This is the best roasted acorn squash recipe with a super easy and life-changing maple butter (It’s that good!). It’s the easiest and simplest way to bake acorn squash in the oven, with a deepness and richness from sweet, real maple syrup and butter that simply can’t be beat.
Hey, real quick, got a question. Is it
a) really OK,
b) acceptable but only in moderation, or,
c) socially frowned upon to
bathe in the maple butter pooled in this roasted acorn squash? Asking for me, not a friend. Asking for me.
Wait, no, bathing in this maple butter is ridiculous! I just want to drink it.
I’ve been eating this recipe for the best roasted acorn squash with life-changing maple butter since way before I was making it: it’s actually a family recipe or method I grew up with! I can’t say that for most of my recipes, so it’s especially exciting when I get to share a formative recipe from my awkward tight-ponytail bangs-pulled-back braces-on-with-coordinated-rubber-bands days. Also, recently my mom gave me a photo album of pictures from, let’s say, generally the 90s, so… That.
Why this roasted acorn squash recipe with maple butter is so good
- It’s the easiest and simplest recipe to cook acorn squash in the oven, and it’s quite quick thanks to the high heat.
- The pure maple syrup brings out the natural sweetness of the acorn squash, and the butter enriches the flavor beautifully. Plus, fat + complex carbs = you’ll feel fuller longer!
- The higher heat caramelizes the roasted acorn squash and brings out the flavor in the maple butter.
- It can be customized to suit any dietary consideration, like vegan or paleo.
How do you cut an acorn squash for roasting?
You can slice acorn squash and roast them that way, but I prefer to roast acorn squash in halves. Here’s how you do it:
Cut the acorn squash down the middle. Be careful, since it’s not the easiest thing in the world to slice through, and you might want to slice off the top with the stem if you have trouble.
Slice off a small sliver on the round bottom of the half, so it can sit cut side up stably.
Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and membranes in the center cavity. Discard or clean and roast for snacking or to garnish salads!
How do you roast acorn squash?
Roasted acorn squash is simply baked in the oven. This is my preferred way of cooking acorn squash since it’s super easy, and it’s honestly hard to overbake it. What that means is I typically throw it in the oven at the start of my dinner preparation and forget about it, just remembering to baste the surfaces with the melted sweet maple butter every so often.
I recommend cooking the acorn squash at a slightly lower temperature, like 400º F, if you’re making a more involved main course recipe and won’t be paying as close of attention to your roasted acorn squash since the higher heat which produces a more beautiful caramelization otherwise can burn if left too long.
Do you eat the skins?
You can! I typically don’t when I make roasted acorn squash halves, but it’s absolutely edible. I am more likely to eat the skins when I make roasted acorn squash slices but it definitely won’t hurt you. After roasting this way, too, it becomes quite soft!
Can I make this vegan?
Absolutely! Simply replace the butter with vegan butter or coconut oil. I particularly love Miyoko’s cultured butter for a non-dairy butter replacement; it tastes a lot like regular and has minimally processed ingredients.
How to make this roasted acorn squash with maple butter
Prepare your acorn squash as directed above. Place the halves cut side up on a small baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.
Bake (roast) at 425º F for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, remove your acorn squash from the oven and place 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup in the center of each half. Return to oven.
Roast another 25-35 minutes depending on the size of your squash or until very soft and tender, super easily pricked with a fork. During roasting, using a pastry brush, baste the top surface of the acorn squash with the melted maple butter. Do this every 5-10 minutes or so. It’s not necessary but adds such flavor and caramelization to the surface of the squash.
Remove from oven and let cool slightly then serve.
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Roasted Acorn Squash with Maple Butter
- 1 piece medium acorn squash
- 2 tablespoons butter divided, see note for vegan
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup divided
- 1 pinch salt
- Preheat oven to 425º Fahrenheit.
- Prepare your acorn squash: carefully slice all the way down the middle of the acorn squash. Remove stem first if you have trouble. Once halved, slice a thin piece off the round bottom of each half. With a spoon, scoop out the seeds and membranes; discard or reserve to roast later. Cut butter into 1-tablespoon pats.
- Place cut side up on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 15 minutes then remove from oven and place a pat of butter and drizzle 1 tablespoon maple syrup in the cavity of each squash.
- Continue roasting another 25-35 minutes or until flesh is very soft and easily forced with a fork, basting every 10 minutes or so. To baste, pull out oven rack with baking sheet and, with a pastry brush, baste the top edge of the squash with the melted maple butter, then return to oven. When acorn squash is roasted, the flesh is soft, and the surface is browned with a few dark brown spots, remove from oven, let stand a few minutes, and serve.
Cheryl Malik is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind the healthy, flavorful, family friendly recipes at 40 Aprons. She’s been a blogger for 10+ years and is known for her delicious recipes and detailed recipe instructions. Cheryl is a mom of three who lives in Memphis, TN.