Easy roasted acorn squash recipe is a delicious and simple Fall side dish. It’s made of acorn squash, and a sprinkling of spices.
- Acorn Squash
- Roasted Acorn Squash
- How to cook acorn squash:
- Can you eat acorn squash skin?
- How to cut an acorn squash:
- Two More Acorn Squash Recipes to Try:
- Easy Roasted Acorn Squash Recipe
- How to Cut Acorn Squash
- How to Roast Acorn Squash
- More Squash Recipes You’ll Love
- What is an Acorn Squash?
- How to Cut Acorn Squash?
- Do You Eat the Skin of an Acorn Squash?
- How Long to Bake Acorn Squash?
- What Goes Well with Acorn Squash?
- More Wholesome Side Dishes For You
- How To Bake Acorn Squash
- How do you make roasted acorn squash?
- Tips for roasted acorn squash
- How to prepare acorn squash
- Is the skin on an acorn squash edible?
- Is acorn squash healthy?
- How to Make Roasted Acorn Squash:
- How to Cut Acorn Squash:
- Healthy Stuffed Acorn Squash **VIDEO**
- WATCH THE VIDEO ☺
- Quinoa-Stuffed Healthy Acorn Squash Recipe
- HOW TO ROAST ACORN SQUASH
- HOW TO TELL IF AN ACORN SQUASH IS RIPE
- HOW TO CUT AN ACORN SQUASH
- ACORN SQUASH NUTRITION
- HOW TO COOK ACORN SQUASH
- CAN YOU EAT ACORN SQUASH SKIN?
- FREEZING ACORN SQUASH
- 3 MORE HEALTHY SQUASH RECIPES
- ROASTED ACORN SQUASH SOUP
- HOW TO COOK SPAGHETTI SQUASH
- BUTTERNUT SQUASH BISQUE
- How to Make Roasted Acorn Squash
This roasted acorn squash will for sure please everybody in your house and it will change the minds of those who don’t even like squash vegetables. Why am I so sure about that? Well, would you believe me if I tell you that I was never a squash fan? True, I used to say that I didn’t like acorn squash even though I’ve never EVER tried acorn squash in my life. I know sounds crazy, but growing up in Brazil I’ve never tried it because we don’t have acorn squash down there. And when I moved to Canada I was never curious to try it. I think it was easier to me to say “I don’t like it” and that’s all.
Roasted Acorn Squash
So, yesterday I went to my local grocery store and I decided to give it a try. OMG I’m so glad that I gave it a chance because I LOVED it. I swear to you. This Roasted Acorn Squash recipe is just amazing. It’s a bitsweet, tender, tasty, rich and delicious! And you won’t believe how easy it is to make roasted acorn squash. I just love all the flavours that you get from roasting acorn squash with spices like paprika, garlic powder and dried oregano. So yummy!
How to cook acorn squash:
It’s super easy to roast an acorn squash. And all what you need to do is:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare a baking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil id you prefer.
- Place the acorn squash on a cutting board and using a sharp knife, slice the acorn squash in half. Then, remove the seeds using a spoon.
- Lay the half acorn squash cut-side-down and slice into 1/4 inch slices parallel to the stem.
- Now it’s time to bake it by arranging the slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets, pouring olive oil over the top of the acorn squash and sprinkling with the spices you prefer (black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, coriander and so on.)
- Roast for 40-50 minutes, until the squash slices are fork-tender. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!
Can you eat acorn squash skin?
Oh yes, absolutely. After you roast it for at least 40 minutes, the skin becomes edible and delicious. It is healthy too. The acorn squash skin provides lots of phytonutrient benefits and fiber as well.
How to cut an acorn squash:
Cutting an acorn squash to cook can be a little hard and tricky because of the tough shell. So, follow the tips below to cut it easily and safely.
- Place the acorn squash on a cutting board and using a sharp knife, slice the squash in half. It will take some strength and force to cut it, but if you cut it slowly and straight down, you will get it.
- Once you slice the acorn squash in half, using a metal spoon, scoop out all of the seeds and membrane from each of the acorn squash halves.
- You can bake the acorn squash halves and stuff it with a delicious filling. Or you can lay the squash down, flat-side down, and slice into 1-2 inch slices for roasting.
