If you’re wondering about what to make with delicata squash, where to find it and how to choose a ripe one, or how to prepare it, I have you covered. This air fryer delicata squash recipe covers it all!
How to Cut Delicata Squash for Air Frying
Make sure your knife is sharp! While delicata squash is much easier to handle than some other winter squash varieties, you don’t want to be wrestling around with a dull knife.
To cut delicata squash, I like to remove the two ends to create flat surfaces. Then I place the largest flat surface on a cutting board and use a knife to slice straight down the middle, exposing the seeds.
You can, alternatively, slice straight through to create delicata squash rings. But it’s a bit easier to handle once halved. And for delicata squash fries or strips, you’d be cutting the rings in half anyway.
I like to use a spoon to scoop out the seeds before slicing the delicata squash into strips.
Don’t want the seeds to go to waste? Check out these roasted delicata squash seeds.
If you’re going to make a big batch with multiple delicata squashes, be sure they’re close in size.
And that’s it. You’re ready to season and air fry or roast in an oven.
Delicata Squash FAQ
Delicata squash is a winter squash that comes into season around late summer, early fall and sticks around into early winter. Look for a squash with contrasting green and yellow stripes without any bruising or mold.
If you have a grocery store with a robust produce section, they should definitely have delicata squash when it’s in season. Trader Joe’s is always a safe bet during peak season as well.
Most winter squash varieties have tough skin you’ll want to remove, but the skin of delicata squash is perfectly edible once roasted or cooked. If it adds more chew or texture than you prefer, you can always peel alternating strips around the squash before cooking.
It’s similar to other winter squash varieties like butternut squash with a sweet and slightly nutty flavor. If a butternut squash and sweet potato had a baby, it would likely taste a lot like delicata squash.
Seasoning Delicata Squash for Roasting
This recipe keeps it simple with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Butter is a great companion with delicata squash, amplifying its nuttiness. But since we’re air frying, I didn’t want any butter to go to waste. I’d save that for oven roasting.
How to Air Fry Delicata Squash
Every air fryer is different, so you may need to slightly tweak my time and temperature recommendations. I used an Instant Vortex Pro with its bottom rack for testing.
I found that 350ºF was the sweet spot for allowing the delicata squash to get perfectly soft and caramelized without burning. Too much heat, too fast and you would get too much browning before the skin could soften. And too little heat caused the squash to dry out without caramelizing at all.
Ideally, you want your air fryer delicata squash spaced out as much as possible without much overlap. Some air fryers have more space than others so do your best and consider moving the squash around halfway through cooking.
Other Ways to Use Roasted Delicata Squash
This recipe goes the snack route with a quick garnish of grated parmesan, honey, pumpkin seeds, and chile flakes. Alternatively, you could throw your air fried delicata squash in a salad or serve as fries with an herby pesto dip.
Whether you serve your air fried delicata squash with honey and pumpkin seeds, make soup, or come up with something unique, I hope you enjoy. I always appreciate reviews if you do. Thanks for reading and good luck!
- 1 medium (about 1 pound) Delicata Squash
- 1 Tablespoon (16g) Olive Oil
- Pinch of Salt and Pepper
- 1/2 oz Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
- 1 Tablespoon (21g) Honey
- 1 Tablespoon (7g) Roasted and Salted Pumpkin Seeds
- Pinch of Chile Flakes
- Slice off both ends of the squash then slice it in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to remove all the seeds. Place the squash cut side down and make thin 1/4" slices all the way down.
- Toss the squash slices in olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Air fry for 12-14 minutes at 350ºF until the squash is tender and browning around the edges.*
- Garnish with freshly grated parmesan, chile flakes or red pepper flakes, honey, and pumpkin seeds.
*Cook times are with an Instant Vortex Pro on the lower rack.
The skin of delicata squash is tender and safe to eat after roasting. For an even better bite, you can peel alternating strips on the squash before slicing, but it's not necessary.
This recipe was adapted from a delicata squash donuts recipe from Joshua McFadden's cookbook, Six Seasons.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 225Total Fat: 11gCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 6g