Air Fryer Butternut Squash (Halves)

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Air Fryer Butternut Squash, when cooked in halves, can be used for so many different dishes. It cooks quickly in the air fryer and comes out with a soft silky interior that’s perfect for mashed butternut squash, or a filling for ravioli and pasta.

Air Fryer Butternut Squash

Why You’ll Love it

  • Butternut squash in any form – whether whole or cubed – makes a great side dish. Butternut squash has a lovely sweet delicate flavor that pairs well with any main dish.
  • All you have to do to make this recipe work is cut the butternut squash and put them in the air fryer. Super easy. Yet super rewarding.

Darrin says: 5 stars It’s such an easy and quick way to enjoy butternut squash

» Also try this Air Fryer Spaghetti Squash or Air Fryer Broccoli.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Butternut squash: The average butternut squash weighs between 1.5-2 pounds. You can use any size you like just make sure that it fits in your air fryer basket.
  • Olive oil: We are using olive oil here. It is a healthy oil with a nice mild flavor. You can use any oil that you like.
  • Salt and ground black pepper: to taste.

Equipment Information

  • Air fryer: I use this 4-quart basket-style air fryer. It’s large enough to fit 2 small butternut squash pieces. Give each piece of squash enough space in the air fryer basket, so they cook evenly.
  • Kitchen tongs: It’s very easy to remove food from your air fryer with kitchen tongs. I use these kitchen tongs that are silicon coated so they don’t scratch the interior.

What to Look For When Picking a Butternut Squash

A pile of butternut squash

It can be daunting to stand in front of a pile of butternut squash at the grocery store wondering which one to pick. Here are some tips for picking the perfect squash.

Look for a squash with:

  • A solid beige color
  • A hard skin
  • Without cuts or bruises, though some scratches on the surface are normal.
  • No brown patches or punctures.
  • One that feels heavy for its size.

Expert Tips to Follow

  • You may have to adjust the cooking time depending on how big your butternut squash is. A larger squash might need additional time to cook. Start with 30 minutes and extend if the flesh isn’t easy to insert a fork into.
  • Don’t throw the seeds away! Roasted butternut squash seeds make a great snack. You can follow this air fryer pumpkin seed recipe.
  • There is no need to peel the squash before cooking.
  • Make sure to get the butternut squash that will fit in your air fryer basket.

How to Make Butternut Squash in the Air Fryer

Step One:

Air Fryer Butternut Squash

Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and pulp. Try to get it as clean as possible. You can save the seeds to cook on their own as a snack.

Step Two:

Air Fryer Butternut Squash

Spray the squash with cooking spray (or brush with a small amount of olive oil) and season with salt & pepper. This is all it really needs for great flavor. If you want to add a different type of seasoning, go for it.

Step Three:

Place the squash in the air fryer face down and cook at 375°F for 20 minutes. Then turn the squash face up and continue cooking for 10 more minutes.

Air Fryer Butternut Squash

When the squash is done, transfer it to a place using tongs and let it cool a bit. You can eat it by scooping it out of the skin. Or let it cool a little bit so you can handle it, then remove the skin and cut the squash into cubes. You can also just scoop it into a stock pot to make butternut squash soup.

Air Fryer Butternut Squash

How to Use Butternut Squash

Cooking a whole butternut squash this way makes it easy if you’re planning to make dishes like mashed butternut squash or butternut 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 use the butternut squash to make homemade butternut squash ravioli filling, or butternut squash risotto. Add it to salads, use it in a pasta sauce, or make a smooth puree with it.

Air Fryer Butternut Squash

Questions About the Recipe

Can I reheat air fryer butternut squash?

Yes. If you need to reheat them, I suggest putting them back in the air fryer for about 5 minutes to warm and crisp them up again.

Should I peel the squash first?

When cooking a whole butternut 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.

Do you cook butternut sqush cut side up or down?

You can cook it either way. This recipe will have you cook it both ways. Place the squash in the air fryer face down and cook at 375°F for 20 minutes. Then turn the squash face up and continue cooking for 10 more minutes. This ensures even cooking.

How do you know when butternut squash is done cooking?

You will know it is done with a fork or knife inserted into the thickest part goes in easily. The squash should be tender and soft. If there is resistance you should cook it longer.

butternut squash soup

More Air Fryer Squash Recipes to Try

What Oil & Oil Sprayer is Best for the Air Fryer?

The biggest issue most air fryer lovers face is finding the right oil and oil sprayer to use on food cooked in the air fryer. A fine mist of oil will help the entire piece of food crisp evenly, so it’s very important.

My personal preference is to use canola oil, extra virgin olive oil, or avocado oil. I use both a refillable spray bottle like the Evo one pictured below and non-propellant extra virgin olive oil, which has no harmful aerosols or chemicals.

Evo Oil Sprayer Evo Glass Trigger Sprayer Bottle, Non-Aerosol for Olive Cooking Oils, 6-Ounce Capacity, 6 oz, Yellow/Black/Red
Pompeian USDA Certified Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil Non-Stick Cooking Spray, Full-Bodied Flavor, Perfect for Salads and Pasta Drizzling, Naturally Gluten Free, Non-Allergenic, Non-GMO, No Propellants, 5 FL. OZ., Single Bottle
Tenlary Oil Sprayer for Cooking - 210ml Glass Olive Oil Dispenser Bottle Spray Mister-Reusable Food Grade Oil Vinegar Spritzer Sprayer Bottles,kitchen Gadgets Accessories for Air Fryer,BBQ (Orange)

Main Dish Recipes

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.

20 Delicious Air Fryer Main Dishes to Try

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Air Fryer Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash (Whole)

Air Fryer Butternut Squash, when cooked in halves, can be used for so many different dishes. It cooks quickly in the air fryer and comes out with a soft silky interior.
4.9 from 69 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 77 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 

  • 1 butternut squash that will fit in your air fryer
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and pulp.
  • Brush or spray squash with olive oil and season with salt & pepper.
  • Place in the air fryer, cut side down and cook at 375°F (190°C) for 20 minutes. Turn over and cook for an additional 10 minutes face up, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Larger squash may need longer to cook.
  • Slice or mash, as desired.

Notes

  • A larger squash might need additional time to cook. Start with 30 minutes and extend if the flesh isn’t easy to insert a fork into.

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.

Nutrition

Calories: 77kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 1gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 5mgPotassium: 440mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 13288IUVitamin C: 26mgCalcium: 60mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Air Fryer, Squash
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

21 thoughts on “Air Fryer Butternut Squash (Halves)

    • Laura Lynch says:

      Sorry for that. Most butternut squashes need to cook for 30 minutes total 20+10. However, a larger one might need 5 minutes more.

    • Mareyan says:

      When you specify a temp 350* and cook butternut halves for 20 min, what do you set your mode of cooking on? My air fryer has, “air crisp, bake, roast or grill”.

  1. Jim Cirillo says:

    In one section of the recipe, you specified 375° and in another section you specified 350°. Which one is correct? I can send you screenshots, if you’d like!

    • Angela Morris says:

      Hi Krissy, we aren’t using a pan for this recipe. Just place the butternut squash halves directly into the air fryer basket.

  2. 8ball says:

    4 stars
    I recently got an airfryer and was looking for unique recipes to try. This butternut squash recipe exceeded my expectations.

    • Angela Morris says:

      You can leave the skin on. Cooking the squash will make the flesh tender and will come away from the skin easily after it is done.

    • Angela Morris says:

      Most often we just use salt and pepper. You could try using Cajun seasoning, Italian seasoning, or brown sugar and cinnamon.

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