Perfect Roasted Acorn Squash

by jenna on October 29, 2012

This is another one of those “non-recipe” recipes.

I feel a little silly dedicating an entire recipe post to such a simple side-dish, but I’ve been enjoying this roasted squash so much over the past couple weeks that I can’t help but share the love. Seriously, you guys — it’s SO ridiculously easy and not fancy in the least bit.

My soul craves this sweet roasted acorn squash.

All you’ll need is dark brown sugar, an acorn squash, some butter and sea salt. I know I’ve waxed ever so poetically before on my love for Maldon, but you’re going to hear it again now. Flaky, crunchy sea salt makes this dish!

Slice your squash in half carefully with a big ol’ knife then scoop out all the seeds….

Fill up your squashes with butter, brown sugar and the sea salt.

Why yes, I like some squash with my brown sugar, why do you ask?

Bake for an hour. When you’re done, your squash should look like this photo above —- SUPER caramelized, tender and delicious.

Your house.will.smell.amazing.

Mash up and scoop out the squash with a spoon and go to town! Serve with roast chicken and brussels sprouts for a lovely little Fall meal.

Perfect Roasted Acorn Squash

serves 2

Print this Recipe!


1 large acorn squash

2 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

flaky sea salt


Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Pour a very small amount of water into a 9 x 13″ pan. You just want enough water to cover the bottom of the pan.

Slice the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. You may need to shave off the bottom of each half so that the halves sit up in the pan and don’t roll around.

In each squash half, add 1 tbsp butter (cut into chunks) and 2 tbsp brown sugar. Sprinkle sea salt around the sides.

Roast for 45-60 minutes, until squash halves are extremely tender to the touch and brown sugar has caramelized. Remove from oven, let cool briefly and then mash the squash up with a fork or spoon. Add additional sea salt to taste.


1 hr

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{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily @ Life on Food October 29, 2012 at 3:26 am

This seems like a great breakfast too? I guess you would have to wake up early though to have it roast an hour before eating. Simple squash recipes are the best and one of the things I love most about fall.


Amy @ Eat Workout Succeed October 29, 2012 at 3:40 am

Wow – this looks delicious! It’s like your main course and dessert all in one meal!


beth @ a latte inspiration October 29, 2012 at 3:50 am

I just bought an acorn squash yesterday, thanks for the recipe! :)


Jenn October 29, 2012 at 3:56 am

Just finished your book this weekend and love love loved it. I didn’t expect it to be a romance story too :) Heart.


Averie @ Averie Cooks October 29, 2012 at 4:08 am

I love roasted squash with butter and brown sugar, sometimes I’ll add a pinch of ginger or a drizzle of honey, but just keeping it simple is so delicious. Love this one!


Marie October 29, 2012 at 4:12 am

This is perfect! So glad you posted this; I’ve been meaning to find a simple recipe for acorn squash, since I haven’t yet cooked any this season.
I have, however, recently discovered pumpkin butter. That stuff could be dangerous! Also, pumpkin oatmeal, sweetened with real maple syrup, topped with slivered almonds and raisins. Yum. I love Fall foods.


Anne October 29, 2012 at 4:33 am

YUM YUM YUM! I go through winter squash phases, first it was butternut, then kabocha, and now it’s acorn, I seriously think I am eating at least two per week.
I have yet to try it with brown sugar though!


Sonal October 29, 2012 at 4:35 am

This is my absolute favourite recipe right now with squash: halve, deseed and roast – eat with something in the middle! 😀 I cannot believe how something so simple tastes so good.


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat October 29, 2012 at 5:02 am

Ooh such a classic! I totally agree with Emily above… this could totally be breakfast!


Kate October 29, 2012 at 5:08 am

Try this with maple syrup. Life changing!


Lauren October 29, 2012 at 5:15 am

My heart be still. This looks simple and perfect!


Molly @ RDexposed October 29, 2012 at 5:25 am

That acorn squash is like a mini hot tub of brown sugar when it’s baking away in the oven.


Abby@ Totes Delish October 29, 2012 at 5:27 am

I just got on the squash dealio, so I can’t wait to try acorn squash too! I have a newfound love for butternut and spaghetti squash, so I’m sure this will be wonderful too!


