This Maple Roasted Acorn Squash is an easy, must make fall side dish, and it’s perfect for Thanksgiving! Butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and pecans are the most delicious sweet and spicy filling.
Why you’ll love it
Easy to prepare – Roasted acorn squash is extremely easy to make. Simply cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and add in a pat of butter, maple syrup, and a couple spices.
Sweet with a hint of spicy – Acorn squash has a natural sweetness to it when it’s roasted. Paired with the maple syrup, cinnamon, hint of cayenne pepper, and flaky sea salt it’s a perfect balance of sweet, salty, and spicy.
Health benefits – Acorn squash are a great source of fiber, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
How to pick out an acorn squash
- The squash should feel heavy for it’s size.
- It should have a mix of green and orange coloring on the skin.
- The skin should be dull and smooth with no blemishes.
Ingredients you’ll need
- Acorn squash
- Unsalted butter
- Maple syrup – Be sure to use good quality real maple syrup and not pancake syrup which contains no maple.
- Ground cinnamon
- Cayenne pepper – The amount used in the recipe is just enough that you’ll get a slight burn in the back of your throat. Don’t worry, your mouth won’t be on fire.
- Flaky sea salt – I like to use Maldon sea salt.
How to make maple roasted acorn squash
Preheat your oven to 350° F. To keep clean up easy, line a rimmed baking sheet with either foil or parchment paper.
Cut the acorn squash in half from the stem to the tip. To make cutting it easier you can put the squash in the microwave for a minute to help soften the skin. Be sure to use a sharp knife when cutting through any winter squash.
Scoop the seeds out of the squash halves and place them cut side up on the baking sheet. Brush the flesh with a little olive oil.
In a small bowl whisk together the cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Sprinkle it evenly onto each squash half. Cut the butter into 6 slices and place one into each half. Divide the maple syrup evenly into each half.
Bake the squash for 45 minutes and then remove them from the oven and add the pecans to the maple butter. Bake for another 15 minutes or until the squash is fork tender. Remove them from the oven and sprinkle with flaky sea salt before serving.
Can I use a different type of winter squash?
Yes. I actually used a carnival squash as well. It’s a hybrid of a dumpling squash and an acorn squash. Dumpling squash and even butternut squash would also be good alternatives to acorn squash.
Make Ahead Tips
The acorn squash can be roasted two days in advance. Store it in an oven safe baking dish covered with a lid or foil. When you’re ready to reheat the squash preheat your oven to 400° F.
Add the butter, maple syrup, pecans, and spices to the hollowed out middle. Bake the squash in the baking dish covered with foil to hold in the moisture. Once the squash is warmed through and the butter is melted, remove it from the oven and sprinkle with flaky sea salt before serving.
What to serve with it
If you’re serving the squash with Thanksgiving dinner, I recommend also including my bourbon orange cranberry sauce, balsamic maple roasted brussels sprouts with bacon, and whole wheat dinner rolls.
More winter squash recipes
Did you make this maple roasted acorn squash? I’d love if you’d leave a recipe rating and review below.
- 3 acorn squash
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup, plus extra for drizzling on top
- 1/4 cup toasted chopped pecans
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Maldon sea salt for sprinkling on top
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Cut the squash in half from the stem down. Scoop out the seeds from each half and place them on the baking sheet cut side up. Brush with olive oil or spray them with an olive oil or avocado oil cooking spray.
- In a small bowl combine the cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Sprinkle an equal amount onto each squash half.
- Add the slices of butter to each half and evenly distribute the maple syrup into the squash. Bake for 45 minutes and then remove from the oven and sprinkle some of the chopped pecans into the melted maple butter. Put the squash back into the oven to bake for another 15 minutes or until they are fork tender.
- Before serving sprinkle with flaky sea salt and an extra drizzle of maple syrup.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 158Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 103mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 5gSugar: 4gProtein: 2g
Nutritional information is an estimate. Please consult a registered dietician for the most accurate nutritional information.