How to Cook Acorn Squash to Perfection
Next time you’re in the grocery store, don’t pass over this fuss-free golden gourd. Bring it home and make roasted acorn squash, instead.
Acorn squash is a delicious type of winter squash, alongside other gourds like pumpkin, butternut squash, and spaghetti squash. As with other fall favorites, peak season is October to March but it's available year-round. Acorn squash is smaller, rounder, and greener than most other squash varieties that you’ll find in the grocery store, but serves up just as much flavor and nutritional value.
Speaking of which, this veggie's loaded with vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, too, so there are countless easy, healthy acorn squash recipes you can make. It can be prepared in a number of delicious ways, too—find plenty of fun options below—but our favorite just might be the simplest: roasted (or baked) acorn squash. Cooking acorn squash on a sheet pan in the oven is an incredibly low-maintenance, comfort-food favorite that'll take less than five minutes to prepare. Plus, once it's been roasted, you can puree leftovers to make acorn squash soup, dice it and toss into salads, and more. Read on for how to prep and cook acorn squash.
How to Roast Acorn Squash
Thanks to their hard exterior and irregular shape, it can be difficult to figure out how to cut an acorn squash. But with the right knife it's no problem—we recommend using the sharpest one you own. To prepare roasted acorn squash, cut off ¼” from the top to remove the stem and then do the same to the bottom so that you have a steady base for slicing. Next, peel the squash; while the skin is totally edible, it is rather tough to chew or blend. Cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds from the core.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Lay both acorn squash halves down, cut side up, on a lined baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper. For additional flavor and a little sweetness, you can add 2 teaspoons brown sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon over the flesh of the squash. Cook for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a fork can pierce through the tender flesh. From here, you can scoop it out and mash it, puree it, or simply serve and eat it as-is.
Acorn Squash Recipes
There are a number of wonderful ways to prepare raw acorn squash— from stuffed to soup, baked or roasted, our favorite acorn squash recipes couldn’t be easier to make. For a basic roasted acorn squash recipe, look no further than maple acorn squash which cooks in 45 minutes and couldn't be easier. After you nail your baked acorn squash, add it to this roasted acorn squash salad. If you want it to be the star of supper, consider making a stuffed acorn squash recipe. Goat cheese and mushroom-stuffed acorn squash is a hearty vegetarian-friendly entrée; for your friends who can’t go without the meat, try our recipe for chorizo-stuffed acorn squash. Spinach and acorn squash ravioli is another dish that tastes indulgent but still packs in additional nutritional veggies for healthy meal that's totally stress-free.