By: The Real Food Dietitians Updated: 11/27/21
This Roasted Acorn Squash Recipe is unlike anything else you’ll find. We think it’s the best (and easiest) way to prepare acorn squash for your dinner table, holiday menu, and fun foodie gatherings. Though you’ll most often find acorn squash recipes that are doused in butter and brown sugar, that’s certainly not the only way to enjoy this delicious, nutritious, and hearty winter veggie. One taste of this savory squash recipe and you’ll be hooked!
The recipe was originally published November 5, 2019; Updated Oct 11, 2022.
Should roasted Acorn Squash be Sweet or Savory?
We say that acorn squash is a delicious and good-for-you vegetable no matter how it’s prepared. However, there are way too many versions of acorn squash out there that lean toward (or far into) the sweet realm without exploring the savory side of this great-tasting winter squash. In this recipe for acorn squash roasted on a sheet pan, you match this naturally sweet veg with herbs, garlic, butter, and Parmesan cheese so your taste buds get tingled with an amazing range of flavors.
Eating Acorn Squash is Good For You
Acorn squash is consider a long-storing winter squash (along with pumpkins, butternut squash, delicata, spaghetti squash, and more). It lasts for a long time after harvest when stored in a cool and dark place. Acorn squash is an excellent source of fiber (you get 9 grams of fiber per cup), as well as vitamin C (needed for immunity), B vitamins (for metabolism support), and disease-fighting protective provitamin A.
Ingredients to make Roasted Acorn squash
This recipe tastes fancy enough for a restaurant menu, but it comes together so easily with everyday ingredients from your pantry and fridge. Here’s what you need to make one of the best Acorn Squash recipes you’ll ever taste:
- acorn squash – this recipe was designed to use acorn squash, though you could use butternut squash, delicata, or another sturdy winter squash variety
- Parmesan cheese – Parmesan is an easy-to-find and flavorful choice to use in the roasted acorn squash recipe, however, you could also use Asiago cheese, Pecorino Romano cheese, Manchego, or another hard aged white cheese
- herbs – you can use fresh or dried herbs, or a combination of both; we recommend using a combination of thyme, sage, oregano, and rosemary, or dried Italian seasoning is another nice option
- butter – may sub ghee, olive oil, or coconut oil
- garlic powder – can use grated fresh garlic or onion powder in a pinch
- salt and black pepper
This savory and salty combination of ingredients taste magically good when it coats the acorn squash roasted to perfection on a baking sheet in your oven. The skin of the squash gets tender enough to eat, if you’d like. Or, you can easily peel it away from the tender, buttery, cheesy half-moons of squash.
Keep reading and scrolling for tips for success, as well as the complete recipe. The ingredient list with exact measurements can be found in the recipe card below.
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how to cook acorn squash
Wondering how to bake acorn squash or how to roast acorn squash? Here’s our method for making this perfectly tender oven-baked acorn squash in 5 steps.
- Preheat the oven and prep the pans: Preheat the oven to 400℉. Line one large (or two medium size) baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Cut the squash: Cut the acorn squash in half, from stem to tip, and scoop out the seeds. Then, cut each squash half into ½-inch thick moon-shape slices.
- Make the topping: In a bowl, combine the Parmesan, herbs, melted butter, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper; toss until well mixed.
- Press the topping onto the squash: Spread the acorn squash pieces out onto the prepared baking sheet(s). Using your hands, gently press the Parmesan mixture onto one side of each squash piece for maximum coverage (it’s OK if a little falls off).
- Bake the squash: Bake until acorn squash pieces are tender and the Parmesan topping is crispy and slightly browned, about 25 minutes. If desired, garnish with additional Parmesan cheese and herbs. Use a flat spatula to lift each piece off of the baking dish and onto a serving tray or dinner plates.
For the complete directions, ingredient amounts, and nutrition analysis that lists calories, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, sugar, sodium per serving, scroll down to the recipe card below.
The Best Herbs to Use In This Squash Recipe
Herbs are essential to creating the delicious flavor in this acorn squash roasted recipe. But the beautiful thing is that you can use either fresh or dried herbs (aka: whatever you have on hand will work)!
