This simple roasted acorn squash caramelizes beautifully in the oven and comes out “Oh my God” good. Roasted acorn squash tastes extraordinary when it’s hot out of the oven. Keep reading, I’ll show you a simple way to roast your farm-fresh, organic acorn squash!
We are well into the winter squash season in the United States. It’s a great time of year to visit a farmers market, while you still can, and pick up a few!
I consistently find the produce that I buy direct from small farms to be much more flavorful than what I’ve found at the grocery store.
Acorn squash grown in nutrient-rich soil, without the use of pesticides and cut from the vine when it’s ripe – nothing beats it.
Whole acorn squash will keep for a month or two if you store them in a cool dark place in your house. They’re a good vegetable to stock up on before the farmers markets in the northern states close for the winter.
This week I’m walking you through a simple roasted acorn squash recipe. I have a roasted butternut squash recipe that you can try as well.
I say this is a simple recipe because the squash is seasoned with just butter and salt. Aside from cutting it (and acorn squash is a tricky one to cut!), this roasted squash is easy to make and incredibly delicious!
When you roast acorn squash at a high temperature the natural sugars caramelize, the edges turn a delicious golden-maroon and the flavor is “Oh my God” good.
How to Roast Acorn Squash
1. Cut the squash and remove the seeds
Start with a 2 to 2.5 pound organic acorn squash from the farmers market.
Slice the squash cleanly through the center, vertically, and separate the two halves.
Sometimes there’s a tendency to get into a robotic mode when cooking, but this is a moment to savor. If you have a good-quality acorn squash there will be a wonderful aroma when you open it up. Take that in for a moment.
Next, remove the fibers and seeds from the centers of the squash with a soup spoon or ice cream scoop.
Lay the two halves flesh side down on your cutting board. Cut each half into four wedges, top to bottom.
2. Season liberally with butter and salt
Melt 1 tablespoon of grass fed butter, then stir in 1/4 teaspoon of a fine grain salt.
Use your hands to spread this butter and salt mixture liberally over the flesh of each piece of cut squash. Be sure to use all the butter, this will keep the outside of the squash from getting dry while it roasts.
Lay each wedge of acorn squash on its side on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Place the squash in your oven, pre-heated to 400 degrees.
Roast for 25 to 30 minutes until the underside turns a nice deep golden maroon.
Gently flip each piece and roast for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Your total roasting time will be about 45 minutes.
IMPORTANT – Do not flip the squash pieces too early. The best taste will come by letting the flesh get a deep maroon. You want more than just a light brown on the edges.
Do not flip the squash pieces too early. The best taste will come by letting the flesh get a deep maroon. You want more than just a light brown on the edges.
Serving Roasted Acorn Squash
Roasted acorn squash is best enjoyed hot from the oven. Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves (optional) to serve.
Left over wedges can be stored in the fridge and reheated. But it won’t taste or look as good as that first serving when the squash comes out of the oven.
FAQ: Simple Roasted Acorn Squash
How do you know acorn squash is ripe?
Ripe acorn squash has firm, forest green skin.
Cole Turner, co-owner of Little Pond Farm in Florida says “Clear indicators of maturity for shoppers are the bright orange spot, and a hard outer skin. Acorn squash will not mature off the vine, so usually any squash available [at the farmers market] should be ready to eat.”
What does a ripe acorn squash look like inside?
A ripe acorn squash has firm yellow flesh inside. Like other winter squash, the center will be full of fibers and seeds that look very much like pumpkin seeds.
How long should an acorn squash roast?
It takes about 45 minutes to roast a 2 to 2.5 pound acorn squash at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Do you need to peel acorn squash before roasting?
It’s not necessary to peel acorn squash before roasting. Acorn squash has a wavy shape and would be difficult to peel if you tried. For this simple roasted acorn squash recipe, I leave the skin on while roasting. This saves a lot of preparation time and the little “squash boats” are easy to serve and make a nice presentation on the plate.
How do you cut an acorn squash for roasting?
I like to cut an acorn squash into serving size wedges when I roast it. I slice top to bottom so the wedges are moon-shaped and the roasted flesh is easy to scoop out while eating.
You can also slice each half of the acorn squash horizontally. This creates pretty, flower-like shapes, but they won’t stand up on your plate like the wedges do – making them a bit trickier to eat.
For this simple acorn squash recipe you can cut them either way. I chose wedges.
Do you need to add sugar or maple syrup to roasted acorn squash?
When I was younger, I put maple syrup or brown sugar butter on my squash before roasting.
Brown sugar and maple syrup definitely go well with acorn squash, but I’ve discovered that this variety of squash really doesn’t need it. A good quality acorn squash is plenty sweet, flavorful and delicious on its own without added sugars or other sweeteners.
Simple Roasted Acorn Squash
- 2 – 2.5 lb organic acorn squash from the farmers market
- 1 tbsp melted butter grass fed
- 1/4 tsp fine grain salt
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Slice the squash cleanly through the center, vertically, and separate the two halves.
- Remove the fibers and seeds from the centers of the squash with a soup spoon or ice cream scoop.
- Lay the two halves flesh side down on your cutting board. Cut each half into four wedges, top to bottom.
- Stir the salt into the melted butter, then use your hands to spread the butter and salt mixture liberally over the flesh of each piece of squash.
- Lay each wedge of acorn squash on its side on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Place the squash in the oven and roast for 25 to 30 minutes until the underside turns a nice deep golden maroon.
- Gently flip each piece and roast for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Your total roasting time will be about 45 minutes.
- Serve the wedges sprinkled with fresh thyme leaves (optional).