Looking for a Baked Acorn Squash Recipe? This Healthy Roasted Acorn Squash takes only 4 ingredients and 5 minutes to prep. It's naturally sweet with cinnamon, nutmeg, and only a hint of brown sugar that's optional. This easy side is sure to be the star of the meal proving that fall sides can be simple and tasty!
Healthy Baked Acorn Squash Recipe
Looking for healthy Acorn Squash Recipes? Start with my Healthy Baked Acorn Recipe that's simply prepared without a bunch of butter. This cozy fall side dish is prepared with coconut oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a touch of brown sugar or coconut sugar if you'd like. You can also leave it unsweetened to just enjoy the natural flavor.
Acorn Squash is not completely new to me.... but I have to admit the times I made it before involved lots of butter and lots of brown sugar. There is a time and place for butter and sugar but for my day-to-day meals, I prefer something a little healthier. So I decided to health-ify this classic fall dish... Healthy Baked Acorn Squash.
If you are new to acorn squash, it's in the same family as other winter squash like butternut squash or pumpkin but comes in a dark green shell that resembles a large acorn. It has a distinct flavor that's savory and sweet that e same time.
Why You'll Love This Simple Roasted Acorn Squash...
- This is a healthy take on acorn squash that's super simple to make with just 4 ingredients.
- No butter is involved, instead, I use coconut oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Only a tiny bit of brown sugar is added, or you can omit it if you prefer, so you can feel good about eating this dish regularly.
- Don't let the long cooking time keep you from making this dish. This roasted acorn squash recipe only takes 5 minutes of prep and the rest of the time is hands-off time while it's cooking in the oven.
- One serving is only 100 calories and is rich in vitamins from the acorn squash.
- This simple fall
- Acorn squash is naturally sweet so you don't always need the sugar!
- side dish tastes amazing and is fun to scoop out of the shell and eat! My kids even enjoyed eating these.
- It's a great way to get different fall vegetables into your diet.
Is Acorn Squash Good for You?
If you are new to trying acorn squash, you'll be surprised at the health benefits of this underrated squash. It's rich in antioxidants, vitamin A, carotenoids, folate, magnesium, dietary fiber, and potassium. It's low in cholesterol. Often when it's baked with lots of butter and maple syrup, you aren't getting all the rich health benefits but cooking it this way is the healthiest way to eat it!
Here's an overview of what you'll need to make this Healthy Baked Acorn Squash recipe, but keep scrolling for the full recipe amounts.
- Acorn squash: The peak season for acorn squash is early fall through winter but you can find them year-round now. Look for a good acorn squash that's smooth, with dry skin and no soft spots. The squash should be heavy for its size and have a rounded, dry stem. You'll want to stay away from ones with no stem because bacteria can get inside.
- Coconut oil: I substitute coconut oil for butter in this recipe.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon and nutmeg add a nice touch of flavor to the squash.
- Nutmeg: This spice perfectly compliments the cinnamon and adds some complexity to the roasted acorn squash.
- Brown sugar: Brown sugar brings out the flavor and adds a little sweetness. You can substitute maple syrup or omit it completely if you prefer.
How to Make Acorn Squash in the Oven:
This is an overview of the instructions to make this Healthy Baked Acorn Squash recipe, but the full detailed printable recipe is below in the recipe card.
- Preheat your oven to 375 F.
- Brush the melted coconut oil onto the acorn squash halves.
- Sprinkle with a pinch of brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Place the acorn squash in a 9x9 casserole dish, cut-side up. Put ½ cup of water in the bottom of the pan. Cover with foil.
- Cook for 40 minutes and remove the foil.
- Cook or bake uncovered for 15 more minutes.
How long does it take to roast acorn squash?
If you cut the acorn squash in half like I've shown it takes about 55 minutes to 1 hour to roast. I roast mine at 375 degrees.
Tips for Cutting the Acorn Squash
The hardest part of the entire Healthy Baked Acorn Squash recipe is cutting the acorn squash in half. Here are some tips to help.
- You can microwave the whole acorn squash for a minute before trying to cut it. A couple of minutes in the microwave will soften it just enough to help cut it but not completely cook it.
- Make the squash is stabilized on the flattest side before trying t cut it. You don't want it rolling around.
- Then use a cutting board and a very sharp knife to cut it in half. You'll want a good chef's knife.
- If you get your knife stuck, try using a rubber mallet to finish the job.
- Once you get your acorn squash cut in half, use a spoon the scoop out the seeds.
Fun Fact: The seeds of acorn squash are roastable like pumpkin seeds!
- Make it Sweet: Add more brown sugar or pure maple syrup for that traditional sweet taste.
- Make it Savory: Try garlic powder, thyme, and rosemary instead of cinnamon and nutmeg. Add salt and pepper to the recipe then.
Storage & Leftovers
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
I would not recommend freezing this recipe.
How do you know when acorn squash is done?
The squash is done cooking when it's tender. If you can easily pierce it with a fork, and the flesh separates into spaghetti-like strands, then it's done cooking.
Can you eat the skin of acorn squash?
You may be surprised to hear this, but you actually can eat the skin of acorn squash! And it's really tasty! Once roasted, the skin becomes really soft and tender, making it easy to eat.
Is acorn squash healthy?
YES! Acorn squash has a vibrant color and is filled with nutrients like vitamin C, B vitamins, and antioxidants and it's brimming with fiber. It's also a low-calorie food and when made this way without a bunch of butter and sugar it is super healthy for you. The squash has a naturally sweet flavor and doesn't need all of that stuff.
This Healthy Baked Acorn Squash Recipe is so Simple & Tasty!
This Healthy Acorn Squash recipe is one of the best of fall! I love how simple it lets the flavorful winter squash shine, without covering it with a bunch of butter and sugar. The natural sweetness in this recipe is lovely. It's a great addition to weekday meals, but even tasty enough to add to our Thanksgiving or Christmas Menu.
A lot of acorn squash recipes can be fussy, but if you are looking for easy roasted acorn squash with just simple, pure ingredients this is it. No fuss here.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Here are a few ideas of what to serve it with. Enjoy!
Serve it With:
- 3 Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms
- Portobello Mushroom Steaks
- Fall Harvest Salad
- Apple Cranberry Salad
- Fall Harvest Bowl
- The Best Vegetarian Stuffing
- Harvest Farro
- Sauteed Kale
More Winter Squash Recipes to Try:
- Crock Pot Butternut Squash Soup
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash
- Vegan Stuffed Butternut Squash
- Rosemary Roasted Delicata Squash
- Farro, Mushroom, Cranberry & Walnut Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Roasted Butternut Squash
- Sauteed Kale and Butternut Squash
- Southwest Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
- Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash Marinara
Easy Healthy Baked Acorn Squash
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Brush the coconut oil over all sides of the acorn squash.
- Sprinkle with the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Place in a 9x9 casserole dish. Put ½ cup of water in the bottom on the pan. Cover with foil.
- Cook for 40 minutes and remove the foil.
- Cook uncovered for the remaining 15 minutes.
- You can omit the sugar altogether as well! This small amount brings out the flavor!
- The hardest part of the entire recipe is cutting this baby in half. You can microwave it for a minute or two to help out and use a very sharp knife. Obviously, keep your fingers completely away.
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