Air fryer 4-ingredient butternut squash caramelized in honey and seasoned with rosemary, salt, and pepper. These crispy butternut squash cubes are perfect to serve as a side dish, to use in a salad or wrap, or to serve as a quick snack.
You will love this recipe because we don’t use any oil. At all. And it was cooked in the air fryer. That means that you can have this dish on your table in just 30 minutes. From start to finish.
All you need to do for this recipe is to cut the butternut squash, mix it with honey and spices, and cook it in the air fryer. Done. How simple is that?
The benefit of cooking the butternut squash is that it is a very versatile veggie. By using different seasonings, you can play with the final taste that you will get.
By being so versatile, you can serve it on any holiday table (like is Thanksgiving and Christmas) or enjoy it as a weeknight dinner as a delicious side dish.
📖 What You Will Find in This Post?
- How to cut the butternut squash?
- Optional seasonings recommendations that will take the butternut squash to another level?
- Serving suggestions, and store instructions.
- Tips and on what to pay attention to when you’re making this recipe.
👩🍳 How to Cook Butternut Squash in an Air Fryer?
- Clean and cut the butternut squash into similar-sized cubes.
- Add over the grinded rosemary, honey, salt, and pepper.
- Mix well to cover evenly all the butternut squash chunks.
- Cook in the air fryer at 400°F for about 25 minutes.
🥇 How to Pick the Best Butternut Squash?
- Consider the weight. The butternut squash should be heavy. To make sure that is it good, we need to pick one that has a high density. Just take a few butternut squashes of the same size, and check which of them is the heavier.
- Pick one that has smooth skin. The fewer blemishes it has, the better.
- Analyze the color of the skin. The deeper color it has, the better. An ideal butternut squash should have a dark beige color without any green spots or streaks. Also, pick one that has a matte finish.
- If you don’t plan to cook it immediately, then pay attention to the stem. Pick one that has the stem intact. it will keep longer.
⏰ How to Know if the Butternut Squash Goes Bad?
Did you have a while of butternut squash in your have and wondering if it is still good and you can cook it?
If the butternut squash starts leaking liquid, feels empty inside, or is mushy, just throw it out. If it looks okay on the outside, cut it in halves and check the interior. If the interior has the usual color, and texture, and smells good – you can use it.
Also, you can pay attention to the seeds section, which might turn stringy or don’t look too good, this is a sign that the butternut squash started to dehydrate and in the end, the butternut squash will not be so juicy after cooking.
If there are some small mushy spots, you can cut them using a knife and use the rest of the butternut squash. If these spots are large, it will be better to throw it in the trash and not risk.
🥰 Why You Will Love This Recipe?
- It is a perfect recipe for pumpkin lovers. The butternut squash cooked in the air fryer comes tender on the inside, but it is caramelized and has a crisp skin on the outside.
- You can use it as a snack or as a component in other recipes like in a wrap or salad.
- You need almost no time to cook the butternut squash in the air fryer.
- We don’t use oil in this recipe, so it is a lot healthier.
- It is a very versatile recipe, which means that you can go further and use many different seasonings combinations.
- The butternut squash besides that it is very delicious, it is also very good for us. It is highly nutritious. Take a look at its benefits.
🥘 Ingredients and Substitutes
- Pumpkin. I picked the butternut squash because it cooks faster and is easier to cut, but you can use another type of pumpkin that you like to cook.
- Rosemary. I like the combination of rosemary with honey, if you want you can use other aromatic herbs such as thyme, lemon peel, or orange peel.
- Honey. I added a little honey to accentuate the sweet taste of the butternut squash and to intensify the caramelization. If you want you can replace the honey with brown sugar or syrup that you use as a sweetener.
- Seasonings. I used a simple combination of salt and pepper. Salt because it accentuates other tastes of the dish, and the black pepper because we will get an interesting combination of sweet taste from the honey and the piquant aroma from the black pepper. If you don’t like it, you can replace it with hot pepper flakes, or omit it altogether.
I like the butternut squash in the air fryer because you can play with the seasonings and add extra taste to this recipe.
Love cinnamon? you can also add cinnamon to this recipe. It goes very well with the butternut squash. Don’t like the sweet taste? remove the honey and experiment with garlic, or for a pish of heat, add a little bit of chili powder, and paprika.
👩🍳 Step-by-step Directions
How to Cut and Peel the Butternut Squash?
