How to Cook Acorn Squash

Learn how to cook acorn squash.  This squash can then be eaten with brown sugar or butter and salt… or used in other recipes. 

My husband grew up with a huge garden where they grew foods like squash. 

My family was a little different. I don’t remember ever eating squash.  Maybe we did but if so it was not very often. 

It just never made the dinner table.  Potatoes was the standard.  Squash is a great substitute and I’ve grown to love it.  

Until we started growing acorn squash I had no idea how tasty it is! I’ve become a squash lover. I even love spaghetti squash… though I’ve yet to convince my family.

How to cook Acorn squash.

How to prepare acorn squash for baking

To prepare your squash for baking, first cut the squash in half.   This might actually be the hardest part of cooking squash!  Cutting up an acorn squash can be pretty tricky.  The rind can be pretty hard so it might take a little muscle. Use a large sharp knife, place the tip on the table and press down. Make sure fingers are out of the way! 

When you reach the halfway point you may find as I did that the stem and point area of the skin is harder. I simply sliced off the tip and the knife slides right through.

how to cut up acorn squash.
Cutting up acorn squash… careful of those fingers! The squash is unevenly shaped and will roll around, and the skins are tough.

After the squash is cut you’ll need to remove the seeds. Simply use a spoon and scoop it out. Save the seeds for the chickens or the mulch pile.

Scooping out acorn squash seeds.
Scooping out acorn squash seeds. Save those seeds for roasting if you’d like or just toss them to the chickens.

After the seeds are removed place the squash on a cookie sheet cut side down.  This keeps the squash moist only the skin is exposed to the dry oven.  Roast in an oven at 400 degrees for 30 – 45 minutes. The squash is done when it is fork tender. 

Acorn squash halves without seeds.

How to Cook Acorn Squash in the Slow Cooker

From what I read it does not work well to cook acorn squash in water or by steaming it. Apparently it gets soggy and loses flavor. I have never tried it that way so I don’t know for sure but… I do know that cooking Acorn Squash in a slow cooker works wonderfully!  In fact it is my favorite way to cook it.  If I’m cooking a roast in the oven anyway I’ll cook my squash right along side but, if I don’t have the oven on for something else… I use the crockpot.  

cooking acorn squash in the slow cooker
Cooking acorn squash in the slow cooker is pretty convenient.

Follow the same preparation steps as the roasted acorn squash recipe above. 

Instead of baking on a cookie sheet, just put the squash in a slow cooker add about 1/2 cup water to keep things moist and cook on low 5-6 hours. 

The squash can be cut site up or down it doesn’t really matter.  

Again the squash is ready when it is fork tender.  Scoop this out and serve with butter and salt or whatever toppings you prefer.  

I love to use my slow cooker quite often and it is great to have one part of your meal ready to go when dinner comes.   Fry up some steaks, heat up a vegetable and pull some squash out of the slow cooker.  It’s actually an easy meal to make. 

What do you serve with Acorn squash? 

Acorn squash is a great side for most any meat.  Grilled steaks, Pork roast, or baked chicken are all great main dishes that the squash can dress up.

Acorn squash is a wonderful replacement for mashed potatoes.  You can scoop out the flesh, blend in some salt and butter, and serve mashed.   Add a bit of cream if you want it extra creamy.  

It makes a great topping for a shepherds pie.

My family also likes it with brown sugar.  Personally, I just add lots of butter and salt and

oh. my. goodness.  Sooo very good.  And good for you! 

Another options is to stuff it with ingredients of your choice.  I’ve got a recipe here for stuffed acorn squash with sausage, italian tomato sauce and a bit of ricotta cheese.  An Italian squash Bake! 

Should you peel squash before cooking? 

If you want to peel your squash before cooking you can.  You could peel the squash, cut into bite size chunks, drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast this on a cookie sheet.  

I don’t actually do this.  Squash is hard to peel!  The shape of the squash doesn’t lend itself nicely to a vegetable peeler.  So you have to use a knife.  The edges are not even and….. it is just not so easy. 

I like  the ease of cooking acorn squash in halves and scooping the flesh out.  

Scooping out the cooked flesh of the acorn squash.
Scooping out the cooked flesh of the acorn squash. When the flesh is soft, the squash is done. Serve!

Can you eat squash skins?  

I understand that squash skins are edible… but personally I don’t eat the skins.   

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Acorn Squash with seeds
Acorn squash in the slow cooker.

Date last updated 1/2/2020 

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  1. 5 stars
    very nice suggestions for various ways of cooking squash.
    Keep up the good work on canning ideas,

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