How to Bake Acorn Squash

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Roasted acorn squash is a comforting yet healthy dish that can be prepared during the fall and winter months. Rather than loading up carbs found in bread or pasta, you can enjoy hearty winter squash as a low-carb, vitamin-packed nutritious option. Plus, you can roast the seeds just like pumpkin seeds for a healthful snack. Roasting acorn squash is easy and there are plenty of ways you can serve it to keep the flavors fun and interesting. Stay tuned at the end of the article for serving suggestions.

Acorn squash with honey in the center How to bake acorn squash Image Credit: Julia Mueller

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two acorn squash acorn squash Image Credit: Julia Mueller

Things You\’ll Need

  • 1 acorn squash

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Sea salt

  • Seasoning such as ground cinnamon, cumin, or chili powder

  • Pure maple syrup, honey, or brown sugar for serving

Step 1: Trim the Acorn Squash

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place acorn squash on a sturdy surface and turn it sideways. Use a sharp knife to cut the tip off.

Removing the top of an acorn squash with a knife Cut off the tip Image Credit: Julia Mueller

Similarly, cut off the bottom of the acorn squash, then stand it upright.

Acorn squash on a cutting board without tip or tail Remove the tail of the acorn squash Image Credit: Julia Mueller

Step 2: Cut Acorn Squash in Half

Cut the acorn squash in half vertically, using gravity as your friend to help cut through the tough flesh.

Acorn squash being cut in half Cut squash in half Image Credit: Julia Mueller

Once open, you'll notice the squash has a webbing of seeds, just like a pumpkin!

two halves of acorn squash Check out the seeds! Image Credit: Julia Mueller

Step 3: Scoop Out the Innards

Using a sturdy metal spoon, scrap the innards and seeds out of each half of the squash. You can save the seeds and roast them later.

Seeds being scooped out of acorn squash Scoop out the seeds Image Credit: Julia Mueller

Tip

To roast the seeds, remove the webbing around the seeds by washing them well, then pat them dry. Coat the seeds in olive oil, sprinkle with salt, cinnamon, chili powder, or seasoning of choice, and roast at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.

Step 4: Coat Flesh with Olive Oil

Drizzle olive oil into the bowl of each acorn squash half (about 1 tablespoon per half).

acorn squash with olive oil inside Drizzle with olive oil Image Credit: Julia Mueller

Use your hands to coat the full surface of the flesh with oil.

olive oil being rubbed into acorn squash Rub olive oil over all the flesh Image Credit: Julia Mueller

Step 5: Season the Acorn Squash

Sprinkle sea salt, pepper, and choice of seasonings over the flesh of each half. You can use ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, ground cumin, chili powder, all season spice, and so forth.

Acorn squash sprinkled with cinnamon and cardamom Season with salt and cinnamon Image Credit: Julia Mueller

Step 6: Bake the Squash

Place each half of acorn squash cut-side down on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the acorn squash is tender when poked with a fork, and has reached desired done-ness.

acorn squash face-down on a baking sheet Roast face-down Image Credit: Julia Mueller

Step 7: Serve!

Remove squash from the oven and carefully turn it right-side up. If necessary, use a spatula to get between the squash and the baking sheet. It's ready to go!

acorn squash with honey drizzled inside Drizzle with honey Image Credit: Julia Mueller

Tip

Want it to taste sweet? Add butter, honey, brown sugar, or pure maple syrup to the acorn squash bowls if desired. Serve piping hot fresh out of the oven with a sprinkle of salt and/or ground cinnamon.

acorn squash stuffed with apples, pears, and walnuts acorn squash stuffed with apples, pears, and walnuts Image Credit: Julia Mueller

Serving Suggestions

  • Use any of your favorite seasonings – ground cinnamon and a pinch of cardamom go with acorn squash deliciously, although you can take a savory approach as well by using a spice blend such as chili powder, Garam Masala, Cajun Seasoning, etc.
  • Place a pad of butter (about 1 to 2 tablespoons) in the center of each squash and allow it to melt.
  • Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of honey, pure maple syrup, or brown sugar to the center of each squash.
  • Create your own homemade sauce to drizzle on top of the squash. See this Roasted Acorn Squash with Bourbon Butter and Honey for example
  • Make acorn squash an entree by stuffing the squash with brown rice or quinoa, along with dried cranberries, pecans, feta cheese, apple, and/or sausage. See this Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa Pears and Pecans for example.
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