Home Recipes Air Fryer Acorn Squash (5-Ingredient Recipe)

Air Fryer Acorn Squash (5-Ingredient Recipe)

Air fryer acorn squash is an easy autumn side you can make year-round!

In just 30 minutes, you get sweet, lightly caramelized, fork-tender squash. With a touch of brown sugar and cinnamon, it tastes like dessert.

Air fried acorn squash sliced in halves in a white plate.
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And thanks to the air fryer, you use less oil, so it’s healthy too!

Get ready to meet your new favorite side dish.

Why You’ll Love Air Fryer Acorn Squash

One bite and you’ll fall head-over-heels for air fryer acorn squash! Here are a few reasons you’ll love this recipe:

  • It’s crispy and delicious. Air frying delivers perfectly tender flesh with a beautifully caramelized, crispy exterior. It’s naturally sweet and oh-so-delicious!
  • Cleanup is a breeze. There’s no need to scrub any greasy pans with the air fryer. This recipe uses minimal oil, leaving you with less mess.
  • It’s a healthy side. Less oil also means fewer calories and fat. So you get nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich squash for healthy eating.
Sliced acorn squash brushed with olive oil with the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and pepper mixture inside an air fryer basket.


You only need six ingredients for this recipe, most of which are pantry staples.

  • Acorn Squash – Use fresh acorn squash that’s firm with smooth, dark green skin. Also, be sure to pick one free of spots or blemishes.
  • Olive Oil – Just a little drizzle for cooking the squash.
  • Brown Sugar – For the sweet, molasses flavor. It makes this squash taste like a fall dessert!
  • Ground Cinnamon – A sprinkle of cinnamon adds warmth and a delightful autumn flavor.
  • Salt and Black Pepper – For enhancing the natural sweetness of the squash.

How to Make Air Fryer Acorn Squash

Air frying acorn squash is so insanely simple. Just a quick prep, and about 25 minutes later, it’s ready!

All you have to do is follow these easy steps:

1. Preheat the air fryer. Set it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Mix the oil, sugar, and spices. Combine the olive oil, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.

3. Season the squash. Brush the squash halves with the seasoning mixture.

4. Air fry the squash. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until fork tender.

5. Serve. Cool for 2-3 minutes. Enjoy!

Air fried sliced in half acorn squash served on a white plate with rosemary leaves garnish.

Recipe Tips and Variations

Are you new to air-frying acorn squash? Worry not!

I make this recipe a lot. So I’ve included some tips to ensure you get the best air fryer acorn squash.

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I also threw in some of my favorite variations to mix things up.

  • Slice it nice and even. This will ensure the squash halves are ready at the same time. If one is bigger or smaller, the time for each half can vary.
  • Give them space. For even cooking, leave some space between the squash halves. This allows air to circulate around each one so they cook properly.
  • Sharpen your knife! Squash can be hard to cut. So be sure to use a sharp knife to cut through the tough flesh. It may also help to slice off a small part on the bottom. Then, you can place it flat so it’s sturdy.
  • Make them party pleasers. Serving a dinner party? Instead of halves, slice the squash into wedges. Also, reduce the cooking time. About 15-20 minutes should do.
  • Go au naturel. Sometimes, I swap out the brown sugar for maple syrup. It has a delightful flavor that tastes like autumn.
  • Spice it up. In the mood for something more spicy than sweet? Skip the sugar and add a dash of cayenne powder.
  • Try a savory switch. You can also make this squash more savory instead. Just leave out the sugar and cinnamon. Instead, add 1/2 teaspoon each of garlic powder, dried thyme, and dried rosemary.
Air fried acorn squash meat scooped with a spoon.

What to Serve with Acorn Squash

For family dinners or holiday spreads, there are many tasty dishes to pair with acorn squash. Think savory proteins, cheesy casseroles, or earthy grain dishes.

Here are a handful of ideas for a meal:

More Air Fryer Recipes

Air Fryer Pork Chops

Crispy Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts

Air Fryer Potato Wedges

Air Fryer Biscuits

Easy Air Fryer Chicken Breast

Air Fryer Acorn Squash (5-Ingredient Recipe)

Course: SidesCuisine: American


Prep time


Cooking time



This air fryer acorn squash is so full of flavor! With brown sugar and cinnamon, it turns out caramelized, sweet, and delicious.


  • 1 acorn squash

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius).
  • Wash and slice the squash in half from the stem to the bottom. Scoop out the seeds.
  • In a small bowl, mix the olive oil with the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Brush this mixture over the inside of each squash half, covering all the pale flesh.
  • Place the squash halves in the air fryer basket, cut side up. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until fork tender.
  • Carefully remove the squash from the basket. Let cool for 2-3 minutes before serving. Enjoy!


  • Instead of halves, cut the squash into wedges and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  • Swap the brown sugar for maple syrup if you prefer. Or leave the sugar off and add a dash of cayenne for something spicy.
  • For a savory version, leave out the sugar and cinnamon. Add 1/2 teaspoon each of garlic powder, dried thyme, and dried rosemary instead.
  • Cut the squash as evenly as possible so the halves cook at the same time.
  • Check for doneness by poking a fork into the flesh. If it glides in easily, it’s ready to eat.
Air fryer acorn squash.

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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