Glazed with maple syrup and seasoned with paprika, Roasted Acorn Squash is a little bit sweet, a little bit spicy, and every bit delicious!
Simple Yet Impressive
Roasting acorn squash is one of the simplest ways to prepare this seasonal vegetable. However, the results are spectacular.
Roasted Acorn is tender, sweet, and nutty. While delicious when prepared with nothing more than oil and salt and pepper, my recipe for roasted acorn squash adds maple syrup and paprika for a sweet and savory application that makes this roasted acorn squash memorable.
My husband said that this squash recipe tasted like caramel corn to him--and I could see where he came up with that analogy. The acorn squash has a nutty bite and the maple syrup is perfectly sweet. The salt and paprika just balance this dish perfectly and allow the flavors to work harmoniously together.
This easy recipe for acorn squash is so easy it is perfect for a weeknight meal, but yet impressive enough for your holiday dinner as well.
Keys to Roasting Acorn Squash
Just like Roasted Carrots, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, or Roasted Broccoli, there are a few key things to remember to achieve perfect caramelization in the time it takes the acorn squash to cook until tender.
- Preheat your oven! Let your oven preheat fully to 400 degrees BEFORE placing the acorn squash in the oven. If you place the squash in the oven while the oven is preheating, the outer parts of the squash will cook too fast before the squash is tender.
- 400 degrees Fahrenheit is the perfect temperature to allow the squash to caramelize without burning. DO NOT be tempted to raise the temperature of your oven to speed up the roasting.
- Do not overcrowd the baking sheet, as this will cause the squash to steam instead of roasting. It is better to use two baking sheets if needed.
- Flip the squash two-thirds of the way through roasting, to evenly cook the acorn squash.
How to Prepare Acorn Squash
- Cut the acorn squash in half crosswise.
- Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard seeds and membrane.
- Cut each squash half into half again.
- Cut each quarter of the squash into 1-inch crescent-shaped slices.
- Toss the slices with the oil, salt, pepper, paprika, and maple syrup.
- Spread the squash out onto the baking sheet.
- Roast, flipping the squash after 20 minutes, until the squash is fork tender and the edges are a bit golden and crispy.
Storage and Reheating Instructions
You can store leftover acorn squash in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
To reheat, place on a lightly greased baking sheet and roast for 7-10 minutes at 400 degrees F to warm the squash through. Roasting the squash instead of microwaving it will keep the squash from becoming soggy.
When selecting an acorn squash, look for one that has a smooth, dry rind with no cracks. The rind should also be green in color, and dull, not shiny. A few spots of orange or yellow are okay, but the more green, the better. Finally, pick it up. Acorn squash should feel a bit heavier than it looks.
Yes! The peel of acorn squash is so thin, there is no need to peel your acorn squash before roasting. In fact, leaving the peel on the acorn squash allows it to stay intact better while being roasted. Not to mention, the skin of the acorn squash is not only edible but full of fiber and nutrients.
If you need a sugar-free or low-carb-friendly recipe, simply omit the maple syrup. This recipe will result in perfectly cooked and seasoned acorn squash.
This recipe calls for olive oil. But feel free to use melted coconut oil in place of the olive oil for a richer acorn squash dish. Canola oil will work as well.
The paprika adds a mild spice level, but not spicy as in adding heat. It helps to balance out the sweetness of the maple syrup, but you can omit it for a sweeter side dish.
More Delicious Squash Recipes
- Roasted Butternut Squash
- Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash
- Butternut Squash Chili
- Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup
If you enjoyed this recipe for Roasted Acorn Squash, please be sure to leave a comment and review below.
Maple Roasted Acorn Squash
- 1 acorn squash sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Wash and pat dry the acorn squash. Cut the acorn squash in half crosswise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard seeds and membrane. Cut each squash half into half again. Cut each quarter of the squash into 1-inch crescent-shaped slices.
- Toss sliced acorn squash with olive oil, salt, paprika, and maple syrup.
- Lay squash slices evenly on a large baking sheet, being careful to not crowd the baking dish.
- Roast for 20 minutes and then flip the squash and roast for an additional 10 minutes.
How do you eat this dish? With your fingers?
I personally use a fork and knife...but have been know to pick them up and eat with my fingers too.
Just made this and it was FANTASTIC! Sprinkled w sea salt and brown sugar to serve. Perfect for fall; practically a dessert so delicious.
I love hearing you enjoyed Ana. Great idea adding brown sugar.
This was so delicious - I ate the skin. Great the next day too, reheated in the toaster oven. I will make this on Thanksgiving.
Thank you for sharing!!!
I am so glad you enjoyed Maria! I am glad to know you enjoyed reheated as well.
I love this recipe and have made it made times. I also add a sprinkle of cinnamon. Delicious!!
I am so glad you enjoy Erin 🙂
Hi Mindfull Mom! Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for the acorn squash recipe
Hubby is making this today. Can’t wait to taste it!
YAY!!! I hope you enjoy Sandra!
What a lovely and simple side dish. The maple and paprika were amazing together!
Thank you Katherine. It is a perfect sweet and savory combo!
I have been trying to find some new squash ideas! This looks like a good one!
This is a PERFECT recipe for squash. Enjoy Sarah.