Air Fryer Acorn Squash

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Air Fryer Acorn Squash cooks quickly in the air fryer and comes out with a soft silky interior that’s perfect for mashing or turning into a tasty side dish, or even using as a soup bowl.

A plate of cubed up acorn squash

During the fall, acorn squash and other edible squash varieties are aplenty. A lot of people buy them just for decoration from October through the holidays, and while I agree they are very pretty, they are also very good to eat and it would be a waste to just toss them out.

Instead of throwing out the acorn squash you decorated with at Halloween, try this easy air fryer recipe for roasting it in a super quick way that leaves you with delicious sweet and tender squash that can be served as a side dish or used in so many other ways.

Why You’ll Love It

  • Forget about mushy or unevenly cooked squash – the air fryer provides a consistent and mouthwatering result. Caramelized acorn squash that is crisp on the outside while being soft and tender on the inside.
  • Acorn squash makes for an excellent side dish, and you can quickly switch up the seasonings to add variety to its flavor profile.

Sallyann P says: 5 stars I’m always looking for new and healthy recipes to try, and this one did not disappoint.

NB Ladd says: I love how easy and quick this recipe is

» Also see how to make Air Fryer Butternut Squash.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Whole acorn squash
  • Acorn Squash – You’re going to want to find one that’s not too big, about the size of a softball or slightly bigger. Bonus points if it can sit easily on its side without rolling. We’ve used bigger squash, but it will end up being too much for 2 servings, so smaller is better.
  • Olive oil – This will keep the squash from getting dried out. You can brush it with olive oil or spritz it with some oil spray.
  • Salt and pepper – Salt and pepper is all you really need to add plenty of great flavor to the squash. It won’t overpower the taste. However, if you want to add more seasonings, go for it! I like to add seasoned salt or some dried rosemary.

Equipment Information

Helpful Tips

  • Save the seeds to make roasted squash seeds in the air fryer.
  • You can use any type of seasoning you like on the squash. It’s good with all different kinds of flavors, like Cajun seasoning, maple syrup, etc.
  • Depending on the size of your squash, it might need a little more or less time to get perfectly tender.

How to Make Acorn Squash in the Air Fryer

The method for making acorn squash in the air fryer is very simple. You can use this recipe for any small squash that measures about the size of a softball – or slightly larger or smaller. Since the size of your squash might vary from mine, you may have to adjust the cooking time a little to get the level of doneness.

Step 1: Prep the squash

Acorn squash cut in half

Wash the acorn squash well to remove any surface dirt. Then cut the squash in half, either lengthwise or horizontally. It won’t affect the outcome, so just cut it which ever way you think will allow it to lay flat in the air fryer best without tipping over.

Raw acorn squash with seeds removed

Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and pulp.  I always keep and roast the seeds. It’s a great nutritious snack and doesn’t waste anything.

Once the insides are cleaned out. Spray the squash with cooking spray (or brush with a small amount of olive oil) and season with salt & pepper.

Step 2: Air fry

Place the squash in the air fryer face down and cook at 375°F (190° C) for 15 minutes. Then turn the squash face up and continue cooking for 5 more minutes.

Uncooked acorn squash halves in the air fryer basket

At this point, you’ll want to stick a fork or knife into the flesh of the squash to test its level of doneness. The top should be a little browned and crispy. The insides should be nice and soft. The fork shouldn’t find resistance as it pierces.

If yours isn’t quite done enough, set it on for another 5 minutes. Most sizes of squash will cook in 20 minutes, but if yours was bigger or had a tougher skin, it might take a little longer.

Acorn squash halves in the air fryer basket

How to Use Acorn Squash

Cooking a whole acorn squash this way makes it easy if you’re planning to make dishes like mashed squash or squash soup. All you have to do is scoop out the cooked flesh of the squash and mash it up, or add it to your soup pot.

You can also peel off the skin of the squash and cube it or slice it to eat as a side dish. It’s delicious with a little olive oil and seasoning. Another way we like to enjoy it is to stuff it with leftover stuffing and cubed turkey from Thanksgiving. It’s the perfect after Thanksgiving lunch to use up leftovers.

