Air Fryer Acorn Squash

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Looking for an easy way to make acorn squash taste great? Check out this four-ingredient air fryer acorn squash recipe that will make a garlicky and seasoned delicious side dish for your next meal.

acorn squash air fryer with olive oil, garlic, and thyme in a white bowl surrounded by a bed of kale on a brown wooden table | The Radiant Root

Disclaimer: Some of these links are affiliate links, this means when you sign up or purchase from these links we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more in our disclosure statement.

Fall is here and that means so is acorn squash! This root vegetable is one of my favorites and is one of the best things that come with that crisp fall weather.

I love how acorn squash is so versatile. You can pair it with various spices to make different flavors. So whether you’re in the mood for something sweet or savory this vegetable can meet your cravings.

Simplicity is also key during mealtime. This recipe for acorn squash has just 4 ingredients and is ready in under 30 minutes!

What is the secret that makes it so easy? The air fryer! This has become my favorite new kitchen gadget. It makes cooking so quick.

I’ve made recipes for acorn squash that involve a lot of prep work, but by incorporating the air fryer I’ve cut down my cooking time by more than half.

I’ve tried other veggies in the air fryer and they always come out so yummy. Roasted on the outside and soft on the inside. Now I’ve fallen in love with air fryer squash. 

I’m not sure I’ll ever cook acorn squash any other way again. Read on to learn how you can add this squash recipe to your next meal plan!

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Why you’ll love this recipe

Here are some of the reasons you’re gonna love this acorn squash air fryer recipe:

  • Easy
  • Quick 
  • Savory with a hint of sweet
  • Palate-pleasing

This easy recipe for acorn squash has only 4 ingredients. It takes less than 30 minutes to make. This includes the prep time! 

When compared with roasting this veggie, this air fry squash makes a great side in less time than it takes to heat up your oven.

The pairing of olive oil, garlic, and thyme makes for a satisfying taste. While mostly a savory acorn squash recipe there will also be a hint of natural sweetness thanks to the natural sugar in this veggie. 

These flavors come together to make air fry acorn squash a palate-pleasing dish.

What is acorn squash

Acorn squash is a winter squash that is part of the zucchini family. It looks like an acorn. That is why acorn squash is its name. Though categorized as a starchy vegetable it is actually a fruit since it contains seeds inside. 

It is available year-round but is in peak season from early October to December.

The outside of an acorn squash is a tough hard shell while the flesh on the inside is yellow-orange with a texture reminiscent of a sweet potato or pumpkin. 

It comes in various colors with the most common being dark green. There are also longitudinal ridges on the outside along with a single splotch of orange on the side or top of the squash. 

Other varieties of acorn squash include

  • Golden (yellow)
  • Tan
  • White
  • Orange

They usually weigh one to two pounds and are between four and seven inches long.

What does acorn squash taste like

The acorn squash taste is mild, subtly sweet, and nutty. A high concentration of water is what makes it not as sweet as other winter vegetables such as butternut squash.

Acorn squash takes on the taste of its seasoning. For example, cinnamon brings out a sweeter side while garlic and thyme (used in this recipe) will create a savory taste.

Additionally, this makes it a great complement to any meal or if you’re craving a tasty snack!

Where can you find acorn squash

Acorn squash is in the produce aisle of your favorite grocery store.* As I mentioned above it is available all year long. However, if you want to get a good price per pound you should stick to buying it in the fall and winter months. 

You can also try your hand at growing them in your garden. It is also an easy vegetable to grow in your home garden.

How to tell if acorn squash is ripe

If you’re curious how to know when is acorn squash ripe, here are the details!

Determine acorn squash ripeness by looking at it. Look for a squash that is heavy for its size It should also be dull in appearance. 

If the squash has any soft spots or cracks pass and look for another one.

Acorn squash nutrition facts

According to the USDA, a one-cup serving of plain cooked acorn squash has the following: 

  • Calories: 115
  • Carbs: 30 grams
  • Protein: 2.3 grams
  • Fat: 0.3 grams
  • Fiber: 9 grams

As you see above there are few calories in acorn squash. This makes it a low-calorie food. This vegetable has very little protein and fat.

