Stuffed, roasted, mashed, pureed, or baked, these are the best acorn squash recipes you must try! Perfect for your Thanksgiving menu and holiday table.
As the leaves turn brilliant shades of red, orange, and gold, and the air becomes crisp and cool, I get super excited because that means one thing: WINTER SQUASHES!
There are lots of different squash varieties and tons you can do, like spaghetti squash, oven roasted butternut squash soup, pumpkin recipes, delicata squash, or even carnival squash. But, for me, the humble acorn squash is my gourd of choice. The more acorn squashes, the merrier!
Learning how to cut and prepare it is the key to unlocking its delicious potential. Whether you’re roasting it for a savory side dish, pureeing it into a creamy soup, or incorporating it into your favorite fall recipes, acorn squash is a delightful and healthy addition to your autumn dinner table. I even like grating it and mixing it with my favorite pumpkin muffins. So, embrace the flavors of fall and make acorn squash a star on your seasonal menu.
Table of Contents
Why Acorn Squash Is Perfect for Fall
- In-Season Availability: Acorn squash is at its peak in the fall, making it readily available, fresh, and at its most flavorful during the season.
- Versatility: Its nutty flavor pairs well with an array of fall ingredients, from apples and cranberries to sage and thyme, allowing you to create a wide variety of dishes.
- Nutritional Benefits: Acorn squash is a nutritional powerhouse packed with vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. It’s an excellent source of vitamins A and C, which help boost your immune system during the colder months.
- Comforting and Warming: The warmth and nuttiness of acorn squash evoke the cozy and comforting feelings of fall, making it an essential addition to your autumn menu.
How Do I Choose the Perfect Acorn Squash?
When choosing an acorn squash, it’s important to look for certain characteristics to ensure you pick the best one. Here are some tips on how to choose a ripe and flavorful acorn squash:
- Appearance: Look for a squash with dark green or orange skin. The color should be uniform and free from blemishes or major bruises. The skin should be hard and not easily punctured by your fingernail. A dull, matte finish is a good sign of ripeness.
- Size: Choose a squash that is of moderate size, typically weighing around 1 to 3 pounds. Smaller acorn squashes tend to be more tender and flavorful.
- Shape: The acorn squash should have a consistent, round or acorn-like shape. Avoid squash with irregular bulges or deformities.
- Stem: Check the stem. It should be firm and dry. A fresh-looking, intact stem is a sign of a recently harvested squash.
- Weight: Heft the squash in your hand; it should feel heavy for its size, indicating it has a good amount of flesh inside.
- Sound: Gently tap the squash with your knuckles. A ripe acorn squash should sound hollow, like a drum. If it sounds dull or solid, it may not be ripe.
- Texture: Run your hands over the squash’s surface. It should feel smooth and free of soft spots or wrinkles.
How to Cut and Prepare Acorn Squash
Although the acorn squash skin is tough, it’s very easy to work with and prepare. Here’s a step-by-step guide that will help you:
- Gather Your Tools: You’ll need a sharp knife, a sturdy cutting board, and a spoon for scooping out the seeds and pulp.
- Wash the Squash: Begin by rinsing the acorn squash under cold water to remove any dirt or debris from the skin.
- Cut Off the End: Place the squash on your cutting board and carefully slice off the stem end. This will create a stable, flat surface.
- Slice the Squash in Half: Stand the squash upright with the cut side down and carefully slice it in half vertically. This will give you two equal halves.
- Scoop Out the Seeds: Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and the stringy pulp from the center of each squash half. You can save the seeds for roasting if you like.
- Slice or Dice as Desired: Depending on your recipe, you can slice the squash halves into crescent-shaped pieces or dice them into bite-sized chunks.
Kitchen Equipment You’ll Need
As you get ready to prepare your holiday table with this delicious vegetable it’s important to have the right tools for the job. Here are a few my favorite things to use when cooking and baking these recipes:
The Flavor of Acorn Squash
Acorn squash is renowned for its unique, nutty flavor. When cooked, it takes on a slightly sweet and earthy taste that is perfect for fall dishes. Acorn squash is versatile and can be used in savory and sweet recipes. Here are a few ways you can “savor the flavor”:
- Roasting: Roasting acorn squash with a sprinkle of salt and a touch of cinnamon or nutmeg brings out its natural sweetness. A little brown sugar or maple syrup added for good measure really takes things to the next level.
- Soup: Acorn squash soup combined with ingredients like apples and warm spices can be a deliciously simple side dish or main. It’s a comforting, velvety treat during the fall season. Serve it with some of this hearty whole wheat beer bread. AH-MAZING!
- Stuffed Squash: Filling acorn squash halves with a mixture of grains, vegetables, and herbs makes for a hearty and satisfying main dish.
- Mashed or Pureed: For an easy side dish, mash or puree acorn squash and season with fresh herbs and spices like garlic powder, chili powder, or just a little black pepper.
Acorn Squash Recipes
Alright, it’s time to explore the delightful world of acorn squash with a medley of savory and sweet recipes that will show you the versatility of this autumn vegetable.
From roasted acorn squash with a drizzle of maple syrup to stuffed acorn squash brimming with a flavorful blend of ingredients, these dishes offer a warm and comforting taste of the season.
I hope you enjoy all of thes recipes. It’s time embrace the flavors of fall and make acorn squash a star on your seasonal menu.