Baked Acorn Squash – a fuss-free healthy side dish that can be served on a normal day or a special occasion. It comes in both savory and sweet versions so you can choose one or make both! Truly one of the easiest and most versatile squash recipes you can prepare for the whole family!
Other than apples and pumpkins, one other staple during fall are acorn squash. They are abundant during the cold season and pretty much easy to prepare, except perhaps the cutting part. But the best part is that you can have a good supply of acorn squash, and all other kinds of winter squash, to last until the end of winter as it stores well in cool, dry places.
If that hasn’t convinced you yet, then just imagine all the main courses that go with this wholesome side and all the possibilities to jazz it up depending on your taste buds. This is the MOST VERSATILE healthy side dish you could prepare on your dining room table especially this coming holiday season!
What is an Acorn Squash?
There are quite a variety of squash, each having their own distinct flavor and shape. They are mainly categorized into summer squash (the likes of zucchini and crookneck squash) and winter squash (like the ever popular pumpkin and this smaller acorn squash). Acorn squash has a shape like its namesake and is green in color, sometimes, with patches of yellow or orange. It is a good source of Vitamins A and C, iron and riboflavin. And, just like other winter squash, it stores well during the cold months.
How to Cut Acorn Squash?
The only thing you need to be wary about when preparing acorn squashes is the cutting part. They tend to be on the denser side and can be very challenging to cut. To help you get through it:
- First thing you need to do is to lay the squash on a stable working surface.
- Then use a heavy chef’s knife (so it won’t get stuck that easily as you slice it through).
- But if you’re using a regular knife, might as well prepare a rubber mallet, just in case you need help to tap on the knife if it gets stuck.
- Slice the acorn squash in half lengthwise from tip to the stem. Then scoop out the seeds and stringy bits until smooth using a spoon or an ice cream scooper.
- Lastly, slice the acorn squash through the lines, if you want it thinner or season each half of the acorn squash (either sweet or savory as per recipe below) and pop into to the oven.
Do You Eat the Skin of an Acorn Squash?
Yes, I do eat squash skins, although I’ve seen others who peel it anyway. Just make sure that when you keep the skin, you rinse it well with running water before slicing to get rid of the wax. If you think it’s heavily coated in wax, then peel and discard the skin.
How Long to Bake Acorn Squash?
Bake the squash for about 40 minutes in a preheated 350 F oven while flipping halfway through the baking then brushing it with the remaining butter coating.
What Goes Well with Acorn Squash?
Depending on which version you use below, acorn squashes generally make a fantastic side to meat like the following below:
- Breaded Pork Chops
- Cajun Whole Roast Chicken
- Pulled Pork
- Pan Seared Oven Roasted Steak
- Blackened Spatchcock Chicken
- Pork Tenderloin Roast
Serve this baked acorn squash here either SWEET or SAVORY on a weekly rotation (I even love it for breakfast!) or as a lighter side during the holidays. I swear, these babies here can pretty much compete with all those holiday casseroles and stuffing. 😉
More Wholesome Side Dishes For You
How To Bake Acorn Squash
Preheat oven to 350℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside. Slice squash in half and scoop out the seeds.
Place squash flat side down on a cutting board and slice into 1-1.5 inch slices.
Arrange slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
Brush the top of each slice with half of the melted butter. Sprinkle with half of the brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper.
Bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until squash is caramelized and tender. Halfway through the baking time, flip the squash over and brush remaining butter, sugar, and remaining spices. Garnish roasted acorn squash with chopped, toasted pecans and fresh herbs, if desired. Remember, the skin is edible!
Baked Acorn Squash
- 2 medium acorn squash (approx. 1 pound each)
- 2 tablespoon (28 ml) olive oil
- ⅛ teaspoon salt (more to taste)
- Pepper to taste
- ½ teaspoon (0.62 g)cajun seasoning
- 2 medium acorn squash (approx. 1 pound each)
- 2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter , melted
- 2 tablespoons (25 g) brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon (0.5 g) freshly grated nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon (1 g) cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon cajun seasoning
- (0.5 g) Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside until ready to use.
- Slice squash in half and scoop out the seeds using a spoon or ice cream scooper. You might need to use your hands as well to get everything out. Place squash cut-side down on a cutting board and slice into 1 slices. They should resemble “C”s.
- Arrange slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the top of each slice with half of the melted butter and half of the brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper mixture.
- Bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until squash is caramelized and aromatic, flipping halfway through and seasoning with remaining butter and spices.
- Garnish baked acorn squash with pecans and for a bit of a sweeter taste, a sprinkle of brown sugar! Perfect as a side dish or I even like it for a healthy breakfast!
Tips & Notes:
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.