Air Fryer Butternut Squash Recipe: Easy and Delicious!


Why cook butternut squash in the air fryer? Here are some advantages of this recipe:

  • Saves energy: Enjoy cooked butternut squash WITHOUT heating up the house with this delicious air fryer squash recipe! (I know I mentioned this above, but it deserves repeating!)
  • Easy: It only takes 20 minutes to cook squash in an air fryer. If you get precut butternut squash from the store, you can save yourself a lot of chopping too!
  • Healthy: Butternut squash is an excellent source of provitamin A carotenoids. You’re also getting plenty of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber here.
  • No sugar added: Butternut squash is considered a starchy veggie that contains natural sugars. However, this recipe is sugar free in the sense that it contains no added sugar. This means ingredients like brown sugar, maple syrup, and honey that are typically added to butternut squash.
  • Snack or side dish: You can use this recipe for Thanksgiving butternut squash, part of the Christmas meal, or a weeknight side dish. Alternatively, enjoy this winter squash as a snack. Talk about versatility!
  • Delicious: This easy butternut squash recipe tastes like fall. It’s a crowd pleaser that tastes like holiday food.


This recipe is relatively straightforward, and you only need a few simple ingredients to make it. Here’s your shopping list:

  • Fresh butternut squash
  • Olive oil
  • Cooking oil spray (non-aerosol)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Butter
  • Fresh sage leaves
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Get specific quantities of ingredients in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. When choosing butternut squash, look for one with smooth skin and no mushy spots.

Do you leave the skin on when roasting butternut squash?

The skin of butternut squash is edible, though it tends to be tough in older, larger squash. I usually skip peeling if I have a young, tender squash. This helps prevent food waste and saves me a lot of work.

However, here I did decide to peel the squash. Air frying is a little different than oven roasting, and I felt the squash was better without the rind in this recipe.

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Can you make frozen butternut squash in the air fryer?

Yes! Find directions for air fryer frozen butternut squash in my air fryer frozen vegetables recipe. In this recipe, we’re seasoning frozen cut butternut squash with everything bagel seasoning before air frying. It’s delish and simple.


You need a good knife, an air fryer, and a small saucepan for this recipe. The Ninja Foodi, Philips, Nuwave, Kalorik, Pampered Chef, Actifry, Instant Pot Vortex, Cosori, Breville, and other air fryers can be used.

However, keep in mind you’re getting a big batch of air fried squash here. I was able to fit it all in my air fryer oven. If you have a small air fryer basket, you may want to cut this recipe in half.

On the other hand, if you’re feeding a crowd, you may not want to cut the recipe in half. If that’s the case, just cook it in 2-3 batches.

Cooking times may need to be adjusted depending on the air fryer you use. If you halve the recipe, start with trying half the cooking time. Air fryer oven recipes made on two trays can take longer because the food on the lower tray isn’t right next to the heat source.

How to Cut Butternut Squash

Ever wondered how to prepare butternut squash? Rinse the squash in cool water, brushing away any dirt. Pat the squash dry with a paper towel.

Cut the blossom and stem ends off the squash with a sharp knife. If you’ll be peeling the squash, you can do that with the knife as well. I find that butternut squash skin is often too tough for my vegetable peeler.

Now you can cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. The butternut squash seeds can be roasted and enjoyed just like pumpkin seeds, so don’t throw them out!

Like all seeds, they are a high-calorie food, so I recommend remaining mindful of portions if fat loss is your goal. (They’re great for kid snacks, though!)

Slice or cube butternut squash as needed for your recipe. We’ll be cutting the squash into ½-1 inch (1.27-2.54 cm) cubes here.

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How to Make Air Fryer Butternut Squash

Now that we’ve cut butternut squash, we’re ready to get cooking! Put your cubed butternut squash in a medium-sized bowl. Drizzle the squash with olive oil, and give it a stir.

Mist two air fryer trays with cooking spray. Spread the squash out in a single layer on the trays. Sprinkle the squash with salt and pepper, and put the trays in the air fryer.

Cooking Time and Temperature

How long do you air fry butternut squash? What temperature to air fry butternut squash? Cook butternut squash for a total of 20 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190C).

Begin by air frying the squash for 10 minutes. Then flip the squash, switch the position of the trays in the air fryer, and air fry 10 minutes more. The squash should be fork tender with slight browning on the edges.

You can serve the roasted squash as it is, or add some sage and butter. To do so, melt butter in a small pan over medium-low heat. Add fresh sage (cut large leaves in half) and cook 3-5 minutes more, stirring constantly.

The sage will get crispy and the butter will brown. Pour this mixture over the squash, stir, and serve immediately. I like to add some shredded or grated Parm on top for a finishing touch.


Leftover butternut squash can be stored in a covered container in the fridge for 3-4 days. To reheat squash, microwave on high for 2½ minutes. You can freeze this squash as well, but it will be a bit mushier when defrosted.

How to Serve

What to serve with air fryer butternut squash? You can add plain roasted butternut squash to a nourish bowl, salad, or grain bowl. Here are some main dishes that go with butternut squash:

  • Air Fryer Rotisserie Chicken
  • Pork Belly Air Fryer Recipe
  • Frozen Fish in Air Fryer
  • Air Fryer Chicken Patties

Also, if you don’t like the butternut squash toppings I’m using here, you can change things up! Top with goat cheese (chevre), feta, or nuts and seeds (like pumpkin seeds or pepitas).

Expert Tips from a Dietitian

This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Is butternut squash good for weight loss? Butternut squash is considered a starchy vegetable, and thus one of the higher-calorie veggie options. That, combined with the added oil and browned butter, means you get a side that is high in carbs and fat and fairly low in protein.

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For these reasons, I would not consider this side dish to be your best option if your goal is fat loss. The combination of fat and carbs with minimal protein typically doesn’t promote fullness on fewer calories.

Is butternut squash healthier than potatoes? Both potatoes and butternut squash are nutritious options, and I personally enjoy both in my diet. That (of course) doesn’t mean these foods are the best choices for you.

Here’s a little nutritional comparison of butternut squash versus potatoes (per 100g). As you can see, butternut squash is a better choice for low carb diets than potatoes. It’s also lower in calories and an excellent source of vitamin A.

If you want to lighten this squash up (i.e., make it low calorie), skip the browned butter and Parm topping. When I’m busy, I often serve roasted or air fried veggies with little more than salt and pepper. I promise they are perfectly fine on their own!

That said, the butter and Parm is a fun option for foodies and folks with higher energy needs. It also turns this humble veggie into a holiday-worthy side dish.


Got questions? Here are some frequently asked questions about butternut squash and air fryer cooking:

  1. Can you leave the skin on when roasting butternut squash?
  2. Can you make frozen butternut squash in the air fryer?

Other Air Fryer Squash Recipes

Need more air fryer recipes for squash? I’m on it!

  • Air Fryer Spaghetti Squash
  • Air Fryer Yellow Squash
  • Meatloaf in Air Fryer (has a pumpkin BBQ sauce!)

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The Disclaimer…

All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.

The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don’t sweat the numbers too much.

For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let’s get cooking!