Winter squash comfort is what I call this dish. I have made this Baked Acorn Squash since Kyle was just a tot. It was a favorite of his and I tried to make them on a regular basis during the winter months. Now he’s all grown up and quite honestly I kinda forgot about them until this winter. I was in the grocery store and walked right by them. One jumped into my cart and this recipe along with the memories flooded to mind. I knew this wouldn’t be Paul’s kind of thing, but I just had to try. Would you believe he actually liked it? He even said he would eat them again! Well, it was a sweet surprise to me!
These roasted acorn squash halves are a little sweet from the brown sugar, but full of flavor from the orange zest, ginger and nutmeg. Almost like eating candy squash! And a great way to get kids to eat their vegetables. Yes, I know, it has some sugar… but I figure the butter will offset that sugar and cancel it out… Ok, maybe not, but it’s a vegetable nonetheless! And a must try!
Here’s how I bake them.
Baked Acorn Squash
Acorn Squash is available in most grocery stores throughout the winter months, hence the reason it’s called a winter squash! And they even kinda look like a acorn! The most common characteristics of this squash is it’s deep green color with a nice splash of orange.
First, go ahead and get the oven preheating to 375.
Let’s cut the acorn squash in half, but first let me make a couple suggestions:
Use a large and sharp knife. If you’re using a dull knife, it will take more effort to cut the squash and you’re more likely to slip and risk cutting yourself. Not a good thing! Another thing I tend to do is lay the acorn squash on it’s side and cut following one of the ribs. See my picture above… One last thing, don’t try to cut the stem in half. When cutting the squash, start at the edge of the stem, then cut following a rib through the tail end of the squash. When you separate the halves, the stem will be on one of the halves.
You can see here that the stem is totally on one half. Now we need to remove the seeds.
Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds, then scrape the meaty part of the squash to remove any excess pulp.
Place the halves in a 2-3 inch deep casserole dish. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combing the brown sugar, orange zest, nutmeg, ginger and salt.
Fill each cavity with half of the brown sugar mixture. Then top each half with 1 Tablespoon thinly sliced butter.
Pour the water into the baking dish (not into the squash halves) to create a steam bath for the squash.
Cover with aluminum foil. Place in preheated 375 degree oven and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and place the squash back into the oven for another 10-15 minutes until it’s fork tender. Times can vary depending on the size. This one was about two pounds.
Remove from the oven and let it rest 5-10 minutes. You’re not gonna be able to eat it anyway since it’s like… 375 degrees… so we’ll let that sweet butter gold start seeping into the squash. Oh soooo delicious!!
I like just eating it right out of it’s shell. Using a fork, mix the buttery sugary mixture into the squash and serve. Of course, if you’re serving it as a side dish, you can scoop it into a bowl and top with some delicious roasted sugar coated pecans. Oh, that would have been a bonus! I’ll do that next time and share a picture.
How is your favorite way to make acorn squash?
Here’s a printer friendly recipe.