Angela @ Happy Fit Mama October 29, 2012 at 5:29 am

I’m on a roasted squash kick now – I’ll eat it stuffed with quinoa, brown sugar, maple syrup, dried cranberries, whatever. It’s all good!


joelle (on a pink typewriter) October 29, 2012 at 6:12 am

Mmm I love roasting squash!


Robyn @ thereallife_RD October 29, 2012 at 6:31 am

these are the prettiest pictures! i love roasted squash but this totally raises the bar!


Jen Papaya October 29, 2012 at 7:03 am

i have two of these on my counter and this is exactly how i like ’em! YUM.


jaime @ sweet road October 29, 2012 at 7:20 am

I believe non-recipes deserve as much attention as recipes! Some of the most amazing and comforting dishes come from learning to perfect a technique to really make that one ingredient shine to its full potential.


Beverly Aragon October 29, 2012 at 7:26 am

Holy delicious! I want to eat that right now…for breakfast!


Jenna October 29, 2012 at 8:10 am

Please don’t ever hesitate to post “non-recipe” simple recipes on the blog! For some of us novice cooks, this is just the sort of the recipe that we can handle confidently :) I shy away from buying squash because I don’t really know what to do with it, but now I know what I will be trying! Thanks!!


deva at deva by definition October 29, 2012 at 8:19 am

Oh my goodness does this sound amazing and look incredible! I have yet to get squash right in my oven, but I may have to try this again!


eliza October 29, 2012 at 8:26 am



natalie@thesweetslife October 29, 2012 at 9:24 am

i grew up eating this recipe and to this day it remains one of my favorite side dishes ever :)


erin @WELLinLA October 29, 2012 at 9:27 am

Simple, back-to-basics recipes are the best at times. And pairing this with roast chicken and brussels sprouts makes for such an easy, yummy autumn dinner.


Erica @ Coffee & Quinoa October 29, 2012 at 9:49 am

Yum. My mom always serves acorn squash with brown sugar. Perfect for Thanksgiving!


Lauren@littleyellowkitchen October 29, 2012 at 9:58 am

Just bought 2 of these beauties! Awesome timing Jenna. Thanks :)


kim@hungryhealthygirl October 29, 2012 at 10:08 am

Yum….I bet that tastes more like a dessert than a side dish. I have a really yummy recipe for a main entree stuffed acorn squash. It looks super fancy too, but is really easy. You can view it here.


kim@hungryhealthygirl October 29, 2012 at 10:09 am

Yum…I bet it tastes more like a dessert than a side dish! I have a recipe for a main entree stuffed squash. It looks fancy, but it’s actually super easy. You can view it here.


jenna k October 29, 2012 at 10:31 am

don’t feel silly posting this! i’ve never had acorn squash, so posts like this inspire me to try it or to make other squashes. :) i’m wanting to try to make some roasting squash alfredo pasta soon. yummm.


Jamie @ Thrifty Veggie Mama October 29, 2012 at 10:42 am

I love roasted squash. My parents grew buttercup this year which I think is similar to acorn. We’ll be eating lots of this this winter.


luv what you do October 29, 2012 at 10:57 am

Wow, that is the most beautiful squash I have ever seen!


Megan @ Megan's Miles October 29, 2012 at 10:58 am

I love non-recipe recipes! I made your crockpot beef and butternut squash stew last night for dinner. It was delicious and absolutely perfect for a cool fall night.


Alicia Orozco October 29, 2012 at 11:23 am

I have never had squash…but I want to try something new and you have given me the perfect thing to try!

Can’t wait to see how it tastes!


Jacquelyn B October 29, 2012 at 12:14 pm

This looks so delicious! I just bought two white acorn squash, do you think it will taste the same or is white squash sweeter?


Lia October 29, 2012 at 1:26 pm

NOMMMM!!! And it would totally work with Earth Balance! That really looks like an indulgent meal/side (whatever you wanna call it!) Maybe it will be in my Thanksgiving meal this year…..hmmmm


Katie D. October 29, 2012 at 1:48 pm

My mom halves the acorn squash and puts pork sausage patties in it and bakes it. So good!!


Caroline L. October 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm

I love easy snacks! This sounds amazing!


Clare October 29, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Wow— finally a recipe that I think will get my kids to eat squash– I love the stuff, but my kids seem to hate it!.. plus, it looks really simple- can’t wait to get to the kitchen!



Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out October 29, 2012 at 5:08 pm

I just looooooove roasted acorn squash! It’s so good. This is really the only way to do it!


Alex October 29, 2012 at 5:22 pm

I made this for my roommate and I for dinner tonight and it was PHENOMENAL! She wants me to make it again tomorrow night!


em @ simplypresent October 29, 2012 at 7:02 pm

I haven’t had this in awhile. I have no idea why… It’s so simple and delicious!

My craving has been lit!


Tami@nutmegnotebook October 29, 2012 at 7:08 pm

I’ve been roasting acorn squash quite q bit lately but sans the butter and brown sugar. I roast it cut side down for the first 30 minutes then flip it over for another 20 minutes or so then drizzle it with agave and sprinkle with cinnamon and some freshly grated nutmeg. It’s so amazing !


Leslie Means October 29, 2012 at 9:43 pm

ah – now this reminds me of early fall evenings at home on my parent’s farm. Mom would grow these – then we would eat them EXACTLY like this. thanks for sharing – I haven’t made these in so long! :)


The Food Hound October 30, 2012 at 8:17 am

I make roasted acorn squash all. the. time. The little one loves it. I need to try putting some of my finishing salt on it, though! YUM!


{Moni} @ Moni Meals October 30, 2012 at 9:30 am

I am going to have to agree! Pretty and Perfect! I just love how perfectly sized acorn squash is too. A perfect sqaush indeed.

YUM! :)


Carrie @ The Cook's Palette October 30, 2012 at 11:37 am

Looks fantastic! I’ve been going crazy with the butternut squash, but looks like I need to switch gears and slice up some acorn squash! Love the simplicity of this.


Tara@Sugar Spice and Bacon October 30, 2012 at 12:12 pm

I just bought an acorn squash at the market Sunday and have been looking for some inspiration. Found it! thanks!:)


Mandi October 30, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Your squash is beautiful! Makes me wish I had picked some up this week. Any suggestions for spaghetti squash?


jenna October 30, 2012 at 1:36 pm

I like to bake spaghetti squash and then toss it with a little butter, cinnamon and sugar! It’s yummy.


amy walters, aDESIGNdock October 30, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Loving the simplicity and seasonal feel of this recipe.


The Spatularettes October 31, 2012 at 4:28 am

Made these last night. The perfect comfort food as we East coasters dig out from Hurricane Sandy. I’m one of the lucky ones who still has power. So I celebrated by roasting squash :)


Life's a Bowl October 31, 2012 at 11:25 am

I roasted my first acorn squash yesterday and absolutely loveddd it! I actually didn’t add anything while roasting but afterwards I mashed it and topped it with a dollop of cottage cheese + sprinkle of cinnamon, yum :) Our apartment smelled like maple syrup, it was heavenlyyy!


erin November 1, 2012 at 10:34 am

love this recipe! you make some of the most “daunting” recipes seem like a breeze. i have a husband who is a bit of a meat eater (don’t know if Adam is the same way…), i’m thinking that pairing this with a pork chop or crumbling some sausage over the top would make this “mister man friendly”.


Allison Day November 1, 2012 at 2:56 pm

I’ve roasted squash before, but oh my GOSH never thought to fill it with butter and brown sugar beforehand! This sounds amazing. Plus since it’s mostly vegetable, I can pretend this is a 100% healthy dessert, right? 😀


BooksFoodFun November 1, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Yum! This looks delicious. I get so excited for butternut squash in the fall that I forget about the other tasty varieties, like the acorn squash. I know what I will be making this weekend…


Michelle {LiveLoudly} November 1, 2012 at 9:47 pm

Looks delish! I can’t have a lot of sugar in my diet so I was wondering what are some of your favourite ways to roast acorn squash minus the brown sugar? Anyone have a favourite way?
-Michelle {LiveLoudly}
Health & Wellness


Andrea January 10, 2013 at 6:17 pm

We are doing a whole 30 so no sugar, and I just rubbed both pieces inside and out with coconut oil, and when we fluffed it to eat, added cinnamon and sea salt. It was very good.


Andrea January 10, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Oh forgot to mention I didn’t use the water method from this recipe. Just roasted them in a foil lined pan at 350 upside down for about 30 min and then flipped them for another 20-30.


Barri October 7, 2013 at 8:31 am

YUM! Thanks for sharing, def going to try, been loving squash lately!


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