If you're lucky to get your hands on a delicata squash this Fall, I hope you get to make this Air Fryer Delicata Squash! It's a super easy hands-off vegetable side dish that is ready in 15 minutes—by far the fastest and best way to cook delicata squash.
This easy side dish is gluten-free, vegan / vegetarian, low-calorie, and super nutritious!
More delicata squash recipes: Sausage Stuffed Delicata Squash
What does delicata squash taste like?
Delicata squash is one of my favorite winter squashes. To me, it tastes like a combination of butternut squash and yellow squash. It has that subtly sweet butternut flavor, but is a little softer than butternut in texture. It doesn't get mushy or watery like yellow squash though.
Delicata squash has an edible peel that does NOT need to be removed before cooking. As the squash cooks, the skin softens so much that you can eat it and you won't notice it much.
Delicata squash cooks pretty quickly—much faster than acorn squash in the air fryer.
What to serve with delicata squash
Delicata squash is a great side dish that pairs well with ANY protein—chicken, seafood, steak, or vegan protein. We usually just serve it on the side along with another "starchier" side, such as garlic bread or za'atar roasted potatoes.
You can put some warm air fried delicata squash over a salad to add some nutrition and fiber. It would make a great addition to this winter roasted vegetable spinach salad!
Slices of delicata squash also make a great snack because they can be picked up easily with your hands. I sometimes make a garlicky yogurt dip, such as the one in these yellow squash tots.
- 1 delicata squash
- ½ - 1 tablespoon olive oil (I prefer olive oil in a sprayer so I don't even have to measure it out)
- ½ teaspoon herbs de Provence (or any other favorite dried herb)
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon salt, to taste
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, to taste
More winter squash recipes to try: Butternut Squash Spinach Skillet
- Air fryer (obviously. I have the Instant Pot Vortex and it's great because it fits a whole small delicata squash on the tray... and has 2 levels for 2 trays)
- Oil sprayer or silicone brush (I love this refillable oil sprayer for spritzing food with olive oil before putting it in the air fryer or oven)
- Spoon (to clean out the seeds from the delicata squash)
- Cutting board + sharp knife
More winter squash recipes to try: Butternut Squash and Chickpeas Casserole
Wash your delicata squash. No need to peel it! Cut it in half long-wise, clean out the seeds, and then slice into ½ - ¾ inch pieces. Try to make the pieces the same width.
Arrange your delicata squash pieces on an air fryer tray or basket. You might need to cook in two batches if the whole squash doesn't fit. Spray or brush with olive oil, then season with salt, pepper, and dried herbs.
If your air fryer requires preheating, preheat to 400F. Air fry at 400F for 10-12 minutes, depending on how soft you like your squash and how thick your slices are. Keep an eye on the squash after about 8 minutes, and flip the pieces over if they are starting to brown but are not cooked through yet.
More winter squash recipes: Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash
How to tell if delicata squash is cooked
I use a fork to pierce the squash pieces. If the fork has a hard time going in, the squash is not cooked enough (at least to my liking). I don't like the squash too soft, so I prefer to cook to the point where a fork can go in but slowly instead of having the fork slide easily. It's up to you though! Keep cooking for another few minutes if you like your squash softer.
If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!
Air Fryer Delicata Squash
- Wash your delicata squash. No need to peel it! Cut it in half long-wise, clean out the seeds, and then slice into ½ - ¾ inch pieces. Try to make the pieces the same width.
- Arrange your delicata squash pieces on an air fryer tray or basket. It's OK if a few pieces overlap or touch, but don't crowd the tray too much—cook in two batches if you can't get the squash pieces to fit.Spray or brush with olive oil, then season with salt, pepper, and dried herbs.
- If your air fryer requires preheating, preheat to 400F. Air fry at 400F for 10-12 minutes, depending on how soft you like your squash and how thick your slices are. Keep an eye on the squash after about 8 minutes, and flip the pieces over if they are starting to brown but are not cooked through yet.
- If you liked this recipe, don't forget to give it a star rating and pin it on Pinterest!
The nutritional information displayed is an estimate and not to be used as dietary or nutritional advice. Consult a nutritionist or dietician for nutritional info based on the exact ingredients you use.