- You don’t need to peel acorn squash before cutting or preparing it. Then, simply roast how I explained above or on the recipe box.
Two More Acorn Squash Recipes to Try:
- Taco Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Sausage and Kale Stuffed Acorn Squash
Easy Roasted Acorn Squash Recipe
Yield: 4 people Prep Time: 5 mins Cook Time: 40 mins Total Time: 45 mins Easy roasted acorn squash recipe is a delicious and simple Fall side dish. It’s made of acorn squash, and a sprinkling of spices. 3.34 from 63 votes
- 1 medium acorn squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Fresh parsley chopped for garnishing — optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Slice the acorn squash in half and remove the seeds using a spoon.
- Lay the half acorn squash cut-side-down on a cutting board and slice into 1/4 inch slices parallel to the stem.
- Arrange the slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets.
- Pour olive oil over the top of the acorn squash and sprinkle with all the spices listed on the ingredients section.
- Roast for 40-50 minutes, until the squash slices are fork-tender.
Course: Side Dish Cuisine: American Keyword: Acorn, gluten-free, paleo, Roasted Acorn, whole30 All text and images © Olivia Ribas / Primavera Kitchen.
Amount per serving (1/4) — Calories: 78, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 106mg, Potassium: 402mg, Carbohydrates: 10g, Fiber: 2g, Protein: 1g
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Here’s how to cook acorn squash. Cooking acorn squash is so easy, you’ll wonder why you haven’t experimented with this healthy powerhouse of flavor and nutrition!
With a little know-how and a few prep tips, acorn squash will be a regular on your menu rotation all through the summer and into fall! There are so many tasty squash recipes like Butternut Squash Soup, it’ll be hard to find a favorite!
A good acorn squash should look deep green in color on the outside and feel heavy in your hands. Avoid squash that are cracked, mushy or leaking. There should be a slightly sweet smell at the base.
How to Cut Acorn Squash
Place the acorn squash on its side on a kitchen towel over a sturdy work surface. The towel will help keep it from slipping away while it’s being cut. Using a sharp knife, position the blade between one of the ridges at the top and gently ease the knife through the thick part of the flesh until you reach the hollow center.
This may take some muscle, and don’t be afraid to reposition the knife as necessary. It’s okay to turn the squash over and cut from the top of the stem there as well.
Typically, the stem will remain with one of the halves. Once the squash has been fully cut through, pull apart the two halves and scoop out the stringy pulp and seeds (you can bake the seeds the same as Roasted Pumpkin Seeds)! Now you’re ready for baked squash!
How to Roast Acorn Squash
Here’s how to cook acorn squash so it comes out perfect every time. Roasted acorn squash is a vegetarian’s dream because the sweet, mild flavor complements so many other things like beans, nuts, and cheese. Stuffed acorn squash is often found on menus in vegan restaurants because it is easy to popular and easy to prepare as an entire entrée but it’s also amazing stuffed with ground beef. Roasted acorn squash is a cinch!
Just oil and season each half, and place, flesh side up on a greased sheet pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes at 400°F. Once fully cooked, the roasted squash can then be used as bowl or the flesh can be scooped out and served!
More Squash Recipes You’ll Love
- Roasted Butternut Squash
- Easy Baked Zucchini
- Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Chili – Perfect for cold weather
- How to Cook Spaghetti Squash In The Microwave
- Greek Spaghetti Squash – Fresh and easy!
- Baked Spaghetti Squash
- Crispy Zucchini Fries (oven baked) – Appetizer or snack!
Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 45 minutes Total Time 55 minutes Servings 4 servings Author Holly Nilsson Course How To, Lunch Cuisine American Here’s how to cook acorn squash. Cooking acorn squash is so easy, you’ll wonder why you haven’t experimented with this healthy powerhouse of flavor and nutrition!
- 2 acorn squash
- 4 tablespoons butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar optional
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- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Cut acorn squash in half. Using a large spoon, scoop out seeds and pulp and discard.
- Place squash in a shallow baking pan cut side up.
- Rub with butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper (and brown sugar if using).
