There's no need to skip over squash at the grocery store just because you’re short on time. Here’s how to cook an acorn squash in the microwave (it only takes 10 minutes).

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Acorn squash is a starchy vegetable characterized by its round, ridged shape and green-and-gold skin. Though it's a fall favorite, acorn squash is available year-round and makes a delicious base for soups, salads, and side dishes galore.

But due to its hefty weight and hearty texture, acorn squash can take quite some time to roast (find complete instructions for cooking acorn squash in the oven here). If you're in the mood for stuffed squash but have to get dinner on the table in less than an hour, we strongly recommend you consider utilizing your microwave.

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Not just for reheating leftovers or popping popcorn, your microwave is actually a super efficient way to cook vegetables quickly. Acorn squash made in the microwave takes about a fifth of the time it would take in the oven (not including the oven's preheat period, which is a non-issue when using a microwave) and comes out perfectly tender. So if you're big on acorn squash but short on time, read on for how to zap it to perfection.

How To Microwave an Acorn Squash

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Wash the Squash

Thoroughly rinse your squash under running water with a produce brush, then pat dry with a towel.

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Cut It in Half

Cut the squash in half and use a spoon to scoop out and discard the seeds.

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Heat in the Microwave

Lay both halves cut-side down on a microwave safe dish. Cover and heat on 10 to 12 minutes on high.

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Pierce with a Fork To Test For Doneness

You're done cooking your acorn squash when a fork can pierce through the tender flesh and the insides are softened and fully cooked. Exact cook times will vary depending upon the size of your squash.

Now that the pulp of your squash is ready, you can add a shmear of butter and brown sugar and eat as is, or serve with pasta, stuff it with cheese, or scoop it out of the skins and puree it for soups or baby food. If you're wondering, "where was this recipe when I was in college?" you're not alone.