Baked Acorn Squash with Butter and Brown Sugar

Easy baked acorn squash recipe, perfect for the fall. Squash is cut in half, insides scooped out, then baked with a little butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 to 4, depending on how much squash you like to eat.


  • 1 Acorn squash
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Maple Syrup
  • Dash of Salt


1 Preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C).

2 Prep the squash: If you have a microwave, microwave the squash for a minute each, to make it easier to cut. Stabilize the squash on a cutting board as best you can, stem end down if the stem is short enough, otherwise on the side. Using a sharp, sturdy chef's knife, carefully cut the acorn squash in half, from tip to stem. If on its side, the squash can rock back and forth, so take care as you are cutting it.

Use a sturdy metal spoon to scrape out the seeds and stringy bits inside each squash half, until the inside is smooth.

Cut and seed acorn squash scored inside of acorn squash before cooking

Take a sharp paring knife and score the insides of the acorn squash halves in a cross-hatch pattern, about a half-inch deep cuts.

Place the squash halves cut side up in a roasting pan. Pour 1/4-inch of water over the bottom of the pan so that the squash doesn't burn or get dried out in the oven.

3 Add butter, salt, brown sugar, maple syrup: Rub a half tablespoon of butter into the insides of each half. Sprinkle with a little salt if you are using unsalted butter.

Crumble a tablespoon of brown sugar into the center of each half and drizzle with a teaspoon of maple syrup.

seasoning acorn squash baked acorn squash with caramelized brown sugar

4 Bake: Bake at 400°F (205°C) for about an hour to an hour 15 minutes, until the tops of the squash halves are nicely browned, and the squash flesh is very soft and cooked through.

It's hard to overcook squash, it just gets better with more caramelization. But don't undercook it.

5 Remove from oven, spoon brown sugar butter sauce over squash: When done, remove the squash halves from the oven and let them cool for a bit before serving.

Spoon any buttery sugar sauce that has not already been absorbed by the squash over the exposed areas.

Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.


  • Rosemary

    after it is tender, then flip over

  • Rosemary

    I bake my acorn squash inverted in the pan, and then turn it over and add brown sugar, and butter, then put back in the oven until melted and beautiful tender.

  • [email protected]

    It was delicious! How creative and simple.


  • Cassandra

    My mother made this for many years as a delicious, yet relatively healthy, dessert, utilizing freshly-picked acorn squash from our garden. She sadly passed last year … and I didn’t have a recipe on how to prepare the squash … until now! Thank you

  • Ania

    The acorn squqsh was delicious


  • Katie G

    My mother and I saw this recipe a few years ago and it has become one of our favorites for Thanksgiving.
    It’s delicious.


  • Sandy S

    I love acorn squash made this way. several years ago I happened to see Graham Kerr with a little different take on how to prepare it. – remember him? – The Galloping Gourmet! He sliced off the top of the acorn to remove the stem and then sliced the squash in half in the normal way. He left the seeds in place and turned the halves face down on a lightly greased baking pan. The squash were baked as usual. When almost done, they were turned right side up and the seeds were easily scooped out and then the butter and brown sugar were added and returned to the hot oven for a few minutes to finish baking. The results is a much more juicy squash! I use this method now when ever I have an older, bigger squash that can use a little love.

  • Ralph

    I’ve been doing this recipe – less the brown sugar – for decades and I love it. This time, I added a hit of Tabasco to the butter-maple syrup mix. It was fantastic! Think I might explore Demerara sugar… maybe a splash of rum.

  • Angela

    I love acorn squash cooked this way. To make the squash easier to cut, put the whole squash on a plate and microwave it for a few minutes, then remove and cut in half. No mallet required.

  • Krystle

    I’ve made this a few times, and am impressed each time! If you like pumpkin or sweet potato, you’ll like this. I have pretty severe IBS and accordingly, it’s very hard for me to eat fruits and vegetables and not hate my whole life soon after. This is going in our regular rotation as a “safe” veggie! Thank you.


  • Steven

    I enjoy squash a boat load!

  • David

    My mom use to love acorn squash and she would do it as your recipe but the last 30 mins she would put a ball of pork sausage inside and sprinkle a little brown sugar on top… Yuuummy!

    • Esther

      How do I say this? Your mother is pure genius! Thank you! Can’t wait to try this :P

  • Lisa Seidl

    Can this be made ahead of time and reheated?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Lisa! I’d reheat the squashes covered with foil so they don’t dry out, but yes, I think it could be done!

