Air Fryer Acorn Squash

Air Fryer Acorn Squash with butter and brown sugar topping is a delicious side dish to make for dinner.

air fryer acorn squash on a plate and a bowl of melted butter.

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Air Fried Acorn Squash

Acorn squash is often overlooked because pumpkin, butternut squash, and spaghetti squash are more popular. However, air fryer acorn squash is possibly even more delicious than its competitors!

This air-fried acorn squash recipe makes a simple but delicious side dish for almost any main course you can think of, but especially for your Thanksgiving meal. It’s perfect for a fall dinner – hearty, tasty, and healthy.

Cooking acorn squash in an air fryer is simple. It always amazes me what you can cook in an air fryer!

The secret to getting crispy, caramelized acorn squash is to use your trusty air fryer! This recipe is so good because you get a cut squash that is browned and slightly crispy on the outside but soft and tender on the inside.

This recipe makes a wonderful fork-tender but not mushy acorn squash with a sweet topping.

It’s also quicker than roasting squash in the oven and leaves room in the oven for other things to cook. Oven roasted acorn squash can take an hour! That’s twice as long as using an air fryer.

Recipe Ingredients

This air fryer acorn squash recipe calls for just a few ingredients. You probably have all but the squash in your kitchen:

  • Acorn squash 
  • Extra virgin olive oil 
  • Salt 
  • Butter 
  • Brown sugar
air fryer acorn squash ingredients on a wood board.

How to Select the Best Acorn Squash

Acorn squash is relatively small (in comparison to butternut or spaghetti squash) and round. They’re usually green on the outside with possible hints of orange.

When selecting your acorn squash, look for firm, basically green skin (streaks of orange are fine). Acorn squash with mostly orange skin is overripe and will tend to be dry and stringy.

How to Prepare and Cut Acorn Squash

  1. Give the outside of the squash a wash.
  2. Using a heavy sharp chef’s knife, cut your squash in half (acorn squash is pretty hard!).
  3. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and strings of flesh around them. A melon baller also works well.
  4. With the knife, score the inside of each half.
  5. Now you are ready for cooking whole acorn squash in air fryer.

CopyKat Tip:  Save acorn squash seeds to roast and use as a snack or as a topping for soups and salads.

How to Air Fry Acorn Squash

Roasting whole acorn squash in an air fryer is the best way to cook this delicious squash. Cooking it first with the cut side down really helps with liquid accumulation. Here are the recipe steps:

  1. Wash acorn squash, and cut it in half. 
acorn squash cut in half.
  1. Scoop out the seeds and brush extra virgin olive oil on the flesh and sprinkle with salt.
spreading olive oil on acorn squash.
  1. Place acorn squash cut side down in the air fryer.
  2. Air fry at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. 
acorn squash halves cut side down in an air fryer basket.
  1. Flip over the acorn squash so the cut side is facing up.
  2. Place butter and brown sugar on each squash.
acorn squash with butter and brown sugar in an air fryer basket.
  1. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
air fried acorn squash in an air fryer basket.
  1. Serve as it is or scoop out the flesh and plate it.
air fryer acorn squash, melted butter, and chopped parsley.

Can You Eat the Skin of an Acorn Squash?

Yes, you can eat the skin if you like. It’s a preference thing. Once your squash is cooked, you can peel the skin off if you don’t want to eat it.

Leaving the skin on makes a perfect natural bowl for the tender flesh of the squash. Also, the dark green color looks really sharp against the bright orange-yellow flesh.

Do You Need to Peel Acorn Squash?

You do not need to peel an acorn squash. The skin of acorn squash is very easy to separate from the flesh of the squash after it has been cooked.

If you do not want to eat acorn squash skin, simply use a spoon to scrape the flesh from the skin after it is cooked.

air fryer acorn squash on a fork over the air fried squash.

How to Season Air-Fried Acorn Squash

This air fryer acorn squash recipe uses butter and brown sugar for a perfect sweet complement to the squash. However, you can make this recipe your own by varying the seasonings – sweet or savory. Here are a few ideas:

  • Add some cinnamon and/or nutmeg to the brown sugar.
  • Try a touch of honey or maple syrup instead of sugar.
  • If you prefer a more savory seasoning, go with olive oil, salt, and pepper. 
  • Top your cooked squash with a sprinkle of Parmesan and a drizzle of browned butter.
  • Put a slice of apple (with or without some chopped pecans) in your squash for the last 10 minutes of cooking.

How to Store Acorn Squash

Keep your acorn squash in a cool, dry place until you’re ready to use it. It will last longer when stored around 50 to 55 degrees compared to being stored in your refrigerator.

How Long Will Roasted Squash Last?

Roasted acorn squash will last in your refrigerator for up to 5 days if stored in an airtight container.

You can also freeze the cooked acorn squash. It will be good for up to three months in the freezer. 

How to Reheat Cooked Squash

To reheat, put your acorn squash halves into the oven for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees. You can also microwave them for 2 to 3 minutes.

air fryer acorn squash with a fork in it.

More Air Fryer Recipes

Favorite Fall Recipes

Check out more of my easy side dish recipes and the best air fryer recipes here on CopyKat!

air fryer acorn squash on a plate and a bowl of melted butter.

Air Fryer Acorn Squash

Air Fryer Acorn Squash is a delicious side dish. Buttery brown sugar topping makes these air fried acorn squash irresisitible!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Air Fryer Acorn Squash
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 707kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 acorn squash
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat the air fryer to 350°F.
  • Wash the acorn squash and cut it in half. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.
  • Brush extra virgin olive oil on the flesh of the squash and sprinkle with salt.
  • Place the acorn squash cut side down in the air fryer, and cook for 25 minutes.
  • Flip the acorn squash so the cut side is facing up.
  • Place 1/2 tablespoon butter onto the flesh of each acorn squash and sprinkle each one with 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar.
  • Cook for an additional 5 minutes, and serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 707kcal | Carbohydrates: 113g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 814mg | Potassium: 3030mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 3863IU | Vitamin C: 95mg | Calcium: 312mg | Iron: 6mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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