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Air Fryer Acorn Squash

Air Fryer Acorn SquashMaking acorn squash in the air fryer is simple and quicker than using the oven. Crispy and caramelized squash is the perfect addition to any meal, and it comes together in 30 minutes. 

Acorn squash is often overlooked in favor of more popular fall and winter squashes like butternut squash and Spaghetti Squash. However, it is a game-changer and a perfect addition to your table. And if you need to add another last-minute Thanksgiving side dish, make our air fryer acorn squash that’s crispy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside.

WHAT IS ACORN SQUASH?

Although you can find it in stores throughout the year, this buttery-tasting squash is harvested in the fall and winter and is often referred to as winter squash. It’s characterized by a small acorn-like shape and a thick, green outer layer with beautiful ridges and bright orange flesh. This tasty vegetable is an excellent source of vitamin A (thank you, beta-carotene), vitamin C, and riboflavin.

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

  • Acorn Squash: Look for a 2-3 pound squash and check out our suggestions for choosing the right one in the section below.
  • Olive Oil: Brush the squash with olive oil or another neutral oil of your choice. You can also use melted butter.
  • Spices: I season air fryer acorn squash with kosher salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cayenne.
  • Sweetener: Create beautiful caramelization by adding your choice of maple, honey, or brown sugar.

SUBSTITUTIONS AND VARIATIONS

  • Spices: Ras El Hanout, Chili Powder, Smoked Paprika, Garam MasalaNorth Indian Garam Masala Recipe, Salt, or Pepper.
  • Meat: Sausage, Bacon, or Prosciutto
  • Cheese: Asiago, Parmesan, or Goat Cheese
  • Nuts and Seeds: Pecans, Walnuts, or Pepitas
  • Fruit: Apples or Cranberries
  • Grains: Quinoa, Rice, or Couscous

WHAT TO DO WITH ACORN SQUASH

  • Stuffed Squash: Combine the cooked squash with vegetables, shredded meat, cheese, breadcrumbs, or a combination.
  • Casserole: Combine the squash with other ingredients in a casserole dish and bake. You can make a savory casserole like acorn squash au gratin or go the sweet route and combine pecans and brown sugar.
  • Salad: Roasted squash is a beautiful addition to salad, especially when paired with bright, leafy greens like a Fall kale salad.
  • Pasta: Eat the squash with pasta and sauce or toss it with protein to make a complete meal.

HOW TO MAKE AIR FRYER ACORN SQUASH  

Preheat the air fryer to 400° F (176° C). Toss the acorn squash with olive oil and season with salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne, and brown sugar.

Cook for 10 minutes.

Flip and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove the squash from the air fryer basket and let it cool before serving.

COOKING TIPS

  • For evenly-cooked acorn squash, shake the basket halfway through. My air fryer gives me a helpful notification to remind me.

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HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT SQUASH

  • Select one with light green skin with some orange coloring; this lets you know the squash is ready to cook. Too much orange indicates that the squash is overripe.
  • Choose a heavier squash, between 2-3 pounds. A lighter squash can suggest a loss of moisture.
  • The squash should be firm and free of soft spots.

HOW TO PREPARE ACORN SQUASH

Cut the squash in half using a sharp knife.

Scoop out the insides.

Cut them into rings and air fry them that way.

Or you can cut them into 1-inch cubes.

An acorn squash cut into pieces.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

STORAGE

  • UNCOOKED – Store squash in a cool and dry space, like a pantry, for up to one month.
  • FRIDGE – Leftovers should be kept in an airtight container for 5-7 days.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

What does acorn squash taste like?

It is mild in flavor with a hint of nuttiness. Buttery and sweet, this delicious side deserves a place on the table.

Do you peel the acorn squash before cooking?

There is no need to peel the squash; it will become tender as it cooks. Now, you may be asking- is it okay to eat the skin? As a matter of fact- yes, it is. But if you don’t like the taste or texture, feel free to peel it off after it has finished cooking.

Can I cook whole acorn squash in the air fryer?

Learn how to cook acorn squash in the oven, microwave, Instant Pot, and whole in the air-fryer.

YOU SHOULD ALSO TRY: 

Acorn squash pieces in a serving bowl.

Air Fryer Acorn Squash

Tressa Jamil
Making acorn squash in the air fryer is simple and quicker than using the oven. Crispy and caramelized squash is the perfect addition to any meal, and it comes together in 30 minutes. 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 161 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 acorn squash, 2 pounds
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ tespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the air fryer to 400° F (176° C). Toss the acorn squash with olive oil and season with salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne, and brown sugar. Cook for 10 minutes.
  • Flip and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove the squash from the air fryer basket and let it cool before serving.

Notes

Cooking Tips: 
  • For evenly-cooked acorn squash, shake the basket halfway through. My air fryer gives me a helpful notification to remind me.
 
How to Choose the Right Squash: 
  • Select one with light green skin with some orange coloring; this lets you know the squash is ready to cook. Too much orange indicates that the squash is overripe.
  • Choose a heavier squash, between 2-3 pounds. A lighter squash can suggest a loss of moisture.
  • They should be firm and without soft spots.
 
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 ServingCalories: 161kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 16gFat: 7gSodium: 304mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3g
Keyword air fryer acorn squash
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
Recipe Rating




Tori

Saturday 15th of October 2022

I have always cooked acorn squash in the air fryer whole, but I love how they turned out!

Tressa Jamil

Saturday 15th of October 2022

I love them either way, but the crispy pieces are pretty tasty!