Roast uncovered (flesh side up) for 40-50 minutes or until golden and tender.
For a sweeter version, sprinkle squash with brown sugar before roasting. Nutrition Information Calories: 209, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 30mg, Sodium: 108mg, Potassium: 747mg, Carbohydrates: 28g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Protein: 1g, Vitamin A: 1140%, Vitamin C: 23.7%, Calcium: 79%, Iron: 1.5%
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)
Keyword how to cook acorn squash, roasted acorn squash © SpendWithPennies.com. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Please view my photo use policy here.
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
- Sauteed Kale
- Sauteed Mushrooms
- Green Beans and Bacon
- Honey Glazed Carrots
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!
4 from 1 vote Baked Acorn Squash Prep Time 15 mins Cook Time 40 mins
Baked Acorn Squash – a fuss-free healthy side side dish that can be served on regular or special days. 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!
Course: Side Dish Cuisine: American Keyword: baked, sides, squash Servings: 4 halves Calories: 161 kcal Author: Imma Ingredients Savory Version
- 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!
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.
Nutrition Facts Baked Acorn Squash Amount Per Serving Calories 161 Calories from Fat 54 % Daily Value* Fat 6g9% Saturated Fat 4g25% Cholesterol 15mg5% Sodium 9mg0% Potassium 748mg21% Carbohydrates 29g10% Fiber 3g13% Sugar 6g7% Protein 2g4% Vitamin A 1027IU21% Vitamin C 24mg29% Calcium 76mg8% Iron 2mg11% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
This roasted acorn squash is cooked with brown sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon for a sweet and savory side that’s perfect for fall and winter meals. It pairs perfectly with a variety of proteins such as salmon, chicken, pork chops and steak.
I serve a roasted vegetable with almost every meal. Some of my family’s favorites include roasted butternut squash, roasted asparagus and this lightly sweetened acorn squash recipe.
When I’m looking for the perfect side dish for cooler weather months, I turn to winter squash. It’s healthy, flavorful, readily available and so easy to make. This roasted acorn squash is caramelized to perfection in the oven, and is sure to be a hit with your family.
How do you make roasted acorn squash?
For such a flavorful dish, roasted acorn squash is surprisingly easy to make. First, make a sauce that brings out the natural sweetness of the squash by mixing olive oil, brown sugar, maple syrup and seasonings in a bowl. Cut the acorn squash into slices taking care to remove all the seeds and fibers in the middle of the squash. Coat the squash slices in the sauce and they are ready to go into the oven for about 20 minutes. Once the slices are baked and tender, they are ready to serve.
Tips for roasted acorn squash
- In order to choose ripe acorn squash, look for squash that are dark green without a lot of yellow spots. The skin should be hard and should not be shiny. Riper squash will have a better flavor when roasted.
- If you want to avoid some cutting, you can roast and serve entire squash halves. Simply bump up the cooking time a few minutes and make sure to take the squash out of the oven when it is nice and tender.
- Be sure to coat the top and the bottom of the squash with your sauce. You can flip the squash midway through the baking process to maximize caramelization.
How to prepare acorn squash
- Give the acorn squash a quick wash in cold water.
- Cut off the top of the squash on the stem end. This will allow you to avoid trying to cut through the hard stem.
- Next cut the squash lengthwise from stem to end. This will allow easy access to the seeds and fiber.
- When halving the acorn squash, cut it down a furrow between two ridges. Feel free to move the knife around the squash instead of cutting straight through. You can rest the acorn squash on the cut top end for stability.
- The seeds and fiber can be removed with a spoon or a melon baller. A melon baller with a comfortable handle is particularly useful to cut the hard flesh of the uncooked acorn squash.
- After the seeds are removed, I like to cut the squash into horizontal slices perpendicular from the cut splitting the squash in half. Slicing an acorn squash this way gives more surface area to get caramelized and gives each slice decorative ridges.
Is the skin on an acorn squash edible?
Acorn squash skin is edible when cooked. If you plan to eat the skin, make sure to test that the skin is tender when you take the squash out of the oven. Make sure that you wash the skin of the squash well before cutting it if you plan to eat the skin.
Is acorn squash healthy?
