This easy roasted acorn squash is the perfect fall side dish! Brushed with a delicious maple butter and baked to sticky perfection.
While we love roasted butternut squash and roasted spaghetti squash, roasted acorn squash just might be my favorite. It has got to be one of the pretties vegetables out there...those ripples and that bright yellow color 😍.
That's why I think this acorn squash with maple butter would be absolutely perfect for a holiday side dish! Not only is it pretty to look at but it's darn delicious to eat, too.
And bonus points for simplicity: you only need five simple ingredients and a few minutes to get this baked acorn squash into the oven.
Why you'll ♡ this roasted acorn squash recipe
- you only need 5 ingredients and 15 minutes to prepare it
- it bakes through much quicker than acorn squash halves
- it's pretty and worthy of a holiday meal
Still confused about how to cut acorn squash? Watch the video below! It’s so easy! You can find more of my recipe videos on my YouTube channel.
Don't forget to pin this post to save it for later!
How to cut acorn squash
The best thing about acorn squash is you do not need to peel it (the most tedious part of preparing butternut squash if you ask me!).
Here's how to cut acorn squash:
- cut off the stem and tip of the squash to create flat ends on each side
- sit the squash on the flattest part and slice in half across the length of the squash to create two halves
- scoop out the seeds out of each half
- lay each half flat part down/skin side up
- slice across the squash to create half 'moons' about 1 inch thick
- slice the 'moons' into halves again
Let's make maple butter!
Now that our squash is cut into slices, we can get to work on the maple butter. Here are the ingredients you'll need:
- butter- I used salted butter. If you use unsalted butter, add a little extra salt at the end!
- maple syrup- make sure you use real maple syrup and not table syrup.
- cinnamon- for extra flavor and to make your kitchen smell like heaven!
- salt- I like to use flaky sea salt but you can also use regular or coarse sea salt.
Melt the butter, then stir in the remaining ingredients. Toss the acorn squash in the butter and arrange on a baking sheet. Roast away!
Can I skip the butter?
Sure, you can do that. I would recommend this Maple Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash recipe which uses olive oil (and less of it); I'm guessing you'll need to double the ingredients for one acorn squash.
Don't you need to peel the skin off?
Nope, you can eat acorn squash skin, and after baking it becomes quite soft. If you don't want to eat the skin, it's much easier to peel off after roasting than it is to peel before roasting.
Can I make this in the Instant Pot?
I did try cooking this recipe in the Instant Pot and it was a total disaster (very mushy). I recommend taking the time to roast it up in the oven.
Can I roast acorn squash whole or in two halves?
Yes, you can. I like to cut them into smaller pieces in this recipe because it cooks through quickly and allows each person to customize their portions a little easier!
- To roast acorn squash halves- follow directions for 'acorn squash' in this Stuffed Acorn Squash post.
- To roast acorn squash whole- follow directions in this post
Wondering what to serve with this recipe?
- chicken- what about these crispy baked chicken thighs, which also bake at 400°F?
- salmon- while the acorn squash roasts up in the oven, you could be pan-frying a salmon tail...see how to cook salmon here!
- side salad- our go-to continues to be this Staple Kale Salad, but I wouldn't rule out this Apple, Fennel, Brussels Sprouts Slaw
- 1 acorn squash
- ¼ cup salted butter
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- flaky sea salt (to taste; coarse sea salt works OK)
- Heat oven to 400°F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Cut, seed and slice your acorn squash into 1 inch thick slices that are 2-4 inches long. See video in the post above if you are looking for a visual.
- Melt butter in a large glass measuring cup. Stir in the maple syrup and cinnamon until smooth.
- Toss the acorn squash slices in the butter mixture, shaking excess off and arranging on the baking sheet. There should be maple butter leftover.
- Bake the acorn squash for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, flip the slices, and brush with reserved butter (melt it in the microwave if it has solidified).
- Return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes, until soft and slightly caramelized.
- Sprinkle with sea salt and enjoy!
- This dish is best served immediately after baking, however acorn squash may be stored in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Reheat in the oven at 350°F, or in a frying pan for a few minutes.
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