Fall sides can be simple and tasty! This Healthy Roasted Acorn Squash takes only 5 minutes to prep and it's naturally sweet with only a hint of brown sugar that's optional. This easy side is sure to be the star of the meal!
Fall is growing on me.
I'm even branching out and trying new fall vegetables. I eat so much fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables in the summer and I feel like I miss that this time of year.
Healthy Roasted Acorn Squash
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 (hello Thanksgiving!) 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.
Why You'll Love This Simple Roasted Acorn Squash...
This is a healthy take on acorn squash that's super simple to make. No butter is involved, instead, I use coconut oil. 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.
Ingredients in the squash...
- Acorn squash: Peak season for acorn squash is early fall through winter but you can find them year-round now.
- 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 completely if you prefer.
How to Make Roasted Acorn Squash
- Preheat your oven to 375 F.
- Brush the melted coconut oil onto the acorn squash halves.
- Sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Place the squash in a 9x9 casserole dish. Put ½ cup of water in the bottom of the pan. Cover with foil.
- Cook for 40 minutes and remove the foil.
- Cook 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 Making Healthy Roasted Acorn Squash
- The hardest part of the entire recipe is cutting this baby in half. You can microwave the whole acorn squash for a minute or two before trying to cut it. Then use a very sharp knife to cut it in half. A couple of minutes in the microwave will soften in just enough to help cut it but not completely cook it.
- Acorn squash is naturally sweet so you don't always need the sugar!
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, 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.
And with food like this, Healthy Acorn Squash recipe, you might convince me to jump over to team fall. But just don't make me think about winter yet, ok?
More Squash Recipes You'll Love
- Crock Pot Butternut Squash Soup
- Farro, Mushroom, Cranberry & Walnut Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Wheat Berry & Kale Stuffed Patty Pan Squash
- Roasted Butternut Squash
- Sauteed Kale and Butternut Squash
- Southwest Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Easy Healthy Baked Acorn Squash
- 1 acorn squash, cut in half
- ½ teaspoon coconut oil, melted
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar, optional- can sub maple syrup or leave off
- 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 nuke 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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