Round out a fall or winter meal with tender slices of this Garlic Parmesan Roasted Acorn Squash. Here's the best way to roast acorn squash in the oven! This simple baked acorn squash recipe pairs garlic and parmesan with fresh herbs to create a delicious savoury side dish. This post includes tips for how to choose the best squash and how to slice acorn squash.
If you usually bake your acorn squash slices with the classic mixture of butter and brown sugar, it's time to try this Garlic Parmesan Roasted Acorn Squash. While that traditional sweet brown sugar squash is delicious, this savoury baked acorn squash recipe is a welcome change!
Not only that, its flavours pair well with both meat and vegetarian main dishes.
In this recipe, Parmesan cheese adds a subtle saltiness to acorn squash's natural sweetness. Garlic and Parmesan are a killer combo and adding fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano or sage adds flavour and interest, too.
Acorn squash is one of my favourite varieties of squash. I love Butternut squash, as well, and you'll find at least 6 Butternut Squash Recipes here on Flavour and Savour. However, trying different varieties often results in happy surprises!
Let's get started on this baked acorn squash recipe! Here's what you'll need to make this easy side dish, perfect for your holiday meals!
- acorn squash: you'll cut thick slices about ¾ inch thick.
- olive oil: tossing the squash slices with olive oil first helps the garlic, Parmesan and herbs to stick.
- garlic: fresh cloves are definitely the best. You could use garlic powder if you don't have fresh garlic on hand.
- Parmesan: Parmigiano Reggiano has the best flavour.
- fresh herbs: rosemary, thyme, oregano or sage or a combination of these herbs.
Acorn squash has a slightly sweet flavour and, when cut crosswise, forms appealing, almost flower-shaped slices. Sometimes, acorn squash can be slightly bland, so it needs bold flavours to complement its natural sweetness and creamy texture.
Depending on your squash and your family's tastes, you may want to add a little heat with a small amount of dried red pepper flakes. They're optional, but very good if you're like me and like flavours with a little kick.
🔪 Step-by-step instructions
- First, cut the squash (see how to cut an acorn squash ). Mince the garlic, grate the cheese and chop the herbs.
- Toss the slices with olive oil, lots of fresh minced garlic, finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano, fresh chopped herbs and sea salt and pepper.
- Spread the slices out on a prepared rimmed sheet pan. Line it with parchment paper for easy clean-up. Sprinkle the slices with any remaining bits of garlic, herbs or parmesan left in the bowl.
- Roast in a hot oven until tender, then place under the broiler for a few minutes to brown it a little more.
- And finally, serve with more fresh chopped herbs of your choice. I like rosemary thyme and oregano, but sage pairs well with acorn squash, too.
👍🏼 Helpful Tips for roasting acorn squash
Crispy edges are the feature we all crave. (Well, I do anyway!) I like to heat my baking sheet in the oven for a few minutes first, so when the squash hits the pan, it sizzles and seals in all that wonderful flavour.
To get those crispy edges, arrange the squash slices so that they are spaced out on your baking sheet, not touching each other. If they're too close, they will cook in each other's steam. Spacing them allows the air to circulate around the slices. You may need to use two baking sheets.
As mentioned above, heating the baking sheet for a few minutes in the oven before adding the squash slices helps to sear the squash right away.
❓Frequently asked questions about acorn squash
When faced with a large bin full of squash at your farmers' market, how do you know which will be the best acorn squash to choose?
Look for ones that have smooth rinds with no soft spots, cracks, or mold. The rind should be dull. If it's shiny, it may mean it was picked too early and will not have the characteristic sweet flavour.
The skin should be almost all dark green. If it has a lot of orange, that indicates it is overripe and may be dry and stringy. In my experience, the smaller squash (about 1 to 3 pounds) are the best. If they're larger, they may be dry.
Occasionally, you can find other varieties, like this white acorn squash
in the photo.