  • Todd

    Want to taste something yummy? Forgo all the ingredients and just put BBQ sauce on the top. Once you do that, you won’t go back :)

    • Michael Klumper

      I love BBQ
      I tried this today.
      Hated it.
      Fun suggestion though!

  • Edward

    who eats the skins after it is cooked or do you peel that off ?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Edward! I usually serve the squash halves with the skin on because it’s a little easier and looks prettier on the table. It’s fine to eat the skins (fiber!), but I think people usually just scoop out the squash as they eat and leave the skins behind.

  • Laura Dolehide

    I put my squash in the microwave for 2 min the knife cuts right through to split it in half. Easier seed removal as well!

    • Linda J Hodge

      Amazing! This really works.

  • Sergio

    I LOVE the simplicity of this recipe !!! I was a Chef in a former life and it is very rare that something is allowed to be easy !!! I like the way you gave directions also: short and sweet! Tasty dish, by the way !!!
    (I remember one time on a cooking show when a group was discussing how they make fish. They were going on and on…. “First you do this, then that, add this, wait, do that….” One of the guests, an older grandmotherly type, gave her unorthodox recipe: “I wash off the fish, toss it in a pan and cook it”. She got the most applause!!! LOL !!!) Keep it simple.


  • Leslie

    Do I leave the top of the roasting pan on or off?

  • Ryan Foa

    I’m confused about step 5. It says “Spoon brown sugar butter sauce over squash” THEN “When done, remove the squash…” I am a man, so this is probably why it’s confusing to me — Am I supposed to spoon the brown sugar inside the oven, and then leave it in there for a while? If not, what am I removing it from? I’m sure I’ll figure it out, just thought I would ask for clarification! And for other male cookers out there!! lol

    • Elise Bauer

      Hello Ryan, sorry for the confusion. The first “Spoon brown sugar butter sauce” instruction in bold is just a summary of the entire step 5. What you want to do is remove the squash from the oven, then spoon sauce over it. I’ll clarify the step. Thanks!

    • JaMera Gilbreath

      Ryan, you’re hilarious! Your comment cracked me up, but kudos to you for even trying this recipe out. I hope the end result was savory and sweet.

  • Barb

    Use one of the bigger pumpkin carving tools to cut the squashes. They work great!

  • TT

    This is in the oven right now baking and I’m so excited to try it because I’ve never had acorn squash before but this looks so good!
    **thanks “Dave ” for the tip about eating the seeds they were amazing :)

  • Karen Treviranus

    I’m wondering if it is better to freeze squash before or after baking?????

  • dave

    Why do people discard the seeds. Rinse them off and remove the pulp. Toast ia a small skillet with a smiden of oil until they pop. Salt and enjoy.

    • Lauren

      Thank you for this idea! Doing the seeds right now to snack on whole I wait for the acorn squash

  • Barbara

    I cook mine with butter and cinnamon sugar. Delicious! Cook for about an hour and 30 min.

  • Robin

    I bake with brown sugar and butter for the first hour. Then I take it out, and chopped pecans, flaked coconut and a little more brown sugar on top. Pop back in for another 15 minutes. It’s awesome!

  • Sandy

    To score inside of squash I use a pizza wheel cutter – so much easier !!!

    • Martin Schaffner

      Great idea!

  • Jake's mom

    This recipe sounds delicious. Years ago a friend had me try their recipe for acorn squash. After cleaning the squash, set it aside. Take a baking dish, (to match the size of placing the squash in flesh side down,) and fill with orange juice. Start off with about 3/4’s cup of orange juice. Place the squash in the orange juice, flesh side down. Bake for about 40-60 minutes. (This recipe can be done in the microwave. It takes about 20-30 minutes.) While cooking the orange juice will be absorbed by the squash. When I serve it, I provide a little butter and salt.

  • Johnny Navarro

    Baked Acorn Squash:
    – Cut squash in half.
    – Remove seeds and excess fiber from inside of squash.
    – Place squash on baking sheet, slice side up.
    – Add 1-2 tbsp of melted butter to inside of squash half.
    – Add 1 tbsp of brown sugar to inside of squash half.
    – Sprinkle cinnamon onto squash halfs (meat of squash).
    – Enjoy –
    – Add almond slivers to inside of squash half.
    – Bake in oven at 350 degrees for roughly 45-60 minutes (pierce squash with fork for doneness, if fork slides down into squash with minimum pressure it is done).
    The almonds, makes it crunchy.

