Acorn Squash: Roasted

Posted by James Collier on Dec 02, 2011
Filed: Side Dish
Tagged: seasonal eats winter squash

I know what you're thinking: "Do I eat this, or use it for a table decoration during the holidays?"

You eat it. Roasted, with a little butter, salt and pepper. That's all you need.

I first discovered the simplicity of this preparation while working for Community Food Bank. We had received a large shipment of produce--too much for the agencies that we served to take--so we set up a distribution at a local church. We lined the parking lot with tables, set up produce boxes, and handed everyone that came a paper bag to "shop" with. I stood by the acorn squash, and quickly noticed it wasn't a popular choice.

"There's plenty of squash--take all you want" I urged.

"Oh, no thanks. I wouldn't know what to do with it." I lost count of how many times I heard that.

Honestly, I wasn't sure myself, so I took a guess: cut it half, sprinkle salt and pepper over it, and throw it in the microwave until tender. "Top it with a little butter, and the kids will love it!" The reaction was positive, and we eventually ran out of squash (and everything else).

Feeling a little guilty, I picked up a couple squash that weekend to test the recipe. Turns out, it really is that simple. I've since adapted it for the oven, simply because I love the flavor of roasted veggies, but if you're putting together a quick weeknight dinner, the microwave is your best friend.

Roasted Acorn Squash

Serves 4


  • 2-3 acorn squash (the smaller they are, the less time to cook and the more tender they'll be)
  • 2 Tbsps. olive oil
  • 2 tsps. sea salt
  • 2 tsps. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. butter


Preheat oven to 400F. Cut each squash in half, from point to stem, and scoop out the seeds. Place cut side down in a baking pan and drizzle with olive oil; flip so that the inside is facing up, drizzle with the remaining olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Small squash can cook in as little as 20 minutes; larger squash may need as long as 45. Test the squash with a fork--when the meat pulls away from the outer shell with ease, it's done. It will have a texture similar to that of a sweet potato.

Serve the squash in halves, each topped with a little butter, or scoop the squash into a bowl for serving.