These simple and sweet Baked Acorn Squash Slices with Brown Sugar and Pecans made their first appearance at Law School Friendsgiving 2011. I knocked hesitantly, steaming plate of roasted acorn squash rings in hand, expecting to walk through the door and see a bucket of KFC and a packet of Oreos spread on the table for the holiday “feast.” I could not have been more wrong.

Baked Acorn Squash Slices with Brown Sugar and Pecans. A few simple ingredients and 30 minutes are all you need to make this delicious recipe! Perfect holiday recipe or anytime you need an easy side. Recipe at | @wellplated

Despite the looming presence of finals, cramped graduate apartment kitchens, and collective lack of kitchen experience, Ben’s law school classmates put together a beautiful meal. These fit right in beside homemade garlic mashed potatoes, braised collard greens, and chestnut stuffing. The host even made a stuffed turkey roulade. I was in awe not only of the quality of the dishes, but also of the time and effort each member put into their contributions.

Baked Acorn Squash Slices with Brown Sugar and Pecans. Simple and DELICIOUS. Less than 30 minutes in the oven. Perfect holiday side dish or anytime you need a quick and easy side. Recipe at | @wellplated

Homemade dishes show a care and love that exceeds their plate value, no matter their level of complexity. Whether you are a cooking novice or experienced enough to execute a turkey roulade, there’s a from-scratch recipe to match your level of kitchen comfort.

These easy baked acorn squash slices are an ideal recipe both for newbie cooks and the more experienced home chef.

  • For the newbies: The directions are so straightforward, I have full confidence that you can make the recipe perfectly, even if you’ve done little beyond boil noodles. Think of how impressed your friends and family will be when you pull these bubbly, fragrant spiced squash rings from the oven!
  • For the experienced: This recipe is low-stress and can be prepped in advance, meaning you’ll have more time to focus on the other more involved components of the meal.
  • For everyone: They are DELICIOUS. Don’t be fooled by the recipe’s ease. Its flavors are complex. The brown sugar and butter caramelize in the oven, the pecans become golden and toasty, and the hint of cayenne balances the squash’s natural sweetness.
Easy Baked Acorn Squash Slices with Brown Sugar and Pecans. Bakes in less than 30 minutes! Simple, delicious roasted squash rings. Recipe at | @wellplated

If praline (the classic Southern butter pecan candy I’m fairly certain was invented by angels) and a roasted acorn squash had a baby, these easy baked acorn squash slices would be it.

Baked Acorn Squash Slices with Brown Sugar and Pecans. Less than 30 minutes in the oven and just a few simple ingredients are all that you need for this delicious recipe! Great for holidays or a fall side. Recipe at | @wellplated

We repeated Law School Friendsgiving every year of school after, and by request, I made these baked acorn squash slices with brown sugar and pecans every year too. Now, although law school has passed, this easy recipe is still one I make for dinner parties because it’s simple, super tasty, and I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t enjoy it. If you have any picky eaters in your family, these baked acorn squash slices are a great way to get them to eat their veggies too.

If you enjoy these baked acorn squash slices, you’ll also love this Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash and this Acorn Squash Soup.

Baked Acorn Squash Slices with Brown Sugar and Pecans. A few simple ingredients and 30 minutes are all you need to make this delicious recipe! Perfect holiday recipe or anytime you need an easy side. Recipe at | @wellplated

Baked Acorn Squash Slices with Brown Sugar and Pecans

5 from 1 vote
Baked Acorn Squash Slices with Brown Sugar and Pecans. A few simple ingredients and 30 minutes in the oven are all you need to make this delicious recipe!

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 35 mins

Servings: 6 servings


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 acorn squash or similar hard winter squash, such as carnival (about 1 ½ pounds each)
  • cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup whole pecans
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Place a rack in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil and lightly coat with cooking spray. In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil and maple syrup.
  • Halve, seed, and slice the squash into 1-inch-thick crescent slices. Arrange the slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets. Brush the tops with half of the olive oil/maple syrup mixture.
  • Add the brown sugar and pecans to a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until the pecans are finely ground. Add the salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper and pulse to combine. Sprinkle half of the brown sugar mixture over the top of the brushed squash slices, reserving the other half.
  • Place the squash in the oven and roast for 5 minutes, until the brown sugar begins to melt. Remove from the oven and, using tongs, a fork, or very quick fingers, flip over each slice. Brush with the remaining olive oil/maple syrup mixture and sprinkle them with the remaining brown sugar mixture. Return the baking sheets to the oven and continue roasting until the squash slices are fork-tender, about 20 additional minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.


