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Although pumpkin is the most celebrated squash of the fall season, acorn squash should not be overlooked! Sweet Baked Acorn Squash is easy to make and a beautiful, tasty addition to your fall and winter menus.
This 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!
My mom served 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 and needs very little from us to shine.
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, saute 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 to Cut Acorn Squash
It’s very easy to cook but slightly difficult to slice in half. You’ll need a sharp knife and big, strong man. If you don’t have a big, strong man, a sharp knife and a steady hand will do. Where are the big, strong men when we really need them? Watch the video at the end of this post to see how it’s done.
Carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise (stem to bottom) with a sturdy knife. Use a spoon to scrape out all the seeds and strings. 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.
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.
Cut each of the halves in half once more. After taking this photo, I realized one of my pieces was still on my cutting board. Forgive me. Two acorn squash will yield 8 pieces.
How to Roast Acorn Squash in the Oven
Turn the quartered squash over so the skin side is facing up and pour in about 1″ of water. Cover the dish with foil and pop it in a preheated 400 degree oven. Let it bake for about 30 minutes, or until you can pierce through the skin with 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 them over and season each piece with a bit of salt, melted butter, brown sugar, and just a dusting of cinnamon. Return the dish to the 450 degree oven and let it bake for an additional 15 minutes.
This one’s for you Mom …
Sweet Baked Acorn Squash
- 2 acorn squash
- 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 to 1/2 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 pieces cut side down (peel side up) in a large baking dish and add about 1" 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. Season each piece with a small amount of salt and drizzle with melted butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar and just a dusting of cinnamon. Return to oven and allow to roast, cut side up, uncovered, 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.
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