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This air fryer acorn squash is an easy, mess-free way to cook winter squash! Use your Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid and your favorite seasonings.
Earlier this year, friends dropped off a massive box of acorn squash.
We have the best friends!
Over the past few months, we’ve eaten lots and lots of acorn squash. We’ve roasted it, stuffed it, and made lots of acorn squash pasta sauce.
The more often I cooked the squash, though, the more I wanted to try a few different cooking options.
And guys, I found my new favorite way to cook acorn squash.
That’s right, swap oven-roasted squash for air fryer acorn squash!
Looking for more winter squash recipes? Try making roasted kabocha squash soup, butternut squash risotto, butternut squash lasagna, spaghetti squash gratin and delicata squash salad.
What Air Fryer Do You Use?
I use a 6-quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7-in-1 and an Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid. You need both the Instant Pot and the air fryer lid for this recipe.
If you’re using another type of air fryer, it should still work, but you may need to modify the cook time slightly.
Is the Air-Fryer Faster Than the Oven?
The cook time is basically the same, but the air fryer will pre-heat much more quickly than an oven.
Want more air fryer recipes? Try making air fryer kale chips, air fryer salmon and air fried pickles.
My favorite thing about making air fryer acorn squash is that it’s so much less messy!
No, oven-roasted squash is not particularly messy, but the outside of the squash skin and the baking sheet are often a little greasy after cooking.
Air fryer acorn squash isn’t greasy at all!
Does the Acorn Squash Size Matter?
Yes, it does, because you’re limited by the size of the air fryer basket.
This recipe works best with medium-sized or small acorn squash. Basically, the squash needs to fit inside the air fryer!
If your squash is just a little bit too large, you can trim off the pointed ends or quarter the squash.
How to Prepare the Squash
Start by cutting the squash in half.
Scoop out the seeds and membrane with a spoon.
How to Make Air Fryer Acorn Squash
Start by seasoning the squash.
Drizzle it with olive oil or add a knob of butter (or vegan butter) to the middle of the squash.
Sprinkle the squash with cinnamon (or whatever seasoning you prefer) and sea salt.
Place half the squash skin-side down in the bottom of the air fryer basket.
Add the air fryer shelf.
Set the other half of the squash on the shelf.
Air fry the squash for about 25 minutes or until tender.
The cook time will depend on the size of the squash.
At this point, you can use the squash in another recipe or serve it as a side dish.
I like to sprinkle a little brown sugar on the squash before serving.
Looking for more acorn squash ideas? Try making these acorn squash crostini from Girl Heart Food!
Air Fryer Acorn Squash
- 2 pounds acorn squash, halved with seeds + membrane removed See Recipe Notes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter Vegan butter or ghee will also work perfectly.
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon Or use a spice of your choice (I like a mixture paprika and red chili flakes)
- brown sugar or syrup (optional)
- Preheat air fryer to 400°F.Set the acorn squash skin-side down. Drizzle oil over the squash, or divide the butter between the squash. (If using butter, simply place it in the middle of each squash half.)Sprinkle each half with the salt and cinnamon (or your favorite spice/spice mixture.)
- Add one-half of the squash the to the air fryer basket (flesh-side up). Add the air fryer shelf, and set the remaining squash half on the shelf.If your acorn squash is too large to fit easily in the basket, check the Recipe Notes.
- Put the air fryer lid in place, and air fry for 25 minutes at 400°F.The Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid will beep halfway through the cook time and tell you to turn the food. For this recipe, you do not need to turn the squash.Check squash after 25 minutes. If it isn't tender, air fry 3-5 more minutes (or until tender).Note that the squash half on the top layer of the air fryer basket may cook more quickly than the squash on the bottom layer. Make sure to check both squash halves for tenderness, and cook the bottom squash a few minutes longer if necessary.Note that not all air fryers are alike, and the size of the squash will greatly impact cook time, so the exact cook time for may vary.
- Add sugar or syrup if desired. Serve squash immediately as a side dish, or use the cooked squash in another recipe.
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