Air Fryer Acorn Squash [Sweet and Savory]

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For the perfect fall/winter side dish that is always a crowd-pleaser, air fryer acorn squash is a must-try!

Ready in less than 30 minutes, this squash can be enjoyed in two ways – sweet or savory!

You can even make one half one way and one half the other way to suit different preferences.

half acorn squash cooked with silver fork pulling squash from inside.
Air fryer acorn squash is so good!

Ingredients

ingredients for sweet and savory acorn squash on white counter top with labels.
All the ingredients for this acorn squash recipe.

To make this acorn squash, here are the ingredients you’ll need for both versions:

  • Acorn Squash – Choose an acorn squash that weighs approximately 2 pounds; larger ones might be too big for your air fryer.

For Sweet Acorn Squash

  • Butter – It can either be cold or at room temperature.
  • Brown sugar – For some sweetness and to help the acorn squash caramelize slightly.
  • Cinnamon – Pairs well with the brown sugar and maple syrup.
  • Maple syrup – We like using dark maple syrup; just make sure it’s real maple syrup.
  • Sprinkle of salt – To bring out the flavors.

For Savory Acorn Squash

  • Oil – We use avocado oil, canola oil or vegetable oil also works.
  • Salt – To add flavor; can add more or less to taste.
  • Garlic powder – Also to add flavor; can reduce or substitute if you don’t like garlic.
  • Black pepper – For a little bit of spice.

Recipe Tips

Before you make acorn squash in the air fryer, read through these recipe tips so that you get the best results!

  • Be careful when cutting the acorn squash in half since it can roll around quite a bit. Try finding a position in which the acorn squash is relatively stable before cutting it.
  • Once you cut the acorn squash into two halves, be sure to test if they fit in the air fryer tray/basket. Otherwise, you might have to cook one half at a time.
  • Also make sure that the acorn squash isn’t too close to the heating elements – otherwise it might burn easily.
  • This recipe includes suggestions for sweet acorn squash or savory acorn squash. Which one you make is up to personal preference and what you plan to serve it with. You can also make one half sweet and the other half savory – in that case make sure to cut the ingredient amounts in half.

We use this air fryer for our recipes and it has been great.

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Recipe Video

Step by Step Instructions

If you’d like to see the exact steps for how to cook acorn squash in the air fryer, you can stay in this section to look at the recipe process photos.

This way, you have a visual guide for how to make this dish!

If you just want the cooking time and temperature without visuals, you can skip below to the detailed recipe card.

acorn squash cut in half on wooden cutting board on counter top
Cut the acorn squash in half.

Start by rinsing the acorn squash. Then cut it in half. Be careful here since this can sometimes be a bit tough.

two halves of acorn squash with scoring inside on wooden cutting board
Score the inside flesh.

Now scoop out the seeds with a spoon and then lightly score the inside flesh in a grid pattern.

At this point, test to make sure that both halves of the squash will fit into your air fryer.

sweet ingredients inside half of acorn squash on gray plate
You can add butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and maple syrup for a sweet taste.

Preheat the air fryer to 360 degrees. While you wait, season the acorn squash.

For A Sweet Taste: Place one teaspoon of butter into the middle of each squash half and sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon on top of the cut sides of the acorn squash.

Then, drizzle the maple syrup on top and add a sprinkle of salt.

half of acorn squash on gray plate with spices inside
For a savory option, add oil, salt, garlic powder, and pepper.

For a Savory Taste: Rub the inside of the squash with oil, then sprinkle the salt, garlic powder, and black pepper on top of the flesh and into the middle.

two halves of acorn squash in black air fryer tray on counter
Add the acorn squash to the air fryer.

When the air fryer is preheated, add the squash halves to your air fryer with the flesh/core side facing up.

cooked halves of acorn squash in black air fryer basket on counter
Make sure the acorn squash is tender.

Cook the acorn squash halves for 18-22 minutes until tender. An easy way to test this is by piercing the flesh with a fork.

two halves of acorn squash with silver fork sticking out on beige plate on counter.
This acorn squash is ready to fluff and eat!

Once the squash is done, remove the halves from the air fryer. Fluff the flesh with a fork and serve. Enjoy!