There is also a lot of fiber in acorn squash. One cup gives you about 25% of the daily fiber requirement. The amount of carbs in acorn squash is on the higher side making it a starchy vegetable.

Other important acorn squash nutrients include:

  • Vitamin A: 43 mcg (29% of the Daily Value (DV))
  • Vitamin C: 22 mg (25% of the DV)
  • Niacin (B3): 2 mg (11% of the DV) 
  • Thiamine (B1): 0.3 mg (29% of the DV)
  • B6: 0.4 mg (27% of the DV)
  • Folate: 39 micrograms 2 mg (10% of the DV)
  • Iron:  2 mg (14% of the DV)
  • Magnesium: 88 mg (21% of the DV)
  • Manganese: 0.5 mg (22% of the DV)
  • Potassium: 896 mg (45% of the DV)

Vitamins and minerals that provide between 10 and 19% of the daily value (DV) are considered a good source of that nutrient. DV of 20% and above are considered an excellent source. 

This shows acorn squash is a good source of Iron, niacin, and folate It is also. It is also an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, potassium, thiamine, and B6.

The green and orange skin color of the acorn squash indicates this vegetable is also rich in antioxidants beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These compounds along with the other nutrients in acorn squash are what give it potential health benefits.

Acorn squash health benefits

Thanks to the abundance of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants there may be some potential benefits of acorn squash. These compounds have been associated with improvements in

Is acorn squash good for you?

Many people ask, “Is acorn squash healthy?” 

The answer is yes! On its own acorn squash is a good food to add to the diet. It is high in fiber and nutrients. 

So a plain cooked veggie will make acorn squash recipes healthy. 

Being a starchy vegetable it may be higher in natural sugar than other veggies.

When you add spices and seasonings the overall nutrition of the squash will change. 

Add too much salt, fat, and/or sugar and it may no longer be considered acorn squash healthy recipes.

For example, a brown sugar acorn squash recipe consisting of a butter and brown sugar mixture will have a completely different nutrient profile than olive oil and cinnamon.

This acorn squash brown sugar recipe will be affected nutritionally with even just a little bit of sugar. One teaspoon of sugar will add four and a half grams of sugar to that total recipe.

So the health of this and other recipes depends on a few things:

  • The amount of sugar in the recipe
  • The person’s overall sugar intake for the day
  • The person’s overall health

More sugar added to the recipe will decrease the health content of the recipe.

For some people, marrying acorn squash with brown sugar or other sweeteners could be not the best thing for their health. It could turn these into NOT-so-healthy acorn squash recipes.

If you want to keep your acorn squash recipe healthy my advice is to have as few additives as possible or use spices without a lot of sugar and salt.

This will help maximize the potential health benefits you may get from acorn squash.

Acorn squash is also compliant with Whole30/Paleo/AIP

In addition, the nutrients in this squash make it compliant with the following diets: 

  • Whole30
  • Paleo
  • AIP-friendly

If you’re wondering, “Is acorn squash keto?”  The answer is no. Unfortunately, this veggie has too many carbs to be keto-friendly.

What to do with acorn squash

Acorn squash is great. It has a flavor that pairs well with so many things. It can be added to salads, stews, stir-fries, sautees, casseroles, or just served with seasonings as a side dish.

How to prepare acorn squash

Acorn Squash is a wonderful vegetable because it is so versatile. Depending on how much time you have there are a few ways you can prep acorn squash so it’s ready to be cooked. 

Soups, salads, stews, and stir-fries are more time-consuming peeled and cubed acorn squash recipes. For these dishes, you will need to do more prep work on the squash which will be more time-consuming.

If you’re strapped for time, there is a shortcut when it comes to preparing acorn squash for recipes.

If you’re really feeling unmotivated you can even eat acorn squash raw. However, it may be more palatable when it’s cooked. 

So if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, air fryer acorn quash is a recipe that you will love to make!

