Easy tender and crispy air fryer butternut squash cubes with three delicious flavor variations: garlic sage with pine nuts, cinnamon maple glazed, or rosemary. The perfect side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or a weeknight dinner.
Tender and crispy air-fried butternut squash
Nothing is better than a crispy and tender air fryer vegetable – it is the best way to enjoy them! They are always super tender and crispy. Plus, it takes only half the amount of time to cook in an air fryer than roasting in an oven. I love these air fryer baby carrots and these air fryer sweet potato cubes too!
These air fryer butternut squash cubes are super delicious and easy to make! You can pick from three flavor variations: warm cinnamon maple glazed, classic rosemary, or crispy garlic sage with toasted pine nuts. I am in love with all three!
From start to finish, air frying butternut squash takes 20 minutes vs. 40 minutes if you roast it in the oven. It’s easy, and the instructions are simple.
I love serving air-fried butternut squash as a side dish and adding it to salads or soups. It’s perfect for busy people, moms, and meal preppers!
Why you’ll love this air fryer recipe
- 20-Minute Recipe. Air fryer butternut squash is quick and easy.
- Healthy. This recipe is healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, and vegan!
- Customizable. I offer three different flavor variations.
- Flavorful. The spices and herbs take these air-fried butternut squash cubes to the next level.
- Crispy & Tender. These butternut squash cubes are air fried to crispy and tender perfection.
- 4 Ingredients. You only need four base ingredients plus your choice of seasoning!
What does butternut squash taste like?
Butternut squash has a nutty, sweet flavor. Once the butternut squash is air-fried or oven-roasted, it is tender and soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. If I have to compare it to another vegetable, it’s most similar to a sweet potato taste-wise.
Ingredients & substitutions
Air fryer butternut squash is made with four ingredients, and you can pick between three flavors: classic rosemary, garlic sage, or cinnamon maple glazed. All are super delicious! Here is a list of all the ingredients, so you are prepared – scroll to the bottom of this blog post to see the entire recipe card with measurements.
- Butternut Squash: Grab one large butternut squash and peel, de-seed, and cut it into 1-inch cubes. You can also use pre-cut butternut squash.
- Olive Oil: Plus some olive oil to ensure they are crisp and tender when air fried. You can use avocado oil here too.
- Salt & Black Pepper: For seasoning, just adjust it to your preference!
- Garnishes: Depending on the flavor you pick, you’ll need cinnamon, maple syrup, sage, pine nuts, and/or rosemary. Get the measurement at the bottom of the post!
Kitchen tools required
You only need a few kitchen utensils to make this tender air fryer butternut squash. Clean-up is so easy! Here is a list:
How to make air fryer butternut squash
Air frying is the easiest way to prepare butternut squash cubes: they are tender, crispy, and ready in less than 20 minutes. Here are step-by-step directions and pictures for visual reference:
First, preheat your air fryer to 380°F and lightly grease the basket with non-stick olive oil spray. Then, decide which flavor variation you want.
If you are making the classic rosemary or garlic sage variation, toss the cubed butternut squash in a mixing bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
If you are making the cinnamon maple version, toss the cubed butternut squash in a mixing bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper, maple syrup, and cinnamon.
Then, add to preheated air fryer and cook for a total of 18 – 20 minutes. Shake the basket at the 10-minute mark to ensure they are cooking evenly.
Finally, if you are making the garlic sage flavor, heat ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a small saute pan over medium. Add minced garlic, sage, and pine nuts. Saute for 2 – 4 minutes until the pine nuts are lightly browned. When the squash is done, pour this sauce over them in a mixing bowl and toss to coat.
Garnish your tender, crispy air fryer butternut squash cubes, serve immediately, and enjoy!
Expert cooking tips
I have been called the air frying queen dozens of times, so here are my expert cooking tips for making the perfect air fryer butternut squash:
Peel the butternut squash. Make sure to peel the squash before air frying! When air-fried, butternut squash skin is tough to eat.
Shake the basket at the 10-minute mark. Every air fryer is different, so I recommend shaking the butternut squash cubes around at the 10-minute mark to ensure they cook evenly.
