Skip to content
Home » Blog » Crispy Air Fryer Butternut Squash Fries with Garlic Aioli

Crispy Air Fryer Butternut Squash Fries with Garlic Aioli

These Crispy Air Fryer Butternut Squash Fries are seasoned with smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper for a smoky and spicy flavor profile that’s sure to keep you going back for more. A healthy, low-carb alternative to french fries, these tasty vegetable fries are a fun snack or side dish that both kids and adults will love. So quick and easy to make, you can have these ready in just 30 minutes!

A plate filled with crispy air fryer butternut squash fries. Out of focus in the background is a small glass bowl filled with garlic aiolo.

Butternut squash is one of my favorite fall vegetables. It’s slightly sweet, versatile, and loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

During the fall and winter, I eat roasted butternut squash almost every week. But, sometimes I like to change it up a little. So, I started making these butternut squash fries in the air fryer.

I love these air fryer butternut squash fries because they’re so crispy and flavorful on the outside, but still soft and a little sweet on the inside. Plus, they’re fun to dip in all kinds of sauces. I’m partial to garlic aioli and hot honey, but you can also serve them with ketchup, ranch dressing, honey mustard, or cheese sauce.

One of the best things about these butternut squash fries is that they’re so quick and easy to make. The air fryer does a great job of getting them super crispy in no time at all. For this recipe, I went with a smoky, mildly spicy flavor profile. However, feel free to get creative and use whichever spice blend you prefer.

Some links throughout this post are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. If you’re willing to use them, it helps fund this site and allows me to continue to provide content. I appreciate your support!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Quick & Easy- In less than 30 minutes, you can have these crispy air-fried butternut squash fries ready to serve. Just cut the squash, coat it with oil and seasonings, and let the air fryer take care of the rest!
  • Healthy- What better way to eat your vegetables than to turn them into healthy fries? Butternut squash is packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals so you’ll feel good munching on this tasty side dish.
  • Crispy- Tossing the butternut squash in oil, flour, and spices gives them an extra crispy crunch that you really can’t beat.
  • Fun Fall Side Dish- I don’t know about you, but I get tired of eating the same vegetable side dishes over and over again. Sometimes it’s fun (and necessary) to change things up a bit. These kid-friendly, crispy butternut squash fries are the perfect way to do just that.

Ingredient Notes

Here are some notes on key ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.

Butternut Squash Fries

  • Butternut Squash- I prefer to cut my own butternut squash fries from a whole butternut squash so I can make sure I cut the fries uniformly. Don’t be intimidated by using a whole butternut squash – it’s actually way easier than it seems.
  • Flour- Adding a little flour to the spice mixture gives these butternut squash fries an added layer of crunch that reminds me of battered french fries.
  • Olive Oil- Tossing the butternut squash in a little olive oil helps the flour and spices stick better.
  • Spices- I love smoky flavors with butternut squash, which is why I use smoked paprika, chili powder, and cumin. Feel free to change it up and use whatever spice blend you prefer.
The ingredients to make air fryer butternut squash fries on a wooden counter. There is text over each ingredients, labeling what it is. The ingredients include olive oil, butternut squash, flour, salt, and spices.

Garlic Aioli Dipping Sauce (optional)

While optional, this garlic aioli dipping sauce is AMAZING with these air fryer butternut squash fries.

  • Garlic- You can’t have a garlic aioli without garlic. I use two cloves, which I mince very finely before adding to the food processor. If you don’t love garlic, reduce it to one clove instead of two.
  • Lemon Juice & Zest- A little lemon juice and zest balances the flavors of this aioli and brings some much needed acidity.
  • Dijon Mustard- Mustard is an emulsifying agent, meaning it helps the aioli thicken up and maintain the right consistency.
  • Egg- Eggs are another emulsifying agent that lend a creamy, rich texture to the aioli.
  • Canola Oil- I prefer to use canola oil over olive oil since it has a more neutral flavor. This allows the flavor of the garlic and lemon to shine through.

Step by Step Instructions

Here is how to make these air fryer butternut squash fries with garlic aioli dipping sauce.

Step 1: Cut the butternut squash. Peel butternut squash and remove the seeds. Then, cut the butternut squash into ½-inch thick fry-shaped pieces and place them into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the butternut squash and toss to coat.

A grid of 4 images showing how to cut butternut squash.

