Air fryer butternut squash on its own is great, but I like to bulk things up with brussels sprouts, pecans, bacon, and maple syrup. The sweetness of the butternut squash and maple syrup perfectly balance the brussels sprouts and salty bacon. And all the different textures make this dish a treat to eat. It’s super easy to make and perfect for Fall shindigs.
How to Make Air Fryer Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts
You’ll find a full recipe card at the bottom of the post. If you have questions about the recipe or any ingredients, jump back to this section where you’ll find a visual walkthrough with substitution notes and prep tips.
1. Toss butternut squash, brussels sprouts, and pecan halves with olive oil, smoked paprika, black pepper, and cinnamon.
I like to use pre-diced butternut squash to save time. Most stores carry freshly diced winter squash varieties this time of year. If you’re using frozen, let it thaw first. Here’s a guide on peeling and cutting a butternut squash, in case you’re using a whole squash.
If you’d like to reduce the fat in this recipe, you can reduce or even omit the pecans. They obviously add great flavor, especially with the caramelized maple syrup at the end, but they add about 50 calories per serving.
Can I add ingredients?
You’ll want to be careful not to overwhelm your air fryer basket. I used a 6.5-quart Ninja Foodi, and you can get an idea of how much (or little) room is left in the photos below.
If you’ve tried my air fryer roasted brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes, you know I love adding red onion or shallots to brussels sprouts.
Swapping the pecans for something like sliced chicken sausage might be a good way to add protein to your air fryer butternut squash. In my air fryer cajun chicken sausage and veggies recipe, I found that air frying the sausage on its own first allows it to get better browning than going straight in with all the other ingredients.
2. Add to an air fryer basket and cover with bacon. Air fry for 20-25 minutes at 350ºF until the bacon is crispy.
After our maple bacon air fryer sweet potatoes and loaded air fryer tater tots, I think I’m addicted to air frying bacon on top of veggies. The bacon provides a protective layer for most of the cook, allowing you to fully cook large batches of veggies without burning or having to stir too often. And the bacon fat renders and drips through all the veggies as it cooks. I’m not saying it’s the most genius food development of 2021, just patting myself on the back.
On a serious note, if you’re using a different air fryer, cook time for the bacon may vary. Be sure to check on your bacon often to avoid burning it.
3. Set the bacon aside and toss the butternut squash mixture with maple syrup.
Your veggies should all be good to go and fork tender. If not, you may air fry them a bit longer before adding the maple syrup. You don’t want to air fry everything with the maple syrup for too long, as it can go from caramelized to burned rather quickly.
4. Air fry an additional 3-5 minutes at 400ºF before adding the bacon back to the basket and serving.
The pecans will be the easiest visual cue to spot when determining if the maple syrup has caramelized. Once they resembled candied pecans, you’re good to go.
What to Serve with Air Fryer Butternut Squash
This Fall veggie combo should go perfectly with most proteins, especially sweater weather friendly main dishes. For healthy pairings, think: baked chicken breast, turkey meatloaf, or baked pork chops.
Pork roast, pot roast, braised beef or lamb shanks—you catch my drift.
If you’ve joined the pellet smoker trend, my Traeger Smoked BBQ Pork Tenderloin or Smoked BBQ Chicken Meatballs would be good choices. You also can’t go wrong with a whole smoked chicken or stuffed turkey breast.
Whatever you end up serving your air fryer roasted butternut squash and brussels sprouts, I hope you enjoy. Be sure to let me know what you think about this dish in a recipe review. Those are always appreciated!
- 1 pound Diced Butternut Squash
- 1 pound Brussels Sprouts, stems removed and halved
- 2 oz Raw Pecan Halves
- 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons (32g) Olive Oil
- 4 slices Center Cut Bacon, halved
- 2 tablespoons (30g) Maple Syrup
- Add everything but the bacon and maple syrup to a large mixing bowl and toss until evenly coated.
- Add the mixture to an air fryer basket and top with the bacon in an even layer, cutting the slices in half to fit if needed.
- Air fry for 20-25 minutes at 350ºF until the bacon is crispy. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel and set aside.
- Transfer the squash mixture back to the mixing bowl and toss with the maple syrup. Add back to the basket and air fry an additional 3-5 minutes at 400ºF until the maple syrup caramelizes.
- Chop/crumble the cooked bacon and add to the squash mixture. Salt and pepper to taste before serving.
Each serving has 4 WW SmartPoints (blue).
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 3/4 cup (3 oz)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 140Total Fat: 9gCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 3gProtein: 3g