Heartbeet Kitchen
Garlic Herb Air Fryer Butternut Squash
November 11, 2020 in Dairy-Free · Fall · Gluten-Free · Recipe Box · Vegan · Winter · Leave a Comment

Cooking butternut squash becomes easier with the help of an air fryer! Tossed in garlic and herbs, air fryer butternut squash is perfectly flavored and especially tender, without having to use a lot of oil. This recipe is the perfect Thanksgiving side dish, or the leftover squash could also be used in tacos, quiches, and salads.

air fryer butternut squash in a white enamel pan with pepita seeds
air fryer butternut squash scooped onto gold spoon

This recipe is sponsored by Watkins, a valued partner of Heartbeet Kitchen. All Watkins products are free from dyes, high-fructose corn syrup, added MSG and other artificial ingredients. They’re available from their online store, Amazon, and primary Watkins retailers like Walmart, Sprouts Farmer’s Market, Hy-Vee, SuperValu, HEB and Jewel.


When it comes to new kitchen technology, I’m a bit slow to adapt. It took me a long time to try the Instant Pot, which I absolutely love. And it took me just as long to try an air fryer, which is pretty great too!

I spent a lot of time testing this air fryer butternut squash recipe for you, wanting to highlight the all-star fall vegetable.

Rather than roasting, using your air fryer to make butternut squash takes a mere 20 minutes, and the resulting texture and flavor is amazing.

spices on a round dish, with olive oil to the right, and spice containers below
seasoned, raw butternut squash in a bowl

To flavor the butternut squash, I used a simple garlic herb combination. Coating in a mix of Watkins Organic Spices and Spice Blends, including Organic Italian Seasoning, Organic Garlic Powder, and Pink Himalayan Salt, the squash is seasoned all the way through with robust taste.

Air Fryer TIP: I’ve found that using dried herbs to season ingredients that will be cooked in an air fryer is superior to using fresh, as those burn quickly from the high, concentrated heat.

My spice drawer is filled with Watkins organic spices, a brand I grew up with that continues to bring the highest quality ingredients to my kitchen – and yours! Being able to trust Watkins for their transparent sourcing practices and organic labels means a lot to me.

This air fryer butternut squash is a great Thanksgiving side dish, but its versatility means you can add it to other recipes that call for roasted butternut squash, like this delicious Wild Rice Harvest Salad.

butternut squash cut in half, with cubes and peels around it.

How to Cut Butternut Squash

  • Use a sharp vegetable peeler to remove the skin from the squash. You don’t want their to be any beige/white streaks left on the squash.
  • Trim both ends off of the squash.
  • At the point where the long neck of the squash meets the round bottom, cut it horizontally, so you know have two pieces to work with. Cut the bottom in half vertically, and scoop out seeds.
  • Beginning with the long neck, cut 1/2 inch slices. Stack two or three slices, and cut into cubes.
butternut squash in instant pot vortex air fryer

How to Make Air Fryer Butternut Squash

  1. Peel and cube butternut squash.
  2. Add to a bowl and toss with olive oil, garlic powder, and herbs.
  3. Preheat air fryer to 375 degrees F. Place on air fryer trays, as close to single layers as you can achieve.
  4. Put trays on middle and lower racks. Cook for 8 minutes, then shake and swap trays, the higher tray going lower, the lower tray going higher. Cook for another 10 minutes.
  5. Turn air fryer off, and let squash sit in oven for 5 minutes. This is important, as it lets the squash finish cooking without burning. Enjoy!

As you likely know, there are many different kinds of air fryers. They generally fall into two categories: basket air fryers and convection oven air fryers. I have the Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer Oven 7 in 1 with Rotisserie, which is a convection oven air fryer, with racks to place food on and added air frying functionality.

I tested this recipe using the rotisserie basket that the Instant Pot Air Fryer comes with too, and the results were excellent! I give both instructions in the recipe card below.

air fryer butterntu squash in enamel tray, with pepita seeds
air fryer butterntu squash in enamel tray, with pepita seeds with watkins spice jars below the tray

More Butternut Squash Recipes:

air fryer butternut squash in a white enamel pan with pepita seeds

Garlic Herb Air Fryer Butternut Squash

Yield: serves 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes

Tossed in garlic and dried herbs, this air fryer butternut squash is perfectly flavored with crisp edges and a tender bite.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound 4 ounces (550 grams) of peeled, cubed butternut squash (1/2 inch cubes)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon Watkins Himalayan Pink Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Watkins Organic Garlic Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Watkins Organic Italian Seasoning

Instructions

    1. Add cubed squash to a bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, garlic powder, and Italian Seasoning.
    2. Preheat air fryer to 375 degrees F. Place squash on air fryer trays, as close to single layers as you can achieve. *see notes below for air fryer rotisserie basket instructions*
    3. Put trays on middle and lower racks. Cook for 8 minutes, then shake and swap trays, the higher tray going lower, the lower tray going higher. Cook for another 8 minutes. Check to see if squash is tender and a fork can easily pierce through. If so, continue to step 4. If not, cook for 2-3 more minutes, then continue. (Each air fryer is different, so it will affect cooking time. In the end, you're going for crispy edged, tender inside cubes of squash.)
    4. Turn air fryer off, and let squash sit in oven for 5 minutes This helps it to continue to cook through, at a lower temp, avoiding burning it. Remove from and serve warm.

Notes

*If you have an air fryer rotisserie basket, you can add seasoned squash to the basket, and cook for 24 minutes at 400 degrees F on the air fryer setting.

*if you have a standard air fryer cooking basket, add seasoned squash to the basket and cook for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F, shaking the basket twice during cooking.

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