Acorn squash is not only delicious, but it is healthy too. Acorn squash contains vitamins A, B6 and C. This squash also contains niacin, potassium and magnesium. Acorn squash is a low calorie food with an entire squash only having around 175 calories. Feel free to indulge in acorn squash, it is a guilt free veggie with a marvelous flavor!
This recipe is the perfect blend of sweet and savory, and happens to be my very favorite way to prepare acorn squash. Serve it at your next meal and watch the rave reviews come in!
More fabulous side dish recipes
- Grilled Zucchini with Garlic and Herbs
- Corn Pudding
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Honey Roasted Carrots
- Zucchini Gratin
- Squash Casserole
Pin 5 from 11 votes This roasted acorn squash is cooked with brown sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon for a sweet and savory side that’s perfect for fall and winter meals. It pairs perfectly with a variety of proteins such as salmon, chicken, pork chops and steak. Course Side Dish Cuisine American Keyword acorn squash recipe, roasted acorn squash Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 25 minutes Total Time 35 minutes Servings 4 Calories 205kcal Author Sara Welch
- 2 1/2 pounds acorn squash
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon or more to taste
- cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Halve the acorn squash lengthwise and remove the seeds. Cut the halves into 3/4 inch thick slices.
- Line a sheet pan with foil and coat with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl mix together the olive oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the olive oil mixture over the squash and toss to coat.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until acorn squash is tender and starting to brown. Serve immediately.
Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 1006mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 1040IU | Vitamin C: 31.2mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 2mg
October 8, 2018
This Roasted Acorn Squash is one of my favorite side dishes to make in the fall, and it’s one of the easiest acorn squash recipes you can make!
Squash is one of those ingredients where you don’t have to do much to it to make it taste good.
Because squash has a natural sweetness to it, I find roasting to be the best method, because it intensifies and caramelizes the sweetness and flavors in the squash.
When roasting acorn squash, I like to cut it into slices to maximize surface area for browning, then add a little maple butter to it, which enhances the flavors and gives it a sticky glazed exterior.
You can also roast it simply in slices with oil, salt, and spices like cinnamon or cloves, and end up with something delicious as well.
Cutting it into slices is really worthwhile, rather than just roasting the squash whole or in halves.
There are many varieties of squash, and each one is unique in its own way. The acorn variety has a flavor that’s more similar to a kabocha squash or traditional pumpkin, versus delicata or butternut. If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s time!
How to Make Roasted Acorn Squash:
Wash each acorn squash well, then trim the top and bottom off, and scoop out the inner seeds and strings:
I like using a melon baller to scrape out squash, because its edges are sharper than a regular spoon.
How to Cut Acorn Squash:
Lay the squash halves on its flat side, then cut into 1″ thick slices:
To make the maple butter, combine maple syrup, butter, cinnamon, cloves, and salt:
Microwave for 30-60 seconds until the butter is melted, then stir it together and brush onto the acorn squash slices:
If you don’t wish to do the maple butter, you can also make roasted acorn squash with the oil of your choice, such a coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, etc, and spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger.
There should be enough butter or oil to coat both sides of each squash slice:
Roast the acorn squash slices for 25 minutes on the first side, then flip them over and roast for another 15-20 minutes, until the acorn squash is soft and golden:
Can Acorn Squash skin be eaten? Yes, and I do eat the skins! Make sure the outside is washed well before baking.
The one caveat is if the outside is heavily coated in wax, sometimes I’ll skip the skin.
Simply peel the skin off before eating if you want to discard it. I find that easier than peeling before baking.
Butternut Squash Soup is another one of my favorite squash recipes for the fall.
More Squash Recipes:
- Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Focaccia
- Spaghetti Squash with Rosemary Olive Oil and Parmesan
- Butternut Squash Crostini
- Butternut Squash Pizza
Pin 4.84 from 18 votes This Maple Acorn Squash is one of my favorite side dishes to make in the fall, and is incredibly easy to make! Course Side Dish Cuisine American Keyword roasted acorn squash Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 40 minutes Total Time 50 minutes Servings 4 Calories 95kcal
- 2 acorn squash*
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter**
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Wash the squash well, then dry with a towel.
- Trim the top and bottom off each squash, then cut in half from top to bottom.
- Use a melon baller or spoon to remove the inner seeds and strings.
- Lay each acorn squash half on its flat side, and cut into 1-inch thick slices.
- Microwave together the maple syrup, butter, cinnamon, cloves, and salt for about 60 seconds, until the butter has melted. Stir well with a spoon.
- Place the acorn squash slices on a rimmed sheet pan in a single layer, then brush the maple butter onto both sides of the squash.
- Roast the squash for 25 minutes on the first side, then flip each slice over and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until caramelized and soft. Enjoy!
*The ones I use typically weigh 1.5 lbs each. **You may use other types of fat, such as coconut oil or olive oil. You may eat the skin of acorn squash. However, if you do not want to consume the skin, I find it easier to simply peel it off right before eating, rather than trying to peel the acorn squash before baking. Calories: 95kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 150mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g
Post updated in October 2018 with new photos, writing, and tips. Originally published in October 2012. This post contains an affiliate link.
Healthy Stuffed Acorn Squash **VIDEO**
Stuffing squash should be an easy win for the healthy crowd.
Acorn squash is beautiful, packed with fiber and vitamins, and easy to make. Check out my lighter roasted acorn squash or my roasted sugar pumpkin recipe if you are looking for a fast fix.
Right now, squash is one of the only foods that I can buy locally since the ground is frozen. Squash, potatoes…..not much else. People tend to only eat squash at Thanksgiving but that is silly! Winter squash is great all winter long.
We tend to stuff things with bread soaked in olive oil or butter, and sausage. Yikes! But stuffing can be healthy. All you have to do is choose to use ingredients that a flavorful on their own.
As you can see, I don’t have any bread or sausage in the ingredients for this stuffed squash. I used quinoa and cranberries and it tasted delicious. The key is getting the spices to complement the squash.
Anybody can make butter soaked bread taste good! Quinoa is another kind of challenge.
First, you roast the acorn squash which is incredibly easy. Acorn squash (unlike butternut) is easy to slice and clean. All you do is brush a little maple syrup on it. You don’t have to peel this squash – which is pretty much impossible anyway.
I always slice the rounded part of the squash so it sits up and doesn’t roll all over the place.
You make the stuffing while the acorn squash is roasting and it isn’t hard. I like eating this quinoa stuffing on its own. The recipe makes far more stuffing than you can put into the acorn squash and you will be glad! It is perfect to eat on a bed of spinach or on its own.
The earthiness of the quinoa pairs well with the sour, sweet cranberries. This is a great alternative to the wild rice stuffings which the low carb people are avoiding. This dish is very low in calories primarily because you aren’t using sausage or bread – but don’t tell anyone!
You can serve this with a little extra maple syrup to drizzle on top. I like to eat it warm or at room temperature.
WATCH THE VIDEO ☺
Quinoa-Stuffed Healthy Acorn Squash Recipe
Makes 8 servings
1 – 2lb acorn squash or 2 1lb acorn squash
1 tablespoon maple syrup
½ cup quinoa (uncooked)
1/3 cup chopped almonds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup dried cranberries
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Cut the squash in half down the center and clean out the seeds. Brush the inside of the squash with maple syrup and roast for 40 minutes or until tender.
While the squash is roasting, rinse quinoa in a fine meshed sieve. Heat quinoa and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until water is absorbed – about 10 minutes.
In a large saucepan, heat olive oil. Add onion and cook until softened (about 3 minutes). Add almonds to toast for about 2 minutes. Remover the pan from heat and add cook quinoa, onion, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, lemon juice, dried cranberries, and parsley. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.
When acorn squash is ready, stuff with quinoa mixture. Serve immediately or store separately for later consumption.
Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes
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Learn how to roast acorn squash for an easy Fall side dish. This simple and easy roasted acorn squash is sweet but without any refined sugars and made with just 3 ingredients.
I will forever be unable to separate this recipe from a moment in time about seven years ago when Dustin’s father, Rollie, had suddenly become very ill.
While I waited with Dustin and his family at his grandparents’ home in Arkansas to learn more about his condition, everyone sat around the living room and told stories of Rollie.
We all laughed and cried. And laughed some more. Rollie would have loved seeing everyone, but I know he would have been so annoyed that all this fuss was about him.
Though many aspects of our lives had been put on hold at that time, as we tried to adjust to Rollie’s sudden illness and hospitalization, one constant remained: We all needed to eat.
In an effort to help, I made this recipe for everyone one night.
At least I could share some good food with everyone during this hard time.
I first learned how to make roasted acorn squash from my mom, who would make roasted acorn squash often during the Fall by just roasting it with some brown sugar sprinkled over the top. I remember loving it as a kid.
Nowadays, I substitute brown sugar for coconut sugar to make the roasted acorn squash healthy.
So sweet. Literally and metaphorically.
Fun fact about acorn squash – acorn squash is a winter squash. However, it belongs to the same family as pumpkin and butternut squash – the summer squash family. It just needs a little more time in the sun. I like to enjoy it during Fall. Or during winter in the form of a delicious acorn squash soup. But more about that later. For now, let’s focus our attention on learning how to prepare acorn squash and how to roast acorn squash.
HOW TO ROAST ACORN SQUASH
You won’t believe how easy it is to make roasted acorn squash. I just love the sweetness you get from roasting acorn squash. I mean… it’s hard to go wrong with tossing some coconut sugar on it. It’s like acorn squash and candy had a baby. For realz.
Just follow these easy steps and you’ll be on your way to perfect roasted acorn squash goodness:
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper and set aside.
- Slice the acorn squash in half through the stem and remove the seeds.
- Lay flat, cut-side-down, and slice into 1 inch – 1 1/2 inch slices starting at the stem.
- Lay the acorn squash slices out evenly on the baking sheet.
- Sprinkle with the coconut sugar and sea salt (if you’d like).
- Roast. How long to bake acorn squash for? I’d say 40-50 minutes or until the squash is tender and a fork pierces the flesh easily.
Poof: You just learned how to roast acorn squash. Congratulations!
HOW TO TELL IF AN ACORN SQUASH IS RIPE
So… that’s it?
Nope! Of course not. Teaching you how to roast acorn squash was on my list but so is making sure your baked acorn squash is perfect and delicious. So teaching you how to bake acorn squash was just the first step of the process.
Next step, how to tell if acorn squash is ripe.
Luckily, there are some very easy ways to tell if an acorn squash is at it’s best when you’re at the grocery store.
- Choose an acorn squash that is heavy for its size
- Look for smooth, dull skin and no soft spots
- The acorn squash should have a good balance between green and orange coloring (too much orange means the flesh will be stringy due to being over-ripe and too much green means it hasn’t fully matured)
- If possible, try to avoid any acorn squash that has shiny skin since that likely means it was picked before it was mature.
HOW TO CUT AN ACORN SQUASH
The 3rd step involves learning how to cut acorn squash.
Cutting through and opening up an acorn squash is a little tricky if you’ve never tried it before. I can still remember watching my mom hit the end of her chef knife with a mallet over and over again trying to pry it through the hard exterior of the acorn squash. Here are some tips to make it as easy as possible for you:
- Use a sharp, sturdy knife to cut acorn squash. Pick one of the valleys in between the ridges on the outside of the squash, which go from the top to the bottom of the squash. Making this first cut will take some strength and force. Reposition your knife and use that initial cut as your entry point for slicing all the way through.
- Make the first cut on one side of the stem, cutting straight down until you feel the knife break through the exterior and into the hollow center. If you’re nervous about your hand slipping, you can try using a towel.
- Continue cutting the squash around the tip, repositioning the knife along the way if it feels like your knife is stuck. Remember to keep your fingers tucked in and out of the way of the knife.
- Once you’ve cut all the way around the squash and are back at the stem, pick up the acorn squash and pull it apart with your hands, not with the knife. Don’t worry about cutting off the stem – it can be roasted with it on. Scrape out the seeds using a spoon.
- If you’re not filling your acorn squash with some sort of stuffing, lay the squash down, flat-side down, and slice into 1-2 inch slices for roasting.
ACORN SQUASH NUTRITION
Before moving to the next step, let’s take a short break and talk about acorn squash nutrition, shall we? You know I gotta add in why it’s so nutritious for ya!
