Learn how to cook acorn squash with this easy recipe! Roasted with olive oil, maple syrup, and herbs, it’s a simple, delicious fall or winter side dish.
This roasted acorn squash recipe is my favorite way to cook acorn squash. It couldn’t be simpler: just cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and bake it with olive oil, savory herbs, and a drizzle of maple syrup. After roasting, the squash is amazingly tender, with a subtly sweet, nutty flavor. Who says recipes have to be complicated in order to be delicious?!
This roasted squash is an easy side dish for fall weeknights, but it tastes so good that it would fit right in at Thanksgiving dinner too. Whether you’re learning how to cook acorn squash for the first time or just experimenting with a new preparation, I hope you love it as much as I do!
How to Cook Acorn Squash
This method for how to cook acorn squash is simple! Start by turning the oven to 425°F. While it preheats, cut the squash.
How to Cut Acorn Squash
One of the BEST things about this acorn squash recipe is that it doesn’t require any peeling!
Just rinse each squash with cool water, and pat it dry.
Place it on a cutting board, and use a sharp knife to slice it in half vertically from the stem to the pointed tip.
Squash too hard to cut?
Pierce it several times with a sharp knife.
Microwave it in 1-minute bursts, or roast it whole for about 10 minutes, until it’s soft enough to cut.
Then, use a spoon to remove the seeds and stringy flesh from each squash half.
How to Bake Acorn Squash
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the squash halves cut side up on the baking sheet. (Cut side down works too, but I prefer the slightly firmer texture that you get when you roast it cut side up.)
Drizzle each half with olive oil and maple syrup, and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Use your hands to rub in the seasonings. Then, sprinkle the squash with chopped fresh sage and rosemary.
Bake for 25 to 40 minutes, or until it’s tender and golden brown around the edges. The exact timing will depend on the size and freshness of your squash.
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
How to Serve Roasted Acorn Squash
This recipe is a delicious fall side dish. Pair it with a simply cooked protein for an easy weeknight dinner, or add it to your Thanksgiving table.
The simple roasted squash is wonderful as is, but if you’d like to dress it up more, feel free! Here are a few topping ideas to get you started:
Drizzle the roasted squash with apple cider vinegar dressing.
Top it with a pat of butter for extra richness.
Sprinkle it with grated Parmesan cheese.
Add more fresh herbs—thyme and parsley pair perfectly with roasted squash.
Dust the squash with warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.
Stuff it with whole grains like herbed farro or wild rice.
How do you like to serve this baked squash? Let me know in the comments!
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
More Winter Squash Recipes
Looking for more acorn squash recipes? Try my stuffed acorn squash or acorn squash soup!
You’ll love these other winter squash recipes too:
Roasted Acorn Squash
Prep Time: 10 minutesmins
Cook Time: 35 minutesmins
Total Time: 45 minutesmins
This roasted acorn squash recipe is a simple, delicious fall side dish! Maple syrup and fresh herbs fill it with sweet and savory flavor.
3acorn squash, halved vertically and seeded
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Maple syrup, for drizzling
Chopped fresh sage and/or rosemary
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Prevent your screen from going dark
Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the acorn squash halves on the baking sheet cut side up. Drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use your hands to coat the squash. Sprinkle the sage and/or rosemary into the center of the squash. Roast until the squash is tender and golden brown around the edges, 25 to 40 minutes depending on the size of your squash.
Season to taste and serve. Find additional serving suggestions in the blog post above.
For an easy variation, you can roast the squash in slices instead of halves. Use the same method to season them, but cut the squash halves into 1/2-inch half-moons. Roast them until tender, for 25 to 30 minutes. I like to use this method when I add acorn squash to fall salads like this one.
Learn how to cook honeynut squash! This newer winter squash variety has an adorable small size and sweet, creamy orange flesh. Try it this fall!
Have you tried honeynut squash?! This cute little winter squash has become one of my favorite vegetables to pick up at farmers markets in the fall. I have a soft spot for anything mini, and this squash’s petite size makes it hard for me to resist.
But that’s not the only reason I love it! Honeynut squash has sweet, creamy orange flesh and edible skin. Its small size makes it easy to prepare—you can simply slice it in half, scoop out the seeds, and roast it! No peeling or difficult chopping required.
I’m sharing my go-to method for how to cook honeynut squash below, plus a suggestion for how to serve it. I hope they inspire you to cook this delicious squash this fall.
What is honeynut squash?
Not familiar with honeynut squash? I don’t blame you.
Honeynut is a relatively new type of squash. Developed by Michael Mazourek, a researcher at the Vegetable Breeding Institute at Cornell University, it took off in popularity around 2016. A cross between a butternut squash and a buttercup squash, it looks like a mini butternut with green and orange skin that becomes fully orange when the squash is ripe.
