This simple Buttery Roasted Acorn Squash makes the perfect side dish for any fall or winter dinner. It's salty and sweet and pairs well with any protein. (gluten free)
This Buttery Roasted Acorn squash is so easy to prepare and looks beautiful on the table. It has a light flavor that is really complimented by the butter and pure maple syrup. It is best when it is served immediately as it can get a bit soggy when stored in the fridge.
Acorn Squash is readily available in the fall months and is a member of the same summer squash family as zucchini. It has a hard green skin and a light orange flesh. The flesh has a mild, buttery flavor and it pairs well with many fall spices like ginger and cinnamon. It makes a delicious side dish to a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal as it can be very pretty when served. Holiday table ready!
When picking out an acorn squash look for one with dull dark green skin and a few orange spots. They shouldn't have any soft spots. They will be heavy and firm.
How to Cut Acorn Squash
This can seem very intimidating and not worth the work, but trust me it is worth it!
- I think the easiest way is to start by cutting off the stem. Then you will have a nice flat top and you can place the squash top down onto a cutting board without it slipping.
- Hold the acorn squash carefully and cut it in half with a sharp knife from tip to stem.
- Use a large spoon to scoop out seeds and stringy parts and discard them. You can roast them later just like you would pumpkin seeds.
- I like to cut mine into fourths and I leave the skin on and eat it.
Ingredients for Roasted Acorn Squash
- acorn squash - cut into quarters
- melted butter - I use high-quality unsalted butter like Kerrygold, you can substitute butter for olive oil or avocado oil for a different flavor
- maple syrup - I always use pure maple syrup. If you prefer you can substitute brown sugar or coconut sugar.
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- pomegranate seeds
- sage - I used fresh but you can also use dried sage or another spice of your choice.
How to Make Easy Roasted Acorn Squash
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and place the rack in the center of the oven. Place the squash slices cut sides up on the pan.
- In a small bowl combine melted butter, cinnamon, and pure maple syrup. You can also use brown sugar instead of maple syrup if you prefer. I would use about two tablespoons.
- Using a pastry brush generously brush the squash with all the butter mixture.
- Sprinkle with sea salt and roast for about one hour or until tender. You can poke it with a fork to check for tenderness. Serve immediately with toppings of choice.
Toppings for Acorn Squash
There are so many delicious sweet and savory toppings for this easy side dish. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
- olive oil
- avocado oil
- brown sugar
- coconut sugar
- brown butter
- tahini dressing
- feta cheese
- blue cheese
- parmesan cheese
- balsamic glaze
- fresh herbs
- pomegranate arils
- dried fruit
Frequently Asked Questions about Making Roasted Acorn Squash
- Do you eat the skin of baked acorn squash? I do! You can eat the skin of acorn squash as it gets very soft when you roast it. It is a personal preference and some people choose to peel the squash before baking. You can also just scoop it out once it's roasted because the skin does separate easily from the flesh when roasted. There are other types of squash like butternut squash and spaghetti squash that you cannot eat the skin.
- How do you cut an acorn squash for roasting? See my notes above but the key is to cut a flat top off so you have a nice flat way to lay the squash down and stabilize it for cutting.
- How many carbs are in an acorn squash? One cup of cooked acorn squash contains thirty grams of carbs. However, it is highly nutritious so it's a healthy option for every diet plan. It contains Vitamin C, minerals, and a considerable amount of fiber.
- Can I eat acorn squash on a keto diet? No. Too many carbs.
- What flavors go well with acorn squash? maple syrup, honey, brown sugar, rosemary, sage, thyme, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, tarragon, bay leaf, pumpkin spice and ginger.
Ways to eat acorn squash...
- add it to pasta
- put it on pizza
- add it to a quesadilla
- mix it into macaroni and cheese
- add it to a salad
- put it in your soup
- If you love squash, try this Roasted Crookneck Squash recipe.
Buttery Roasted Acorn Squash
- 2 acorn squash, cut into quarters, seeds removed
- 5 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- sea salt
- pomegranate seeds and chopped sage
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Place pieces of acorn squash on a parchment lined sheet pan.
- In a small bowl combine the butter, cinnamon and maple syrup. Use a brush to brush evenly all over the acorn squash.
- Sprinkle with sea salt and roast for about an hour.
- Top with pomegranate seeds and sage. (optional) Serve immediately.