When I was writing my first cookbook (almost 10 years ago!) and testing low carb french fries, I made butternut squash fries by cutting up a butternut squash into strips and roasting them in the oven. Fast forward to this year, when I finally purchased a counter top oven with an air fryer (I know, I’m late to the party).
This weekend I finally used the air fryer option to test out my butternut squash crinkle cuts. Trader Joes and other markets now sell butternut squash fries in crinkle cuts, cubes, chips, and strips, which saves times and muscle because this squash is one of the more challenging to cut when raw.
I’m happy to let you know that air frying is a step up for these slightly sweet, slightly crunchy fries. The most important tip is to fry them until they start to brown around the edges, and to eat them soon after they come out of the oven. And to get a bit technical on you, the crinkle cut increases the surface area in which the outside of each fry can bake and crisp up, so I recommend crinkle cut fries if you can find them. Others will work well also though.
To make fries a meal, I added my Sloppy Joes recipe to the fray. I’ll admit that I don’t eat meat, so I prefer this recipe with just veggies. To create a plant-based Sloppy Joes, swap the ground meat for lentils, finely chopped mushrooms, or your favorite veggies. I recommend cooking the veggies until almost tender, with just a bit of bite.
If you don’t have an air fryer, no big deal. Bake the fries on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and give each fry some space to help them get crispy. See the recipe notes for baking instructions.