This Air Fryer Butternut Squash Recipe is so easy and you can use the butternut squash cubes for so many things - as an easy side dish for Thanksgiving, mixed with scrambled eggs, or to spruce up the top of a salad. Frozen butternut squash is easy to find in the freezer aisle and air frying them results in crispy bites of deliciousness.
Typically it's difficult to get frozen vegetables to be crispy. This is because they are cooked initially and then frozen. As they thaw, they release moisture that has been trapped in the vegetable.
This is where the air fryer comes in handy. It works by circulating hot air all around the frozen cubed butternut squash. So, while there is still liquid released, the dry environment created by circulating air all around helps to develop a crisp exterior on the squash.
Squash makes a great side dish because it can be sweet or savory. It's often paired with the flavors of fall and is commonly found alongside turkey and stuffing. It really is the perfect side dish!
Want some more ideas to serve with your butternut squash? Try one of these: Flamethrower Sauce Copycat Recipe (chipotle sauce), BBQ Chicken, or BBQ Bowl (great with butternut squash added to them!).
Ingredients and Substitutions
All substitutions are a 1:1 substitute unless otherwise noted
Frozen Butternut Squash: Gotta have the butternut squash! We prefer to use frozen pre-cut butternut squash to save time.
Substitutions: This guide would work for any frozen squash - sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, pumpkin, or others. Fresh squash can also be cooked in the air fryer, check out our question section for more information.
Oil: The oil helps to get that crisp exterior on the butternut squash pieces.
Substitutions: Using a little olive oil spray is my preferred way to coat the squash but feel free to use whatever vegetable oil or avocado oil you have on hand.
Seasonings: I use a combination of garlic powder, salt, and pepper, nothing better than the classics!
Substitutions: I recommend using salt and pepper, but the garlic powder could be substituted with onion powder, chipotle powder, ranch seasoning, fresh parsley, or anything else you like!
How to Make this - Step by Step
Step one: Place the frozen butternut squash cubes in a large bowl with the oil and seasonings. Mix gently until each piece has been coated.
Step two: Transfer half of the squash to the air fryer basket and spread out evenly in a single layer. The number of pieces you can cook at once will depend on the size of your air fryer. There should be about a half-inch of space between each piece to allow for air movement. Also, if you do not care about having crispy squash, you can add all of the cubes to the basket without space in-between.
Step three: Turn your air fryer on to 400 degrees F and set the cook time for 20 minutes. Note: 20 minutes is the cooking time for 1-inch cubes. If your cubes of butternut squash are smaller than 1-inch, check them after 15 minutes. You can always add more cooking time for crispier potatoes. Place the squash in the air fryer and let it do its thing. Then, enjoy with your favorite sauce (maple syrup is mine!) or just topped with a little bit of sea salt and black pepper or other added seasonings.
Watch How to Make This - Step by Step
Try adding chipotle powder or brown sugar for some fun variations to these air fryer butternut squash cubes!
Facts and Common Questions
Can you cook butternut squash in the air fryer?
Sure can! That’s what this post is all about! If you are trying to cook a whole butternut squash, you will need to peel it with a vegetable peeler, dice it, and soak it in water for an hour. Then, drain the fresh cubes and cook following the instructions in this post.
What is the difference between butternut squash and squash?
Squash is a fall vegetable that comes in many varieties. Butternut squash is a type of squash. Acorn squash, winter squash, and mash potato squash are other varieties of squash.
Is butternut squash good for you?
Yes, butternut squash is high in fiber, vitamin A, and potassium. The fiber helps with blood sugar, vitamin A boosts immunity, and potassium helps manage blood pressure.
Want to Save it for Later? Here’s how!
Fridge: To keep these in the fridge, store them in an airtight container for up to 3 days. You can reheat them in the air fryer again, although they may become too crisp, or in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.
Freezer: To store in the freezer, store in a sealed container in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, follow the steps laid out below although be aware that the second time reheating will result in a loss of texture.
Butternut squash is known for its bright orange color which is seen commonly in the fall. A cup of it has enough Vitamin A for a whole day and its seeds can be baked and eaten just like pumpkin seeds. The name squash comes from the Narragansett Indian term “askutasquash” which means raw or uncooked. When folks came to what is now the New England area they did not like squash, but once the winter came and squash kept good through the winter, it was adopted into their cuisine and is now a staple. (source)
More Joyful Recipes!
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Airfryer Pot Stickers (another great air fryer recipe!)
Did you try this and love it? Leave us a review, we would love to hear from you!
- 12 oz butternut squash frozen
- 2 tablespoon oil olive or vegetable
- 1 teaspoon salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Place the frozen butternut squash in a bowl with the oil and spice. Toss to coat.
- Transfer half of the squash to the air fryer basket and spread out evenly. There should be about a half inch of space between each piece to allow for air movement. If you do not care if they are crispy, you can add all of the squash to the basket.
- Turn your air fryer on to 400 degrees and set the timer for 20 minutes. Place the squash in the air fryer and let it do its thing. Then, enjoy!