This simple Air Fryer Acorn Squash recipe drizzled with maple syrup is the perfect fall and winter side dish to go with chicken, turkey or beef. Takes only a few minutes to prepare and under 20 minutes to cook!
As a kid, you would never get me to eat squash… like ever! My mom, who is definitely not the best cook would only serve squash after she had cooked it to oblivion and then mashed it up. So basically it was orange mush with pepper on top. Not the most appealing dish to tantalize the tastebuds of children with that’s for sure!
It wasn’t until I went to a friend’s once and was faced with dreaded squash for dinner.
That’s right, all sorts of thoughts swirling on in my head, not the least of which was my mother’s voice saying… “Eat whatever is put in front of you”. Good Lord, how was I gonna do it. The saving grace and what gave me hope was that THIS squash was sliced! Not mushed!
I took a slice, smiled and pretended to be excited and dove in like a contestant on Fear Factor. Hoping to scarf it down before my gag reflexes kicked into high gear!
To my surprise and relief, it was delicious! Not mushy at all!
Since then I have been indulging in squash dishes on the regular almost like I am making up for my lost years or eating it.
What makes Air-fried Acorn Squash Recipe Great
- It’s not mushy… unless you make it so.
- It looks pretty it’s nice half moon pieces.
- The drizzle of maple syrup compliments the sweet and earthy flavour of the squash.
- A hint of cinnamon goes perfect with the maple syrup and subtly sweet squash.
- It takes less then half an hour to prepare from start to finish!
What does Acorn Squash Taste Like?
Acorn squash is a very mild squash with a slightly buttery taste similar to butternut squash. Its mild flavour makes it perfect to use in rice dishes, stews, soups and salads.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Acorn squash – seeds romoved and sliced into half moon pieces. You could make this recipe with a butternut squash as well.
- Olive oil – used to help spread the cinnamon and to prevent the squash from drying out while cooking. You could also use melted butter.
- Cinnamon – compliments the flavour of the squash. You could add a little nutmeg too if you like.
- Salt and pepper – the usual flavour enhancers.
- Maple syrup – A touch of added sweetness. Honey is a great substitute for those who are not vegan.
- Fresh thyme – adds a nice herbal note but is totally optional
How to Make Maple Air Fryer Acorn Squash
Start by cutting the acorn squash from the stem to the bottom in half. Use the end of a sharp spoon to scoop out the seeds. You can discard the seeds or wash them and dry them out to make roasted squash seeds later.
Once the seeds are removed, turn the squash cut side down and slice width-wise into 2″ slices.
Preheat the oven to 400°.
Place the sliced acorn squash in the air fryer basket. In a small bowl add the olive oil, cinnamon, salt and pepper and mix well.
Using a basting brush baste the cut sides of the acorn squash with the cinnamon mixture.
Cook the acorn squash in the air-fryer for 15-20 minutes or until the squash is fork-tender. Remove from the air-fryer and plate.
When ready to serve the air-fried acorn squash drizzle with the maple syrup and sprinkle with some fresh thyme.
How to store Air-Fried Acorn Squash
If you find yourself with some leftovers you can store them in the fridge in a tightly sealed container for up to 4 days. Reheat in the air-fryer, oven, microwave or in a sauteé pan.
Can I make This Acorn Squash Recipe In The Oven?
Sure can! The process is exactly the same except I would recommend flipping the acorn squash slices in the oven halfway through the bake time. Also, depending on your oven, roasting them may take a little longer than air-fried acorn squash. So adjust the cooking time accordingly and bake until the squash is fork-tender.
more great air-fryer recipes
- Air-Fryer Turnip Fries
- Air-Fryer Asian BBQ Cauliflower Wings
- Toasty Air-Fryer Ravioli
- Air-Fryer Salmon Croquettes
- Homemade Pita Chips
Do You eat the skin of an acorn squash?
You can. I personally don’t but it is absolutely edible. But if you don’t like the skin not to worry. It is very thin and separates easily from the meatier part of the squash.
What is a good alternative or substitute for acorn squash?
Butternut squash, Hubbard, buttercup or sugar pumpkins are all great substitutes for this recipe.
Is acorn squash high in carbohydrates? Is it keto?
Squash in general is considered a starchy vegetable. It is high in fibre but still accounts for about 20 grams of net carbs per cup taking it out of the running as a good keto choice.
Maple Air-Fryer Acorn Squash
- 1 acorn squash
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp fresh thyme optional
- Preheat the air-fryer to 400°F.
- Slice the acorns squash down the centre from the stem to the pointy bottom. Use the edge of a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Place the squash half sliced-side down and cut into 2" slices width-wise. Place the sliced acorn squash in the air-fryer basket or tray.
- In a small bowl combine the olive oil, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Use a basting brush to baste the cuts sides of the acorn squash with the cinnamon oil mixture.
- Air-fry for 15-20 minutes or until the acorn squash is fork-tender. Remove from the oven and plate.
- Before serving drizzle with the maple syrup and sprinkle with fresh thyme.
For the step-by-step version of this recipe, check out the How To Make Maple Air Fryer Acorn Squash Story.