Air fryer butternut squash is a perfect holiday side dish. Especially with plenty of earthy mushrooms, savory green onions, and sweet-tart dried cranberries in the mix!
If you've never roasted vegetables in your air fryer, you are in for a treat! Air fryer butternut squash cooks in about half the time that it takes in a regular oven, and the results are tender and so flavorful.
Roasted chunks of butternut squash are perfect paired up with big pieces of earthy mushroom and green onions. The onions turn sweet with cooking!
Toss with dried cranberries at the end, then serve this up as a healthy holiday side dish or even as the veggie star of a weeknight meal. It's that quick and easy to make!
If you've never had roasted green onions before, you're in for such a treat. Leeks get most of the oniony glory in dishes like this, but green onions are more affordable and just as delicious, in my estimation.
This dish is super simple to make and very hands-off, once you're done prepping. The prep is pretty simple, though you do need to do a careful job with the squash.
The key to this recipe is prepping your squash properly, so the pieces will cook through evenly. Here's what you need to be sure to do:
- Peel it thoroughly. Butternut squash skin is thick, so your vegetable peeler may not get all of the skin off on the first swipe. Keep peeling until the outside of our squash is the same, vibrant orange as the inside. Any tough skin will stay hard in the air fryer.
- Dice it well. The recipe calls for a ½" dice, and that is crucial. Large pieces will not cook through, and I don't want you to have undercooked squash!
If you're new to working with butternut squash, it's really not hard, but it can be a bit time-consuming. Make sure to peel thoroughly and dice evenly, and you'll be in good shape.
To save time and effort, you can often find pre-cut, fresh squash at the grocery store. It's normally in the same section as the other pre-cut veggies.
The pieces may be a bit bigger than you need, but it's much faster to cut those down to size than to start with a whole squash.
This recipe will not work with frozen butternut squash. I have tested it with frozen several times, and it always turns into a mushy mess.
How to serve and store
Any leftover squash will keep for three to four days in an airtight container in the fridge. You can serve leftovers hot or cold.
Need some ideas for what to serve with air fryer butternut squash? Try some of these holiday faves!
- chicken fried tofu and mashed potatoes
- baked tofu chops
- lentil loaf
- pineapple-ginger glazed tofu
- cranberry tofu
Air fryer butternut squash recipe
- 4 cups diced butternut squash - (You're going for ½" pieces. A 2-pound squash should do the trick.)
- 1 cup sliced green onions - You're going for 3-inch pieces.
- 8 ounces button mushrooms - stemmed and quartered
- 1 tablespoon olive oil - You can substitute spray oil, if you prefer. Just spray after transferring the mixture to the basket.
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 4 cloves fresh garlic
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- extra green onion - for garnish, optional
- In a large bowl, combine the squash, green onions, and button mushrooms, and set aside.
- Make the sauce: Combine the olive oil (if using), soy sauce, maple syrup, vinegar, and garlic in your blender or food processor, and puree until smooth.
- Pour the sauce over the squash mixture, tossing to coat well, then transfer to your air fryer basket. If you're opting for spray oil, this is when you'd spray to coat.
- Cook at 400F for 20-3 minutes (see note), shaking every 5 minutes, until the squash pieces are browned on the outside and tender on the inside. Toss in the dried cranberries, top with the extra green onion (if using), then serve hot.