Roasted Air Fryer Butternut Squash is a delicious, easy side dish during winter squash season. Savory spices complement the sweet flavor of the squash. It's a perfect Thanksgiving side dish; half the calories of sweet potato! 0 Weight Watcher Points recipe.
Only simple ingredients are needed to create this perfect side dish. The heat in the cooking process causes the natural sugars in the fresh squash to caramelize. The sweetness of the air-fried butternut squash contrasts with the savory spices creating a delicious side dish.
This easy air fryer recipe saves oven space for other recipes too! Another benefit during the holiday season.
What makes this skinny?
- Butternut squash is a lower calorie vegetable with a consistency similar to a potato. It has a pleasant flavor, satisfying filling consistency and loads of nutritional qualities.
- Olive oil spray is the only fat needed for the recipe which keeps the fat calories low.
- Air frying cooks with convection heat (circulating hot air) to produce a fried-like end result with no oil needed.
Recipe Ingredients Notes
For the complete ingredient list and amounts, refer to the printable full recipe card at the end of the post.
Butternut squash. You'll use 4 cups of butternut squash cut into 1-inch cubes or pieces. This is equivalent to a medium size squash. Tips below on how best to cut the squash.
A time saving alternative: most grocery stores now carry already pre-cut butternut squash in the produce department in a plastic container (with other prepared fruits and vegetables). Use similar size squash pieces which allows the squash to cook evenly in the same amount of time.
Spices: garlic powder, paprika, Italian seasoning, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Oil spray. You'll use olive oil spray or avocado oil spray. This is sprayed on the squash to allow the seasonings to stick. It also prevents the squash from drying out during air frying.
How to cut butternut squash
Butternut has a hard exterior and firm flesh. You'll need a butternut squash, a large sharp knife, a cutting board, and a vegetable peeler.
- Rinse the squash to remove any dirt or debris on the outside, pat dry. Then, place it on the cutting board.
- Use the vegetable peeler to remove the skin from the squash. Start at the top and work your way down, following the shape of the squash. The skin can be tough, so be careful and take your time.
- Trim off the stem and the bottom of the squash with your knife so that you have two flat, stable ends.
- Carefully cut the squash in half horizontally, right where the thinner neck meets the bulbous bottom part.
- Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp (photo 1 below) from the bulbous part of the squash. You can discard the seeds or save them for roasting if you like.
- Take one of the squash halves and cut it into slices, about 1 inch thick. Then, stack the slices and cut them into 1-inch strips. Finally, cut those strips into 1-inch cubes (photo 2 below). Repeat with the other half.
How to Make it
STEP 1. Preheat the air fryer
Preheat the air fryer to 370 degrees F.
STEP 2. Season the squash
Combine the seasonings in a small bowl and mix.
Place the butternut squash cubes in a large mixing bowl. Spritz with the oil spray, toss and spritz again to lightly coat the squash (photo 1). Sprinkle the seasoning blend onto the squash (photo 2) and toss until the seasonings have coated the squash (photo 3).
STEP 3. Air Fry
Place the cubed butternut squash in a single layer into the preheated air fryer basket (or tray depending on your air fryer)(photo 4). Depending on your air fryer basket size you may need to cook in batches.
Air fry the squash for 18-20 minutes. Halfway through cooking toss or flip the squash over, spritz again with oil spray and complete cooking.
The squash should be fork tender with some golden brown edges when it's done (photos 5-6).
NOTE: as the squash cooks it will decrease in volume. Final yield will be less than 4 cups (see recipe card NOTES below).
STEP 4. Serve
The squash is best served hot. Garnish with chopped fresh herbs like thyme or Italian parsley and serve!
Air Fryer Cooking
Every brand, size and model of air fryer cooks slightly differently. It's always important to monitor foods while cooking and adjust the cooking time for your air fryer.
Allow any leftover squash to cool. Place in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat in the air fryer before serving.