How to Cook Acorn Squash to Perfection—the Easiest, Most Effective Way

Don't pass over this fuss-free golden gourd next time you're grocery shopping. 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, their peak season is October to March, but it's available year-round. Acorn squash is smaller, rounder, and greener than most other squash varieties found in the grocery store, but it serves just as much flavor and nutritional value.

This veggie's loaded with vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, so there are countless easy, healthy acorn squash recipes you can cook. It can be prepared in several delicious ways, too (find plenty of fun recipe options below), but our favorite 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 takes less than five minutes to prepare. Plus, once it's roasted, you can puree leftovers to make acorn squash soup, dice and toss it into salads, and more. Read on for how to prep and cook acorn squash.

Roasting 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, follow these steps:

  • Cut off 1/4 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 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, 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.
  • Once tender, scoop it out and mash or puree it—or serve and eat it as-is.
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