This roasted acorn squash is cooked with brown sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon for a sweet and savory side that’s perfect for fall and winter meals. It pairs perfectly with a variety of proteins such as salmon, chicken, pork chops and steak.
When I’m looking for the perfect side dish for cooler weather months, I turn to winter squash. It’s healthy, flavorful, readily available and so easy to make. This roasted acorn squash is caramelized to perfection in the oven, and is sure to be a hit with your family.
How do you make roasted acorn squash?
For such a flavorful dish, roasted acorn squash is surprisingly easy to make. First, make a sauce that brings out the natural sweetness of the squash by mixing olive oil, brown sugar, maple syrup and seasonings in a bowl. Cut the acorn squash into slices taking care to remove all the seeds and fibers in the middle of the squash. Coat the squash slices in the sauce and they are ready to go into the oven for about 20 minutes. Once the slices are baked and tender, they are ready to serve.
Tips for roasted acorn squash
- In order to choose ripe acorn squash, look for squash that are dark green without a lot of yellow spots. The skin should be hard and should not be shiny. Riper squash will have a better flavor when roasted.
- If you want to avoid some cutting, you can roast and serve entire squash halves. Simply bump up the cooking time a few minutes and make sure to take the squash out of the oven when it is nice and tender.
- Be sure to coat the top and the bottom of the squash with your sauce. You can flip the squash midway through the baking process to maximize caramelization.
How to prepare acorn squash
- Give the acorn squash a quick wash in cold water.
- Cut off the top of the squash on the stem end. This will allow you to avoid trying to cut through the hard stem.
- Next cut the squash lengthwise from stem to end. This will allow easy access to the seeds and fiber.
- When halving the acorn squash, cut it down a furrow between two ridges. Feel free to move the knife around the squash instead of cutting straight through. You can rest the acorn squash on the cut top end for stability.
- The seeds and fiber can be removed with a spoon or a melon baller. A melon baller with a comfortable handle is particularly useful to cut the hard flesh of the uncooked acorn squash.
- After the seeds are removed, I like to cut the squash into horizontal slices perpendicular from the cut splitting the squash in half. Slicing an acorn squash this way gives more surface area to get caramelized and gives each slice decorative ridges.
Is the skin on an acorn squash edible?
Acorn squash skin is edible when cooked. If you plan to eat the skin, make sure to test that the skin is tender when you take the squash out of the oven. Make sure that you wash the skin of the squash well before cutting it if you plan to eat the skin.
Is acorn squash healthy?
Acorn squash is not only delicious, but it is healthy too. Acorn squash contains vitamins A, B6 and C. This squash also contains niacin, potassium and magnesium. Acorn squash is a low calorie food with an entire squash only having around 175 calories. Feel free to indulge in acorn squash, it is a guilt free veggie with a marvelous flavor!
This recipe is the perfect blend of sweet and savory, and happens to be my very favorite way to prepare acorn squash. Serve it at your next meal and watch the rave reviews come in!
More fabulous side dish recipes
- Grilled Zucchini with Garlic and Herbs
- Corn Pudding
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Honey Roasted Carrots
- Zucchini Gratin
- Squash Casserole
Roasted Acorn Squash
- 2 1/2 pounds acorn squash
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon or more to taste
- cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Halve the acorn squash lengthwise and remove the seeds. Cut the halves into 3/4 inch thick slices.
- Line a sheet pan with foil and coat with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl mix together the olive oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the olive oil mixture over the squash and toss to coat.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until acorn squash is tender and starting to brown. Serve immediately.