Step 2: Make the flour-spice mixture. In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, kosher salt, smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the butternut squash and toss to thoroughly coat each piece of butternut squash with flour and spices.

A small glass bowl filled with flour, salt, smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper.
A glass mixing bowl with raw butternut squash coated with olive oil, flour, and seasonings.

Step 3: Cook the butternut squash fries. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F for 2 minutes. Then, working in batches, place the butternut squash into the air fryer basket in a single layer. Cook butternut squash fries for 12 to 15 minutes, shaking the basket occasionally until the butternut squash fries are cooked through and crispy on the outside.

Raw and seasoned butternut squash fries in the basket of an air fryer.
Cooked butternut squash fries in the basket of an air fryer.

Step 4: Make the garlic aioli (optional). Add the minced garlic, kosher salt, lemon zest, lemon juice, dijon mustard, egg, and egg yolk to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times until everything is thoroughly combined. Then, with the food processor running, very slowly drizzle in the canola oil one drop at a time. As the aioli begins to thicken and form an emulsion, you can start drizzling the oil in a slow, but steady stream. Once finished, taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Serve in a small bowl alongside the butternut squash fries.

Tips and Tricks

  • Remove excess moisture. If your butternut squash seems a little wet after cutting it, it’s best to pat it dry before tossing it with olive oil.
  • Cut the butternut squash fries to a uniform size. Making sure the butternut squash is cut as uniformly as possible is key to the fries cooking evenly in the air fryer. I recommend cutting the long “neck” of the butternut squash separately from the rounder portion of it.
  • And make sure you cut the squash nice and thin. Cutting the butternut squash into thin, approximately ½-inch strips ensures they cook up to crispy perfection.
  • Cook in batches. Another trick to achieving evenly cooked, crispy fries is cooking them in batches. You want the butternut squash fries to be mostly in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
  • Don’t break the aioli. Easier said than done, but I believe in you! Drizzling the canola oil, drop by drop, into the food processor very slowly (while it’s running) is essential to obtaining the right consistency for your aioli. Patience is key here.
Smoky butternut squash fries on a large white plate next to garlic aioli dipping sauce.

Substitutions and Variations

Here are a few ways you can customize these crispy air fryer butternut squash fries to fit your diet and taste preferences.

Substitutions

  • Butternut Squash- Air fryer sweet potato fries would be an excellent alternative. Otherwise, you can try using acorn squash, hubbard squash, or pumpkin. If you don’t want to cut a whole butternut squash, Trader Joe’s has pre-cut butternut squash fries in their produce section.
  • Flour- Use cornstarch or gluten-free all-purpose flour in place of the regular flour.
  • Olive Oil- Any neutral-flavored oil can work here. You can also use melted butter if preferred.
  • Spices- The options are really limitless here. Get creative! I love using a smoky flavor profile, but I’ve also made these using my Cajun Seasoning recipe as well and they were delicious.
  • Garlic Aioli- Not a fan of garlic aioli? No problem. Ketchup, ranch dressing, hot honey, cheese sauce, hot sauce, or your favorite french fry dipping sauce will all be perfect with these butternut squash fries.

Variations

  • Gluten-Free- Use gluten-free flour or cornstarch in place of the all-purpose flour to make a gluten-free version of these butternut squash fries. Don’t forget to check all labels to ensure each ingredient is gluten-free.
  • Spicy- Love all things spicy? Bump up the amount of cayenne pepper powder to ¼ or ½ teaspoon. You can also dip the fries in hot sauce, make a spicy aioli, or drizzle them with hot honey (my personal favorite).
  • Sweet- Prefer your butternut squash with a sweeter flavor profile? Toss them with a little brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and kosher salt. Then, drizzle with maple syrup or make a maple aioli to dip them in.
  • Thanksgiving- A classic Thanksgiving spice blend includes thyme, rosemary, sage, and garlic. These flavors pair beautifully with butternut squash. Try it for a fun and unique Thanksgiving side dish.

What to Serve with Air Fryer Butternut Squash Fries

Air fryer squash fries are delicious as a snack all on their own or paired with a tasty dipping sauce. However, these fries also make the perfect side dish for lots of different recipes. Here are a few of my favorites:

Crispy air fried butternut squash fries on a white plate with garlic aioli dipping sauce.