  • Dave

    Making this again tonight as one of my sides. One of many recipes of yours I make on a regular basis. Thanks again, Elise.


  • Lorna

    Instead of butter and sugar, I use coconut oil and a generous sprinkle of cinnamon. It’s delicious!

  • Aubrey

    Delicious! I’ve never had acorn squash before and I loved this recipe.. and it was really easy to make. In the center I put wild rice and grated cauliflower with pineapple to make a meal out of it.

    • Etta

      That sounds great!!!! I am using jasmine rice with mixed nuts and dried fruit for the center. Will add about 10 minutes before done.

  • Jason

    What a great simple recipe. I love squash and this is as perfectly simple as it gets. Great for holidays or a nice dinner (I fill the cavity with wild rice).

  • roy

    I use jimmy dean sausage, fill the void full, and the sausage moistens the squash as its cooking. hour to hour and a half.great meal in itself.

    • Becky

      Is the sausage raw or precooked when you put it in oven?

  • Jon Steven

    I love Acorn squash.. making it tonight.. I use Spenda Brown sugar and Sugar free Maple Syrup with real butter and a dash of cinnamon

  • Sharon Borucki

    I love acorn squash and prepare it like above, but all I need is a little cinnamon on mine.

    Love your site Elise.

  • Irwin Busk

    Try Agave syrup!

  • Krystle

    Thank you for this recipe! I gave it a try today. I’m a beginner in the kitchen, and I’ve never made acorn squash before. In fact, I’ve never even tasted it. It’s February, so I worried that I wouldn’t find one in season. I did end up finding one, and when I saw how pale it was inside, I worried that it was underripe. However, the final product tasted great. I had seconds! My husband liked it too, though my daughter wasn’t sold. I appreciated the simplicity of the recipe (5-10 minute prep time, toss it in the over, and done!). The taste was mild and sweet, reminiscent of sweet potatoes. I served it with chicken scallopini and garlic bread. I have IBS, so veggies often don’t sit well with me. But this was very tender and mild. I could see making this again around Thanksgiving. Thanks!


    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Kyrstle, I’m so glad you liked the acorn squash! It’s such an easy recipe to make. We love having it during the holidays.

  • mary

    I’ve made acorn squash many times with good results. But, there have been two times that it just would not cook/soften up. Of course, that’s when it’s for company! Both times it was baked at 350 degrees, in a flat pan, cut side down, with some water added and covered with foil. Kept checking, for almost 2 hours, and it never got done. Had scalloped potatoes in the oven, too, and they cooked, so it wasn’t my oven.
    I believe you can get squash that has been picked and stored too long, or possibly dried out, so it just will not soften up. Just wish I could tell just by looking at it, if it was a ‘good’ one or not. Anyone else ever have this problem?

    • Dawn

      I believe your problem might be the foil. Try this recipe – it doesn’t call for foil. I’ve used foil in the past as well and it took hours to get to the point of being able to scoop it out of the shell.

  • Patrick J Mulqueen

    The easy way to cut acorn squash is to microwave whole for about 3 minutes
    or till cutable.
    This softens the squash for very easy cutting.

    • Wanda

      Thank you.

  • Roberta Reinwald

    My husband & I have never had acorn squash, so I didn’t know how to prepare it. Did a google search, & this was the 1st recipe that came up. Found it very easy to do. I had to use my toaster oven, since my regular oven was baking something else. Lined a pan w/ foil, & didn’t add any water (foil made cleanup so easy!). Set the toaster oven temp to 425 as indicated in the directions, & the squash was done in about an hour. Very delicious! Hubby agreed that I should make this recipe again. Thank you for sharing this easy and tasty dish!


    • Elise Bauer

      You are very welcome Roberta. I’m so glad you and your husband liked it!

  • Susan P

    I bake the squash cut side down for the first 30 minutes to steam the flesh before turning over and putting in the butter, brown sugar and maple syrup. This allows it to cook a bit faster and keeps the squash very moist.

  • Kate @¡Hola! Jalapeño

    This is an all time favorite. I always forget about eating squash this way. I bet it would be good with delicate too.

  • Fuji Nana

    I made this for dinner last night. It was a definite hit. Thanks for a great recipe. I’ll be making it again!


