Cooking acorn squash isn’t difficult! Roast it in the oven until it’s caramelized and soft. Then fill your acorn squash halves with maple sage butter and toasted walnuts. Once you know how to cook acorn squash, I bet it will be your new favorite fall appetizer or side dish!
Cooking (AKA roasting) acorn squash in the oven is the best method. Your squash will come out soft and caramelized. While it’s still hot, add a pad of butter, a splash of maple syrup, baby sage leaves and toasted walnuts for the ultimate holiday side dish or appetizer! The butter intensifies the creaminess of the squash, the maple syrup complements that sweetness of the squash, the toasted walnuts add a flavorful crunch, and the sage adds that indescribable fall burst. Can’t find acorn squash? Try this similar Roasted Honeynut Squash recipe.
How to Cut Acorn Squash
There’s really no “trick” to cutting acorn squash! You’ll need to put some muscle into it and watch your fingers! Acorn squash skin is tough when uncooked.
Place your squash on a cutting board. It can be easier to wrap the base in a clean kitchen towel to keep it from wobbling around.
With a sharp knife, slice through the squash lengthwise. You may need to reposition your knife a few times to slice through the entire squash. Be patient, and be careful!
How to Roast Acorn Squash
Full instructions in the recipe card; this is just an outline!
- Roast walnuts.
Roast finely chopped walnuts for just 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- Prepare squash.
Cut squash in half lengthwise with a sharp knife. Scoop out the seeds. Add about ½ inch of water to a baking dish. Add squash halves, cut-side up.
- Roast squash.
Roast squash for 1 hour at 375 degrees.
Right out of the oven, add 1 tablespoon of butter, syrup and walnuts to each squash “bowl”. Sprinkle with baby sage leaves, salt and pepper.
Acorn Squash Toppings
You only need 4 ingredients to turn roasted acorn squash into something magical!
- Walnuts – I use finely chopped walnuts that you can typically get right in the grocery store. Roast them for a minute or two until fragrant.
- Maple syrup – real maple syrup plays off the sweetness of the squash, adding a complex yet delicate maple flavor.
- Butter – a pad of butter in the “bowl” of each squash half melts oh-so perfectly.
- Sage – young baby sage leaves
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Yes, the skin is edible! It also softens when roasted.
Yes! Keep the prepared squash (with all toppings except the sage) in the oven at 200 degrees for up to an hour, until you’re ready to serve it. You can also roast the squash and leave it unprepared, reheating it in a 375-degree oven until hot. Add toppings and serve.
I like to serve acorn squash as an appetizer or side dish, along with your Thanksgiving or other holiday spread! The squash goes really well with almost any dinner, even if it’s not the holidays! Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Parker House Rolls, and roasted acorn squash sounds like perfection.
Try my Roasted Honeynut Squash recipe. It’s very similar.
Unprepared roasted acorn squash lasts in the fridge for 5-7 days. Prepare (with butter, nuts, etc.) should be eaten same-day.
Reheat leftover squash in the microwave (covered) or in the oven (covered) at 375 degrees until hot.
Acorn squash is mild, sweet but not super sweet, and nutty. The texture is a bit more fibrous than butternut squash.
More Squash Recipes You’ll Love!
- Butternut Squash Ravioli with Hazelnut & Fried Sage Brown Butter
- Creamy Butternut Squash Soup
- Delicata Squash With Crispy Pancetta
- Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta with Bacon and Sage
- Baking dish
- 2 acorn squash
- ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup real maple syrup
- 4 tablespoons salted butter (1/2 stick)
- 1 handful young sage leaves the small baby leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375°F. On a piece of foil or baking sheet, roast finely chopped walnuts for just 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Set aside.
- Cut squash in half lengthwise with a sharp knife. Scoop out the seeds. Add about ½ inch of water to a baking dish (I use a 9×13” dish). Add squash halves, cut-side up.
- Roast squash for 1 hour at 375°F. Check on the squash at around 40 minutes. Lightly tent with foil if it is browning too quickly.
- Right out of the oven so the butter melts, add butter, syrup and walnuts (1 tablespoon of each per half) to squash “bowls”. Sprinkle with baby sage leaves, salt and pepper. Serve right away with a spoon.
- Keep the prepared squash (with all toppings except the sage) in the oven at 200 degrees for up to an hour, until you’re ready to serve it.