Honeynut squash are an adorable small squash that looks like a baby butternut squash. They taste delicious and are sweeter and better tasting than butternut squash. The smaller size makes them perfect for roasting in the air fryer!
Honeynut squash is a variety of squash that has been around for less than 10 years. I just noticed it popping up at most farm stands and grocery stores in my area this past summer.
It looks like a small butternut squash, since it has the same shape. The squash is a darker color and less than half the size of butternut squash.
Honeynut squash was bred by researchers at Cornell specifically be a smaller and better tasting alternative to butternut squash. And it succeeded on all counts!
This works great for my family because my husband loves butternut squash. And while rest of the us don’t hate butternut squash, we don’t want to eat it as often as he does.
Butternut squash are difficult to peel and large size means we have more squash than the family will eat. So an alternative that is easier to peel, cooks faster and is sweeter is ideal!
Everyone in the family agrees that the honeynut squash really does taste sweeter! It is also more nutritious, with more nutrients and beta carotene packed into its small size.
Air Fried Honeynut Squash
My immediate thought when I saw honeynut squash at our local farm stand was, of course, “This will fit perfectly in my air fryer!“. I love to use my air fryer for squash as you can see in recipes like these for air fryer delicata squash and air fryer butternut squash.
But while those recipes involve dicing and roasting the squash the honeynut squash is so small I can just cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and roast it.
This is simple and is the classic and elegant way of serving butternut squash. Plus the size makes serving easy – everyone gets their own mini squash half!
Why You Will Love Honeynut Squash
- Tastes sweet even without added sugar.
- Looks adorable and is a lovely deep orange color after roasting.
- Perfectly sized to serve 2 people.
- Cooks fast because of its small size.
- Delicious healthy food for a low carb, keto or anyone trying to eat more veggies!
How to Make Air Fryer Honeynut Squash
1. Prepare the Squash
Wash the squash and cut it in half lengthwise. A honeynut squash’s skin isn’t anywhere near as hard as a large butternut squash, so cutting it should be straightforward.
Once the squash is cut in half use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy squash guts.
2. Season the Squash
Then use a pastry brush to coat the cut edges and inside of the squash with a little bit of olive oil.
I prefer to season the squash simply with just salt and pepper. But if you have a sweet tooth or young kids try sprinkling on a little cinnamon!
3. Air Fry the Squash
Put the seasoned squash halves in the air fryer. I can fit four honeynut squash halves in my 5.8 quart air fryer – but it is a tight fit!
If you have a smaller air fryer or one that isn’t square you might need to cook them in batches.
Cook the squash at 400 F for 15 minutes. Check the squash by poking them with a fork to see if the fork goes in easily.
If they need more cooking time put them back in the air fryer and check them every 5 minutes. I find 4 halves need about 20 minutes to cook, but 2 halves will cook in 15 minutes.
How to Serve
Serve the honeynut squash by adding butter and sprinkling it with fresh herbs or with cinnamon. I you want to make the squash sweeter you can drizzle on a little bit of honey or maple syrup.
I think that honeynut squash is plenty sweet with out any extra sweetener, but kids might appreciate it! This squash makes a great side dish and was on our Thanksgiving table this year!
How to Store
If you have leftover cooked squash scoop it out of the shell and refrigerate it. You can reheat it with a little butter or stir it into a soup to thicken it.
The uncooked honeynut squash do not store as well as varieties of winter squash with thicker skin like butternut squash or acorn squash. Mine have kept at room temperature for about a month.
Frequently Asked Questions
To bake this squash in the oven put it in a 425 degree F oven for about 25-30 minutes. You can roast it either cut side up or down.
You can eat the skin if you want too. The skin of a honeynut squash is thinner than a butternut squash and more like the skin of a delicata squash.
A honeynut squash is much smaller than a butternut squash. They taste similar, but a honeynut squash is a little bit sweeter. You can generally substitute one of the other in recipes calling for cubed squash.
Find More Air Fryer Vegetables
- 2 honeynut squash
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- fresh herbs for garnish like rosemary or thyme
- Wash and dry the honeynut squash.
- Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and string squash guts.
- Use a pastry brush to brush oil over the squash.
- Put the squash halves in the air fryer, cut side up. Air fry at 400 F for 15 minutes.
- Check to see if the squash is done by seeing how easily a fork goes in. If it isn't soft enough put it back in at 400 F for another 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle the squash halves with fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme and serve with butter if desired.
You can also bake the squash in a 375 degree F oven for about 30 minutes.
To make the squash even sweeter drizzle it with honey or maple syrup.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 75Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 269mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g
Nutrition facts are estimates.