Roasted acorn squash deserves a place on your table this season. It’s easy to make, warming and hearty, and almost nutty in flavor.
Acorn squash is often overlooked when surrounded by its brighter squash cousins. Unlike butternut squash, it’s satisfyingly but not overtly sweet. Like pumpkin, it plays nicely with autumnal spices, including cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
If you’ve already had your fill of the other squash varieties this fall, give acorn squash a try!
Halved and roasted acorn squash makes a beautifully simple side dish. It’s worthy of your Thanksgiving table, but easy enough for a regular weeknight dinner.
Today, I’m showing you how to prepare perfectly roasted acorn squash, with caramelized edges and tender insides. The method is very similar to roasted spaghetti squash. Let’s get to it.
How to Prepare Acorn Squash
Step one is to slice your acorn squash in half (safely!). Given its tough exterior and round shape, acorn squash can be a bit slippery. You’ll need a sharp chef’s knife and a non-slip cutting board, like this one (affiliate links), or you can place a lightly damp tea towel under your cutting board to keep it in place.
Start by piercing the squash in the center along a depression line. Then, cut through the tip. Finish by slicing through the top portion just next to the stem.
Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy bits inside, and discard those pieces. Or, you can roast the seeds as you would pumpkin seeds. You’ll find the rest of the recipe below!
Watch How to Roast Acorn Squash
Suggested Toppings for Acorn Squash
Roasted acorn squash doesn’t need a lot of toppings to be delicious. A pat or two of butter offers some welcome richness. As you’ll see in these photos, I love topping roasted squash with a light drizzle of maple syrup, and a pinch of cinnamon and salt. For a less expected option, top your acorn squash with pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) toasted with a pinch of chili powder and salt, plus crumbled fried sage leaves.
Choose just a couple of complementary flavors for a simple side dish, or several for more impact. You can serve acorn squash as a main dish if you incorporate cheese and whole grains, as you’ll see in my recipe for Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash.
Here are some topping suggestions:
- Cheese: Goat cheese or Parmesan
- Garlic or ginger
- Honey or maple syrup
- Herbs: Cilantro, fried sage, parsley
- Nuts and seeds: Pecans, pepitas, walnuts
- Spices: Black pepper, cinnamon, chili powder
- Whole grains: Quinoa, wild rice
More Hearty Squash Recipes to Enjoy
Here are a few more recipes featuring acorn squash, butternut squash and spaghetti squash:
- Adrianna’s Spicy Squash Soup
- How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (The Best Way!)
- Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto
- Spaghetti Squash “Pizza” Bowls
- Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash
Please let me know how your squash turns out in the comments! I love hearing from you.
Perfect Roasted Acorn Squash
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Side dish
- Method: Roasted
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
Learn how to roast acorn squash with this simple recipe! When prepared properly, acorn squash can be so delicious. Recipe yields 4 side servings.
- 2 medium acorn squash
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
- To prepare the squash, use a sharp chef’s knife to slice through it from the tip to the stem. I find it easiest to pierce the squash in the center along a depression line, then cut through the tip, and finish by slicing through the top portion just next to the stem. Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy bits inside, and discard those pieces.
- Place the squash halves cut side up on the parchment-lined pan. Drizzle the olive oil over the squash, and sprinkle with the salt. Rub the oil into the cut sides of the squash, then turn them over so the cut sides are against the pan.
- Bake until the squash flesh is very easily pierced through by a fork, about 30 to 45 minutes depending on the size of your squash. Add any desired toppings, and serve warm.
Recipe adapted from my Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash.