How To Cook Acorn Squash

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Acorn squash is roasted in the oven then topped with butter and brown sugar for the perfect squash side dish! This acorn squash recipe is so fast, easy, and healthy. Acorn squash is cheap and abundant in the autumn, so here’s an easy recipe to show you how to cook acorn squash.

You can also try simple honey and cinnamon roasted butternut squash or a maple roasted butternut squash if you are looking for more squash recipes! This recipe was one of the very first recipes on my website around 11 years ago, so we’ve redone it with all new photos!

 half slices Acorn Squash in white plate
Acorn Squash

How to Cook Acorn Squash, Step by Step

It may seem redundant to a lot of people reading this blog, but we all had to learn somehow.  Everyone has to learn sometime, and every time I go to post a how-to post I have to remind myself: someone, somewhere, truly doesn’t know how to do it. So every time I go over a basic recipe or kitchen task, I am going to try and post it more. I know there are a lot of university kids reading my blog and I’m always trying to remember that there are so many people learning still, so many younger AND older adults yearning for more knowledge in the kitchen. And hey, I can’t count the times I google things myself, but that’s just old age and a lack of memory kicking in.

So the other night I made a simple, easy acorn squash recipe to take advantage of the bounty of the season.

It doesn’t get easier than this, cheaper, or a better way to sneak in a large serving of vegetables. The total cost at Superstore was about $1.45 a squash, each one serving two people.  Two! If my math serves me correctly, that makes each serving about 73 cents. A very hearty serving, I might add. You hear that, university kids? Seventy-three cents. Split with a roomie.

ingredients for acorn squash in wooden plate and board

Ingredients Needed:

  • acorn squash
  • salted butter
  • brown sugar
  • salt
  • pepper

How to Clean Acorn Squash

Acorn squash is so easy to clean compared to other squash such as pumpkins! They are a snap!

  1. Cut each squash down the center lengthwise, you don’t want to cut them in half width-wise, leaving a top and a bottom otherwise they are odd to cook that way.
  2. Take a spoon and scoop out the seeds and strings until the center is completely cleaned out.

 

clean out acorn squash on the wooden board

How to Cook Acorn Squash

  • Using a nice sharp knife, cut the squash in half. Clean out the seeds and stringy bits, so that it’s clean. You want to scoop them out well as shown in the photos above.
  • Place cut side down on a baking sheet with water on it.
  • Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, until they are soft.
  • Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place them on top of the stove. Turn on the broiler in your oven.
  • Take your butter and place in the center of each. If you are going for sweet, add the brown sugar. Sprinkle with salt.
  • Return to the oven and broil for about 5 minutes, melting the butter/sugar, browning the edges slightly and

 

Acorn Squash with butter and brown sugar on center placed in a baking sheet

Flavor Variations

You can choose to make this sweet or savory squash whichever you prefer! Try some of these on the squash:

  • honey instead of the brown sugar
  • cinnamon or nutmeg – or a combination of the two for a sweet version
  • maple syrup instead of the sugar
  • red pepper flakes – very good with sweet squash and also a savory version
  • curry – also really good with honey
  • paprika, garlic, oregano – any herb or spice that you like you can skip the sugar and make this savory

 

baked cuts of Acorn Squash in a white plate

Tips and Tricks

 

  • Placing the squash cut side down on the baking sheet ensures that you aren’t drying out the squash. When you roast squash open-faced for 45 minutes, it can dry out and the inside can form “strings” in the squash. I’ve tried baking it open-faced and there really is a texture difference, you are keeping that moisture inside and not drying it out.
  • Steam the squash by adding enough water so that it slightly covers the sides of the squash. I find this way you end up with amazingly soft squash that hasn’t dried out in places or burnt in others. It cooks them uniformly. Steam is a wonderful thing and it actually helps cook these faster than plain roasting.
  • Broil it at the end to get those lovely browned bits on the edges. You don’t have to bake it and dry out your squash for 40 minutes to achieve this, just give it a quick broil.

 

using a fork to have a part of baked cuts of Acorn Squash

With this recipe, you end up with a lovely, soft bowl of squash with a pool of sugary butter that is so soft you can eat it with a spoon, but still has some crispy roasted edges. It really is the best of all worlds!