  • tom landshof

    here is an easy microwave recipe for acorn squash

    Acorn Squash Suzanne Landshof Sept. 2005

    Acorn squash
    2 Tbs butter
    1 tsp salt
    2 Tbs light brown sugar
    4 Tbs cranberry chutney (Wisconsin Wilderness)

    1. Pierce squash with knife and microwave 5 minutes
    2. Cut in half. Remove seeds and stringy stuff
    3. Add to each half: 1 Tbs butter, ½ tsp salt, 1 Tbs light brown sugar, and 2 Tbs cranberry chutney
    4. Place in baking dish, cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave 4 or more minutes. Time will vary with size. When fork tender, serve each half in a bowl.

    Note: We find Wisconsin Wilderness cranberry chutney the best. You can substitute other fillings such as Rothschild Hot Pepper Raspberry jelly.

  • McMaggieMom

    So much interest in squash! For years I’ve poked mine with a knife & microwaved for 2 minutes so it’s easier to cut in half. After I scoop the seeds the squash is dried with a paper towel & rubbed with butter. Once it’s baked I scoop the pulp & mash with 1 T chipotle pepper in adobo, butter, salt & pepper. This dish is presented as “adult squash” to avoid disappointing those looking for a sweet dish. Many of us love this savory version! Seasonings work great for sweet potatoes too. Leftover chipotle is frozen flat in a plastic bag & broken off as needed.

  • Sandy S

    Our family has made acorn squash just like you have done in this recipe for at least my whole life time. It is so tried and true, that I take it for granted that ‘everyone’ would do it this way. For me, acorn squash is a staple, to eat plain or fill with whatever suits your fancy. (Crab salad was a favorite for many years!) These little squash are such good keepers. I always take advantage of sales at this time of the year and buy several to bake as needed.
    In more recent years I have had to tighten the rein on calories, etc. So, I have branched out with a few new way to prepare it. I remembered Graham Kerr leaving the seeds in and baking the halves of squash ‘face down’ on a baking tray and then scooping the seeds and fibers out afterwards. This keeps the squash moist and flavorful. One can easily add butter, nuts and sweeteners at the end. Another chef (guess who!?) suggested a blend of honey and apple cider for flavoring her salmon. I tried this combination not only on the salmon, but also on 1/2 rings of acorn squash served with the salmon and it has become a favorite dinner over this fall! Thanks Elise!

  • Helen Vandale

    thank you for the microwave idea works great with thus yummy dish

  • Marie

    Thanks for the reminder of how much I love acorn squash! This recipe looks wonderful. For those nights when you’re short on time, you can microwave the cut squash face up wrapped with plastic wrap until tender and then finish them up in the oven.

  • Tom D.

    I use a small folding pruning saw to halve acorn squash. Works great and is safer than using a knife.

  • Mark

    For those that like a little savory with their squash, I use cumin, sate and chili powder after I lightly baste a little olive oil over the flesh of the squash. I’m not really big on sweetening already sweet dishes.

    If you do like a little sweet and want to try something different, one of the best dishes I ever had with this squash is when someone cooked it, then drizzled a little Kahlua over it and let it caramelize over the squash after cooking about 3/4 the way done. De lish!

  • Mary

    This is the first time I tried acorn squash, the recipe is delicious. Thanks!


  • Eli

    We really love this recipe. I am seven, and asked for this squash for dinner. I like brown sugar and honey.

    (transcribed by Eli’s dad)

    Dear Eli – thank you for getting your dad to write this lovely comment. I’m so glad you liked the squash! ~Elise


  • Trish in MO

    OHmigosh I just discovered this and made it this afternoon. OUTSTANDING! Serving size: ONE!


  • Jessica Lee Binder

    I just made this with a very small acorn squash. I thought it would take less time since it was so small but it’s still took an hour. Funny, but delicious!


  • Christine

    I had never prepared acorn squash until this past weekend. Thanks so much for providing yet another simple (and tasty) recipe!


  • AB

    Excellent! I’ve never made acorn squash before, and it turned out just like the picture. It was so delicious I will be bringing it to Thanksgiving this year! Thank you for having such an inspirational website!


  • Kris

    I made this for two thanksgiving dinners I had this year and it was INCREDIBLE both times. Thought it was fantastic and I even converted two non-squash eaters!!


  • Crys

    Love this! We always add crispy bacon during the last half hour of baking. Yum!

  • Randy

    I use this recipe but always substitute the sugar for molasses. Molasses and butter make a fantastic glaze and sauce.

  • shedragon713

    I microwaved the cut squash only for 10 minutes on High and then baked it w/ ingredients in convection oven @ 375 for 30 minutes and it turned out perfectly. thanks for the recipe!

