This Roasted Acorn Squash will knock your socks off! With just a little butter, brown sugar, and cayenne pepper, you have a side dish everyone will love!
It can be baked in the oven or made in an air fryer.
It’s Fall. That means
arguing talking calmly with your little kids about Halloween costumes. And also time to start thinking about green bean casseroles, apple pie, and turkey.
And squash. Roasted acorn squash!
Just like its winter cousin, butternut squash, cutting acorn squash is less than enjoyable. Because, again, weirdly shaped and dense. But once you get it cut and scrape out the seeds and stringy pulp, you’re left with a blank canvas to do amazing things with. The world is your acorn squash oyster, friends!
I absolutely love it. Its center not only provides the perfect nook for stuffing, but it’s also conducive for puddles of melted butter to reside. Just a few simple pantry items can transform acorn squash into the most amazing roasted acorn squash ever. I’ve been known to eat an entire 2-pounder all by myself.
Scroll to the end for the complete printable recipe if you’re not interested in the helpful tips.
- Acorn squash
- Unsalted butter (so you can control the amount of salt)
- Brown sugar
- Cayenne pepper (optional, but recommended!)
How To Roast Acorn Squash
It’s so easy to roast acorn squash! Once you’ve got your squash washed and dried, you’ll carefully cut it in half, scrape out the seeds and pulp from each half, season the flesh, and bake until tender!
How Long to Roast Acorn Squash
Acorn Squash usually range in size from 1 1/2 to 2 pounds. Most of the ones I find are 1 1/2 pounds, which I bake in a 400 degree F oven for 50-60 minutes (or until tender when pierced with a fork or pairing knife.) If your squash is larger, you might need to extend the cooking time.
Air Fryer Acorn Squash
Have an air fryer and want to cook this acorn squash recipe in that instead of the oven? You can!
- If your air fryer requires preheating, set it on 325 degrees F for 5 minutes.
- Place acorn squash halves in the air fryer, cut side up.
- Air fry for 20 minutes.
- Spread the butter over the flesh of each half, then sprinkle with the sugar, salt, and cayenne (if using.)
- Increase the air fryer temp to 375°F and air fry an additional 10-15 minutes until golden brown and tender.
My air fryer is this Phillips model Air Fryer which is small, so my squash needs to be on the smaller side to fit both halves at the same time. If you own a different model air fryer, you might be able to fit more. Cooking times can also vary.
The combination of butter, brown sugar, salt, and a pinch of cayenne has a total wow factor. Sweet, salty, with a little heat – it’s out of this world and my favorite! But there are other flavors that are also crazy delicious.
Cinnamon, honey, or maple syrup absorb into the orange flesh making it so sweet. More into savory? Try garlic, thyme, and rosemary. Or garlic, cumin, and lime juice.
So many different acorn squash recipes, that you’ll never get bored with it.
This Roasted Acorn Squash is perfect for your Thanksgiving feast, crazy easy to make, and can easily be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled.
If you can’t wait that long, do what I’ve been doing – it’s called lunch!
Other Winter Squash Recipes
- Stuffed Acorn Squash (with roasted grapes and caramelized onions)
- Stuffed Acorn Squash (with wild rice, dried cranberries, and pecans)
- Roasted Butternut Squash (with herbs and Parmesan)
- Roasted Spaghetti Squash (with onion, garlic, and Parmesan)
Roasted Acorn Squash with Butter and Brown Sugar
- 1 1/2 pound acorn squash
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter , softened
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- sprinkle of salt , to taste
- sprinkle of cayenne pepper , optional but recommended!
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Wash and dry the squash, then carefully (but with some muscle!) cut in half along the ribs, lengthwise.
- With a spoon, scrape the seeds and pulp from each half; discard (or wash, dry, and roast the seeds with seasoning!)
- Spread the butter over the flesh of each half, then sprinkle with the sugar, salt, and cayenne.
- Place on a lined cookie sheet or in a baking dish with cut sides up.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork or pairing knife.