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Simple Roasted Acorn Squash

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Winter squash gets gorgeous.

This easy roasted acorn squash recipe is both simple, and simply beautiful, made especially easy because the skin is completely edible. Here’s how to prepare and bake this beautiful winter squash.

easy roasted acorn squash recipe

All About This Roasted Acorn Squash Recipe

Butternut squash seems to become the default and most common winter squash, but acorn squash is my favorite. Roasted acorn squash, both savory and sweet, boasts a satisfying, lightly sweet flavor flesh similar to roasted butternut squash, but requires way less prep time because it does not have to be peeled — the hardest part of dealing with butternut squash.

Acorn squash recipes tend to gravitate toward 1) being a centerpiece of a Thanksgiving holiday table, or 2) stuffed for dinner. But not this. This baked acorn squash recipe is stripped down, super easy, and lets this bright winter squash get all the attention. Technically a side dish, I bet this becomes the center of attention at any weeknight dinner table.

Here’s all you have to do:

  • With a sharp knife, slice the acorn squash top and bottom and scoop out the seeds and membrane.
  • Cut the squash into rounds on a cutting board
  • Spread the slices on a single layer on a baking sheet that’s been greased or lined with parchment paper, and
  • Bake with a drizzle of olive oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. You can also add a drizzle of melted butter if you want, but I keep it as simple as possible.

This dish makes a fantastic accompaniment to cozy mains like a perfect roast chicken, or even as part of a salad.

acorn squash cut open on cutting board with seeds

ABCs of Acorn Squash: All the Basics

Can You Eat Acorn Squash Skin?

Yes, you can eat acorn squash skin! That’s part of what makes this recipe so easy. Just make sure it has been cleaned well.

Is Acorn Squash Healthy?: Nutrients, Carbs and More

Acorn squash boasts lots of nutrients and health benefits. It’s loaded with vitamins C, A, B, plus potassium, magnesium, iron, and manganese.

Acorn squash does contain carbohydrates, but in a balanced way because this winter squash is high in fiber. This means it is harder for your body to break down, lowering the risk of blood sugar spikes, and keeping you full longer.

How Long and What Temperature to Bake Acorn Squash

Roast acorn squash at a nice high temperature. I recommend 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This helps the squash caramelize a bit, and speed the baking process. It takes about 30-40 minutes to roast, depending on how thick you cut the squash.

Roasted Acorn Squash on tray

How to Bake Acorn Squash

Acorn squash makes a beautiful and nutritious side dish, and takes very little effort to roast.

  1. First, give the squash a good rinse under the sink. The dark green skin is edible, so you want to make sure it is very clean. The color adds a great contrast to the orange as well.
  2. Next, cut the acorn squash. No matter how you want to cut the acorn squash, start by trimming off the top and bottom. I use rings here, but you can also cut the remaining squash into halves or wedges.
  3. Scoop out the seeds and membrane with a spoon.
  4. Toss with a mixture of olive oil, maple syrup, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Spread the acorn squash in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven until fork tender. The amount of time will very depending on how you slice it. These rings will take about 35 to 45 minutes.

sliced acorn squash on sheet pan

What Does Acorn Squash Taste Like?

Acorn squash tastes similar to butternut squash and other winter squash: mildly sweet with a slightly earthy note.

But acorn squash is a little softer, with a higher moisture content of other winter squash. This means that acorn squash flavor is a little milder than some other winter squash.

The skin of winter squash can be eaten. It does not really have a flavor, but adds texture to the final dish.

Roasted Acorn Squash Recipe Side Dish on Platter for Fall/Winter Sides

Easy Roasted Acorn Squash: Recipe Steps

  1. Rinse the squash. The skin is edible, so make sure it is clean.
  2. Next, cut the acorn squash. Trim about a 1/2 inch from the top and bottom of the squash, or as much as necessary to reach the interior membrane.
  3. Scoop out the seeds and membrane.
  4. Slice the acorn squash into 1-inch thick rings, and place the rings on a lightly-greased sheet pan.
  5. Drizzle with the olive oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper.
  6. Roast the acorn squash in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven until fork tender, about 35 to 45 minutes.
  7. Arrange the squash on a serving plate. Garnish with an additional sprinkle of salt and pepper, and the Aleppo pepper, if using. Serve hot.

Enjoy this easy baked acorn squash recipe, a favorite fall and winter side dish.

easy baked acorn squash rings on serving platter

Love this roasted acorn squash recipe? You’ll also love these seasonal favorites:

roasted acorn squash recipe easy.

Roasted Acorn Squash

This easy recipe for roasted acorn squash makes a lovely and simple way to enjoy winter squash. the skin of acorn squash is completely edible, making preparation and baking that much more simple.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keywords:: acorn squash, baked acorn squash recipe, easy, roasted acorn squash, side dish, vegan, vegetarian, winter squash
Servings: 4 people (as a side dish)
Print

Ingredients

  • 1 Whole acorn squash
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons (1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon) pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste/garnish
  • 12 turns black pepper
  • 1 generous pinch Aleppo pepper or hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds (optional, to garnish)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F and grease or line with parchment paper a rimmed half-sheet baking pan.
  • Rinse the squash and make sure it is clean of any dirt. Use a sharp knife and a cutting board to trim about 1/2 inch from both the top and bottom of the squash, or as much as necessary to reach the interior membrane. Scoop out the seeds and stringy membrane. 
    Slice the acorn squash into 1-inch thick rings, and place the rings on the baking pan.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper, and drizzle it over the squash and toss to combine, and spread the rings in a single layer.
  • Roast the squash until fork tender, about 35 to 45 minutes. Arrange the squash on a serving plate. Garnish with an additional sprinkle of salt and pepper, perhaps another light drizzle of maple syrup, and the pumpkin seeds and Aleppo or red pepper, if using. Serve hot.

Notes

Storing: Roasted acorn squash will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. 
Substitutions and add-ons: You can substitute brown sugar or honey for the maple syrup as the sweetener. You could also add the leaves of a sprig of thyme for a savory touch of fresh herbs. 
This sweet-savory olive oil drizzle can also be a go-to recipe to toss with other winter squash, such as diced butternut squash. 
 

7 comments

  • 5 stars
    thank you for the good information and recipe. the slight addition of maple syrup was perfect.

  • Diane Frohling

    5 stars
    I use Bob’s Smokey Maple Syrup. It’s the best kept secret for squash and sweet potatoes.,

    • Unpeeled

      I love the idea of using a little smoke flavor with this. What a nice idea.

  • 5 stars
    This is literally the best acorn squash I’ve ever had. It can be so bland and often doesn’t cook evenly when it is halved, but in slices, it was perfectly tender and super flavorful. Loved this!

    • Unpeeled

      Hi, Wendy! So glad you liked it. That’s always my problem when it’s halved: You have less opportunity to season it, and it just tastes kinda blah (which I guess is why it’s almost always then stuffed with something). Thanks for this lovely comment!

  • 4 stars
    I thought this was very simple and pretty, which is nice, but I think that acorn squash in general is a little too bland for me, and the skin is a little leathery. The recipe is good, this is more my opinion on acorn squash!

  • 5 stars
    Easy, tasty. I did not have Aleppo pepper but I did red pepper flakes.

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