How to cook an acorn squash

Once it is prepped you be asking yourself, “How do you cook an acorn squash?” A number of ways! 

Some great ways to cook an acorn squash include roasting, sauteeing, baking, and sauteing. 

I’ve never tried these but I also know this veggie can be microwaved or steamed. 

Cooking an acorn squash in the instant pot is also popular for saving time in the kitchen.

I especially enjoy baked acorn squash recipes because you can put them in the oven and work on another part of your meal or some other work that needs to get done. There is no need to stand over the stove watching a pot.

How long does it take to cook acorn squash?

If you are curious “about how long to cook acorn squash?” It depends on the preparation and method of cooking. 

An acorn squash that is cubed will take less time to cook than a half or whole-acorn squash. The cooking method will also affect the time to cook this veggie.  

The time for microwave acorn squash is about 20 minutes. This is about how long it will take to make instant pot acorn squash.

Steamed acorn squash is also a quick recipe but unlike other methods of cooking it needs to be watched.

Roasted and baked acorn squash in the oven is a longer process.

Cooking acorn squash in oven

How to cook acorn squash in the oven depends on if you are baking or roasting your squash. These are both dry heat cooking but roasting is usually at a higher temperature between 400 and 450° F.

When it comes to how long to bake an acorn squash I will usually cook at between 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 to 45 minutes.

If I am roasting acorn squash I will cook it at 400 degrees Fahrenheit and cook it for 25 to 30 minutes so the squash is soft. If you want it more crispy you can cook it a little longer but just watch so it doesn’t get burnt.

Another thing to consider is that depending on your oven acorn squash cooking times may vary. I like to roast it for about 25 to 40 minutes depending on the temperature. If I want it more crispy I will keep adding 10 minutes until I have my desired consistency.

Whole baked acorn squash

Another really easy way of cooking is to bake acorn squash whole. Before placing it in the oven cut a slit on one side and place it on a baking sheet. 

You want to cook for maybe 45 minutes at 375. Halfway through around 20 minutes check to see how done the squash is.

You will still have to scoop out all the seeds and stringy insides after it cooks. I find this to be more annoying for some reason. 

I usually won’t use this method unless I am making a casserole, mashed acorn squash, or soup.

So for this recipe, I recommend cutting the squash in half and then de-seeding it.

No need to peel the squash for this recipe either! 

Like pumpkins, the seeds of acorn squash are edible. You just need to cook them. You will need to separate them from the stringy parts and rinse them with cold water.

How to cook acorn squash in air fryer

Another quick cooking method that is awesome is the air fryer.

Cooking acorn squash in the air fryer acorn squash is pretty easy. Depending on what type of air fryer is used, all you need to do is press a few buttons, and you are left with some tasty squash.

You basically place the seasoned squash into the air fryer basket and place it into the air fryer. Punch in the time you want it to cook for a few minutes later you will have a crispy acorn squash.

It’s the coolest thing. The hot air circulates the food and it cooks it as if it was deep fried but without all the oil!

You can even use the air fryer to toast pumpkin seeds after you finish making this air-fried acorn squash.

One thing to note is that like with regular ovens, cooking times may vary between different models and brands.

Why use an air fryer

Some benefits of an air fryer include

  • Short cooking times
  • Easy cleanup
  • Great taste

Air fryers save you a lot of time cooking. The power of this machine is great. It cooks faster at temperatures that would take double the time in the oven.

You can even put frozen food in there and it will come out great!

Even with parchment paper and baking mats you still may have to scrub down your roasting pan or baking sheet when you bake and roast veggies in the oven. This can take time away from other things you need to be doing. 

In contrast, this air fryer acorn squash recipe leaves little cleanup. The air fryer basket is usually easy to clean and can be put in the dishwasher!

I love the air fryer for its seamless ability to get veggies crispy and taste great. 

The same can be said for air fryer fried squash. You are left with crispy vegetables that are delectable. It even gives roasted acorn squash a run for its money.