Raw Acorn Squash Nutrition Facts (1/2 cup)
- 40 calories
- Total Fat 0.1 g
- Sodium 3 mg
- Potassium 347 mg
- Carbs 10 g
- Fiber 1.5 g
- Protein 0.8 g
- Vitamins – vitamin A, Vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin D
- Minerals – calcium, iron, and magnesium.
This was me trying to tell you that this is a healthy acorn squash recipe. In case you were wondering.
HOW TO COOK ACORN SQUASH
Back to our steps now. We’re at step no. 4, which means learning how to cook acorn squash.
You can, of course, use my recipe to make a perfectly roasted acorn squash. But the acorn squash possibilities are endless so I have to discuss what to do with acorn squash besides roasting it.
Let’s start with the basics, meaning different cooking acorn squash techniques.
- Savory baked acorn squash – similar to my roasted acorn squash recipe. But instead of coconut sugar or raw honey, you use a savory rub made with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Microwaved acorn squash – the lazy version for roasting acorn squash. All you have to do for getting your acorn squash ready for the microwave is to cut it in half and place it side down on a dish. Microwave for approximately 10 minutes. Turn the acorn squash side up. Fill the center with coconut sugar and raw honey, cover the top and microwave for another 2 or 3 minutes.
- Whipped acorn squash or boiled acorn squash – Put the acorn squash cut into cubes into a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for another 15 minutes. Drain, place the acorn squash on a cutting board and remove the skin. Return to the pot and add coconut sugar and your favorite spices (nutmeg is a good idea). Mash the acorn squash with a fork until smooth.
What else to do with acorn squash? Let’s see. You can:
- Roast it and add it to a salad;
- Make acorn squash puree and add it to oatmeal;
- Use it in a pie. You can use a pumpkin pie recipe and substitute pumpkin for acorn squash.
CAN YOU EAT ACORN SQUASH SKIN?
The 5th step is how to eat acorn squash but I don’t have too many things to say about that. You cook it and you eat it. Pretty straightforward I’d say. Instead, I’ll let you know if you can eat acorn squash skin.
If you’re wondering if you can eat acorn squash skin, the answer is yes, you sure can! In fact, it’s a delicious part of the squash. The trick is that you need to roast it until it’s tender or it will be too tough to eat. However, once roasted and tender, acorn squash skin is totally edible and yummy so no need to peel!
FREEZING ACORN SQUASH
Last step then we’re going to discuss other squash recipes (acorn squash recipes included!), ok? Time for learning how to freeze acorn squash.
- Remove the acorn squash skin;
- Cut the acorn squash in half;
- Remove all the seeds and pulp;
- Cut the acorn squash into small cubes.
- Arrange the cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Place into the freezer until the acorn squash cubes are completely frozen.
- Transfer the cubes to a Ziploc bag or a freezer-safe container.
Acorn squash can be stored in the freezer for up to 10 months!
3 MORE HEALTHY SQUASH RECIPES
After this healthy acorn squash recipe, I’m pretty sure you want more acorn squash recipes or squash recipes. And I have them! Squash recipes are the best. Especially during Fall and Winter when amazing flavors and comforting food is all you can think of – ok, maybe that’s just me but you get the idea.
ROASTED ACORN SQUASH SOUP
Another simple and healthy acorn squash recipe I want to share with you is this Roasted Acorn Squash Soup recipe.
This amazingly easy and delicious Roasted Acorn Squash Soup is another great way to enjoy those tasty acorn squashes this Fall! Get the recipe.
HOW TO COOK SPAGHETTI SQUASH
Spaghetti Squash is amongst my favorite squash recipes. Learn How to Cook Spaghetti Squash and enjoy all our favorite pasta dishes once again.
Spaghetti squash is a low carb, gluten-free, and, most importantly, tasty pasta substitute you can prep in just 5 minutes. Get the recipe.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH BISQUE
Last on this list of squash recipes is this Butternut Squash Bisque. Easy and delicious. Plus paleo-friendly, gluten-free, and easy to convert to vegan.
This soup gives you amazing Fall and Winter flavors + comfort + an amazing cozy dinner. Amazeballs! Get the recipe.
How to Make Roasted Acorn Squash
5 from 3 votes How To Roast Acorn Squash Prep Time 10 mins Cook Time 50 mins Total Time 1 hr
Learn how to roast acorn squash for an easy Fall side dish. This simple and easy roasted acorn squash is sweet but without any refined sugars and made with just 2 ingredients.
Categories: Clean, Fall, gluten free, Healthy Difficulty: Easy Keyword: acorn squash recipe, How To Roast Acorn Squash, roasted acorn squash Servings: 10 slices Calories: 21 kcal Author: Lacey Baier Ingredients
- 1 medium acorn squash
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 tsp sea salt, optional
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper and set aside.
- Slice the acorn squash in half through the stem and remove the seeds.
Lay the flat, cut-side-down on a cutting board, and slice into 1 inch – 1 1/2 inch slices, starting at the stem.
- Lay the acorn squash slices out evenly on the prepared baking sheet.
Sprinkle with the coconut sugar and (optional) sea salt.
Roast for 40-50 minutes, until the squash is tender and a fork pierces the flesh easily. (Remember, you can eat the skin!)
Nutrition Facts How To Roast Acorn Squash Amount Per Serving (1 slice) Calories 21 % Daily Value* Sodium 66mg3% Potassium 66mg2% Carbohydrates 5g2% Sugar 2g2% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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In an attempt to return to healthy and seasonal eating, M decided to roast an acorn squash today. His recipe:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Slice up one acorn squash into steak fry-ish pieces. (Skin is thick and tough to get through).
(See my before and after photos.)
3. Toss in in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and herbs to taste: ground coriander, ground cumin, salt, and pepper.
4. Lay slices out on a cookie sheet.
5. Bake for 15 minutes on one side, flip, and bake for 15 minutes on the other side (longer if you want them crispy on the outside and mushy on the inside).
6. Plate and serve.
(Side note, we wish we had used more spices…maybe more pepper or chili powder?)
Some info about the acorn squash via wikipedia (condensed), because I went into this knowing nothing about them, and then my review of it:
Acorn squash (Cucurbita pepo), also called pepper squash or Des Moines squash, is a winter squash with distinctive longitudinal ridges and sweet, yellow-orange flesh. The most common is dark green, often with a single splotch of orange on the side or top. However, newer varieties have arisen, including Golden Acorn, named for its glowing yellow colour, as well as varieties that are white. Acorn squashes can also be variegated (multi-colored). Its shape resembles that of an acorn. It typically weighs one to two pounds and can be between four and seven inches long. Acorn squash is good and hardy to save throughout the winter in storage, keeping several months in a cool dry location such as a cold cellar. Acorn squash is very easily grown, and as with other squash varieties, it produces yellow trumpet flowers which are also edible. The stem has a prickly feel. Tops (about three inches) from the end are also edible. They are one of the common vegetable (as greens) in the Philippines. Indigenous to North and Central America, the squash was introduced to early European settlers by Native Americans.
Acorn squash is most commonly baked, but can also be microwaved, sauteed or steamed. It may be stuffed with rice, meat or vegetable mixtures. The seeds of the squash are also eaten, usually after being toasted. This squash is not as rich in beta-carotene as other winter squashes, but is a good source of dietary fiber and potassium, as well as smaller amounts of vitamins C and B, magnesium, and manganese.
Overall, I really enjoyed roasted acorn squash (we both did!). Some pieces were crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside with a texture that was like a mashed potato or a banana. Some were a bit mushier but still delicious. The roasting process really thins the skin and makes it way more edible. It is the place to find all the good stuff (vitamins, minerals, etc.). We both agreed, “More Spices Next Time!” Very delicious!
Roasted Acorn Squash Author: Cast Iron & Wine Ingredients
- Acorn Squash
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Slice up one acorn squash into steak fry-ish pieces. (Skin is thick and tough to get through; See my before and after photos.).
- Toss in in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and herbs to taste: ground coriander, ground cumin, salt, and pepper.
- Lay slices out on a cookie sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes on one side, flip, and bake for 15 minutes on the other side (longer if you want them crispy on the outside and mushy on the inside).
- Plate and serve.