Storage Tips

Once fluffed and scooped out of the peels, acorn squash stores well. Toss leftovers in a sealed container and put them in the fridge.

Leftovers will last for up to 4 days but eat them sooner rather than later. You can reheat squash that has been scooped out in the microwave.

If you choose to keep some of the squash in the peel, you could reheat it by putting the acorn squash halve back in the air fryer for a few minutes.

To reheat acorn squash in the air fryer this way, we like the “reheat” setting on our air fryer – 280 degrees Fahrenheit for 4-6 minutes.

What to Serve Acorn Squash With

Acorn squash – done either sweet or savory – is a perfect side dish with a bit of a winter/holiday flair.

  • Some meat dishes that pair well are things like turkey breast.
  • If you want to pair it with a potato side dish, you might consider red potatoes, fingerling potatoes, or even a nice baked potato.
  • If you want another vegetable that is not potato-based, something with earthy flavors – like turnip fries are also perfect!

FAQ

How to cook acorn squash in air fryer?

To cook acorn squash in the air fryer, cut it in half, remove the seeds, then score the insides. Apply the spice mix for either sweet or savory acorn squash, then place in the air fryer (make sure the halves fit) and air fry for 360 degrees Fahrenheit for 18-22 minutes.

How long to cook acorn squash in air fryer?

We cook a 2 pound acorn squash for 18-22 minutes at 360 degrees Fahrenheit. Your air fryer type and the size of the squash will vary the cooking time. Larger acorn squash usually take a few minutes more to cook.

How to cut acorn squash?

To make acorn squash halves, choose a “groove” in the squash and cut into the squash making sure to align the blade with both the stem and the bottom point of the squash. This will ensure you have two even halves. Continue around the squash carefully until the sides are separated. You can cook it like this or choose to further cube the inner flesh.

What does acorn squash taste like?

Acorn squash without any sweet or savory spices has a rich, earthy taste to it. It’s almost naturally a tad sweet with a fibrous, thick texture.

Related Recipes

For more tasty seasonal recipes, check out these other mostly vegetable creations!

two halves of acorn squash with silver fork sticking out on beige plate on counter.

Air Fryer Acorn Squash

Air Fryer Acorn Squash is a great way to enjoy this winter squash! Ready in less than 30 minutes, this acorn squash can be enjoyed two ways – sweet or savory – and makes a terrific cold-weather side dish!
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 acorn squash, approximately 2 pounds

Sweet (For The Whole Squash)

  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • a sprinkle of salt

Savory (For The Whole Squash)

  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Rinse the acorn squash. Then cut it in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Lightly score the inside flesh in a grid pattern. At this point, test to make sure that both halves of the squash will fit into your air fryer.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 360 degrees Fahrenheit. While you wait, season the acorn squash:
  • For A Sweet Taste: Place one teaspoon of butter into the middle of each squash half and sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon on top of the cut sides of the acorn squash. Then, drizzle the maple syrup on top and add a sprinkle of salt.
  • For a Savory Taste: Rub the inside of the squash with oil, then sprinkle the salt, garlic powder, and black pepper on top of the flesh and into the middle.
  • When the air fryer is preheated, add the squash halves to your air fryer with the flesh/core side facing up.
  • Cook the acorn squash halves for 18-22 minutes until tender. An easy way to test this is by piercing the flesh with a fork.
  • Once the squash is done, remove the halves from the air fryer. Fluff the flesh with a fork and serve. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Be careful when cutting the acorn squash in half since it can roll around quite a bit. Try finding a position in which the acorn squash is relatively stable before cutting it.
  • If you can’t decide on whether you want to enjoy your acorn squash sweet or savory, you can also season one half to be sweet and the other to be savory. When doing this, just make sure to only use half of the ingredient amounts mentioned above since they are for one whole squash.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 95kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 317mg | Potassium: 383mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 459IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1mg

This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice.

Course Side Dishes
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Author
Lisa
Lisa is the main creator for Simply Air Fryer. As the author of two successful food blogs, she's usually found measuring ingredients, trying out new combinations, or hiding behind the camera snapping photos of food. She bought her first air fryer almost 2 years ago and has since used it over 350+ times. With the help of her trusty sidekick (husband), she's created and tested every single recipe on Simply Air Fryer.

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