Air fryer acorn squash is a quick and easy way to prepare this delicious vegetable. Use it as a side dish or in soups, baked goods, and other recipes that require roasted or mashed squash.
Acorn squash is a starchy winter squash with sweet orange flesh. Certainly, It is shaped like an acorn and has green (often with orange spots) skin. Acorn squash grows in almost every U.S state. It is considered a winter type of squash but you can easily find it any month of the year. The squash usually weighs 1-2 pounds and is best for roasting. It pairs well with sweet and savory dishes.
⭐Why this recipe is worthy
- Quick and easy: this acorn squash recipe is great when you do not have much time or the oven is used to make some other dish.
- Nutritious: Acorn squash is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Calcium, and Beta-carotene. It is a good source of dietary fiber.
- Versatile: you can use it in various dishes (soups, salads, porridge, quesadillas, desserts) or as an easy-fall side dish.
- Acorn squash - You can buy acorn squash at any grocery store all year round, but the peak season is early fall through winter. Make sure to pick a heavy squash with green and orange colors. The skin should be dull and smooth, but not shiny.
- Olive oil - I usually use extra virgin olive oil to air fry my veggies, but any vegetable oil can be used as well.
- Salt - just a little bit of sea salt for the taste.
- Nutmeg(optional) - I love how nutmeg highlights acorn or butternut squash. You can use other spices and fresh or dried herbs.
See recipe card for quantities.
- Cutting board and a sharp knife: for cutting the squash.
- Air fryer: I used Ninja XL, but any type or brand of air fryer will work great.
⏲️How to air fry acorn squash halves
- Rinse a whole acorn squash to remove any dirt. Remove any label stickers. Using a long sharp knife, carefully slice off the pointy top of the squash. This will help to slice the squash into even halves and it will be easier to cut it. Stabilize the squash on a cutting board with the cut-off side on top. Cut the vegetable in half by working carefully with your knife down the squash until it splits in half. Using a large spoon, remove all the seeds and scrape off any strings.
- Now, sprinkle it with a little bit of salt. Using your hands or a brush spread a layer of olive oil all over the cut side of the squash.
- Place the acorn squash cut side down in the air fryer basket. Air fry at 380°F for about 15-20 minutes until it becomes golden brown and the flesh is fork tender.
Note: if using oven-style air fryers, you can cook both halves at the same time as they will fit the air fryer tray.
- Flip the squash half and sprinkle with some nutmeg. Air fry at 400°F for another 5 minutes. Repeat the whole process with the second half. You can enjoy it as it is or scoop of the flesh for other recipes
Note: I add nutmeg at the end as it loses its amazing flavor when cooked for too long, and possible can be burnt if air fried for more than 5 minutes. You can skip the nutmeg and add some brown sugar, melted butter, cinnamon, or other spices at the end,
- If you are having a hard time cutting the squash, microwave it for about 1 minute to soften it up.
- add nutmeg for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
- cooking time may differ depending on the size of the squash and the type of air fryer (I use Ninja XL).
- line the bottom of your air fryer basket with a sheet of parchment paper for less clean-up.
🥧How to use roasted acorn squash
- as a simple and delicious side dish: serve it with turkey, chicken, or pork chops.
- try using it to make this delicious acorn squash soup.
- great in baking - chocolate chips acorn squash bread.
- Pasta sauce: simply saute some chopped onions and garlic in some ghee butter. Add cooked squash and sauteed veggies to the blender and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
🧂What flavors go well with acorn squash
- Sweet: honey, brown sugar, agave nectar, maple syrup.
- Savory: turkey, duck, bacon, beans, buckwheat, millet, wild rice.
- Spices and fresh herbs: nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, pumpkin pie spice, fresh thyme, rosemary,
🌡️How to store and reheat
- Refrigerate: you can store cooked halves or scooped flesh in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge.
- Reheat: reheat it in the microwave or air fryer until steaming hot. Place cooked cold acorn squash halves in a glass container with a little bit of water at the bottom and reheat them in the oven at 375°F.
- Freeze: you can turn the flesh of the squash into puree and freeze it for up to 3 months in freezer-safe bags.
📖Frequently asked questions
Buy the acorn squash in season (summer-fall). Pick the heavy squash (not hollow), that has dark green dull skin with orange spots.
Store ripe acorn squash in a cool, dry place. It will last for about 1-2 months when stored properly. When I plan to cook it within a week, I simply store it on the kitchen counter.
Yes, both seeds and skin are safe to eat. The skin of acorn squash becomes softer after cooking and has a delicious taste.
🍲Other healthy air fryer recipes
Air fryer acorn squash
- 1 Large knife and cutting board
- 1 Air fryer Ninja XL or other
- 1 acorn squash
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- Rinse the acorn squash and remove any label stickers. Cut the quash in half and scoop out all the seeds and strings.
- Rub each cut side with some olive oil and salt.
- Place the squash half in the air fryer basket facing the cut side down. Air fry at 380°F for about 15-20 minutes until the flesh is fork tender. It is fully cooked now and ready to use. (I fit only one half at a time, if you sing oven-like air fryer, cook both halves at the same time)
- Remove the basket and add nutmeg and other spices or sweeteners. Air fry at 400°F for another 5 minutes. Repeat the cooking process with the second half.
- If it is too hard to cut the squash, microwave the whole vegetable for about 1-2 minutes to soften it up.
- Experiment with different flavors, herbs and spices,
- You can freeze the cooked flesh for up to 3 months.
- Nutritional facts are for information purposes only, and not to be considered medical advice.