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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!

Roasted Acorn Squash Halves

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.
Healthy Roasted Acorn Squash

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.


The Ingredients

  • 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 Roasted Acorn Squash

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!)

The Directions

Halving and scooping out acorn squash
  1. Cut acorn squash and scoop out seeds.
acorn squash on baking pan to roast
  1. Rub olive oil over squash and sprinkle with salt and maple syrup (or brown sugar, if using).
roasted acorn squash on baking pan
  1. Roast acorn squash at 400 degrees F for 40 minutes. ENJOY!

Seasoning Variations

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.

Storage Tips

  • 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.

Leftover Ideas

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

simple roasted acorn squash on a plate

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

Do You Cook Acorn Squash with the Skin On?

Yes! No need to peel. Another reason prepping an acorn squash is easy peasy.

Can You Eat Acorn Squash Skin?

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.

Should Acorn Squash Be Roasted Cut Side Up or Down?

Acorn squash halves are best roasted cut sides up. If they are down, they will steam more than roast and be a bit soggy.

How Do You Know When Acorn Squash Is Done?

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.

Roasted Acorn Squash

5 from 2 votes
Naturally sweet, caramelized and healthy, roasted acorn squash is an easy side to get on the table whether weeknight dinner or holiday. Sweet or savory.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes

Servings: 4 squash halves

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. For easy clean up, line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment pepper
  • Lay a squash on its side on a cutting board. With a sharp, sturdy knife, slice it in half through the stem and tip end (I like to insert the point of my knife in the center where there is a natural divot, then work my way to each end from there). With a spoon, scoop out and discard the stringy insides and seeds.
  • Arrange the halves cut-sides up on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle each half with 1 teaspoon olive oil and use your fingers or a pastry brush to rub the oil onto the flesh evenly. Sprinkle with salt—use 1/2 teaspoon if you are adding maple syrup/brown sugar; reduce to 1/4 teaspoon if you are not. If desired, drizzle with pure maple syrup (or sprinkle with brown sugar).
  • Roast acorn squash for 40 minutes, until the edges begin to wrinkle and the flesh is fork-tender. Let cool for a few minutes. Enjoy hot with a sprinkle of additional salt to taste.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

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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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 wellplated.com 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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4 Comments

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  1. Love how crazy easy this is! And very delicious. I get tired of the same veggies all the time so this is great. Not sure if it’s the size of my acorn squash or what, but every time it takes over double the cookie time for it to be tender – and my oven typically runs warm.5 stars