Butternut squash is a surprisingly versatile vegetable. It can be both sweet and savory, making it perfect for culinary creativity, yet knowing exactly how to make the best use of it can be tricky.
While looking for comfort food recipes to try during my testing of the best air fryers, I discovered this cheesy air fryer stuffed butternut squash dish that elevates the veg, and is the ultimate food for colder, darker evenings.
The squash is filled with a mixture of vegetables and sausage, and topped with cheese. It's filling enough to act as a main meal, or you could serve it as a side dish. plus a single butternut squash feeds two people, so it's economical too.
Below, I'll tell you how you can create cheesy air fryer stuffed butternut squash for when you're craving some cheesy carbs, or just feeling uninspired.
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Air fryer cheesy stuffed butternut squash recipe
The cheesy air fryer stuffed butternut squash recipe I've followed is from Manuel Villacorta's Caliente Kitchen YouTube channel. It's been watched 77k times and counting, so Manuel clearly has a few fans.
Air fryer cheesy stuffed butternut squash ingredients
The original recipe contained mushrooms, but I don't like them, so I left them out. You can also skip the sausages if you want to make a vegetarian option.
- 1 butternut squash
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1 yellow or red bell pepper (diced)
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 cup / 250ml marinara sauce
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 sausages, sliced
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
Air fryer cheesy stuffed butternut squash method
To make cheesy air fryer stuffed butternut squash you will need the following:
- Air fryer – I used the Tower Vortx 9 Litre Duo Capacity Basket Air Fryer with Smart Finish 5.2L and 3.3L
- Tongs – to turn the butternut squash and remove it from the air fryer
- Spoon – to scoop out the flesh
Step 1: Set your air fryer to 375F / 190C. Cut the butternut squash in half, lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds.
Step 2: Place the squash halves cut-side down in the air fryer and cook for 20 minutes.
Step 3: Turn the halves over and continue cooking for another 10 minutes.
Step 4: While the squash is cooking, sauté the onions, pepper, garlic, oregano, and sausage for about five minutes on a medium-high heat. You can also cook these ingredients for 10-15 minutes in your air fryer if you have a dual-basket model.
Step 5: Add the marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese to the pan, or air fryer, and mix. Cook for an extra five minutes.
Step 6: Once the squash is cooked, scrape out some of the cooked flesh, leaving a thin layer behind on top of the skin.
Step 6: Combine the cooked butternut flesh with the marinara sauce mixture.
Step 7: Fill each butternut half with the marinara sauce mixture and top with shredded cheese.
Step 8: Return the stuffed butternut squash halves to the air fryer and cook for eight minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
Air fryer cheesy stuffed butternut squash wrap-up
This cheesy air fryer stuffed butternut squash ticks all the boxes you'd hope for with a warm and comforting autumn recipe.
As long as you set the correct cooking time and temperature, the squash should be cooked evenly, and the cheesy, meaty filling adds layers of complexity to each bite of what can be a basic veg.
It's a dish that not only satisfies but also impresses, making it a perfect main course for any occasion.
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Victoria Woollaston is a freelance science and technology journalist with more than a decade’s experience writing for Wired UK, Alphr, Expert Reviews, TechRadar, Shortlist and the Sunday Times. She has a keen interest in next-generation technology and its potential to revolutionise how we live and work.