Use a sharp Chef's knife and a sturdy cutting board.
First slice off the stem end and tips.
Next, set the squash upright and slice through the middle from the stem end to the base.
Remove the seeds with a spoon and either save for roasting or add to your compost.
Place the squash cut-side down on the cutting board and cut into thick slices about ¾ inch thick.
The skin of acorn squash is edible. Sometimes smaller squash have thin, more tender skin.
I leave the skin on because it helps to maintain the shape of the slices. If you don't want to eat it, it slips off easily once cooked.
A cool, dry place is the best place to store squash. Acorn squash will last for 5 to 8 weeks. Don't store them in the refrigerator for more than a week or two as the outer skin may become too moist and rot.
🍽 What to serve with acorn squash
Squash is nutritious, delicious, and usually very inexpensive. Avoid the sugar and try this savoury garlic-parmesan baked squash recipe instead!
Serve it with this one-pan Easy Baked Lemon Chicken or my One-Pan Spiced Chicken with Apples and Bacon.
Or have it as a side dish with a turkey dinner. For a small group, these Air Fryer Rolled Stuffed Turkey Breasts are a perfect choice! Don't forget the Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes!
Enjoy this favourite side dish! And if you love baked acorn squash, I know you'll like this Honey Balsamic Roasted Acorn Squash and Brussels Sprouts.
Storing and reheating leftover squash
Store leftovers in a covered container in the fridge. To reheat, spread out on a baking pan and heat in the oven at 350°F. for 10 to 15 minutes or until heated through.
🗒 More healthy squash recipes
- Maple Dijon Roasted Butternut Squash
- Air Fryer Butternut Squash with Feta and Sage
- 6 Butternut Squash Recipes that aren't Soup
- Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger and Orange
🗒 Ideas for Side Dishes
When you make this garlic parmesan acorn squash, please leave a comment and a star rating below. Thanks in advance! Subscribe to my newsletter and have new recipes delivered straight to your inbox once a week.
Garlic Parmesan-Crusted Roasted Acorn Squash
- 1 2 lb acorn squash, (or two 1 lb acorn squash)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, extra virgin
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- ¼ to ½ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated (or more)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, thyme, oregano or sage or 2 teaspoon dried herbs
- ¼ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, optional
- Heat oven to 400°F.
- Wash the squash and slice off the ends. Cut in half from stem end to tip. Remove the seeds with a spoon and either save them for roasting or add them to your compost. Lay halves cut side down on a cutting board and slice crosswise into ¾ inch slices.
- In a large bowl, toss squash slices with olive oil, garlic, ¾ of the Parmesan, sea salt and pepper, and one or two of the sprigs of fresh herbs, finely chopped.
- Heat a baking sheet in oven for 5 minutes. Remove, add a sheet of parchment paper and arrange the squash slices so they are not touching each other. Return to the oven and roast for 20 to 25 minutes or until fork-tender.
- Sprinkle with extra Parmesan cheese, if desired. Place the sheet under the broiler for 2 - 4 minutes, to slightly brown the cheese. Watch carefully to prevent burning. Serve garnished with more finely chopped fresh rosemary or other fresh herbs.
We never have acorn squash any other way now that we've tried it this way. It's so much better than using brown sugar and butter! Thanks.
Agreed! Happy to hear you like squash prepped this way! Thanks for commenting.
We do these all the time now...My wife never really cared for acorn squash until we found this way of cooking it. I also prefer it this way over the usual brown sugar and butter way my parents made it....
Flavour & Savour
Thanks for letting me know! I agree, I was never a fan of the brown sugar and butter version either. Thanks for the 5 stars.
Thanks for sharing! How far ahead of time can I prep them?
Flavour & Savour
You can cut and toss them with the seasonings, then refrigerate until you're ready to bake them.
These look so good! What a great plant based appetizer to bring to a get together!
I made this last week and loved it. I'm planning to serve it for Thanksgiving dinner, too. Thank you.