  • Caitlin @ Vegetarian in the City

    I love squash in the fall and winter. recently i tried topping it with homemade pesto – so good!

  • Norm

    My wife and I have made this traditional version for years. I generally don’t care for squash but love this. What I want to comment on is all the fantastic alternative ideas the readers posted! I can’t wait to try them!

  • Ed

    Kudos to the bartender (Beth) who suggested substituting ameretto for brown sugar and maple syrup. I had an acorn squash in the house, no brown sugar and no maple syrup. I did have ameretto though. It adds some extra tang to the flavor and is a great substitute! Thanks!

  • debbbie martin

    I just cut open my acorn squash and it is white inside.What do I do with it? Thanks Deb

    You might want to take it back to where you got it and ask the produce manager. I’ve never seen that before. If it is some kind of mold you’re not going to want to eat it. ~Elise

  • Tiffany

    I am addicted to winter squash. I love the recipe ideas posted here. I usually bake mine in a baking dish with about an inch of water in the bottom. Then I scoop it out and add butter, salt and pepper, then mash it up like mashed potatoes. Once in a while I cut the top off and fill them with pre-cooked bulk sausage, caramelized onions,cranberries,walnuts or pecans,a little prepared stuffing and drizzle Vermont maple syrup or melted butter over the top and bake. The also fares well inside of a large hollowed out Vadalia type onion.

  • Linda

    I just made this recipe and found acorn squash to be tasteless by itself and, even with the butter, brown sugar, and pecans,so stringy that it was really unappetizing! I’m amazed at the wonderful comments. Oh, well, to each his own; I’ll stay with wonderful sweet potatoes!

    Sounds to me like you didn’t have a particularly good acorn squash. I wouldn’t write off the recipe, or acorn squash in general, so quickly. ~Elise

  • Jennifer

    I like to balance out the sweetness of squash (or sweet potatoes) with something salty/savory, so I like to add butter with fresh-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Yummy! I love Fall!

  • Sherry

    My mother-in-law taught me to bake the squash cut side down in a baking pan with a couple of inches of water in it. Then when they’re nearly done, turn them over and add the butter and whatever else you want in the center. (I use loose browned sausage along with a little bit of brown sugar and butter.) BUT the very best way to serve acorn squash is in PIE…yes, pie! Use your pumpkin pie recipe but substitute the meat of the squash for the pumpkin, and it is absolutely delicious! I cook the squash, cool, and spoon it into baggies–equal to the amount of pumpkin the pie recipe calls for–and then I’m set for making pies later.

  • Bernie Wolf

    Hoosier Way for Baked Acorn A generous portion of Jimmy Dean regular sausage in each half Bernie

  • anonymous

    I microwaved my butternut squash but splitting it in half and covering it with plastic wrap, but after it had been sitting for a few minutes out of the microwave, there were these tiny white spots that developed on the surface, almost looking like rock salt or white beads of condensation. Anyone know what this is?

  • Thomas Cappiello

    Just want to comment on some comments:
    I eat rind on home grown squash if not too tough. Store bought I typically don’t because they are treated with waxes and what-not; not that it is toxic but I don’t want to eat it. It also depends on the species and the age.
    You don’t have to cure acorn squash, the butternuts and thicker skinned gourd types typically get “cured”. And like most starchy foods, the starches of all squash sweeten over time. I tend to hold off on eating home grown squashes and keep them cool for a month or so before eating. The maple syrup touch sounds good, sometimes I also add fruit juices-orange, mango etc to the pan. Squash is great sweetened and unsweetened.

  • Mary

    Place the squash cut side down with water in pan and bake you get a moist squash. Just flip it over when done and place butter /sugar in side and mix right in the shell before spooning out/ you can also make in the microwave it take about 20 mins on high using the same method with a deep dish plate or pie plate.

  • Karen

    Tks everyone for tips. Here are 2 more:
    1. Squash becomes easy schmeazy to cut if you bake it first.
    2. Two things to do with seeds: (A) If you’re baking the squash, you can leave them there til the last 15 min, then tease them to the top with a fork so you can butter/spice them up for a crunchy topping. (B) If you just like roasted seeds, leave them in the squash while you bake. Easiest way to remove them for roasting is to take 2 forks and lift them out. Fork tines at an angle to each other make good shears to lop off the strings. I save seeds in the freezer til I have lots to roast.

  • Tom Doherty

    What is the oven temp with this recipe. Some of my acorns in the garden are near ripe and I am dying to try them. I am also told that after picking I need to “cure” them for 10 days or so for a sweeter squash, true?

