Winter squash is one of the highlights of the cool weather seasons. Each fall I get excited when I first see acorn squash in the store. It kicks off memories that make me smile. It was always a big treat when my parents made it. I have this vivid memory of my dad taking the squash out of the oven and the wonderful smell of it as he carried it past me to the table. That memory is from way back when I was little. Out of all the reasons to cook at home, making memories tops the list.
Baked acorn squash is a sweet side dish. It goes fabulously with ham. Country ham would be the best. The sweet/salty combo shines. It also goes great with chicken, pork, and more. You could serve it as a dessert if you prefer sweet foods after your meal. The sweetness depends on how much brown sugar you put on each. I love brown sugar so I pile it on pretty thick. The same with the butter, go heavy or light. You can always add more after it is baked (like topping a baked sweet potato).
Grab a spoon to eat it once it is baked. Scoop it out and be sure to get some of the melted butter and liquid in the center with each bite. Don’t eat the skin though. The skin is not pleasant at all. At least not to me or my family. If there are leftovers, I only save the inside part (not the skin). I will scoop it out into a dish, mix it up, and store it in the fridge. It warms up fairly quickly in the microwave.
Do you prefer winter squash cooked sweet or savory? It depends on the variety for me. I prefer savory for butternut and spaghetti squash. For acorn squash, sweet is in the lead although I do want to try it savory sometime. If I find a good recipe, I’ll be sure to share it. Stay tuned!
Baked Acorn Squash
- 2 acorn squash
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 4 pats of unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Slice the acorn squash in half from tip to end. Use a heavy duty knife because the squash is hard and difficult to cut. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and pulp in the center. Discard seeds and pulp. Use a pairing knife to cut slits in the flesh of the squash. Do not cut through the skin.
Place the squash cut side up in a baking dish. Add a little water to the dish to keep the squash from drying out during baking.
Sprinkle salt, cinnamon, and brown sugar over each squash. Place a pat of butter in the center of each squash (between 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon for each squash).
Bake the squash for 1 hour or until soft. Serve warm.
Baked acorn squash topped with butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar. It's a wonderful winter squash side dish to go with ham, chicken, pork, and more.
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