Flavorful and easy, this Parmesan roasted acorn squash comes together quickly in an air fryer. It takes just a few minutes to prep and less than 15 minutes to cook to tender deliciousness.
Roasting vegetables is our absolute favorite way to have them. It is an easy way to make their flavor shine, but it can take a while for vegetables like squash. Not when you make them in an air fryer! This recipe coats acorn (or your favorite winter squash) in Parmesan and thyme and cooks them up quick. It is a delicious and easy way to stay out of a side dish rut!
If you are anything like me, you tend to get in a side dish routine. Especially for vegetables. I spend a lot of time thinking of different and fun entrees but it’s hard to come up with veggie sides that I think we will all like.
During the summer it is a bit easier for a couple of reasons. The first being we have a decent sized garden so we are constantly working through the produce that we are harvesting.
Plus this year we had a membership in our local CSA, so we got weekly boxes of all kinds of fresh produce. It became like a game to use it all before the next box arrived and to do it without too many repeats.
All of that inspiration definitely helped keep our veggie game strong! But then winter rolled around and our garden stopped producing and the CSA boxes stopped coming.
While we have access to plenty of fresh vegetables in the store, I tend to switch to more frozen veggies during the winter. It is easier and I don’t have to know what I plan to make when I hit the store.
The problem is it leaves me with very little inspiration for creativity! Luckily a couple of factors have been at play to change that a bit this year.
The first is our CSA loaded us up on winter squash before the year was up. We had a mountain of squash growing on our buffet, so using it up gave me a new mission.
Plus I was lucky enough to receive and air fryer, so I am on a secondary quest to try all of the things in there. While it is perfect for dishes that are normally fried, like the toasted ravioli recipe I shared earlier, it is also a great way to do roasted vegetables quick and easily.
I have a habit of normally going with a sweeter twist on winter squash. I love to highlight the natural sweetness in the squash with a little maple, honey or cinnamon. That is why recipes like honey roasted delicata with cranberries and maple roasted fall vegetables with chestnuts were instant hits.
So this time I thought it would be fun to go decidedly savory. Adding Parmesan gives a dish a big flavor punch without a lot of effort. I love the easy herby addition of thyme as well.
Roasting it all up in the air fryer makes it go quick and easy. Instead of 30-40 minutes in the oven plus preheat time, you just stick it in the air fryer for about 13 minutes and let it do its thing.
It makes the inside of the squash tender and delicious while turning the cheese a nice golden color. Plus any little bit of mess is contained and any extra oil falls to the bottom. It really is a winning method all of the way around!
This is actually one of the first recipes I tried in the air fryer. I have only had it for about a month and have gone back to this recipe at least three times already.
Two of those times I used acorn squash and had delicious results. I also made it with delicata squash and loved it that way as well!
I think the only keys to the recipe are to not overcrowd your air fryer. Putting to much in the basket at once can make it so the food doesn’t cook evenly. You can put quite a bit in there, but don’t try to pack it to the gills.
The second tip is to check what you are cooking a couple of times as you go and give it a shake along the way. Just like every oven is a bit different, so is every air fryer. It never hurts to take a look and see how it is going.
Besides, a good shake to redistribute how the food is laying will help to cook everything evenly and give each piece a chance at good air flow and delicious golden browning!
So now this has become on of my favorite side dishes, it is delicious and healthy. How do you stay out of a vegetable rut?
More Great Squash Recipes:
- Honey Roasted Delicata Squash with Cranberries
- Maple Roasted Fall Vegetables with Chestnuts
- Fall Roasted Pork Loin with Apples and Vegetables (uses delicata)
- Five Spice Roasted Vegetables
More Great Air Fryer Recipes:
- Air Fryer Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich
- Making Bacon in an Air Fryer
- Sweet Potato Fries in the Air Fryer