Acorn Squash With a Simple Glaze

Two whole acorn squash on a marble slab

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  • Total: 85 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 70 mins
  • Yield:

Acorn squash is a winter squash and perfect in the fall when its colors echo seasonal foliage. It can be orange, buff (said to have more of a concentrated flavor), dark green, or a combination. Baked acorn squash makes a delicious side dish for any family meal, and it's special enough for a holiday dinner.

One reason we like to bake acorn squash halves or quarters is that there's no need to peel it. Peeling is difficult, not only because the skin is very hard, but also because of the ridges running up and down the squash. After baking, the tender squash easily separates from the peel. In this recipe, its smooth and sweet flesh is brushed with a mixture of butter, brown sugar, and marmalade.

Plan on one-half acorn squash for each person if the squash are small to medium in size. If the squash are quite large, one will probably be enough for four people. This might just become your new holiday side dish. 

Ingredients

  • 2 small to medium acorn squash
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons marmalade (or hot pepper jelly)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place the oven rack in the center of the oven and heat it to 400 F. Rinse the acorn squashes and pat dry. Place them on a cutting board

    Acorn squash on a cutting board ready to be cut
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  3. With a sharp, heavy knife, slice each squash in half lengthwise. It can roll, so cut carefully.

    An acorn squash on a cutting board being cut with a chef's knife
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  4. Using a spoon, scoop the seeds and fibers out of each squash half.

    Scooping the seeds out of an acorn squash half
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  5. Arrange the squash halves, cut sides up, in a large shallow baking dish.

    With a sharp knife, score the inside of the squash halves. This will allow some of the glaze to sink into the squash. Sprinkle each half lightly with salt and pepper.

    Scored acorn squash in a baking pan
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  6. Combine the marmalade, butter, and brown sugar in a small saucepan or microwave-safe bowl and heat until hot and melted, stirring occasionally. Brush the squash generously with the glaze mixture.

    Brushing glaze on acorn squash halves
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  7. Put the baking dish in the heated oven and add about 1/2 inch of hot water to the dish. Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the squash is very tender. Use a fork to test for tenderness.

    Adding water to the baking pan with the acorn squash
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  8. Remove the squash from the oven and let them cool slightly. Put the halves in dishes or on a serving platter.

    A baked glazed acorn squash in a serving bowl
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  9. Enjoy!

Recipe Variations

  • Use honey instead of the brown sugar.
  • Try a mixture of butter, herbs, and spices for completely savory squash.
  • Alternatively, brush only with butter. If desired, sprinkle with a cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  • Or fill the baked squash with Spanish rice or another cooked filling, top it with cheese, and bake a little longer to melt the cheese. Stuffed squash makes a delicious main dish or a filling side dish.

Recipe Tags: