Classic baked acorn squash with butter and brown sugar is so easy to make and a beautiful, tasty addition to your menu. Although pumpkin is the most celebrated squash of the fall season, this Sweet Baked Acorn Squash should not be overlooked!
More cool season squash recipes to try include my Roasted Delicata Squash Salad and Sweet Spiced Roasted Butternut Squash.
This simple baked acorn squash recipe has been in draft form waiting to be published from nearly the start of this blog. Each year when the fall season comes around, I have a tendency to jump right to the pumpkin and turkey, but I will not miss my chance to share one of my favorite, classic fall season recipes this year!
Sweet Baked Acorn Squash is a timeless recipe loaded with nostalgic flavor that is spot-on perfect for a cool fall or winter night.
Table of contents
Classic Baked Acorn Squash Recipe
My mom served this acorn squash frequently when I was growing up so it’s a very familiar, comforting dish for me. It’s sweet and flavorful in its natural form but when you roast it until tender with a little butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, it becomes the most comforting vegetable side dish is existence.
What is Acorn Squash?
It may just be the prettiest member of the squash family. Pretty enough, in fact, to include it with your other fall decorations. The bonus is that you can also bake it, roast it, sauté it, stuff it, and EAT it. And, it is delicious! Don’t let its good looks fool you. Slice that sucker open and do something with it!
Technically, acorn squash is a winter squash but it’s harvested and available in stores and produce markets in the fall.
How Do You Soften Acorn Squash Before Cutting?
Microwave whole acorn squash for one to two minutes to make it a bit easier to cut. Don’t set the microwave for more than two minutes or the interior of the squash will begin to cook and change texture.
How Do You Cut Acorn Squash?
- Lay the acorn squash on it’s side on a cutting board and carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise (stem end to bottom) with a sturdy knife. Press the tip of the knife down into the squash and then continue to cut through to create two halves. Use a spoon to scrape out all the seeds and stringy bits.
- For this recipe, you’ll want to quarter the squash so after you scoop out the halves, slice them in half to create a total of four pieces.
The seeds are absolutely delicious roasted, just like pumpkin seeds! Hang on to those seeds and give my recipe for Roasted Acorn Squash Seeds a try.
Watch the video in the recipe card to watch how to cut and bake acorn squash from start to finish.
How to Bake Acorn Squash in the Oven
- Turn the quartered acorn squash over so the skin side is facing up and pour in about 1-inch of water. Cover the dish with foil.
- Baked the squash in a preheated 400 degree F oven for about 30 minutes.
Remove the acorn squash from the oven when you can pierce through the skin with the tip of a sharp knife without much effort.
- Remove the dish from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees.
- Pour off most of the water. It’s fine if a little stays in the pan.
- Flip the pieces of acorn squash over, flesh side up, and season each piece with a bit of salt, melted butter, brown sugar, and just a dusting of cinnamon.
- Return the dish to the oven and let it bake for an additional 15 minutes.
If you’d like a more caramelized surface, set your oven broil for a minute or two at the end of the cooking time.
What to Serve with Acorn Squash
This Sweet Baked Acorn Squash is the perfect side dish for roasted meats like pork, chicken, beef, or turkey. It’s just as at home on a simple weekday menu as it is on a more elegant menu for the holidays. Here are some great choices.
- Pork Loin Roast with Gravy
- Apple Cider Chicken
- Herb Roasted Turkey
- Balsamic Pork Tenderloin
- Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Port Wine Gravy
This one’s for you Mom.
More Fall Vegetable Recipes to Try
- Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes
- Honey Roasted Carrots and Brussels Sprouts
- Creamy Cauliflower Gratin
- Maple Brown Butter Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Sign up for my free newsletter for all the latest recipes and join me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for more cooking inspiration!
Sweet Baked Acorn Squash
- 2 acorn squash
- ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Thoroughly wash the squash and use a sturdy, sharp knife to cut them in half, lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and strings. Cut each piece in half again.
- Place the quartered squash cut side down (peel side up) in a large baking dish and add about 1-inch of water. Cover with foil and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the squash pierces easily with a sharp knife.
- Remove from oven and increase oven temperature to 450 degrees F. Drain off most of the water from the baking pan, leaving just a small amount. Flip the pieces of squash over, flesh side up. Season each piece with a small amount of salt and drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle with brown sugar and just a dusting of cinnamon. Return to the oven, uncovered, and allow to roast for an additional 15 minutes.
- If you'd like a more caramelized surface, set your oven BROIL for a minute or two at the end of the cooking time. Watch closely so it does not burn.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.
Questions and Reviews
I wrapped these in foil and finished cooking on a charcoal BBQ. EXcellent
It looks great to try, but I can’t seem to copy it?!
Scroll down to the recipe card and click the “Print” button to print the recipe.
My mom would make hers with butter cinnamon and maple syrup. Sometimes she would substitute pumpkin pie spice. But she never put water in her roasting pan why do you
To add moisture and prevent the squash from sticking to the pan.
My favorite squash. My Mom would make meat balls and would fill the cut in half squash with a meat ball. Oh my, how I loved this meal. After removing meatball, just add butter and some salt and dig away. I can smell them cooking right now
Can you eat the skin
While the skin is edible, I wouldn’t eat it. I think it is a matter of preference but it can tend to be a bit tough and chewy.
I love this recipe so much. There isn’t a lot as comforting as baked squash in season!
I love squash season. This so simple but delicious!
Great way to make acorn squash- delicious!
They are gorgeous and absolutely delicious! Thank you so much for sharing!