Unlock the magic of pumpkins with these autumnal air fryer recipes

Make the perfect pumpkin dish with our guide to air-frying this Halloween favourite.

As well as being a favourite Halloween decoration when carved and used as a lantern, pumpkins also taste great. 

There are many ways to cook great pumpkin dishes, but using your air fryer to cook pumpkin means you can create tasty pumpkin sides and snacks while using less oil and staying healthy.

“Thanks to only needing a tiny bit of oil, air fryer pumpkin is very low in calories compared to other cooking methods,” says cooking blogger and air fryer lover Sam Milner.

Close up of pumpkinsCredit: Shutterstock_Romiana Lee

“And with just a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, your pumpkin goes wonderfully crispy when cooked in an air fryer. Pumpkin holds a lot of water and as you air fry it, the water goes to the bottom of the air fryer basket, helping crisp up the pumpkin even more.”

Just like with air fryer potatoes, using your air fryer means you can create a whole host of dishes quickly, so if sudden guests pop round this Halloween, you can whip up pumpkin fries in a matter of minutes.

Aside from your air fryer and a pumpkin, all you will need are a few store cupboard essentials to make these tasty seasonal treats.


1. Air fryer pumpkin chunks

Back to basics

The simplest way to cook your pumpkin in the air fryer is to cut it into chunks and roast it. 

Wash your pumpkin first, as always; cut it in half and spoon out the seeds – you can keep the pumpkin seeds and air fry them separately – and cut the pumpkin into bite-sized chunks. 

Add a little seasoning to your taste and pop them in the air fryer for about 20 minutes. The sweetness from the pumpkin shines through and the edges of your chunks will be caramelised, making delicious chunky pumpkin roasties. Air fryer pumpkin chunks make a great side dish to any dinner.

2. Air fryer pumpkin fries

Switch your chips

You’ll need a small pumpkin for this one, known as a sugar pumpkin. Sugar pumpkins are difficult to find in supermarkets, but some specialist food stores stock them.

You can cut your large pumpkin down into curls to make fries, but the smaller pumpkins are easier to do this with and they taste better when cooked. 

Once you’ve prepared your pumpkin and you have your curls of pumpkin, coat them in a little oil and season them. The oil helps the seasoning to stick to the pumpkin. Don’t pour oil straight into the machine – this air fryer mistake might cause damage to the elements or result in soggy fries. 

Lay the fries in the air fryer in a single layer so they cook well. This might mean cooking the fries in batches, depending on the size of your air fryer. The result is crispy, sweet pumpkin fries.

Squash substitute 

If you can’t find a sugar pumpkin, the next best substitute for this dish is another winter squash, such as butternut squash.

3. Air fryer pumpkin seeds

Nothing goes to waste

The seeds from inside the pumpkin make a tasty little snack, or a garnish for pasta dishes, when toasted in an air fryer.

  1. Rinse the seeds thoroughly once you’ve removed them from your pumpkin.
  2. Dry the seeds, sandwiched between two pieces of kitchen towel for about 15 minutes to get rid of any excess moisture.
  3. Place the seeds in a mixing bowl and coat them in olive oil. Add salt, paprika, or any seasoning of your choice.
  4. Line the air fryer basket with foil or parchment paper and snip a few slips in it here and there to allow the air to circulate. The paper or foil stops the pumpkin seeds from slipping through the basket.
  5. Place the pumpkin seeds in the air fryer and cook for around 20 minutes, stopping once midway through to give them a shake.

4. The whole pumpkin

The whole story

Air frying a whole pumpkin gives you so many options when it comes to what kind of dish to make from your pumpkin. You can use your roasted whole pumpkin to make pumpkin mash, or pumpkin puree, or just serve it as it is, as a side dish to any dinner. 

  1. Wash the pumpkin and prepare it by cutting it into quarters and removing the seeds.
  2. Cut off the stem, or leave it on if you prefer. If your pumpkin is small enough and your air fryer big enough, you can wash the pumpkin and cook it whole in the air fryer. If it doesn’t fit, simply cut it into quarters and roast it.
  3. Cook the pumpkin for 20-30 minutes, depending on how small you’ve cut it up. You can test if it’s cooked with a skewer or knife, and keep cooking until it’s done.

5. Air fryer pumpkin fritters

The sweetest feeling

Air fryer pumpkin fritters coated in sugar are a sweet treat for Halloween, or any winter time snack. 

Begin by preparing your pumpkin and roasting it in quarters. You can do this as per the instructions for roasting a whole pumpkin above. When it’s roasted and soft, cut it up and puree it in a food processor. 

To make pumpkin fritters, follow these four steps:

  1. Mix 156g (5.5oz) flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 3 tsp brown sugar, one large egg, and the pumpkin puree, in a bowl. Cover and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.
  2. Scoop out about 2 tbsp of the batter for each fritter. Roll each into a ball, and place in the air fryer.
  3. Cook for about eight minutes,
  4. Toss the fritters in sugar and cinnamon.

Don’t have an air fryer yet?

No problem, we’ve rigorously tested a wide range of air fryers and have put together a buying guide to help you find the right one for you.

Samantha Priestley

Written by Samantha Priestley


Writer, author, and playwright, Samantha loves historic buildings, quirky hotels, woodland walks and literary trails. Specialising in food and drink, travel, health and wellness, and listyle, Samantha has also written for Woman & Home, My Weekly, The Independent, and Lonely Planet. Samantha is based in Yorkshire, where she lives with her artist partner.

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