Clean well and cut the butternut squash into approximately equal cubes about 2/3″ – 1″ thick.
If you find difficulties by how you need to cut the butternut squash into cubes, check this video:
After you cut the butternut squash into cubes, put all of the pieces in a large bowl.
How to Season the Butternut Squash?
Grind the rosemary and put it over the butternut squash. After that, add salt, pepper, and honey. Mix all the ingredients well until you will make sure that all the pumpkin pieces are evenly covered with the seasonings on all sides.
Put the pumpkin cubes in the air fryer basket and arrange them in a single layer. Make sure that the hot air can easily circulate between the butternut squash cubes.
Quick Note: For the best results, it is important to leave some space between the butternut squash chunks. If you need to cook a larger quantity, consider cooking them in a few batches.
Bake the pumpkin for 25 minutes at 400°F (200°C). Remove the air fryer basket halfway of the cooking time and shake the air fryer basket to change the position of the butternut squash. By doing that, the pumpkin will cook more evenly on all sides.
Quick Note: The cooking time is approximate only because it may differ in your case. The cooking time may differ from one air fryer model to another, buy the pumpkin you use, how big you cut the pumpkin, and so on. The timings from this recipe are for the Cosori Air Fryer 5.8QT. If you have another model, please after 15-18 minutes, take a look at the air fryer basket and adjust the timing as needed.
Our butternut squash cooked in the air fryer is ready to be served. It is good to be served both hot and cold.
🍽️ Serving Suggestions
This dish is perfect for a healthy snack or to be used in other recipes such as salads, or wraps or you can serve it as a side dish to your favorite piece of meat.
Here are a few serving ideas that you can’t go wrong with:
- Juicy Air Fryer Cornish Hen
- Crispy Stuffed Pork Chops in Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Pork Roast with Apples
- Juicy and Easy Air Fryer Orange Chicken
🏆 Expert Tips. What to Pay Attention To?
- Use honey that has a neutral taste. If the honey is too strong it can cover the taste of the pumpkin.
- Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket. If you need to cook a large amount of butternut squash, consider cooking them in a few batches if you want to get the best results.
♻️ Make Ahead, Storage and Heating:
Can I Prepare the Butternut Squash Ahead?
You can cook the butternut squash ahead if you want to use it as part of the component in another recipe, like in a salad or in a wrap. If you want to eat it as is, or near a piece of meat, I suggest you serve it immediately because after cooling it loses a bit of appearance.
How Long Does the Butternut Squash Last in the Fridge?
You can wait until the butternut squash cools down and after that put it in an air-tight container that will allow you to keep it for up to 3 days in the fridge.
Can You Freeze the Butternut Squash?
Yes! Wait until the butternut squash cools down, put it in an air-tight container in the freezer and you can keep it for up to 4 months.
How to Reheat the Butternut Squash?
To reheat the pumpkin you can use the microwave oven or you can reheat it in the air fryer at 400°F (200°C) for about 5 minutes. Take into account that if you reheat the butternut squash in the microwave, you will lose the crispy crust.
Do I Need to Peel the Butternut Squash?
I found a lot of recipes that cook with the skin on it. Personally, I prefer to peel it because it has a better crispiness when it is peeled.
📋 Recipe Card:
Caramelized Butternut Squash in Air Fryer
- Clean the butternut squash, and cut it into similar sized cubes of about 1".1 lb Butternut Squash
- Put the butternut squash chunks in a large bowl and add over them the honey, rosemary, salt and pepper. Mix everything well.1 lb Butternut Squash, 1 teaspoon Honey, 1 teaspoon Rosemary, ¼ teaspoon Salt, ⅛ teaspoon Black Pepper
- Arrange the butternut squash chunks in the air fryer basket in a single uniform layer.
- Bake the butternut squash for about 25 minutes at 400°F (200°C). In the middle of the cooking time, remove the air fryer basket, and shake it to rotate the position of the pumpkin chunks.
I highly recommend reading the entire recipe to find more tips and notes about this recipe. Read Full Recipe ⇑
- Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket. If you want to cook larger butternut squash in the air fryer, consider cooking it in a few batches to get the best results. We need to leave some space between the pumpkin chunks to make sure that the hot air can easily circulate between them.
- Cooking time may differ because the air fryer cooking method differs from one manufacturer to another. The timings in this recipe are from the Cosori Air Fryer 5.8QT.