This was the first time I used squash in any of my air fryer recipes. Now I am totally hooked. I think I’ll be trying some new air fryer squash recipes for the rest of the fall season! 

In my opinion, the air fryer is in the running for the best way to cook acorn squash.

What types of air fryers can be used in this recipe*

I’ve had my GoWise air fryer since I got it as a wedding shower gift back in 2019.

If you don’t own an air fryer don’t freak. You can find and have one delivered in just a few days. 

My GoWise works great but if you need something bigger the larger 7-quart GoWise air fryer might be a good choice.

This list has air fryers with four stars. Surprisingly there are no 5-star reviews of air fryers on Amazon. Here are a few high-rating ones that are under $100:

You can also check out popular air fryer reviews on Amazon that will fit your budget and needs.

Another great tip is that if you have the Rakuten button installed on your web browser it will tell you if the item you’re searching for can be found at a lower price at another online retailer. 

It’s important to note that depending on what brand and model air fryer you have temperatures and cooking times will vary. So they may need to be adjusted depending on what air fryer you use.

*Some of these links are affiliate links. This means when you sign up or purchase from these links we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more in our disclosure statement.

Ingredients in this air fryer acorn squash

To make this air fryer acorn squash recipe you need the following ingredients:

  • Acorn squash
  • Fresh garlic cloves
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Dried thyme

Acorn squash

In this recipe, I used a 4-inch diameter squash. This is slightly bigger than a softball. I always like getting squash on the smaller side since I don’t want to be left with too many leftovers.

If the squash is ripe it will feel heavy for its size. As for the look of the squash, it should have a dull appearance. Look for any blemishes, cracks, and or soft spots.

Fresh garlic

Nothing is better than fresh garlic. I have found using a garlic peeler* and garlic press* saves so much time. It also is a great way to easily spread the garlic on the halves of the acorn squash. So if you hate prepping garlic these two gadgets have been really helpful. 

Extra virgin olive oil

The combination of garlic and olive oil is one of my favorites. That is why I added olive oil to this recipe. It also gives a good fatty flavor to the squash. Just one tbsp should be enough to brush on the two acorn squash halves.

One brand that I like is California Olive Ranch.*

Dried thyme

I enjoy fresh spices but I find they can be so cumbersome. So I’ve been relying on dried spices lately. Since they have a longer shelf life. I just love the taste of thyme on roasted chicken and turkey and it compliments the acorn squash just as nicely. 

The combination of olive oil, garlic, and thyme also makes a great flavor when mixed together. It also reminds me of a Thanksgiving feast. So this is a great side to add to your holiday meals.

air fry squash recipe ingredients on a wooden table: A 4 to 5 inch diameter acorn squash, dish of olive oil, dish of fresh garlic peeled and pressed, and a dish of dried thyme | The Radiant Root

How to make acorn squash in the air fryer

This is a pretty simple recipe. There are just a few things that go into making acorn squash in the air fryer. They are: 

  • Prepping the squash
  • Cooking the squash

How to prep acorn squash

Preparing acorn squash involves 4 things:

  • Washing 
  • Cutting
  • Scooping out the squash’s insides
  • Seasoning


Squashes come from the ground so you want to wash off any dirt or debris that may be lingering. Dry with a towel and move on to the next step: cutting


How to cut acorn squash may seem daunting but you only need to cut it in half so it’s not too much work. 

Start by using a sturdy, sharp Chef’s knife* and cut the squash in half lengthways in the center of the stem. I like to slice around the stem. This makes slicing a little bit easier because you don’t have to cut through the woody stem.

This way it can lay flat in the air fryer. Also, know that you will have one half with more stem intact than the other. 

Pull the two halves apart so you see the seeds and stringy insides.

I also like to cut a circle around the seeds and the stringy part in the center. I find this makes it easier to scoop all the insides. 

Once you cut a circle on each acorn squash you can then move on to the third prep part scooping.

Scooping out the squash’s inside

The cut squash halves now will detach the seed and stringy membrane that will be easier to remove. Scoop them all out with a spoon until all that is left is acorn squash flesh.