Storage and Reheating

How to Store

  • Refrigerator- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
  • Freezer- For longer storage, place the cooled air fryer butternut squash fries in a freezer-safe plastic bag or storage container and keep them in the freezer for up to 12 months.

How to Reheat

Not many foods are as sad as soggy, leftover fries. These air fryer butternut squash fries are similar to potato fries in the way that they don’t reheat well in the microwave. I recommend reheating them in the air fryer or in the oven for the best results.

  • Air Fryer- Set the air fryer to 350°F and place the leftover butternut squash fries in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Reheat for 4-5 minutes or until crispy and hot.
  • Oven- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spread the butternut squash fries out in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until they’re heated through.
  • Microwave- In a pinch, you can use the microwave, keeping in mind the texture of the fries will be lacking. Place the butternut squash fries in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate and heat on HIGH for 30 seconds to one minute.
Crispy air fryer butternut squash fries sprinkled with kosher salt on a white plate. Out of focus in the background is a small glass bowl filled with homemade garlic aioli.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make these butternut squash fries in the oven?

Yes, you can absolutely make these butternut squash fries in the oven. Simply preheat your oven to 425°F and place a baking rack on top of a baking sheet. Spray the baking rack with non-stick spray and lay the butternut squash fries flat on the baking rack in a single layer. Bake for 40 minutes, flipping the fries halfway through.

Are butternut squash fries healthy?

Yes, butternut squash is a delicious and healthy winter squash that is full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Cooking these butternut squash fries in the air fryer cuts down on the amount of fat needed to achieve a crispy texture.

Can you make these ahead of time?

Butternut squash fries have the best texture and flavor straight out of the air fryer. If you want to prep ahead, cut the butternut squash and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also measure and mix the spices together ahead of time.

What does butternut squash taste like?

Butternut squash is similar in flavor to pumpkin or sweet potato. It has a sweet, nutty flavor that pairs well with both salty and sweet.

More Air Fryer Recipes

Air Fryer Butternut Squash Fries

These Crispy Air Fryer Butternut Squash Fries are seasoned with smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper for a smoky and spicy flavor profile that's sure to keep you going back for more. A healthy, low-carb alternative to french fries, these tasty vegetable fries are a fun snack or side dish that both kids and adults will love. So quick and easy, you can have these ready in just 30 minutes!
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 126kcal
Author Ashley Petrie

Equipment

Ingredients

For the Butternut Squash Fries

  • 1 small (approx. 1 ½ pound) butternut squash peeled, deseeded, and cut into ½-inch strips
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the Garlic Aioli (optional)

  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup canola oil

Instructions

For the Butternut Squash Fries

  • Peel the butternut squash and remove the seeds. Then, cut the butternut squash into ½-inch thick fry-shaped pieces and place them into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the butternut squash and toss to coat.
    1 small (approx. 1 ½ pound) butternut squash, 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, kosher salt, smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the butternut squash and toss to thoroughly coat each piece of butternut squash with flour and spices.
    2 tablespoons flour, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, ½ teaspoon chili powder, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon onion powder, ¼ teaspoon cumin, ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Preheat the air fryer to 400°F for 2 minutes. Then, working in batches, place the butternut squash into the air fryer basket in a single layer. Cook butternut squash fries for 12 to 15 minutes, shaking the basket occasionally until the butternut squash fries are cooked through and crispy on the outside.

For the Garlic Aioli (optional)

  • Add the minced garlic, kosher salt, lemon zest, lemon juice, dijon mustard, egg, and egg yolk to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times until everything is thoroughly combined.
    2 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, Zest from 1 lemon, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, ½ teaspoon dijon mustard, 1 large egg, 1 egg yolk
  • With the food processor running, very slowly drizzle in the canola oil one drop at a time. As the aioli begins to thicken and form an emulsion, you can drizzle the oil in a more slow, but steady stream. Once finished, taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Serve in a small bowl alongside the butternut squash fries.
    1 cup canola oil

Notes

  • Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 12 months.
  • To Reheat: I recommend reheating in the air fryer or in the oven for the best texture and flavor. See the “How to Reheat” section in the post for more details.
 
**Nutrition calculations do not include optional garlic aioli.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 126kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2.5g | Sodium: 258mg | Potassium: 632mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 1.7mg
Did you try this recipe?Let me know! Comment below, or take a picture and tag me on Instagram @enwnutrition.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating