Baked Acorn Squash Recipe

Baked Acorn Squash on a plate with a knife and fork

The Spruce Eats / Stephanie Goldfinger

Prep: 8 mins
Cook: 55 mins
Total: 63 mins
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Yield: 1 squash
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
168 Calories
6g Fat
31g Carbs
2g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 168
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 140mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 8g 27%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 18mg 92%
Calcium 81mg 6%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 751mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

One simple and delicious way to bring on those wonderfully nostalgic fall weather feelings is by serving roasted acorn squash. Squash is a bit like a sweet potato in that it takes on both sweet and savory flavors well. This recipe leans into the sweeter side with honey and brown sugar, but you could go savory with herbs, garlic, and black pepper if that is more your taste.

The skin of acorn squash is tough and not for eating, even when cooked. Be sure to toss the skin after roasting the squash. This method uses minimal cutting, so you don’t have to sweat over removing the raw, tough skin ahead of cooking, which is no easy feat. Just scoop out the cooked squash and leave the skin for compost.

If you’re the Sunday meal prep type, this is a great recipe to add to your repertoire. Roast several squashes, perhaps one on the sweet side and one leaning more savory, then scoop the insides out into an airtight container. Shred rotisserie chicken to add to the side, along with some blanched green beans and a slice of lemon. This makes for a delicious and nutritious lunch throughout the week, and the alternating flavor profile of the sweet and savory squash means you won’t get bored with your meal.

"The baked acorn squash was delicious with the sweet honey, butter, and brown sugar mixture. An acorn squash is hard to cut through, so make sure you use a good, sharp chef's knife. The squash was perfectly cooked, and made an excellent side dish." —Diana Rattray

baked acorn squash with honey and brown sugar - tester image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 medium acorn squash

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 400 F.

    Baked Acorn Squash ingredients

    The Spruce Eats / Stephanie Goldfinger

  2. Carefully cut the stem from the acorn squash and place the squash cut-side down onto a cutting board. Cut the squash in half down the center. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and set aside for later use.

    Acorn Squash with the seeds removed on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Stephanie Goldfinger

  3. Use a fork to poke a few holes all over the inside of the squash.

    Squash halves with holes from a fork, on a wood cutting board with a fork

    The Spruce Eats / Stephanie Goldfinger

  4. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt, and stir well to combine.

    Melted butter, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl with a whisk

    The Spruce Eats / Stephanie Goldfinger

  5. Use a basting brush to brush the inside of the squash with the mixture. Be sure to use all the butter mixture and cover the inside of the squash completely. It's OK if the mixture slightly pools in the center of the squash.

    Squash halves brushed with sauce on a wooden cutting board, next to a bowl with sauce

    The Spruce Eats / Stephanie Goldfinger

  6. Place squash on a large baking sheet cut-side up. Roast until fork-tender, about 50 to 55 minutes, basting two to three times throughout cooking and rotating the squash for even cooking.

    Baked Acorn Squash on a lined baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Stephanie Goldfinger


Use a sharp chef's knife, carefully cut the stem end off the squash, then stand it on the cut end and slice it in half. The squash is hard, and can be very difficult to cut. Once you get the knife into the squash, try pushing it through using a rocking motion.

Recipe Variations

  • Sprinkle the squash with a dash of black pepper, or for a touch of heat sprinkle with a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes or slightly milder Aleppo pepper.
  • Add a tablespoon or two of chopped pecans to the sauce mixture.
  • For seasonal fall flavor, replace the cinnamon with pumpkin pie spice.
  • Replace the honey with maple syrup.

How to Store

  • Refrigerate leftover squash in a covered container within 2 hours and eat it within 4 days.
  • Reheat leftover acorn squash in a 350 F oven for about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir the filling after about 10 minutes.

Can you cut acorn squash ahead time?

Cutting an acorn squash hours or days ahead of cooking isn't recommended. Cutting the squash doesn’t take much time, so it’s best to do that part when you’re ready to roast the squash. Otherwise, the inside of the squash will dry out and result in uneven cooking.

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