If you want to save the seeds to roast last put them off to the side otherwise you can throw all of the insides in the garbage.

Seasoning the acorn squash 

Once you have the two squash halves cleaned out you can add the seasonings. Start with a brushing of olive oil onto each of the inside and outside edges of the acorn squash.

About one tablespoon should do.

Then you can add two garlic cloves peeled and pressed into each half of the acorn squash. Top with one teaspoon of dried thyme. Be sure to spread it evenly across the squash halves.

Now the acorn squash is ready to be cooked.

How long do you cook acorn squash in the air fryer

Take the seasoned acorn squash and put it in the air fryer basket. 

The air fryer I use does not require pre-heating so I just put the air fryer basket and then put it into the air fryer and punch 370 degrees Fahrenheit in the temperature.

Depending on your air fryer you may need to pre-heat it. If that is the case set it to 370 degrees Fahrenheit.

How long you should cook acorn squash could depend on your air fryer. In my air fryer, it took 15 minutes.

If you find this is not cooked enough add another five minutes until you get a fork-tender brown and crispy consistency.

Air fryer acorn squash (step-by-step instructions)

1. Wash off any dirt that may be lingering. Dry the squash well with a towel. After that, using a sturdy knife cut the acorn squash in half lengthways so it can lay flat in the air fryer.

Acorn squash recipe Instruction Photo 1 of 8: A wooden table with an acorn squash cut open lengthways showing the inside with the words "take a sturdy knife and cut the acorn squash lengthways in half" and a yellow number 1 in a green circle signifying this is the 1st step in the recipe | Air Fryer Acorn Squash | The Radiant Root

2. Use a paring knife* to cut a circle around the inside close to the seeds. This will make it easier for the seeds and inner membrane to be scooped out. 

Then take a spoon and scoop out all the seeds and stringy parts so you are just left with the meat of the squash. 

Repeat on the other acorn squash half until only the flesh of the squash is left.

Acorn Squash Recipe Instruction Photo 2 of 8: Two photos next to each other. On the left is a wooden table with hands cutting around the inner seeds and stringy part of one half of an acorn squash next to an acorn squash that has a cut already inside the acorn squash with the words "Cut around the insides of each acorn squash half." The other photo on the right is a wooden table with two halves of an acorn squash with the seeds and stringy parts removed in each of the halves of the acorn squash with seeds and the stringy part on the table with the words "Scoop out the seeds and stringy pieces in each acorn squash half." Then on the bottom there is a number two inside a circle representing the 2nd step of the recipe | The Radiant Root

3. Brush olive oil onto the inside and edges of each acorn squash half until both are well covered.

4. Evenly spread the fresh garlic on each of the acorn squash halves.

Acorn Squash Recipe Instruction Photos 3 and 4 of 8: On the left is wooden table with hands brushing extra virgin olive oil onto one half of a de-seeded acorn squash and the words "Brush olive oil on each acorn squash half" and an arrow pointing down towards to the two halves and a yellow number 3 in a green circle signifying this is the third step in the recipe directions. On the right is a photo of hands topping the acorn squash olive oiled halves with fresh garlic and the words "Top with fresh garlic." Ther is a yellow for in a green circle in the bottom right hand corner signifying this is the 4th direction in the recipe instructions. | The Radiant Root

5. Top the squash with dried thyme (about half a teaspoon for each half).

6. Place the acorn squash halves into the air fryer basket.

Acorn Squash Recipe Instruction Photos 5 and 6 of 8: Two photos on the left is a wooden table with hands placing dried thyme into an acorn squash half with the words "Finish it off with a 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme in each half" and in the bottom left corner is a yellow 5 inside a green circle indicating this is the 5th step in the recipe directions. On the right is a photo of an air fryer basket with the finished acorn squash halves inside it and the words "Place the squash in the air fryer basket." In the bottom right hand corner is a yellow 6 inside a green circle indicating this is the 6th step in the directions for this recipe. | The Radiant Root

7. Cook at 370 degrees Fahrenheit for about a total of 15 minutes. If you have a different air fryer check the squash at 10 minutes. When it is done the squash should be brown and crisp with a soft center. 

If you find this is not the case you can cook for another 5 minutes until you reach the desired consistency.

Recipe Instruction Photos 7 of 8: A wooden table with air fried veggie in air fryer basket. In the top left hand corner it reads “Cook at 370 °F for 15 min” | acorn squash healthy recipes | The Radiant Root

8. Finally, let the acorn squash cool and enjoy! 

Recipe Instruction Photos 8 and 8 of 8: A wooden table with a with a white bowl with the two cooked acorn squashes in a bed of kale. Under the bowl are the words "let cool and enjoy!" | cooking acorn squash in air fryer | The Radiant Root

*Some of these links are affiliate links. This means when you sign up or purchase from these links we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more in our disclosure statement.

Air fryer acorn squash tips & tricks

Here are some acorn squash air fryer tips to make this recipe great: 

  • Find a similar size squash
  • Use a sharp sturdy knife
  • Check on the squash halfway through cooking (about 7 – 8 minutes)
  • Brush the bottom of the squash with olive oil
  • Check the squash a few minutes before it is done
  • Leave a little space for the air to flow

Use an acorn squash that is not too big. This will ensure less cooking time. Look for a squash about 4 inches in diameter. This is about the size of a softball.

If your squash is bigger or smaller than this cooking times will vary. Bigger sizes will take longer to cook.

Cooking times may vary depending on the air fryer you have. So check the squash about halfway through cooking around 7 and a half or 8 minutes to measure doneness.

Sharp knives will make slicing and deseeding the squash easier. A dinner spoon will suffice to scoop out all the seeds and inner membranes.

There is no need to use cooking spray. The acorn squash is not likely to stick to the air fryer basket. If you are worried about sticking to the air fryer basket you can brush the outside with a little bit of olive oil. Or you can use an air fryer liner*.

Since cook times vary from air fryer to air fryer you should check the squash at about 10 minutes of cooking to see how done it is. You may need more or less time depending on your device.

Try to arrange the acorn squash so there is space for the air to circulate.

Additions, substitutions, & variations

If you aren’t able to find green acorn squash you can use these squashes instead 

  • White acorn squash
  • Golden acorn squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Butternut squash
  • Carnival squash
  • Buttercup squash
  • Delicata
  • Kaboocha
  • Sweet Dumpling
  • Spaghetti Squash

If you make pumpkin, spaghetti, or air fryer butternut squash look for a smaller-sized squash. The cooking times may also change if you use a different type of squash for this recipe.

Garlic powder can be used in lieu of fresh. You will need 1 teaspoon of garlic powder to equal the same amount of fresh garlic.

If you don’t have thyme you can also use the following spices*:

Looking to make this air fryer savory recipe sweeter? Swap in cinnamon. Have another spice in mind? Add it on! 

Some people will make this more of a sweet recipe by adding sweeteners like honey or maple syrup, however, I find that even the addition of cinnamon is a great way to get a sweet taste if you’re looking to cut back on added sugar.

*Some of these links are affiliate links. This means when you sign up or purchase from these links we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more in our disclosure statement.

What to serve with air fryer acorn squash 

Here are some ideas on what to serve with acorn squash.

Don’t feel like turning on the stove? You can pair it with any animal or plant protein. 

Serve up some air fryer chicken, beef, or pork. 

Looking for a vegetarian or vegan meal idea? Pair that air fryer acorn squash with sauteed vegetables and quinoa for a complete vegetable protein.

As you can see this recipe goes well with so many main dishes!

How long does acorn squash last

If you wind up with any leftovers and are wondering, “How long does acorn squash last?” Here are details for storing acorn squash in the fridge and freezer. 

How to store acorn squash in the fridge

Once cooled you can place the remaining acorn squash in a sealable, air-tight container and put it in the fridge. It will stay good for up to three or five days.

