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Close up of half a baked squash

How To Cook Acorn Squash

Learn how to cook acorn squash for the most deliciously tender and easy winter side dish! With microwave instructions for when you're pressed on time but still want a filling, healthy side.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword acorn squash, how to cook acorn squash, roasted acorn squash recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 106 kcal
Author Cheryl Malik


  • 1 medium acorn squash
  • olive oil or avocado oil for brushing
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter if desired
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup if desired


In the oven:

  1. Use a sharp knife to cut the squash in half. If it stays attached at the stem; use your hands to separate it into two pieces. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds; discard or reserve to roast later.

  2. Cut off a very small sliver on the round bottom of each half to help them sit cut side up. Brush the cut sides with a little olive or avocado oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper, as desired. Place on a baking sheet, cut side up, and bake at 400º F for 40-50 minutes, depending on size.

  3. If using maple syrup and butter, place 1 tablespoon of each in the squash cavity after about half of roasting time. About 10 minutes later, baste dry squash surface with melted butter and maple syrup, then return to oven to finish roasting. For more information, check out my Roasted Acorn Squash with Maple Butter recipe.

  4. A fork should very easily pierce the flesh when the squash is done.

To microwave:

  1. Prepare acorn squash as directed but do not brush with oil. Sprinkle the cut sides with salt and pepper and place, cut sides down, on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave for 8 minutes on full power.

  2. Test for doneness by piercing with a fork. If fork pierces easily, squash is done. If there is resistance, return to microwave for 2 more minutes on full power.

  3. The squash can be eaten at this point, or you can carefully (Squash will be very hot!) turn the squash over and place on a baking sheet. Brush with a little olive or avocado oil and broil for about 6 inches from the heating element, monitoring closely, for about 3-5 minutes or until golden brown in spots.

Recipe Notes

Nutritional values are calculated without maple syrup or butter

Nutrition Facts
How To Cook Acorn Squash
Amount Per Serving
Calories 106 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 21mg1%
Potassium 748mg21%
Carbohydrates 22g7%
Fiber 3g13%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 791IU16%
Vitamin C 24mg29%
Calcium 71mg7%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.