Roasted Acorn Squash
Published Nov 16, 2020, Updated Feb 20, 2023
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This savory roasted acorn squash is seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic and fresh thyme and roasted to perfection. It makes a lovely side for just about any main dish.
I’ve never met a squash I didn’t like and lately I’ve been on a roll with all the winter squash recipes. There are just so many different varieties and ways to prepare squash… it’s been fun to experiment. My latest winter squash adventure was with acorn squash.
Acorn squash is often served as a sweet dish, usually steamed in the oven with butter, cinnamon and some sort of sugar. I love it like this for acorn squash yogurt bowls, but my favorite way to enjoy acorn squash is by slicing it and roasting it up with savory seasonings. With roasting, the texture of the squash feels a bit more dense (less stringy), the squash is more flavorful and the skin gets nice and soft.
Can You Eat the Skin?
Yes, you can technically eat the skin of acorn squash. It tends to get pretty soft and is quite easy to eat once roasted. That said, I personally find the skin of acorn squash to be thicker and less enjoyable to eat than the skin of delicata squash or kabocha squash so I tend to take it off. The good news is that even if you don’t want to eat the skin, there’s no need to peel the squash before cooking because it easily peels right off after roasting. And to be honest, peeling an acorn squash before cooking is no easy feet because of the ridges. That said, it’s totally possible to peel an acorn squash before cooking if you have the patience. If you know you want to peel it, you can always look for an acorn squash that doesn’t have deep ridges to make it easier.
Best Way to Cook Acorn Squash?
As with most squashes, there are a variety of ways to cook acorn squash! You can steam it, bake it, roast it and even grill it! Depending on how you’re using it, each option can be good! I personally think it tastes best roasted so that’s the recipe I’m sharing here!
Roasted Acorn Squash Ingredients
- acorn squash
- olive or avocado oil
- sea salt
- garlic granules (or powder)
- fresh thyme (or other fresh herbs)
- crushed red pepper for topping (optional)
How to Make Roasted Acorn Squash
Prep the squash – wash and dry your acorn squash. Cut the squash in half from top to bottom, just beside the stem. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and stringy innards from both halves. Cut off the tough stems (from the top and bottom of the squash), peel the squash if desired and then cut into 1″ thick slices.
Season – Place the acorn squash in a large bowl. Add the oil, salt, pepper, garlic and thyme. Toss to coat the squash.
Bake – Arrange squash on a rimmed sheet pan, making sure the squash isn’t overlapping. Roast at 400ºF for 40 minutes. Flip each slice over around the 20 minute mark, then bake for an additional 20 minutes or until the squash is soft and golden. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper, flaked sea salt and more fresh thyme before serving if desired.
One of my favorite things about squash is that you can take the flavor any direction you want! It’s naturally sweeter so pairs well with sweet options but also pairs well with savory and spicy seasonings. Here are some different variations to try out!
- Maple roasted – Season squash with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
- Other sweet options – Coat squash with coconut oil and then sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of coconut sugar or brown sugar. Yum!
- Spicy roasted – Season squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. After baking, add a squeeze of lime juice for an extra kick!
Roasted Veggies You’ll Love:
- Roasted Root Vegetables
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Roasted Delicata Squash
- Roasted Summer Squash and Zucchini
- Healthy Roasted Broccoli
- Roasted Asparagus
- Roasted Cabbage
More Squash Recipes to Try:
- How to Cook Spaghetti Squash
- Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust
- Baked Butternut Squash Fries
- Acorn Squash Yogurt Bowls
- Kale Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash
Roasted Acorn Squash
- 1 medium acorn squash
- 1 Tablespoon olive or avocado oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules, or garlic powder
- 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme
- crushed red pepper for topping, optional
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Wash and dry the acorn squash. Cut the squash in half from top to bottom, just beside the stem. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and stringy innards from both halves.
- Cut off the tough stems (from the top and bottom of the squash) and then cut the squash into 1″ thick slices.
- Place the acorn squash in a large bowl. Add oil, salt, pepper, garlic and thyme. Toss to coat squash.
- Transfer squash to a rimmed sheet pan, making sure the squash isn’t overlapping.
- Roast for 20 minutes, flip each slice over and bake for another 20 minutes, or until squash is soft and golden. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt, crushed red pepper and more fresh thyme before serving, if desired. Serve warm.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.