    Step 1, 400°F. No idea on the “curing”. ~Elise

  • Wendy

    Sooo good! Thank you I love acorn squash the walnuts do sound delicious as an add-on. I made this tonight and was a success! Most of all its very easy to prepare. I love your site Elise!

  • Heather

    We had this for dinner today with some rice pilaf with almonds, and cooked carrots. Pretty yummy meal ^.^

    I think I would normally cook the squash with just butter and salt, but I wasn’t sure because I never made this on my own before, so I searched the web to give me an idea on what to do, and I saw this recipe and thought I would give it a try since I had real maple syrup in the fridge. Came out really good :)

  • Brenda

    My uncle used to make this and he put ground beef in the center. I don’t know if he added it at the beginning or waited until later. Has anyone ever heard of this tried it? It was delicious and used as a main dish with a green salad.

  • Brittany

    I made this tonight and added fried beans and corn (with chopped onions, garlic, and hot pepper) in the middle. Was so good!

  • Tom

    I leave out the Maple Syrup but add Worchester Sauce then top that with shredded cheese.

  • Barbara

    You can put nutmeg mixed in with butter or even olive oil or grapeseed oil instead of the syrup/sugar combo and it will have a nice zing to it!

  • Nicole

    We’ve made this 4 times the past month! So tasty. We’re bringing it today as a side dish for Christmas dinner with friends. :) Thanks for posting!

  • April

    I just made this with a carnival squash that came in my CSA box. It’s delicious, lovely, and simple. Thanks, Elise!

  • Francine

    I just baked acorn squash for the first time. I did not want to use the sweet recipes because my husband cannot eat sweets. So based on some of the suggestions above i simply coated mine with olive oil(instead of butter), seasoned with seasoning salt, garlic, and lemon pepper. It was delicious! Thanks Elise and everyone else.

  • MaggieE

    I made it recently without the sweet stuff by salting it after roasting, then returning it to the oven with a dusting of fresh grated parmesan cheese and a scant handful of chopped pecans. It was really good!

  • Amy

    What do you serve with the squash?

    The squash is a side dish. It is terrific accompanying chicken, turkey, pork, or steak. ~Elise

    • Sherry M

      My favorite thing in the world to eat with acorn squash is turkey roast. My mom always made them together and they compliment each other so well!

  • Nadine

    I used to make my acorn squash with brown sugar also, BUT for some of you that don’t really care for the really sweet squash…try just butter (or margarine) salt & pepper, make sure while cooking it baste the squash with the melted butter already inside the squash every 10 minutes its soooooo good! My grandma has been making it this way for years & years. It brings out the natural sweetness already in the squash. Hope you enjoy let me know what ya think anyone :o)

  • Kathy

    I just cut open an acorn squash and it is white on the inside. Shouldn’t it be yellow or orangish? Maybe it’s not ripe so I don’t know if I should cook it anyway. I love acorn squash in the fall. Oh, and by the way, I never heard of eating the green “skin” or rind. Doesn’t sound appetizing to me.

  • Maria

    Oooh, this looks amazing. I’m going to do just that this weekend, and fill the halves with couscous right before serving.

  • Amber

    My MIL makes her squash this way, except that she ALSO does a butternut squash, scoops out the innards after cooking, and combines them. Amazing.

    @MB Ginny:

    I have a friend who cooks her squash entirely in the microwave, though I’ve never done this and am unsure of the time required. Something to think about though.

  • MB Ginny

    I have always used butter, brown sugar, salt & pepper to coat the pieces. going to add a little Triple Sec this year, thanks. QUESTION: If I par-cook/microwave the squash then cool/store it before baking will it compromise its consistency &/or flavour? Oven space is scarce and ‘My oven runneth over’.

  • Dee

    I just found acorn squash in a supermarket in Mazatlán, México where I live, for the 1st time! I am so excited! Thanks for all the good cooking tips. I like savory instead of sweet, so probably will try the bacon idea. Maybe just a bit of honey or brown sugar and some chile with the bacon? Or some chorizo instead? I am salivating, thinking about it. I love squash. Thanks, Elise, for the best food blog ever. Dee

  • Beth

    Being a bartender I use a little ammeretto or grand marnier instead of the syrup and brown sugar.

  • Den Kingery

    My Grandma showed me this recipe 40 years ago. She adds 4 half strips of bacon crosswise on each half of squash. Adds great flavor to the squash.