How to freeze acorn squash

If you are not going to eat the leftovers right away, freezing acorn squash can prolong its shelf life.

Put the remaining air fryer acorn squash into a freezer-safe container and put it in the freezer. It will stay good for 10 to 12 months.

How to reheat this recipe

The best thing about acorn air fryer squash is it reheats well. So when you’re ready to enjoy your leftovers you can use the air fryer, microwave, or oven to reheat this squash.

To reheat this recipe in the air fryer, set the temperature to 370 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until warm.

In the microwave, cook for just two minutes.  In the oven preheat it to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for 20 minutes.

After reheating the leftovers can be enjoyed alone or chopped up and added to a soup, stew, or stir-fry.

Sometimes I like to eat cooked acorn squash cold in a salad. 

Common and FAQs

Can you air fry acorn squash?

If you’re wondering how to air fry acorn squash all you have to do is cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and add some olive oil and seasonings. Then put it in the air fryer basket. Cook for 15 minutes at 370 degrees F until tender to a fork’s piercing (please note times and temperature will vary depending on air fryer brand and model).

Do I need an air fryer for this air fryer acorn squash recipe?

If you don’t have an air fryer you can get on delivered within a few days from Amazon. Or you can also bake the acorn squash.

What type of air fryer should I use for this fried squash?

The type of air fryer you use in this air fryer acorn squash recipe depends on your needs. Do you have a lot of people to serve or is it just a party of one or two? You can find an air fryer that is best for you.  

I have a GoWise brand* with a bunch of air fryer accessories. The one downside is that it is just big enough for servings for two since it’s just me and my husband.

Checking out the best reviews for air fryers on Amazon* is also a great way to find something that will fit your budget and needs.

How long does it take to roast squash in an air fryer?

Depending on the type of squash and model of the air fryer the temperature and time it takes to roast squash will vary. For this air fryer acorn squash recipe, you just need to prep and season your squash then cook in the air fryer for 15 minutes at 370 degrees Fahrenheit.

Can I make squash in my air fryer?

Yes! All you need is to prep and cook the squash. The prep involves cutting the squash into the size it will fit into the air fryer basket. Then take out the membranes and seeds. The final step in prepping the squash is to season it with a brush or spray of olive oil and spices. 

Place it in the air fryer basket at 370°F for 15 minutes until it is soft when touched with a fork (times and temperatures will vary depending on the air fryer model). The size of the squash may also increase the cooking time.

How long does it take for butternut squash in the air fryer?

If you sub in butternut squash for this recipe know it will take longer than air fryer acorn squash. On average it can take 20 to 23 minutes but again the times and temperature vary with each model and brand of air fryer.

How long do you cook acorn squash for?

Depending on the method of cooking it can take anywhere from 10 to 60 minutes. Microwaving acorn squash takes only about 10 minutes. In the air fryer, acorn squash can be ready in as little as 15 minutes depending on the model of the air fryer. Baking this squash in the oven can take between 30 to 60 minutes.

Do you eat the skin of acorn squash?

For anyone wondering can you eat acorn squash skin or is acorn squash skin edible? The answer is yes! No matter how it’s cut, cooked acorn squash is tasty to eat. When cooked or air fried the skin becomes softer and easier to eat.

If you don’t want to eat it you can also peel it off. Alternatively, you can eat just the meat out of the acorn squash like it’s a bowl. Depending on my mood I will do either.

Do you peel acorn squash before cooking?

Peeling an acorn squash before eating is not recommended. Once cooked the skin comes off very easily so it’s better to cook first and then peel. This is also recommended if the squash will be used in another recipe like soup, stew, or stir-fry. The skin peels off smoothly once it’s been cooked.

How to bake acorn squash?

If you are baking this recipe prepare as outlined above then preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the squash halves on a baking sheet with parchment paper* or a reusable baking mat*. Cook for about 50 to 60 minutes until the squash is browned and a fork can easily pierce the skin.

How long does it take to cook acorn squash at 400?