  • The brown sugar topping can be prepped up to 2 days in advance. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. The squash can be sliced up to 1 day in advance. Store in an airtight container or ziptop bag in the refrigerator. Brush and sprinkle the squash slices just before baking. Once cooked, the roasted squash can sit at room temperature, covered, for up to 2 hours.
  • Don’t make the mistake a few of Ben’s law school classmates did: The outside peels of the squash slices are not meant to be eaten. Simply cut away the yummy yellow flesh as you eat it, then discard the peels.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 239kcalCarbohydrates: 32gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 378mgFiber: 3g

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. Hi Erin. I love squash and actually tried delicata squash for the first time this past fall. I loved that it didn’t require any peeling and it looks as if this one doesn’t either. It’s hard to peel an acorn squash with all those grooves. My kids are slowly catching on the squash bandwagon. I think they would like it more if I put something sweet on it instead of just roasting it with some olive oil and salt.
    Anyway, I can’t wait to see that apron give away!

    1. I have yet to try delicata squash, but the “no peeling” aspect just moved it to the top of my squash list! I used carnival squash in this recipe and didn’t bother to peel it either, since (like acron squash) it’s a HUGE pain to do. We cheated and ate around the peels. Good luck getting the kids aboard with squash. Brown sugar definitely the trick for me when I was younger!
      Thanks so much for your comment Jackie. Looking forward to seeing you for the giveaway!

  2. This sounds right up my alley! And I love wordy blog post titles – in fact I have one coming up tomorrow hehe

    1. Thanks so much Liz!!!! And I appreciate your taking time to check out the REAL site, lol. Good luck on your finals my dear!

  3. I love trying different spices/recipes with squashes…so keep the recipes coming…this one with pecans and cayenne pepper can’t wait to try! I have to tell you since you are an Ina Garten fan I made her Saffron Butternut Squash Risotto…delicious…I will be posting the recipe soon….SO I say use one of your butternuts for that if you haven’t tried her recipe….I felt like such a grown up making risotto…which is funny since I am totally a grown up.

    1. Thanks for the tip on the risotto Angela! It sounds amazing. Confession: I’ve made risotto! Time to put on my big girl apron and give it a go.

  4. for some reason, the words PRALINE CARAMELIZED SQUASH keep running through my head. i will probably dream about it!

    by the way… Double Dark Chocolate Mint Chip is a fabulous name! and don’t let anyone tell you any different!

    1. Thanks for supporting my ridiculously long recipe names! I like you to know what you are getting ;-) Glad you like the sound of the squash too.

  5. I think I could actually eat this as dessert..haha! It looks and sounds so good! BTW, nothing wrong with long recipe names, I’m sure mine average about 18 words, lol!

    1. Jess, I support eating this squash at all hours:-) And cheers to long recipe names-nothing wrong with being specific!

  6. This caramelized acorn squash looks glorious!  I love when squash is accompanied by sweetness, I think it tastes like kettle corn! Mmmmmmm :)

  7. YES! There is so much love and care that goes into making a homemade dish, that makes it taste amazing no matter what it is :) Just lovely, Erin!

    1. Hi Victoria, I’ve had it reheated and it’s quite good! I love it most straight out of the oven, but reheating it in the microwave or the oven (covered with foil if in the oven), both work well.

  8. The Squash look so good! Thanks a lot for this great recipe! I will definitely try it.

  9. I’m looking to broaden my families culinary horizons. I bought one of every kind of squash I could find at the grocery store. This seems like a safe first recipe. Thank you for the last bullet in the recipe. I can see me trying to explain this one to the orthodontist again.

  10. Awesome treat! The recipe was easy and tasted wonderful. Cut the way it was it made a lovely presentation. I am really big on the way food is prepared and presented. Great recipe! Barb.

    1. I am so happy to hear that Barb! Thank you for the kind review too! It is so so helpful to me and to others considering the recipe. Enjoy every bite!

    1. Hi Heather, check out step 1 in the instructions! I have the racks in the upper and lower third of the oven since I use two pans.

  11. This looks amazing! I love the idea of the crushed pecan and brown sugar combo. I may try this with delicata or honeynut squash this weekend.