  • Bérangère

    I’m a new member and this is only my second time at having acorn squash. My first time was a couple of years ago at the in laws and I liked it so much I kept going for more! It made my mother in law happy because everybody else was fussy and skipping the squash. This is my second time and again I love it! I love it even more! What an exciting discovery! I am so into this! I’m the only one so far in my family to like it and it’s a good thing since I get more for myself! Not for long though since I have a 9 month baby who loves butternut squash in the jar. I just had leftovers for lunch (a whole half of squash as a side dish with a goat cheese omelette). It was excellent and I was more excited about the leftover squash than the omelette! Someone asked if you should eat the skin… I totally do! Couldn’t imagine not eating it! It’s adding just enough texture with the rest of the soft sweet flesh. Will do this again and again and again!

  • sean

    A great meal with acorn squash is to cut the top off, and just enough off the bottom so it stands on it’s own. Scoop out the insides and fill with a puree soup or my favorite is a french canadien pea soup, and put the top back on. Bake in the oven for approx. 1hr depending on the size of the get the soup and can eat the delicious bowl. (I try to stay away from soups made of other squashes to make this one more pronounced) enjoy

  • Sue Chandler

    A friend suggested that a less labor intensive way to prepare/cook the squash would be to bake them whole the day before my dinner party and not cut them in half until I’m ready to warm them and add final seasoning just before serving. I’m planning to fill each one with a scoop of Hoppin’ John…for new Year’s luck. I can’t find a recipe though that suggests preparing them ahead of time this way and wonder if anyone else has tried this.

  • annulla

    This is the way I’ve prepared acorn squash all my life, and while I came here tonight looking for a new technique, the memories (and of course, your prose) drove me to make it this way again. For me, this is comfort food.

  • Sarah

    I made the recipe as suggested in the original and it was great. One tip I learned off another site that worked well was before you cut the squash in half, cut a little slice off one side so that you have a flat side to stabilize it on while cutting in half. Also I would say 1/6 of a squash is the perfect quantity per person at Thanksgiving. We don’t eat the skins.


    The squash is also easy to cut if you leave it in the oven while preheating, maybe 10 minutes. I don’t have a microwave, so this is what I do.

    • Diana

      This is exactly what I was going to say! You’re heating the oven anyway, and it saves at least 10 minutes worth of work and stress, in my opinion :)

      I went another step and sliced my halves into thin rounds, then drizzled with brown sugar/maple syrup mixture. They cooked much faster that way and were super yummy!

  • kellypea

    Yum! This recipe with the suggestions have been quite helpful in baking my first acorn squash. I’m thinking of adding apples and pecans. Can’t wait. The orange juice suggestion instead of butter sounded lovely!

  • Rachelle


    When I serve acorn squash, I usually serve 1/2 to 1/4 (one 1/2 cut in half makes a nice wedge) of a squash to each person, depending on the size of the squash and how much other food is being served. If you have a lot of other food on Thanksgiving (as we always do), then you could cut each squash half into thirds, so that you would get 6 nice wedges from each whole squash. I think the wedges make a nice presentation.

    Hope this helps!


    • Jeanne

      I agree. Anytime you can have a new and interesting way to present your dish, go for it. While you can scoop out the bit sized pieces and serve in a baking dish, the wedges would add a cool change to a table FULL of baking dishes.
      You could even use a round serving dish, place the wedges side by side with a small bowl in the middle. Put the brown sugar and maple syrup “sauce” in it with a gravy ladle. That way people could choose how they want to eat it. Sweet or savory. Placing some kind of greens like kale around the bottom of the bowl would add to the cool display as well.

  • DJ

    Hopefully someone can help me. I’m planning on making this for thanksgiving but I have never had it before, neither has the rest of my family. So, when the squash is cut in half, how do you serve it to a large group of people? Slice it, scoop it out, what? Obviously I will make a few squashes but I have no clue how to dish it out.


  • Susannah

    To make a healthier squash, we use Orange juice instead of butter. Helps to soften and moisten the squash w/o the fat.

  • Elise Bauer

    Regarding making plain acorn squash, just eliminate step 3. You want to cut the acorn squash lengthwise because the squash will lie easier in the pan that way.

  • Anonymous

    If I want to make plain acorn squash, do I need to alter the instructions apart from eliminating step 3? Also, what is the reasoning behind cutting the acorn squash lengthwise – does it not work to cut it horizontally? I am planning on serving the plain squash as a gluten-free “bread bowl” and putting chili inside, so you can scoop out some cooling, sweet squash with each bite of spiciness. Yummers!

