Easy Healthy Roasted Acorn Squash

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Easy Healthy Roasted Acorn Squash

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!

Easy Healthy Baked Acorn Squash halves on a white plate after roasting.

I’ve been trying to embrace more of fall this year… hiking in the brisk weather & exploring fall flowers at the Biltmore Estate gardens.

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.

Easy Healthy Baked Acorn Squash halves on a white plate after roasting.

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

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 F.
  2. Brush the melted coconut oil onto the acorn squash halves.
  3. Sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  4. Place the squash in a 9×9 casserole dish. Put 1/2 cup of water in the bottom of the pan. Cover with foil.
  5. Cook for 40 minutes and remove the foil.
  6. 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.

Easy Healthy Baked Acorn Squash halves before baking.

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.

Easy Healthy Baked Acorn Squash halves next to full sized squash.

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?

Enjoy!

More Squash Recipes You’ll Love

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think! Leave a comment and a star rating ★ below. Make sure to follow me on InstagramPinterest, and Facebook too!

Easy Healthy Baked Acorn Squash halves next to full sized squash.

Easy Healthy Baked Acorn Squash

Julie Wunder
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. This easy side is sure to be the star of the meal!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 2
Calories 105 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 acorn squash, cut in half
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar, optional- can sub maple syrup or leave off

Instructions
 

  • 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 1/2 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 105kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 2gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 7mgPotassium: 748mgFiber: 4gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 791IUVitamin C: 24mgCalcium: 71mgIron: 2mg
Keyword acorn squash, autumn, healthy, squash, vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Mention @Julie_Wunder or tag #RunninginaSkirt!

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By | 2020-09-16T18:08:22-04:00 September 12th, 2020|All Vegetarian, Dinner, Food, Lunch, Side Dishes|48 Comments

48 Comments

  1. […] Healthy Roasted Acorn Squash […]

  2. […] Healthy Baked Acorn Squash […]

  3. Leslie September 16, 2020 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    What a delicious, easy, fool-proof recipe for fall! I love the simplicity of this recipe!

  4. Erin September 16, 2020 at 10:06 am - Reply

    5 stars
    Love a good baked squash recipe! This is so perfect for fall. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Kim September 12, 2020 at 8:14 am - Reply

    I cut it in half and place in glass baking dish and microwave till almost done, then add toppings and put in oven. Really cuts down on cooking time.

  6. […] Healthy Baked Acorn Squash […]

  7. […] No Butter or Sugar Acorn Squash * […]

  8. […] Healthy & Easy Roasted Acron Squash […]

  9. […] If you are looking for a slightly easier acorn squash recipe, try my Simple Healthy Roasted Acorn Squash. […]

  10. Miz Helen November 11, 2015 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    We will love your Baked Acorn Squash, it looks delicious. Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great day.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  11. Sarah November 9, 2015 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    Oh I love acorn squash with coconut oil, coconut sugar, and cinnamon, or Cinnamon Roll CocoNutter! So simple, yet delicious! I have actually been known to just eat a whole squash for dinner… technically it’s just a veggie and good for me right?!

    • JulieWunder November 13, 2015 at 7:14 pm - Reply

      Cinnamon Roll CocoNutter??? Say wa???? I need that in my life!

  12. Tina Muir November 9, 2015 at 9:19 am - Reply

    I LOVVVVEEEE acorn squash cooked in this way!!! SOOOOOOOO good! Great reminder! Happy meatless monday friend!

  13. Jen November 8, 2015 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    Stuffed acord squash is one of my favorite fall dishes! It can be more of a main course depending on what you put inside of it.

  14. Annmarie November 7, 2015 at 7:21 am - Reply

    I’ll admit that I’ve never made a baked acorn but this totally makes me want to try it! Looks delish- thanks so much for linking up! 🙂

    • JulieWunder November 13, 2015 at 7:00 pm - Reply

      Thanks Annmarie! I have a feeling you would like it!

  15. Jess @hellotofit November 6, 2015 at 10:32 am - Reply

    I love roasting veggies with a little sugar and spice! Looks awesome, Julie 🙂

  16. [email protected] November 5, 2015 at 11:14 pm - Reply

    I love all squash varieties, but right now kobucha is my favorite. However, acorn is right up there! This looks delicious and so beautiful! I could even see cutting the acorn squash into quarters (or smaller?) and serving this as a Thanksgiving side dish!

    • JulieWunder November 11, 2015 at 5:01 pm - Reply

      One of my good friends keeps letting me about kobucha and how fabulous it is. I need to get on it.

  17. Runaway Bridal Planner November 5, 2015 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    I really need to like squash more. I have a feeling if I ate it cooked like this I would get over the childish part of me that is like ewe squash, and find out that I actually like the stuff:)

    • JulieWunder November 11, 2015 at 4:59 pm - Reply

      Haha! Yes, try it again– I bet your grown up taste buds will like it 🙂

  18. Farrah November 5, 2015 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    Ah, I love this! 😀 I didn’t get into baked squashes until fairly recently, but I am so glad I discovered em’, because they are awesome! This looks super tasty! :]

  19. Rachel @ RachelMcMichael.com November 5, 2015 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    Yum!! I want to eat this right now! I love recipes that only require a few ingredients – this one is right up my alley!!

    • JulieWunder November 11, 2015 at 4:57 pm - Reply

      I agree! Simple cooking is great sometimes!

      • Paula Morgan September 15, 2018 at 5:02 am - Reply

        Julie, I totally agree with you! I also think we should return to the more simple recipes. Not only is it easier to cook, but it is usually healthier, too!
        This simple squash recipe is a perfect example. Simple, yet oh, so delicious!!

  20. Cayanne Marcus November 5, 2015 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    Love simple recipes with ingredients I’ve got on hand! Thanks for the intro to easy, yummy, acorn squash

  21. Nicole @ Fitful Focus November 5, 2015 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    This looks like pure fall perfection.

  22. Heather @Fit n Cookies November 5, 2015 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    I love squash! I haven’t bought an acorn one lately though!!

    • JulieWunder November 11, 2015 at 4:39 pm - Reply

      I overlook them too! So easy and filling though.

  23. I’ve been all over squash lately too! So easy and versatile. Thanks for linking up!

  24. Gretchen | Gretchruns November 5, 2015 at 9:24 am - Reply

    I’ve tried a few different squashes this year but I haven’t tried acorn! They’re so cute and tiny though so I’ll have to pick one up next time 🙂

  25. Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie November 5, 2015 at 8:35 am - Reply

    I just had a baked stuffed acorn this past weekend for the first time and it was delicious! It’s definitely something that needs to go into my rotation a bit more.

    • JulieWunder November 11, 2015 at 4:38 pm - Reply

      I agree! It’s not on my radar enough either.

  26. Susie @ SuzLyfe November 5, 2015 at 8:35 am - Reply

    I adore baked squash–pretty much any and all of them! All I need is a bit of cooking spray and some salt and then I make it as sweet or savory as I choose with spices.

  27. Joanna @Makingmine November 5, 2015 at 8:00 am - Reply

    This looks so good! And I love that it’s not dripping in butter (even though butter is delicious, haha)

  28. Blane Sherer November 5, 2015 at 5:46 am - Reply

    I’m with you .I’m loving Fall too and I’m not wanting to
    think about Winter either.

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