It has dark orange flesh with a concentrated sweet flavor. I like to describe the taste as similar to butternut squash, but even sweeter and creamier. Yum, right?!
How to Cook Honeynut Squash
Roasting is my favorite method for how to cook honeynut squash. It’s so simple, and the squash becomes beautifully caramelized in the hot oven. You can find the complete recipe with measurements at the bottom of this post, but for now, here’s a quick overview of how I do it:
First, prepare the squash. Wash it and pat it dry. Like delicata squash, honeynut squash has thin, edible skin. There’s no need to peel it!
Slice each squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.
Next, make a quick dressing with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, pure maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. The maple and warm cinnamon will bring out the squash’s natural sweetness.
Then, season the squash. Place it on a baking sheet. Drizzle it with half the dressing and sprinkle it with fresh thyme leaves, salt, and pepper. Use your hands to rub the seasonings into the squash.
Finally, roast! Place the squash cut side down and transfer it to a 450°F oven. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tender and caramelized underneath.
That’s it! Season to taste and serve with more dressing drizzled on top.
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
The simple roasted squash is a wonderful side dish on its own. But for special occasions, I like to dress it up a bit more:
Spread a layer of whipped ricotta on a serving platter and arrange the roasted squash halves on top.
Drizzle them with more dressing and top with toasted walnuts, more thyme leaves, chopped fresh parsley, and red pepper flakes.
Tip:To make the squash even more flavorful, use a sharp knife to score the flesh with a cross-hatch pattern after it roasts. When you drizzle on more dressing, it’ll soak into the inside of the squash.
Where to Buy Honeynut Squash
Ready to try this tasty squash? You can find honeynut squash at farmers markets and some grocery stores from late September through December.
It’s still not as widely available as other types of squash like butternut and acorn, so you can’t get it at every store. Outside the farmers market, I’ve had the best luck finding it at Trader Joe’s!
More Favorite Squash Recipes
Honeynut squash isn’t the only delicious type of squash in season! Try one of these winter squash recipes next:
Roasted Honeynut Squash Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutesmins
Cook Time: 20 minutesmins
Total Time: 30 minutesmins
Love butternut squash? You might like honeynut squash even more! This mini winter squash variety has super sweet, creamy orange flesh. This easy roasted honeynut squash recipe is my favorite way to prepare it.
Prevent your screen from going dark
Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Use a large sharp knife to cut the squash in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, and several grinds of pepper.
Place the squash on the baking sheet. Drizzle with half the oil mixture and sprinkle with the thyme leaves and more salt and pepper. Use your hands to rub the seasonings all over the squash, then place cut side down on the baking sheet.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until very soft and caramelized underneath.
Spread a layer of the whipped ricotta on a serving platter and arrange the honeynut squash on top. Drizzle with the remaining oil mixture and top with the walnuts. Garnish with thyme, parsley, and red pepper flakes. Season to taste and serve.
Sources used: Johnny’s Selected Seeds and this article by David Nutt in the Cornell Chronicle
I get so many questions about how to cook spaghetti squash, so I thought I’d share my go-to method for roasting it, a few tips, and a couple of my favorite spaghetti squash recipes.
First things first: cut it in half lengthwise. Then, scoop out the seeds.
Next, drizzle the insides lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. I find that adding too much oil and too much salt at this stage makes the squash a bit watery, so a light drizzle and a light sprinkle will do.
Then, poke a few holes in the skin of the squash with a fork and place it cut side down on a baking sheet. Pop it in a pre-heated 400°F oven.
A mistake I used to make was roasting my squash too long. I used to roast it for an hour or longer, but now I roast it for 30 to 40 minutes. I initially thought the squash needed to be super soft and fork tender in order for the strands to “spaghetti,” but over the years I’ve learned that I prefer my strands to be more al dente (and less mushy), and that the 1 hour mark was too long. Of course, the timing will entirely depend on the size of your squash and the heat of your particular oven. It can also vary from squash to squash, so adjust your cooking time accordingly.
Once it’s roasted and cool enough to touch, use a fork to scrape the strands. I like to start from the outside and work my way in, fluffing them up as I go.
That’s it! Season it with more salt and pepper and serve it as a simple veggie side. Or incorporate it into your favorite spaghetti squash recipes. Here are two of mine (pictured below): Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas and Kale and Lemon Pesto Spaghetti Squash.
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash
1 spaghetti squash
extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and ribbing. Drizzle the inside of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place the spaghetti squash cut side down on the baking sheet and use a fork to poke holes. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned on the outside, fork tender, but still a litte bit firm. The time will vary depending on the size of your squash. I also find that the timing can vary from squash to squash.
Remove from the oven and flip the squash so that it’s cut side up. When cool to the touch, use a fork to scrape and fluff the strands from the sides of the squash.