternut squash would be a great addition to a Superfood Salad.
- Pair it with your favorite main dish. Spatchcock BBQ Chicken or Baked Turkey Wings are great options.
Storage and Rewarming:
Store any cooked butternut squash in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To rewarm, heat in the air fryer at 300°F for 2-3 minutes or rewarm it in the microwave for about 60 seconds.
Enjoy your air-fried butternut squash and don't forget to rate the recipe and share your thoughts in the comments!