    Thanks for the 2 great tips – about adding 1/4 inch of water to the bottom of the baking sheet so the skins don’t burn and also on scoring and then microwaving for 30 seconds to faciliate easier cutting.

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi MJ – What a great tip, thank you! I always have a hard time cutting an acorn squash in half. This will help.

    Hi Tom – We don’t eat the rind. Maybe some people do, but we don’t.

  • Tom

    OK, I’ve scoured the net and can’t find the answer… Should you eat the squash rind? I recently made Acorn Squash roasted in the oven but we weren’t too sure if you were supposed to eat the rind also, or just the flesh inside… help! :-)

    • JB

      It depends on the Squash, the skin on Butternut Squash is GREAT!!!! DELICIOUS!!!!

    • jackie

      I eat the rind everytime, its loaded w vitamins. Is there a reason you dont?

      • Elise Bauer

        Sometimes the rind of an acorn squash can be tough, which is why I usually don’t eat it.

  • mj

    Just a note about the cutting of the squash which I have been making for a million years with syrup and without!! Insert paring knife twice on the line where you will eventually cut squash and then microwave maybe 30 seconds to a minute…..simple to split afterwards. Love the site.

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Xarley – great idea, chopped walnuts. I’ve also seen versions with chopped pecans as well.

    Hi Beth – You’re welcome. This recipe is pretty easy, you just need to make sure to cook the squash long enough.

    Hi Dart – I eat acorn squash all the time without sugar; it depends on the level of sweetness I’m in the mood for. Personally I usually like it better with the maple syrup and brown sugar. To each her own, eh?

  • dart1121

    I’ve never understood why people put sugary stuff on their squash. Especially acorn, which is one of the sweeter varieties of this wonderful, versatile vegetable. I simply bake it with salt, pepper and a slab of butter in the middle. Or, if I want to serve it later, I scoop out the flesh after baking, put it in a microwave-safe dish, place pats of butter over it, and put it in the frig to be warmed in the microwave when needed. I always do this at Thanksgiving when oven space is at a premium. Please – I implore you! Try squash just once without the maple syrup or brown sugar. I’m sure you’ll agree that its sweet enough without the added calories.

    • Royce Napier

      This is the most delicious squash recipe ever!!! I implore you! Take your own advice! Try it!!

      • Zeak Rice

        Some like it sweet [my father] and some like it buttery [my mother] so I have had it both ways. I’m a sweet ‘toother’ but grow squash, that I like to eat, without either butter or sugar. For my tongue that would be ‘Kabocha’ , ‘Sweetmeat’ , ‘Blue Kuri’ , ‘Yokohama’ , Shishigatani’ and ‘Black Futsu’.

        • Manda Marie

          I agree. I roast acorn squash with olive oil and salt. If I’m feeling adventurous I add curry powder, I just love how that blends with the natural sweetness of the squash.

    • Anita

      dart, I’m with you! And it’s been so hard to find a recipe/technique for simple baked squash that doesn’t involve either brown sugar or maple syrup. Thanks for the simplicity.

    • slowcarbsnacktime

      I agree completely. There is enough added sugar in everything on the planet, no need to add even more to perfect vegetables. Personally I like my squash pretty salty to balance the sweetness – a little pinch of truffle salt goes a long way!

    • Mary Khile

      I bake my acorn like that. Just some Mortens Natures Seasons. sprinkled on it before baking. No sugar no butter . It is very very good and you absolutely need no sugar.

    • Teresa

      I 100% agree. No sugar or syrup. Go for butter with salt and pepper for baked goodness!

    • Aaron Tanasty

      As sweet monster Jesus as my witness, the acorn squash can really use some extra sweetness. I made one half of the squash with brown sugar and one half without. When eating the half without sugar, I pitied the men and women who couldn’t bring themselves to add sugar to their squash. But when I ate the half with sugar, I pitied them cheap men and women even more!

  • Xarley

    My husband and love Acorn squash. We make it a heartier dish by adding a handful of chopped walnuts to the center under the sugar and butter.

    • Laura

      I love the idea of adding walnuts! And maybe pecans to make it seem more like pumpkin pie? And it’s so true it’s impossible to overcook, just gets more caramelized and yummy. I used to hate acorn squash in my 20’s, now in my 30’s I’ve finally learned what really tastes good, hint hint, not pre-fab donuts and boxed anything. Good thing I smartened up! Now I’m in love with all things squashy.