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.

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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 recipe 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 Cook Acorn Squash in the Oven

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 a quarter inch 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.