Air Fryer Acorn Squash is made in less than 25 minutes! Make it plain and add it to other recipes, or use this delicious honey butter cinnamon sauce mixed with walnuts to create a lovely winter or Thanksgiving dinner side dish.
This delicious air fryer acorn squash is basted with a spiced honey butter and walnut dressing, then air fried to a sweet and savory delicacy.
But you can skip the honey butter and simply air fry an acorn squash without any seasoning at all. Then turn it into a homemade puree for other recipes, cube it and toss it into creamy pasta dishes, add it to soups and winter stews, or use it in any recipe that calls for roasted acorn squash.
The air fryer makes the lengthy process of oven roasting winter squashes and pumpkins less time consuming. Whether you leave your squash plain or add spices, seasonings or stuffing, in the air fryer it will take less time and energy while still producing a perfectly roasted vegetable.
I roast pumpkins in my air fryer throughout October and November and use them to make puree, pumpkin pasta, pumpkin muffins and bread, and even pumpkin chips! The same can be done with an acorn squash.
You can also pressure cook an acorn squash to produce similar results, in less than 30 minutes!
Ingredients and Variations
- Whole acorn squash, cut in half with the seeds and pulp removed.
- Honey: substitute with maple syrup.
- Walnuts: use pecans as a variations.
The walnuts are optional, as is the honey butter and spices. Pecans can also be used or it can be kept nut free. Add diced apples and pears, with or without the nuts for a heartier, sweeter recipe.
Or, use only the spiced honey butter without nuts or fruit. Another option is to leave out the honey butter, nuts and fruit entirely and make a simple roasted acorn squash for adding to soups or pastas. It can be pureed for use in other recipes, such as ones calling for butternut squash or pumpkin puree.
If you'd prefer a brown sugar cinnamon sauce, you can skip the honey and use butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and maple syrup.
Making acorn squash in the air fryer takes no more than 30 minutes from start to finish.
Step 1: Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (204°C) and line the air fryer basket or tray with parchment paper. Place the acorn squash halves on the parchment paper skin side down.
Step 2: In a small bowl, mix the melted butter, honey, cinnamon and nutmeg. Brush the flesh with the honey butter. Fill each cavity with half of the chopped walnuts. Drizzle the remaining honey butter over each squash, filling the cavities with a generous amount. Gently mix the walnuts into the honey butter to coat them.
*You can skip the honey butter dressing and air fry the squash plain to use as a puree or cut into chunks for other recipes.
Step 3: Put into the preheated air fryer and cook for 23 minutes, or until the flesh pierces easily with a fork. Depending on the size of your squash, this will take between 20 and 25 minutes. So start checking the squash at the 20 minute mark.
Step 4: Remove from the air fryer and serve warm, sprinkled with additional cinnamon and brown sugar if desired.
How To Serve
Air fried acorn squash with honey butter and walnuts makes a delicious Thanksgiving side dish, as well as a warming fall and winter side dish with dinner.
With its mild sweetness, it goes great with just about any main meat, including pork, beef, chicken, and turkey.
Serve Acorn Squash With:
Tips for Air Frying Acorn Squash
- Large acorn squash may need to cook for a little longer and smaller may need a little less time. Poke the squash with a fork at the 20 minute mark. If it easily pierces the thickest part of the squash, it's done. If not, cook for longer.
- Acorn squash can also be roasted whole, without cutting beforehand. Follow this recipe for air frying a whole pumpkin if you'd like to try this. The seeds and pulp can be removed after it's air fried. The skin should easily peel off and the seeds can be kept for making roasted seeds. Every part of the squash can be eaten, except the stem.
Acorn squash is a very healthy vegetable in many ways. It's full of antioxidants and vitamins, including beta-carotene and vitamin A. It's said to promote eye and skin health, and lower the risk of heart disease and cancer.
To prepare an acorn squash for this recipe, wash and dry it completely. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the squash in half, from stem to bottom. Remove the seeds and stringy pulp with a spoon, and it's ready for cooking!
The skin of an acorn squash is completely edible. Just make sure to roast it until it's tender, otherwise it will be too tough to eat.
Acorn squash can be air fried in any type of air fryer, including both basket and oven style air fryers. Make sure to buy a squash that fits your air fryer, as larger acorn squash may not fit in smaller basket-style air fryers, even when cut.
I use my Instant Pot Duo Crisp for small acorn squash and my Instant Omni Plus for larger ones. The time and temperature remains the same.
Yes! Use the same technique when air frying other winter squash, such as butternut squash, banana squash, delicata squash, kabocha squash and sugar pumpkins.
Air Fryer Acorn Squash
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (204°C). Line the air fryer basket or tray with parchment paper. Place the acorn squash halves on the parchment paper skin side down.
- In a small bowl, mix the melted butter, honey, cinnamon and nutmeg. Brush the flesh with the honey butter. Fill each cavity with half of the chopped walnuts. Drizzle the remaining honey butter over each squash, filling the cavities with a generous amount. Gently mix the walnuts into the honey butter to coat them.
- Place in the preheated air fryer and cook for 23 minutes, or until the flesh pierces easily with a fork.
- Serve warm, sprinkled with brown sugar and extra cinnamon if desired.