For fresh herbs: Use 2 to 3 tablespoons of finely minced fresh herbs
For dried herbs: Use 1 teaspoon of dried herbs
We suggest you use thyme, sage, rosemary, or oregano (or a mix of these), as either fresh or dried herbs. Dried Italian seasoning is another great option.
FAQs for Making This Acorn Squash Recipe Just Right
Here are some frequently asked questions about this popular recipe acorn squash with cheese.
- How do I get the herb-cheese mixture to stick on the squash? This topping mixture is a little like a paste-like crumble. When the acorn squash is setting on the baking sheet, spoon and gently press the crumble mixture onto each piece of the squash (a little will fall off, and that’s OK). After baking, use a flat spatula to lift the acorn squash pieces off of the sheet pan.
- What oven temperature should I roast acorn squash? Wondering what temperature and how to roast acorn squash? We get that question a lot. For this recipe, a 400-degree oven is just right.
- Is it better to use fresh or dried herbs? Both fresh and dried herbs will work in this recipe, so it’s more a matter of your preference and what you have on hand. If using fresh herbs, use 2-3 tablespoons. If using dried herbs, use 1 teaspoon.
- Can you eat the skin on the acorn squash? Yes, because you are roasting the squash in thin(ish) slices, the skin becomes tender and you can eat it (a lot like eating the skin of a baked potato). But if that’s not your jam, you don’t HAVE to eat it – it peels away nicely from the roasted squash.
FAQs Continued ….
- What other toppings could I add? We’ve had some commenters tell us that they added such things as finely diced bacon pieces, capers, finely minced mushrooms, onion powder, paprika, and even cooked sausage bits to the topping.
- What does acorn squash taste like? I’ve never had it. Acorn squash has a bit of a more fibrous texture than butternut squash. It has a mild natural sweetness and some would say it has a mild nutty flavor. The flavor is not overpowering in any way, which is why acorn squash roasted with a cheesy herb topping like this one is a wonderful way to prepare this winter squash.
- The hardest part for me is cutting the squash. Any tips? Yes, a tough squash like an acorn squash can be hard to cut through. We recommend that you hold the squash firmly with one hand on a cutting board. Use a Chef’s knife to cut the acorn squash in half, from root to stem. Then, place each half on the cutting board, flat side down. Use the same knife to cut the squash into 1/2-inch thick half circle (or moons). We’ve also heard that microwaving a whole squash for 1-2 minutes can make it easier to cut.
- Should I cut the squash root to stem, or side to side? We recommend that you first cut the squash in half from root to stem. Then, cut each half into 1/2-inch-thick slices to create the half moon shapes.
Perfect Occasions to serve Oven-roasted squash
This roasted acorn quash recipe is simple enough for a weeknight dinner and also a great side dish for your holiday table. Don’t be surprised if someone tells you that they had no idea that acorn squash could be prepared in a savory way! Here are some times we think this roasted acorn squash recipe is just right:
- fall, winter, and spring holidays
- hosting dinner guests
- a new veggie for weeknight dinners
- 1 large acorn squash (or 2 small)
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese + more for garnishing
- 2–3 tablespoons fresh herbs or 1 teaspoon dried herbs (we suggest: thyme, sage, rosemary, oregano, or a mix of these)
- 1 tablespoons butter or ghee, melted (may sub olive oil or coconut oil)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt + more to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400℉. Line one large (or two medium size) baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Cut the acorn squash in half, from stem to tip, and scoop out the seeds. Then, cut each squash half into ½-inch thick moon-shape slices.
- In a bowl, combine the Parmesan, herbs, melted butter, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper; toss until well mixed.
- Spread the acorn squash pieces out onto the prepared baking sheet(s). Using your hands, gently press the Parmesan mixture onto one side of each squash piece for maximum coverage (it’s OK if a little falls off).
- Bake until the acorn squash pieces are tender and the Parmesan topping is crispy and slightly browned, about 25 minutes. If desired, garnish with additional Parmesan cheese and herbs. Use a flat spatula to lift each piece off of the baking dish and onto a serving tray or dinner plates.
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- Serving Size: 1/4th of recipe
- Calories: 143
- Fat: 7 g
- (Sat Fat: 2 g)
- Sodium: 210 mg
- Carbohydrate: 13 g
- (Fiber: 3 g
- Sugar: 0 g)
- Protein: 5 g
© The Real Food Dietitians
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