How to Cook Acorn Squash
I’d like to introduce you to my sweet little friend the acorn squash. I know you’ve seen it in the grocery store produce section in a pile next to the other gourds each fall. You’ve probably tried its cousin the butternut squash – at least in a butternut squash soup recipe. I bet you’ve often skipped right over poor little acorn squash. Maybe you’re not sure how to cook acorn squash or maybe you don’t know if you’ll like the taste.
Fortunately, cooking acorn squash is simple and the taste is delicious – similar to butternut squash and pumpkin, but sweeter and a little nutty.
So, don’t be fooled by it tough exterior – acorn squash isn’t hard to prepare. Let’s talk more about it, but first be sure to pin this article for later so you’ll have it when you’re ready to cook your acorn squash.
How to Choose an Acorn Squash
- Look for an acorn squash that has some orange coloring but not too much.
- Too much orange indicates over-ripeness which can lead to stringiness.
- Pick an acorn squash with dull skin instead of shiny skin.
- Shiny skin means the squash was picked before it ripened.
- Choose an acorn squash that feels heavy for its size.
How to Cut an Acorn Squash
- Rinse and dry the acorn squash.
- Place it flattest side down on a cutting board.
- Slice it in half from top to bottom carefully with a chef’s knife.
- Don’t try to cut through the stem. Simply cut to one side of the stem instead.
- Scoop out the seeds (save them for later to roast if you want).
- If your recipe calls for acorn squash rounds or wedges continue to slice the squash carefully into the desired shape and size.
- If your recipe calls for diced or cubed acorn squash peel each half with a quality potato peeler and chop into dices or cubes.
How to Cook an Acorn Squash
Always follow the recipe instructions for cooking an acorn squash, of course. However, if you’re going off recipe or creating your own recipe here are some general instructions for how to cook an acorn squash.
How To Cook Acorn Squash Halves
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Drizzle the flesh side of each half with melted butter, maple syrup, and real salt.
- Place flesh side down on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat.
- Bake for about 40 minutes. Cooking times will vary based on the size of the squash. You want it to be soft and fork tender.
How to Cook Acorn Squash Rounds or Wedges
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Drizzle the flesh (both sides for rounds) with melted butter, maple syrup, and real salt.
- Place the sliced squash on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat. (Flesh side up for wedges.)
- Bake for about 30-40 minutes. Cooking times will vary based on the size of the squash. You want it to be soft and fork tender.
How to Cook Chopped Acorn Squash
You can cook cubed or diced acorn squash by boiling it, but I don’t recommend it. Why boil out all those amazing nutrients when roasting the chopped acorn squash makes it more flavorful and is so simple?
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Follow the instructions above to cut, peel, and chop the acorn squash.
- Place the cubes or dices in a bowl and drizzle with melted butter, maple syrup, and real salt.
- Toss (or stir with a wooden spoon) the squash until each piece is coated.
- Place squash in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat.
- Cook for 25-30 minutes. Cooking times will vary based on the size of the chopped acorn squash. You want it to be soft and fork tender.
Fifteen Delicious Acorn Squash Recipes
If you want more than a simple butter, maple, salt roasted acorn squash check out these delicious acorn squash recipes.
Quinoa-Stuffed Roasted Acorn Squash
This is my very own acorn squash recipe. We don’t eat many vegetarian meals, but this is one of our favorites.
Maple Roasted Acorn Squash Rings
Beef Enchilada Stuffed Acorn Squash
I bet your family loves enchiladas. Why not jazz things up a bit this fall with a hearty beef enchilada stuffed squash recipe?
Acorn Squash and Sweet Potato Soup
This creamy soup makes a cozy dinner that everyone will love. Snuggle up with your favorite folks and a good movie on a cool fall night while you sip this lovely soup.
Arizona Chicken in Acorn Squash
Feelin’ spicy? Try this delicious fall twist on Arizona chicken.
Acorn Squash Egg in a Hole with Sage Brown Butter
Breakfast for dinner, anyone? This gluten-free acorn squash recipe puts a unique spin on traditional egg-in-a-hole.
Roasted Garlic Parmesan Acorn Squash
When you want Italian flavors but are out of ideas pull this recipe out of your back pocket. Roasted garlic and parmesan combine with sweet acorn squash to create a dish to please.
Acorn Squash and Butternut Squash Gratin
You had me at Gruyere – it’s one of my favorite cheeses. Oh, who am I kidding? They’re all my favorite.
Wild Rice and Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash
Here’s another acorn squash recipe that makes a great weeknight dinner or a lovely Thanksgiving side dish.
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Ground Turkey
Have you run out of ideas for that old standby ground turkey? Here’s a fall fresh ground turkey recipe that will be a nice break from the usual.
Creamy Parmesan Baked Acorn Squash
Heavy cream, thyme, and parmesan cheese make this simple acorn squash recipe one to remember. The ingredients are few but the flavor is outstanding.
Savory Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Acorn Squash
Garlic and rosemary make a great pair in most recipes. This savory acorn squash recipe is no exception.
Acorn Squash Soup with Turmeric
Try this delicious soup and reap the health benefits from its ingredients. Turmeric deserves a place in everyone’s diet and this acorn squash recipe is an excellent way to get it in.
Acorn Squash Mashed Potatoes
If you’re avoiding potatoes for a time try this lovely mashed alternative. So much flavor with a texture you’ll love.
Caramelized Onion, Apple, and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash
If this recipe doesn’t scream Thanksgiving bliss, I don’t know what does. Here’s an idea – try it out on your family a few weeks before Thanksgiving so you’ll get it perfect for your guests. Oh, and your family will love this hearty acorn squash recipe as a weeknight dinner.
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