Don’t skip out on the olive oil. You only need one tablespoon, and it is super important. The olive oil helps crispen the cubes as they air fry while also making them tender.
Air fryer butternut squash flavor variations
This is the best recipe because it is super customizable. I offer three flavor variations in the recipe card below!
Rosemary or Parsley:
Garnish your air fryer butternut squash cubes with fresh rosemary or parsley for that classic herb flavor. This combination is perfect for Thanksgiving!
Nothing is better than tender roasted butternut squash coated in a maple cinnamon glaze. This is perfect for Christmas or any holiday!
My favorite flavor variation! Toss your air fryer butternut squash in a crispy sage, garlic, and pine nut coating. So delicious!
What to serve with butternut squash
Air-fried butternut squash is perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, family dinners, or even meal prep. It goes well with so many dishes! Here are a few ideas broken out by protein type:
- Salads. Air-fried butternut squash is perfect on or alongside salads! Here are my favorites kale crunch salad, strawberry goat cheese salad, or on the side with this broccolini salad.
- Chicken. Serve your air fryer butternut squash with one of these fall chicken recipes: air fryer chicken thighs, greek yogurt chicken, or feta stuffed chicken breasts.
- Fish. For all my pescetarians, here are a few ideas: air fryer tilapia, salmon with pesto and vegetables, and grilled bbq shrimp.
- Pasta. Butternut squash goes super well with all your favorite cozy pasta recipes. I love lemon caper pasta and chicken broccoli pasta bake.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is butternut squash low carb?
Butternut squash is much lower in carbs compared to sweet potatoes. It has about 10g of net carbohydrates per 100g, whereas sweet potatoes have about 18g of net carbs per 100g.
Does this keep for meal prep?
Air fryer butternut squash is perfect for meal prep. You can make a batch on Sunday and store it for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Is this recipe vegan and gluten-free?
Yes, this recipe is 100% gluten-free and vegan.
Is butternut squash paleo?
Yes, you can enjoy butternut squash if you follow the paleo diet.
Does butternut squash have protein?
Butternut squash has about 1.4 grams of protein per cup. It is not high in protein on its own.
What temperature should I air fry butternut squash?
You should air fry butternut squash at 380 degrees Fahrenheit.
How long does it take to roast butternut squash in the air fryer at 380°F?
It takes 18 to 20 minutes to air fry butternut squash cubes at 380 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to store and reheat leftovers:
Storing: Store leftovers in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Reheating: You can reheat butternut squash cubes in an air fryer or microwave. For best results, reheat in an air fryer at 350ºF for 3 – 6 minutes until warm and crisp. If you made the garlic sage flavor, do not air fry to reheat – microwave them for 30 – 45 seconds until warm.
If you loved this recipe, try these next!
- Air Fryer Baby Carrots
- Air Fryer Green Beans
- Air Fryer Broccoli and Cauliflower
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato Cubes
- Air Fryer Smashed Potatoes
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment and rate it down below. Also, don’t forget to tag me @healthfulblondie on Instagram and use the hashtag #healthfulblondie so I can see your delicious creation and share it with my followers!
Air Fryer Butternut Squash (3 Ways!)
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds scooped and cubed (about 3 cups)
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
- ¼ – ⅓ cup pine nuts
Classic Rosmary or Parsley:
- Garnish: 1 – 2 tbsp fresh rosemary or parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
- Garnish: 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
- Preheat your air fryer to 380°F and lightly grease the basket with non-stick olive oil spray. Decide which flavor variation you want.
- Classic or Garlic Sage: Toss the cubed butternut squash in a mixing bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Cinnamon Maple: Toss the cubed butternut squash in a mixing bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper, maple syrup, and cinnamon.
- Add to preheated air fryer and cook for a total of 18 – 20 minutes. Shake the basket at the 10-minute mark to ensure they are cooking evenly.
- Garlic Sage: While the squash is air frying, heat ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a small saute pan over medium. Add minced garlic, sage, and pine nuts. Saute for 2 – 4 minutes until the pine nuts are lightly browned. When the squash is done, pour this sauce over them in a mixing bowl and toss to coat.
- Garnish, serve immediately, and enjoy!
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