If you want a really unique acorn squash recipe try my Acorn Squash Pie!  It is really fantastic and a great change from pumpkin! Happy cooking you guys! I hope this recipe helps you all out, learning how to cook acorn squash is really easy AND delicious!

Karlynn

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Acorn squash is roasted in the oven then topped with butter and brown sugar for the perfect squash side dish! This acorn squash recipe is so fast, easy, and healthy. Acorn squash is cheap and abundant in the autumn, so here's an easy recipe to show you how to cook acorn squash. 

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How to Cook Acorn Squash

How to clean, cut, prepare and cook acorn squash in the oven with a delicious sweet and buttery recipe as well! This is our favorite way to cook squash.

5 from 55 votes
Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Total Time
45 minutes
Course
Main Course
Cuisine
American
Servings
4
Calories
209
Author
Karlynn Johnston

Ingredients

  • 2 acorn squash
  • 4 tablespoons butter divided
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar divided
  • salt
  • pepper
  • water for baking sheet

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.

  2. Using a nice sharp knife, cut the squash in half. Using a spoon, clean out the seeds and stringy bits, so that it's clean inside.

  3. Place cut side down on a baking sheet then add enough water so that it slightly covers the sides of the squash.

  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, until they are soft. 

  5. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place on top of the stove. 
  6. Turn on the broiler in your oven. Turn the squash over on the pan.

  7. Take one tablespoon of butter and place in the center of each squash. If you are going for sweet, add 1/2 tablespoon of brown sugar to the center of each squash as well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

  8. Return to the oven and broil for about 5 minutes, melting the butter/sugar, browning the edges slightly.

  9. Remove and serve.

Recipe Notes

You can skip the sugar and only use butter if you like with this recipe!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 209kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 30mg, Sodium: 108mg, Potassium: 748mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 1141IU, Vitamin C: 24mg, Calcium: 79mg, Iron: 2mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

Site Index Acorn squash How-To Vegetable side dish

Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. goody says

    Hi, when I was young, we had a big garden, and we loved acorn squash; we put bits of bacon, and onion in the squash, then baked it with a water bath, so good, very creamy, sweet delish!

  2. BettyLou says

    Thank you for this post. For years I have tried to get someone to show me how to cook members of the squash family with no success. Now that I found your post the next two weeks will be all about squash. My Mom never cooked squash so I never got past pumpkin as pie. I’m excited because it looks so simple. A buffet Thanksgiving meal this year included acorn squash that was so delicious I consumed my fair share. Now as a widow I need to find inexpensive while nutritious and tasty meal items and squash may be just what I’m looking for. Thanks again.5 stars

  3. Shirley Fraley says

    If you slice a small notch off the center of rind on each half, the squash will not topple over.
    I tried a recipe using onion powder, garlic powder and dried rosemary sprinkled on top of sliced squash and it was delicious for those that do not like sweet (of course, you & I can’t imagine that!)5 stars

    • Johanna Ottervanger floyd says

      I am so happy I found your site bc I first went to Food Network & then Allrecipes but the recipes for a simple squash were excessive and yours are so simple and now off to bake my acorn squash…thx so much bc at 70 I need help…5 stars

  4. Rob St. John says

    I’ve always cooked acorn squash at 350-400 for 1 hour. Today I thought I would google it to see what the “official’ timing should be. Much to my surprise it runs from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours. Guess I’ll try 45 minutes and see how it goes. The oven is already preheated since I’m presently ‘cooking’ a frozen pizza 😉5 stars

  5. Julie Pilgrim says

    I am a grandmother but I live with and take care of my mother. I’ve never gotten into cooking but I can if it’s way simple easy stuff. I more than appreciate your knowledge and help. Double thanks for detailing everything because I am an older learning cook that without your details I would pull my hair out.
    I Truly Thank you
    J. Pilgrim
    Mountain Home, Idaho5 stars

  6. Sheryll says

    The only thing I would add, especially since you have young readers, is to absolutely always, every single time, WASH anything you cut before you do anything else.5 stars

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