What Is The Trick To Peeling Acorn Squash

Peeling an acorn squash can be a bit tricky, but there are a few tricks that can make it easier:

  • Soften the Skin: One way to make it easier to peel the acorn squash is to soften the skin. You can do this by first placing the squash in the microwave for a minute or two, or by briefly boiling it for a few minutes. This will help to loosen the skin and make it easier to peel.
  • Use a Vegetable Peeler: Always use a good quality vegetable peeler with a sharp blade. Start peeling from the top of the squash, and work your way downwards, making sure to remove all the skin. If the skin is tough in some areas, use a knife to cut away any remaining bits.
  • Cut the Squash into Smaller Pieces: An alternate method is to cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and then cut the halves into smaller pieces (roughly 1 inch each). After this, use a knife to carefully slice off the skin from each of the pieces.
  • Make Sure Its Not Too Ripe: Make sure that the squash is not too ripe as this can make it more difficult to peel. Choose an acorn squash with a matte skin, firm to touch and free from any soft or brown spots.
A plate of cooked acorn squash

Can I Eat the Skin of Acorn Squash?

You might be wondering if the skin of an acorn squash is edible. Are all the nutrients held in the skin like it is in so many other starchy vegetables? The answer is, yes you can eat the skin. But it’s not as nutritious as you might hope for.

The other thing is that the skin of the squash is rather tough, so it’s not very desirable to eat. If you roast it in the air fryer, it’s just easier to remove it before you eat it.

What to Serve with This Dish

There are so many options for main dishes to serve with this dish. You can make these all in the air fryer or in the oven, if you wish.

25 Delicious Air Fryer Main Dishes to Try

Questions About the Recipe

Can I Use Other Kinds Of Squash?

Really any type of edible squash works with this recipe. you can use a small pumpkin, or any kind of cooking squash that’s small and round, like a buttercup squash, carnival squash, delicata squash, kabocha, or sweet dumpling.

Can I Reheat Air Fryer Acorn Squash?

The meat of the acorn squash can be reheated with no problem. I often make a whole squash and put half of it in the refrigerator for later. You can leave it in the skin, or remove it from the skin and cut it up. However you’re going to use it is fine.

Can I Use Acorn Squash for Soup?

Yes, you can use any type of squash to make soup. All you would need to do is add broth and puree it all together. Check out this recipe for butternut squash soup that starts with cooked butternut squash, just like this. You can make this soup with any type of squash you want (except zucchini or yellow squash).

Should I Peel the Squash First?

When cooking a whole acorn squash, it’s best not to peel it before you cook it. Especially if you’re going to be using it for soup or as a filling for ravioli. You can just scoop it out of the skin once it’s cooked. It will keep the insides nice and soft without becoming dry or tough.

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A plate of cooked acorn squash

Air Fryer Acorn Squash

Air Fryer Acorn Squash cooks quickly in the air fryer and comes out with a soft silky interior that's perfect for mashing or turning into a tasty side dish, or even using as a soup bowl.
4.8 from 43 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 1 Squash
Calories 234 kcal



  • 1 small acorn or other edible squash
  • 1/2 tablespoon (7 ml) olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


  • Wash and slice the squash in half. Brush olive oil on the flesh. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Place the halves face down in the air fryer basket. Cook on 350° F (180° C) for 15 minutes. Turn the squash over, brush with more olive oil if necessary. Continue cooking on 400° F (200° C) for 5-10 minutes, until the desired tenderness is reached.


  • Save the seeds to make roasted squash seeds in the air fryer. You can use any type of seasoning you like on the squash.
  • It’s good with all different kinds of flavors, like Cajun seasoning, maple syrup, etc.
  • Depending on the size of your squash, it might need a little more or less time to get perfectly tender.

All air fryers have different wattage and may cook at different rates. You may need to adjust the time or temp for the best results.


Calories: 234kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 3gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 13mgPotassium: 1496mgFiber: 6gVitamin A: 1582IUVitamin C: 47mgCalcium: 142mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Squash
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7 thoughts on “Air Fryer Acorn Squash

  1. Auntie Carol says:

    I’m trying to cut back on oil in my cooking. Is there a way to modify the air fryer acorn squash recipe to use less oil or none at all?

    • Angela Morris says:

      Hi Carol, we are only using oil here to keep the acorn squash from sticking to the basket and to keep it moist while cooking. You could leave it out all together if you need to.

  2. GreenMachine says:

    5 stars
    I absolutely loved this air fryer acorn squash recipe! I decided to experiment a little and added some crumbled feta cheese on top before serving. The combination of the salty feta and the sweet squash was a match made in heaven.

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