Chef John's Baked Acorn Squash Recipe -
Chef John's Baked Acorn Squash Recipe
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How to Make Baked Acorn Squash
See a simple recipe for delicious roasted acorn squash. See more

Chef John's Baked Acorn Squash

Recipe by  

"I like how this tastes, but scoring the squash with a knife before baking really makes for a great presentation. It also allows the simple but delicious glaze to penetrate nice and deep."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    10 mins
  • COOK

    55 mins

    1 hr 5 mins


  1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Score the squash by making 1/4-inch deep slashes into the flesh of the squash. Place in baking dish. Brush with orange juice and sprinkle with salt.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned, about 30 min.
  4. Meanwhile, simmer butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a small skillet over medium heat until smooth and the sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove the squash from the oven. Pour out any liquid that may have collected in the squash. Brush the glaze over each squash half. Return to the oven until tender, about 20 more minutes. Spoon any glaze that has collected at the bottom of the squash over the edges of the squash. Season with additional salt, if desired.
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  • Tip
  • Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Oct 12, 2012

I tried this recipe for my first-ever encounter with acorn squash! I prepared it exactly as instructed, with the one exception of softening the squash in the microwave before cutting it in half (so much easier!). I pierced it with a fork and nuked it for about 5 minutes, then reduced the initial time in the oven to 20 minutes. It turned out beautifully. Scoring the flesh really allowed the glaze to seep in well, and my guests loved the fact that the glaze was sweet, but not TOO sweet. It is refreshing to stumble upon an acorn squash recipe that doesn't drown the flavor in butter and brown sugar! As I side dish, I prepared rice with sauteed celery, mushrooms, apples, onions, water chestnuts, almonds, and Craisins. It was a delicious and relatively simple autumn meal, and I will be making it again!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Oct 18, 2011

For those who love the taste of squash, this recipe is definitely for you! This recipe is for the squash lover at heart, and those who are looking for something really sugar sweet and coated will not find happiness here. All of us at the house decided this isn't the recipe for us as we prefer more...spice and less in your face squash flavor. The glaze was fantastic, but there simply wasn't enough to go around for us to enjoy our squash with. We're headed back to nutmeg, agave, cinnamon and vanilla. I halved the recipe and omitted the cayenne as the kids don't do spicy.

Nov 08, 2011

Another great Chef John creation. Simple, delicious and nutritious. Very family friendly. I made the sauce in a small glass measuring cup in the microwave. Easy cleanup.

Jul 17, 2012

Pretty good side dish, the scoring made the glaze adhere better, but the cooking time on the written recipe isn't accurate, should cook longer the second part of cooking more like 40 minutes as in the video. Thanks for the recipe

Feb 14, 2012

Thanks, Chef John!!! Love the wonderful squash flavor shining through! I didn't have orange juice the second time I made it so I substituted a small can of Dole pineapple juice. Didn't even need the brown sugar with the sweetness of the pineapple. A definite go-to for my family!

Oct 21, 2011

Haven't tried it yet, but already like it. Less sugar - better health and taste

Feb 22, 2012

I added some fresh oj to the glaze as well and just divided that equally into the squash and served with the glaze in the middle.

Dec 30, 2012

I did not find that this extra work really did much for the squash. It is possible that the squash did not have the best flavour to start with. You know how it can be with squash. I will not bother again.


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  • Calories
  • 194 kcal
  • 10%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 37.1 g
  • 12%
  • Cholesterol
  • 15 mg
  • 5%
  • Fat
  • 6.1 g
  • 9%
  • Fiber
  • 3.8 g
  • 15%
  • Protein
  • 2.2 g
  • 4%
  • Sodium
  • 10 mg
  • < 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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