Bake at 400°F for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the tops of the squash halves are nicely browned and the squash flesh is very soft and cooked through. It’s hard to overcook squash, it just gets better with more caramelization. Don’t undercook it.

Equipment used in this recipe*

Here is a list of equipment or similar items used in this air fryer acorn squash recipe.

*Some of these links are affiliate links, which means when you sign up or purchase from these links we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more in our disclosure statement.

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Air Fryer Acorn Squash

This easy air fryer acorn squash recipe consists of just 4 ingredients and can be made in under 30 minutes. It makes a perfect savory side dish that tastes great and complements any entree.
Course Appetizer, dinner, lunch, Main Course, Side Dish, vegetable
Cuisine AIP, American, corn-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, night shade free, no added sugar, nut-free, paleo, sugar free, vegan, vegetarian, whole30
Keyword AIP, dairy-free, easy appetizer, easy recipe, gluten-free, no added sugar, paleo, quick recipe, quick side dish, vegan, vegetables, vegetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 (1 half of the acorn squash)
Calories* 157kcal


  • 1 Acorn squash (4 to 5 inches in diameter)
  • 1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves Fresh garlic (2 cloves per half of squash peeled and pressed)
  • 1 tsp Dried thyme  (½ teaspoon per each acorn squash half)


  • Wash any dirt off the acorn squash. Then pat it dry with a dish towel. Using a sharp chef’s knife cut the acorn squash in half lengthways so it can lay flat.
  • Take one of the squash halves and cut around the inner part so you can detach the seeds and membrane from the squash. Scoop out all the seeds and stringy parts so all you are left with is the inner flesh of the squash. Repeat on the other half of the squash.
  • Brush olive oil onto the inside and edges of each of the acorn squash halves.
  • Place fresh garlic inside the acorn squash spreading it evenly across the two halves (about 2 cloves per squash half).
  • Top the acorn squash with dried thyme evenly across both acorn squash halves (about 1/2 a teaspoon per each squash half).
  • Place the acorn squash halves into the air fryer basket. Then put the basket in the air fryer.
  • Cook for 15 minutes at 370°F until the squash is fork tender. If you do not have a soft squash by that point then cook another 5 minutes until your air-fried squash is at the desired consistency.
  • Let the squash halves cool for 10 minutes and enjoy!



For this recipe, there are two acorn squash servings that consist of one-half each. If you want to make these typical air fryer recipes for two feed more people you can cut each half of the air corn squash into four pieces.

How to Store Acorn Squash 

Just remember this will change the nutritional facts.
Storage and Reheating of this fried squash in an air fryer recipe are really simple. 
Any squash you have left over should be cooled and then placed in a sealable, airtight container. In the fridge, it will stay good for about 3 to 5 days.
In the freezer, a well-sealed container of acorn squash will last for about 10 to 12 months.

How to Reheat Acorn Squash

You can use the air fryer, microwave, or oven to reheat your leftover acorn squash. Here is information on how to reheat depending on the appliance: 
  • Air fryer reheating: Set to 370 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until warm
  • Microwave reheating: Cook for 2 minutes
  • Oven reheating: Preheat the oven to 375°F and cook for 20 minutes until warm
Or you can skip reheating altogether and eat cold. Cold air-fyrer acorn squash tastes great in a salad.

Air Fryer Temperatures & Times Vary

The fryer I used does not have any presetting just bunch in the temperature and cook for the desired time.
Depending on the type of air fryer you have you may need to preheat it. If that’s the case then pre-heat to 370 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cooking times also will vary by the model of the air fryer. Check with a fork to see if the squash is done. If you want it crispier then cook it to the desired time.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition information based on one four-inch diameter acorn squash cut into two halves.
*Nutritional information is estimated using Nutrifox nutrition label maker*
*Disclaimer: Some of these links are affiliate links, this means when you sign up or purchase from these links we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. The Radiant Root is also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Learn more in our disclosure statement.

*Disclaimer: Some of these links are affiliate links, this means when you sign up or purchase from these links we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. The Radiant Root is also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Learn more in our disclosure statement.

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