This butternut squash is cooked in the air fryer and finished with a drizzle of sage-infused brown butter and some delicious fried crispy sage. This is the easiest and quickest way to cook butternut squash. The brown butter adds a savory-sweet flavor and a wonderful caramel aroma complemented by the fragrant sage. The sage is fried to a crisp in the brown butter and added to the butternut squash to add a delicious crunch. This is the best way to eat butternut squash!
Why this recipe works
A perfect brown butter has a wonderful caramel aroma and a slightly sweet yet savory nutty flavor. The sage fries in this brown butter to the point where it is extremely crispy, almost resembling bacon. Butternut squash is naturally sweet and also has a nutty flavor to it. This air fryer butternut squash works so well because the sweet and savory brown butter is drizzled over the sweet and nutty butternut squash. The crispy sage adds that extra bit of wonderful fresh herb flavor and aroma while providing some texture and crunch.
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How to make butternut squash in the air fryer
Step 1: prepare the butternut squash
Slice the butternut squash in half lengthwise. Using a large spoon, scoop out and remove the seeds from each half of the squash.
Step 2: air fry the butternut squash
Lightly drizzle the olive oil over each half of the squash. Season them with salt and pepper. Place both of the butternut squash halves in the air fryer basket, cut side up. Set the air fryer to 370°F and cook them for 30-40 minutes. Use a fork to test that they are done by stabbing the squash. The fork should pierce the squash like butter.
Step 3: melt the butter
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter on medium-low heat. Be sure that the burners are not too high; otherwise, the butter will burn and quickly turn black. Once the butter is melted, toss in the sage leaves. If needed, use a fork to press down on the sage to ensure that they are fully submerged.
Step 4: brown the butter
Butter burns very easily, so be sure to manage the heat accordingly. You will want to watch for the butter to foam. Allow the butter to foam for 3-4 minutes until it begins to subside. Once the foam disappears, add the minced garlic and cook for an additional 20-30 seconds. Remove the butter from the heat and transfer it to a separate dish. Season the butter with salt and pepper to taste and reserve it for later.
Step 5: slice the butternut squash
Once the squash is fork-tender, remove it from the air fryer and place it on a serving platter. Use a knife to cut slits in a crosshatch pattern through the meat of the butternut squash. Be careful not to slice all the way through the squash. The slots will act as crevices for the sage brown butter to seep into and thoroughly soak the butternut squash.
Step 6: coat the squash with brown butter
Spoon the sage brown butter over the butternut squash. Be sure to drizzle it over the entire squash and allow it to seep into the crevices. Top the butternut squash with the crispy sage and serve.
To make incredible butternut squash in the air fryer, you only need a few simple ingredients.
- Butternut squash
- Olive oil
- Black pepper
Air Fryer Butternut Squash FAQ
Can the butternut squash fit in the air fryer?
Depending on your air fryer, it may be tricky to fit the butternut squash in the basket. I use an air fryer with a large basket so both halves of the squash can fit. If your air fryer is a bit too small, you can cut the neck of the butternut squash off so that it will fit in better. Don’t toss that extra bit. Instead, you can air fry it alongside the rest of the squash or in a separate batch.
Can you air fry diced butternut squash?
Yes! If your air fryer is just too small to fit the entire butternut squash, you can remove the skin and dice it up. Toss the diced squash in olive oil to keep it from sticking to the basket. Follow the cooking directions as normal. After it cooks in the air fryer, remove it from the basket and drizzle the sage brown butter over the cooked, diced butternut squash.
What else is cooking?
Time for dessert? These air fryer deep dish chocolate chip cookie bowls are everything awesome! They cook very fast in the air fryer and are incredibly gooey. Pile on a scoop of ice cream and dig in!
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- 1 whole butternut squash
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 20 to 25 sage leaves
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Slice the butternut squash in half vertically and scoop out the seeds.
- Place the halves cut side up in an air fryer basket. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Air fry at 370°F for 30 to 40 minutes or until fork-tender.
Make the sage brown butter while the squash cooks.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. When the butter is melted, toss in the sage leaves. Push them down into the butter with a fork if needed.
- The butter will begin to foam. Do not stir it while it foams, just let it continue foaming for the next 3 to 4 minutes.
- When the foaming subsides, toss in the minced garlic. Cook the garlic for 20 to 30 seconds then remove the pan from the heat.
- Pour the sage brown butter into a dish. Season with salt and pepper if needed and set aside while the squash finishes cooking.
- When the squash is fork-tender, place it on a serving platter. Use a knife to cut some shallow slashes in the meat of the squash. Don't cut all the way through, you just want to create some crevices for the brown butter sauce to seep into.
- Drizzle the sage brown butter over the squash halves and top with the crispy fried sage.
- Serve while warm.
- Make sure the sage leaves are completely dry before you add them to the saucepan with the butter. If there is any moisture on the sage, it will splatter the hot butter.
- If you have extra brown butter sauce, save it for all your vegetables and grilled meat.
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Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 188Total Fat 18gSaturated Fat 11gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 46mgSodium 404mgCarbohydrates 6gFiber 2gSugar 1gProtein 1g
Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.