No more thinking up what side to serve when you know there’s Roasted Acorn Squash. Here’s a hero that can step in any time for a healthy and easy side!
Getting a main dish pulled together is challenging enough, but when you have to fix a side too, you might feel like waving the white flag at the end of an already long day.
Help is here with this easy roasted acorn squash recipe.
Sure, you can steam up a side of bagged, frozen veggies.
Or say, “heck, no veggies tonight; I’m too tired.”
Let me save your brain cells and tell you exactly how to bake the best acorn squash and why this veggie will make a worthwhile addition to your meal.
Why Make Acorn Squash
- Budget-Friendly. Generally an inexpensive crop, acorn squashes will keep fresh at room temperature for 2 to 3 months, so feel free to stock up.
- Filling. I find them as filling and satisfying as a Baked Potato.
- Nutrient-Dense. Acorn squash are healthy! They have vitamin C, fiber, iron, folate, potassium, and B1 to name a few of their nutrients.
- Versatile. They are humble for any weeknight dinner, yet can rise to a prestigious side dish spot at the Thanksgiving holiday table. Besides being roasted, acorn squash can also be enjoyed mashed, stuffed, and in casseroles. I also love them as a soup in this Acorn Squash Soup, or stuffed for a main dish, like Stuffed Acorn Squash with Sausage.
- They Taste Good! No force feeding a veggie that you don’t enjoy. Acorn squash taste delightfully nutty and a little sweet. You’re going to love them.
How to Roast Acorn Squash
The best way to cook the perfect acorn squash is roasted!
It’s as simple as slice, brush, season, and roast. The results are delicious.
You can season simply with salt, or a little sweet with the addition of brown sugar or maple syrup.
- Acorn Squash. Choose a squash with dull and dark green skin (a little orange is ok), one that feels heavy for its size (heavy=moist!), and is less than 3 pounds (any larger and they tend to be drier and stringier). Avoid squash that are mushy or with soft spots.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil. To make it roasted with a caramelized glaze. Do not skimp or the squash could get dry or scorched.
- Salt. Sometimes simple seasoning is best.
- Maple Syrup. For an optional additional natural sweetness, you can add pure maple syrup. Brown sugar can also be used.
How to Cut an Acorn Squash for Roasting
A sufficiently large and sharp knife, plus a little muscle, will slice these babies right in half.
- Lay the squash on its side on a cutting board.
- Insert the point of your knife in the center of the squash where there is a natural divot.
- Cut half way through until you reach the airy-pocketed center, then work your knife from end to end. Flip over and cut the rest of the way through.
- Feel free to pull apart when it’s close to severed, leaving the stem on one half; no need to cut through the stem.
- Scoop out and discard stringy insides and seeds (or save the seeds for making a roasted snack!)
- Cut acorn squash and scoop out seeds.
- Rub olive oil over squash and sprinkle with salt and maple syrup (or brown sugar, if using).
- Roast acorn squash at 400 degrees F for 40 minutes. ENJOY!
There’s no need to get fancy with the seasonings, as acorns are naturally flavorful, but if you wish:
- Sprinkle Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper for more savory.
- Add garam masala for a little Indian flavor.
- Amp up spices for a little heat with chili powder, cumin, and/or cayenne.
- Add and Italian vibe with an oregano, garlic, and butter mixture.
- To Store. Store leftover roasted acorn squash in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.
- To Reheat. Rewarm roasted acorn squash on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Reheat from frozen.
Meal Prep Tip
Prep the acorn squash one day in advance, slicing and adding olive oil and seasonings. Store in airtight storage container in the refrigerator until you are ready to roast.
What to Serve with Roasted Acorn Squash
Acorn squash is a healthy, flavorful, and easy side to round out a meal, such as a meaty main, roast chicken, or fish.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
The Chef’s Knife of All Chef’s Knives
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Any side situation is SOLVED with easy roasted acorn squash.
Turn your dinner side dilemma from white-flag waving to happy dancing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! No need to peel. Another reason prepping an acorn squash is easy peasy.
Yes! Just as you could eat a potato peel for extra fiber and nutrition if you like, you can eat acorn squash skin. After roasting, they will be soft. If you prefer not to eat the skin, simply discard it.
Acorn squash halves are best roasted cut sides up. If they are down, they will steam more than roast and be a bit soggy.
Acorn squash is done roasting when the edges begin to wrinkle and the flesh is fork-tender. Plan on about 40 minutes at 400 degrees F.
- 2 medium acorn squash about 1 1/2 pounds each
- 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or light or dark brown sugar, optional
- TO STORE: Store leftover acorn squash in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.
- TO REHEAT: Rewarm roasted acorn squash on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Reheat from frozen.
Serving: 1squash halfCalories: 142kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 2gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gPotassium: 765mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 791IUVitamin C: 24mgCalcium: 79mgIron: 2mg
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