This air fryer recipe for easy acorn squash slices (or wedges) is ready within just 30 minutes. Lightly seasoned with maple syrup, fresh thyme and sea salt, the squash slices emerge from the air fryer basket perfectly tender and immediately ready to serve. Pro tip: cook the squash wedges in the air fryer flesh side up!

Plate of air fried acorn squash wedges with sprigs of fresh thyme

As a Registered Dietitian, I get so excited about different produce when the seasons change. When fall rolls around, I absolutely love to cook with all types of squash. Some of my favorites winter squash recipes include pumpkin baked mac and cheese, fall farro salad with butternut squash, stuffed spaghetti squash, and buttercup squash soup.

When it comes to acorn squash, I love to roast it up in the oven until it gets soft and easily forkable. It’s delicious on its own, but really shines when seasoned with a simple drizzle of maple syrup, fresh thyme, and salt.

Looking for more easy and healthy side dish recipes you can make in your air fryer? Try my air fryer smashed Brussels sprouts, air fried kale chips, and air fryer carrot fries!

The only drawback to making acorn squash in the oven is the cooking time – it can take up to an hour to finish cooking. Enter the air fryer! This air fryer acorn squash side dish is done in half the time of cooking it in an oven, and is just as delicious!

These air fryer acorn squash slices are vegan, gluten free, dairy free, nut free, and soy free. One squash serves three people as a side dish.

Ingredients in air fryer acorn squash

You need just five simple ingredients to make this recipe:

  • Acorn squash
  • Olive oil
  • Maple syrup
  • Fresh thyme
  • Salt

Ingredient substitution suggestions

  • Use another winter squash if you don’t have acorn squash. A few good options include delicata squash, carnival squash, or honey nut squash.
  • Try a different fresh herb – fresh rosemary or sage would taste excellent!
  • Use brown sugar or honey instead of maple syrup. Note that the recipe will not be fully vegan if you use honey.

Kitchen tools you need for this recipe

You don’t need much to make this recipe. Of course, you need an air fryer. You will also need a large, sharp, knife, such as an 8 inch chef’s knife, to cut the raw acorn squash.

Close up of an acorn squash

How to cook acorn squash in the air fryer

How to cut acorn squash

  • First, cut off the top stem of an acorn squash with a sharp, sturdy knife.
  • Carefully cut the acorn squash in half, following the natural grooves in the squash.
  • Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy part of the flesh. You can save the seeds and roast them, or discard.
  • Slice each squash half into three equal size wedges – so you have six wedges total.

How to season acorn squash

  • Place the squash wedges flesh side up on a dinner plate. Drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup, then add salt and fresh thyme.
  • Rub the squash with your hands to spread out the seasonings.

How long to cook acorn squash in the air fryer?

  • Transfer the squash wedges to the basket or tray of your air fryer – flesh side up.
  • Cook in your air fryer at 325 degrees F for 15 minutes. Then, cook for an additional 5-10 minutes at 275 degrees F, until fork tender.
Acorn squash wedges on air fryer tray

Nutrition and health questions about acorn squash

Is acorn squash healthy?

Acorn squash is a nutritious winter squash to include in your diet. One cup of cooked acorn squash provides:

  • 6 grams of dietary fiber (24 percent of your daily needs)
  • 1.6 grams of plant-based protein
  • 26 percent of your daily Vitamin C needs
  • 15 percent of your daily Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) needs
  • 16 percent of your daily magnesium needs
  • 7 percent of your daily iron needs

Acorn squash provides both soluble and insoluble fiber. Both types of dietary fiber are important, but soluble fibber has particular benefits for heart health. Consuming 5-10 grams of soluble fiber per day can help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels.

Acorn squash is also filled with beneficial plant compounds with antioxidant activity, like carotenoids.

Can you eat acorn squash skin?

Yes, the skin on acorn squash is totally edible. If you eat it or not is based on your preference! When you roast or air fry acorn squash, the skin becomes softer and more tender, making it easier to slice and eat.

Serving suggestions

Make this air fryer acorn squash as a simple side dish for any dinner. It would make for a simple healthy side dish at Thanksgiving or winter holiday. Serve it with a big green salad and your favorite protein, such as salmon, shrimp, or tofu.

You can also scoop the cooked acorn squash out of the skin and mash it up, if you prefer mashed acorn squash.

Storage tips

Store leftover cooked acorn squash in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. You can reheat individual slices in the microwave for about 1 minute.

Plate of six acorn squash wedges with a gold fork and a whole acorn squash in the background

More winter squash recipes to try

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or star rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

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Plate of six acorn squash wedges with a gold fork and a whole acorn squash in the background

30-Minute Air Fryer Acorn Squash Slices

  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: serves 3
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This air fryer recipe for easy acorn squash slices (or wedges) is ready within just 30 minutes. Lightly seasoned with maple syrup, fresh thyme and sea salt, the squash slices emerge from the air fryer basket perfectly tender and immediately ready to serve. Pro tip: cook the squash wedges in the air fryer flesh side up!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 56 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Cut the stem off of the acorn squash using a sharp knife.
  2. Cut squash in half, following the natural grooves in the squash skin.
  3. Scoop out and discard the seeds and stringy flesh using a spoon.
  4. Cut each half into 3 equal size wedges, so you have 6 wedges total.
  5. Transfer to a dinner plate, flesh side up.
  6. Drizzle squash with olive oil and maple syrup.
  7. Sprinkle on the thyme leaves and salt.
  8. Use your hands to rub the seasonings into the squash.
  9. Put the squash wedges in an air fryer tray or basket, flesh side up. 
  10. Air fry at 325 degrees F for 15 minutes. Then air fry again at 275 F for 5-10 minutes, until squash is fork tender.
  11. Remove from the air fryer and enjoy!

Notes

Ingredient substitution suggestions

  • Use another winter squash if you don’t have acorn squash. A few good options include delicata squash, carnival squash, or honey nut squash.
  • Try a different fresh herb – fresh rosemary or sage would taste excellent!
  • Use brown sugar or honey instead of maple syrup. Note that the recipe will not be fully vegan if you use honey.

Storage

Store leftover cooked acorn squash in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. You can reheat it in the microwave for about 1 minute.

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