Roasted Acorn Squash With Maple Syrup

The name says it all. Acorn squash is sliced into wedges, drizzled with olive oil and maple syrup, and roasted. A simple, sweet, dare we say elegant cold-weather side dish.

Two roasted acorn squash halves drizzled with maple syrup on a white plate on stone

Proceed with caution when you make this lovely roasted acorn squash with maple syrup. Not because its candy-like sweetness will make you forget every other acorn squash recipe. (It will.) Not because it’s particularly complicated. (It’s not.) And not because we think discerning palates at your table will turn up their noses at this riff on a classic. (They won’t.) Proceed with caution because this recipe involves wielding a rather large and sharp chef’s knife, and we want to make certain you do this mindfully and methodically. Acorn squash has a notoriously thick shell. Requisite equipment for bypassing it includes a sharp knife, a steady hand, and a sturdy cutting board that won’t slip. Some folks swear by nuking the whole squash for a couple minutes on high prior to trying to slice it. Whatever you do, just do so carefully. We care about you, dear reader. And your lovely digits. Originally published November 20, 2014.Renee Schettler Rossi

Roasted Acorn Squash With Maple Syrup

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 40 M
  • Serves 4

Special Equipment: Extreme care as you slice the squash into wedges

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Ingredients

  • 1 acorn squash (2 lbs), cut lengthwise into eighths and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup maple syrup

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  • 2. In a large bowl, toss the squash wedges with the oil and then arrange them on the foil-lined baking sheet. (Don’t worry whether the squash wedges are on their cut sides or teetering on their curved rind side. It really doesn’t matter unless you want the squash’s cut side to get extra caramelized, in which case you want the cut-side down on the foil.) Sprinkle the squash liberally with salt and pepper and roast until the squash is tender and beginning to brown in places, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • 3. Pour the maple syrup over the squash, turning to coat it well. Continue to roast the acorn squash, basting it with any syrup that pools on the baking sheet at least twice, until the squash is glazed and bronzed, 5 to 15 minutes more, depending on the thickness of the slices. Transfer to a dish or platter, spoon any maple syrup left on the baking sheet over the squash, and serve immediately.

Recipe Testers Reviews

This roasted acorn squash was an easy, sophisticated, beautiful side dish that I will definitely make again! I found that because of the thickness of my slices, the cooking time was more like 25 minutes roasting and 15 minutes of additional roasting after I put the syrup on it. I basted it at 5-minute intervals for a total of 3 times, and that worked very well. I used 1/2 cup maple syrup and was left with almost 1/4 cup maple syrup on the baking sheet, which I then poured over the slices. It was delicious, but I'm not sure I needed that additional syrup. I tasted the squash before I added the drippings from the pan, and it was definitely sweet enough. I didn't want to throw away the additional syrup, though, so I used it, but I don't think the recipe would suffer if the maple syrup was reduced to 1/3 cup.

Also, it was extremely hard to cut the acorn squash. I'm not sure if there is any technique associated with cutting an acorn squash, but if so, I did not have it. I first tried to cut into a side of the squash and then realized that I would have more luck piercing the vegetable and then banging it hard enough on the counter to split it open. I'm not sure if a sharper knife might have made this part easier; however, my children definitely enjoyed the banging! This recipe was very delicious and paired well with grilled zucchini and onions and pork tenderloin.

I’ve made this type of roasted acorn squash previously with other toppings, but this is my new favorite way of preparing it. We very much liked the sweet and earthy flavor of this dish. I can see it as an excellent accompaniment to many autumn meals. The roasting time was perfect at a total of 18 minutes. I basted the squash 3 times. There was a bit of maple syrup liquid at the bottom of the baking sheet, which I poured over the squash in the serving dish.

I usually slice acorn squash in half and add some butter and cinnamon and bake it until tender, but we loved the maple flavor of this roasted acorn squash recipe. I can see making this for the holidays, maybe even with a few pecans added during the last few minutes. I’d even do some carrots with the same maple syrup glaze. Either way, the recipe holds its own. I’m always a little cautious about cutting into an acorn squash, so I put it in the microwave first for about 5 minutes to soften it and was able to pierce it with ease. I followed the recipe exactly and, despite its time in the microwave, the squash still took the same amount of time to get nice and glazed.

This roasted acorn squash with maple syrup was a simple, colorful, and delicious side next to a pork roast at Sunday dinner. This would be an easy recipe to prep and roast a day ahead then finish off in a sauté pan before serving. A sprinkle of roasted and roughly chopped walnuts or hazelnuts would make a nice crunchy garnish. I used 1/2 cup maple syrup, and next time, I will cut back the amount of maple syrup by half.

I’ve made acorn squash with maple syrup my entire cooking life, although I was intrigued by this roasted acorn squash recipe because of its technique. I used a 2-pound acorn squash. Check for the squash to be tender starting at the 15-minute mark. Although the squash may not be completely soft at this point, remember that you are going to baste it in a sugary liquid and cook it for 5 to 15 more minutes, so it will continue to soften quite a bit more. I think the only thing missing from this recipe is butter. I’d like to add melted butter before roasting to prevent the squash from forming that dry layer on top.

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