Air fryer delicata squash is a quick and easy side dish, perfectly seasonal for autumn. With the air fryer you can have roasted delicata squash on the table in about 15 minutes. There is no peeling necessary! These tasty crescent moon shaped squash rings make a fun finger food too, that you can eat as a healthy alternative to fries.
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One of the best things about fall is winter squash. And my favorite winter squash is delicata squash. You will see lots and lots of acorn squash and butternut squash in grocery stores, but for me roasted delicata squash is unbeatable.
And this recipe makes it even better because cooking the squash in an Air Fryer means it is ready in less than 15 minutes. The delicate and creamy squash makes a perfect, easy fall recipe.
This air fryer delicata squash is a healthy side dish you can make quickly. The crescent moon shaped delicata squash rings are go well with any meal, or for using as a healthy, low carb, alternative to fries.
What is Delicata Squash
Delicata squash is a variety of winter squash that is also called sweet potato squash or peanut squash. It has cream colored skin with stripes and is similar in size to a large sweet potato.
What Does Delicata Squash Taste Like?
The flavor of delicata squash is mild and creamy. It has less of a “squashy” taste than something like butternut squash, which is one of the reasons I like it. It has a very smooth taste and is just a little bit sweet.
Why Make Delicata Squash?
Here are the reasons I love to make my family delicata squash for dinner.
- The Size: The smaller size of the delicata squash makes it perfect for cooking for 1-3 people. My kids aren’t fans of squash. If I make a butternut squash for dinner I will have squash leftovers for days. Delicata squash are perfectly sized for a small family or a family of non-squash lovers.
- The Taste: The creamy, mellow taste is delicious without being overly strong.
- No Peeling: The skin of delicata squash is thin and edible. No peeling means less work for me and faster dinner prep.
- Fast Cooking: Roasted delicata squash made in the oven will be ready in about 30 minutes, which is pretty quick for winter squash. And delicata squash cooked in the air fryer is even faster, and can be ready in about 15 minutes.
How to Make Air Fryer Delicata Squash
1. Cut the Squash
Unlike many hard winter squash, delicata squash is easy to cut. Simply slice the squash in half and gently scoop the seeds out. I usually plan on one delicata squash for every 2 people.
2. Slice the Squash
Slice the squash into crescent moon shapes. The thickness of the slices will determine how long you cook the squash. I usually slice the squash into 1/4 inch slices.
Thinner slices will be crispier after cooking. I think 1/4 inch slices are thin enough to be a little crispy, but still easy to cut with a knife. You could also use a mandoline slicer and make even thinner slices, to make squash chips.
3. Season the Delicata Squash
Put the squash crescents in a bowl. Add 1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil along with salt and rosemary and toss the squash. I give alternative seasoning suggestions below.
The olive oil helps the seasonings stick to the squash. But you could leave it off if you prefer. A squirt of cooking spray could also be used instead of oil.
4. Air Fry the Delicata Squash
Set the air fryer at 400 F for 10 minutes. Do not crowd the squash in the basket, make sure the air can circulate around the squash. After about 5 minutes pull the basket out and shake it to redistribute the squash.
When the 10 minutes are up check the squash and put it back in for another 2-3 minutes if it is not yet starting to brown around the edges. Watch it towards the end so it doesn’t burn.
How to Season Delicata Squash
Because of the squash’s mild and slightly sweet flavor there are lots of seasonings that go well with it. You can base you delicata squash seasoning on what will complement your main dish! Here are some other spice combinations I like to use, along with salt and oil.
- Sweet: Sprinkle the squash with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. Once the squash is cooked drizzle 1/2 Tablespoon of maple syrup on the squash.
- Spicy: Use 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder and 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
- Curry: Combine 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder with 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper.
- Italian: Use 1/2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning with 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder and 1 Tablespoon of Parmesan cheese.
What to Serve With Air Fryer Delicata Squash
You can also serve delicata squash slices as finger food and dip them in sauces like fries. Kids love to dip veggies and these make a great, healthy, french fry alternative!
- 1 delicata squash
- 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Cut the delicata squash in half lengthwise. Scoop the seeds out and discard.
- Slice the squash into slices about 1/4 inch thick.
- Put the slices in a bowl and add the olive oil, rosemary and salt. Toss to mix well.
- Put the squash slices in an air fryer basket. Set the air fryer at 400 F for 10 minutes. After about 5 minutes take the basket out and shake it to redistribute the squash and ensure even cooking.
- Check the squash at the end of the 10 minutes. It should be cooked through and starting to brown around the edges. Put it back in for another 2-3 minutes at 400 F if it is not done.
You can skip the olive oil if you like. Here are some other seasoning ideas for this versatile squash. Use these ideas along with the salt, in place of the rosemary.
- Sweet: 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. Once the squash is cooked drizzle 1/2 Tablespoon of maple syrup on the squash.
- Spicy: 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder, 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
- Curry: 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder, 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper.
- Italian: 1/2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 Tablespoon of Parmesan cheese.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 69 Total Fat: 4g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 530mg Carbohydrates: 9g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 3g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 1g