This roasted Air Fryer Acorn Squash recipe is a simple and delicious healthy side dish. Serve this naturally sweet squash with a drizzle of maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon for the perfect fall recipe.

two halves of acorn squash in an air fryer.

Most of us love our air fryers because they can cook almost anything and usually faster than in the regular oven. For instance, this Air fryer acorn squash cooks in about half the time of roasting it in the oven.

The best part though is the air fryer does all the heavy lifting. All you have to do is brush the acorn squash pieces with olive oil and the air fryer does the rest.

I like to scoop the orange flesh out of the acorn squash and mash it with cinnamon and maple syrup but you can serve it plain as well. Come fall, this Air Fryer Acorn Squash recipe is one of the first things I like to make. I hope you love it too!

Air Fryer Acorn Squash Benefits

  • Acorn squash is so easy to air fry. You just scoop out the goop and seeds, rub it with oil, and then air fry until fork tender.
  • Low in calories and high in fiber, acorn squash boasts many health benefits. They’re high in Vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium. The skin is edible, most people just eat the flesh of the squash.
  • If you love butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and pumpkin there’s a good chance you’re going to love this winter squash as well. It makes a perfect fall simple side dish especially mashed with maple syrup and cinnamon.
  • This particular recipe is also great for the winter months and the holiday season because of its seasonal flavors. This healthy recipe would be a great addition to your Thanksgiving menu.

Ingredients for Air Fryer Acorn Squash Halves

ingredients for air fried acorn squash.
  • Acorn squash – Choose an acorn squash from the grocery store or farmers’ market that is heavy for its size and doesn’t have any soft spots. The acorn squash skin should also be dark green in color which means it’s ripe.
  • Olive oil – Using oil is an easy way to encourage the acorn squash to caramelize and prevent it from burning. Rub it on both sides of the squash. You could also use avocado oil, melted butter, or ghee if you prefer.
  • Sea salt – Don’t underestimate the power of sea salt in cooking. It will bring out the sweetness of the squash and make the dish taste great.
  • Cinnamon – I love to pair ground cinnamon and winter squash together. Something about the combo just tastes and smells like fall. Cinnamon is also high in antioxidants and great for your body (see my recipe for Lemon Cinnamon Water).
  • Maple syrup – Just a small amount brings out the natural sweetness of the squash. The amount is really based on preference. If you prefer your mashed acorn squash to be sweeter you can gradually add more until the sweetness is perfect.

Please see the recipe card at the end of this post for the exact ingredients and measurements.

Recipe Steps

how to cook acorn squash in the air fryer.

Step One

Wash and dry your acorn squash. Place it on a cutting board and cut it in half lengthwise using a sharp knife.

Please see the recipe card at the end of this post for the exact ingredients and measurements.

Step Two

Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and strands from inside the squash.

Step Three

Rub the oil all over the squash to prevent it from burning.

Place the two squash halves into your air fryer basket cut side up. Try to keep the squash pieces in a single layer and from touching.

Step Four

Cook the squash at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for a cook time of 20 to 25 minutes or until the squash is fork tender.

Use tongs to remove the squash piece or pieces from the air fryer.

Use a spoon to scoop the cooked squash into a serving bowl or large bowl. Add the salt, cinnamon, and maple syrup then stir to combine. Enjoy your air fryer squash immediately while it’s hot!

I hope you agree that this is a great way to cook squash and your new favorite way to make it. The tender acorn squash flesh has a sweet taste and slightly nutty flavor.

roasted acorn squash on a plate.

Recipe Tips

  • Some people prefer to serve cooked acorn squash in the shell. If you prefer to serve it that way, then follow the directions up to step 7. Then, drizzle each half of the squash with the salt, cinnamon, and maple syrup, and serve with the shell.
  • Store any cooked acorn squash in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat before serving.
  • You can substitute pumpkin pie spice in place of the cinnamon for even more fall flavor or for the holiday season.
  • See my related recipes for Instant Pot Whole Butternut Squash, Instant Pot Acorn Squash, and Instant Pot Kabocha Squash if you want to cook the squashes whole. The benefit of using the Instant Pot over the air fryer would be that you wouldn’t have to cut the squashes in half before cooking.

Recipe FAQs

Is acorn squash healthy?

Yes! As mentioned above acorn squash is incredibly good for you. It’s low in calories but high in fiber plus it’s packed with vitamins and nutrients. Squash is considered a grain-free complex carbohydrate.

Do I need to peel the acorn squash?

No, you can just cook the acorn squash with the skin on and once it’s cooked the flesh will easily scoop out of the skin. This is much easier than trying to peel it beforehand.

Can I make this recipe in a regular oven?

Yes, absolutely! Just bake the squash halves on a baking sheet at 425F for about 45-50 minutes. You may need to add more or less time based on the size of the squash.

Can I use brown sugar instead of maple syrup?

Yes, you can use whatever type of sweetener you like the best.

More Air Fryer Recipes You Might Like

Or, check out my entire index of gluten-free air fryer recipes.

I hope you make this recipe! If you do, please leave a comment and a starred review below.

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air fryer acorn squash

Roasted Air Fryer Acorn Squash with Maple Syrup

This roasted Air Fryer Acorn Squash is a simple and delicious healthy side dish. Serve this naturally sweet squash with a drizzle of maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon for the perfect fall recipe.

  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Wash and pat dry a small to medium sized acorn squash.
  2. Place the squash on a cutting board and cut it lengthwise in half.
  3. Use a spoon to remove and discard the seeds and strands from the inside of the squash.
  4. Then, rub the outside and inside of the squash with the oil to help prevent burning.
  5. Place the two halves of the squash inside your air fryer basket, cut side up.
  6. Cook the squash at 375°F for 20-25 minutes, or until the inside of the squash is fork tender.
  7. Use tongs to remove the cooked squash from the air fryer basket.
  8. Use a spoon to scoop out the cooked squash to a serving bowl. Add the sea salt, cinnamon, and maple syrup, and stir to combine.
  9. Serve hot.

Notes

  1. Some people prefer to serve cooked acorn squash in the shell. If you prefer to serve it that way, then follow the directions up to step 7. Then, drizzle each half of the squash with the salt, cinnamon, and maple syrup, and serve with the shell.
  2. Store any cooked acorn squash in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat before serving.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 73
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Sodium: 294.4 mg
  • Fat: 2.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13.7 g
  • Fiber: 1.8 g
  • Protein: 0.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: air fryer acorn squash, how to cook winter squash in air fryer, acorn squash with cinnamon

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About the Author: Carrie Forrest has a master’s degree in public health with a specialty in nutrition. She is a top wellness and food blogger with nearly 10 million annual visitors to her site. Carrie has an incredible story of recovery from chronic illness and is passionate about helping other women transform their health. Send Carrie a message through her contact form.