How to Cook Acorn Squash

Choosing an Acorn Squash

Make sure that you choose an acorn squash that is dull green rather than shiny green, with some orange spots on the skin. Squashes with shiny green skin are not yet quite ripe. For faster cooking, choose a smaller squash. Smaller squashes also provide better serving sizes if you are serving each squash half as a side dish.

Cooking Squash in the Oven

To cook squash in the oven, it is preferable to halve the squash first. (Although you can cook it whole after piercing it in several places, the cooking time will be increased.) Scoop out the seeds and the pulp on the inside and discard. Place the squash skin-side down in a greased pan. You can cook the squash as is, add oil and some spices to the flesh, or make a sweet glaze to pour over it.

Bake the squash in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the squash. To test the squash’s doneness, squeeze the skin slightly. The squash should give a bit as you squeeze. Also, see whether a spoon slides easily into the flesh of the squash.

Cooking Squash in the Microwave

You can also cook squash in the microwave. Repeat the procedure outlined above, but place the squash in a microwave safe container and cook on high for about 15 minutes.

Serving the Squash

The ridged rind of an acorn squash has the perfect appearance, so some people prefer to serve the squash as is, cut in half. (You can also fill it with meat or other vegetables.) If you’d like to make smaller serving pieces as a side, just slice the halves into wedges and serve on a plate. Of course, you can also mash the squash for use in casseroles or soups, if desired.

These directions on how to cook acorn squash can be used for almost all winter squash, but adjust the heat and cooking time depending on the size and toughness of the squash.

This post is part of the series: How to Cook Squash

Trying to find some exciting new vegetables recipes? Squash is a healthy, easy-to-cook vegetable. Just take a look at this series on how to cook squash for specific instructions about acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and yellow squash.
  1. All About Cooking Acorn Squash: A Step-By-Step Guide
  2. Cooking Yellow Squash: A Step-By-Step Tutorial
  3. Butternut Squash: Tips on Cooking and Preparation
  4. Cooking Spaghetti Squash: The Basics
  5. How to Freeze Summer Squash