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 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 or 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 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 simple side dish, perfect for your holiday meals!
- acorn squash
- olive oil
- garlic: fresh cloves
- Parmesan: Parmigiano Reggiano has the best flavour
- fresh herbs: rosemary or thyme or sage
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 some 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 slice an acorn squash below) toss the slices with olive oil, lots of fresh minced garlic, finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano, fresh chopped herbs and sea salt and pepper.
- 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.
- 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, but thyme and sage pair well with acorn squash, too.
👍🏼 Helpful Tips for roasting acorn squash
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 rind 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, it indicates it is overripe and may be dry and stringy. In my experience, the smaller squash (about 1 to 3 pounds) are 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 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 slices about ¾ inch thick.
The skin of an acorn squash is edible. Sometimes smaller squash have thin and 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.
🍽 Serving suggestions
Squash is nutritious, delicious, and usually very inexpensive. Avoid the sugar and try this savoury garlic-parmesan squash recipe instead!
Enjoy! 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
Garlic Parmesan-Crusted Roasted Acorn Squash
- 1 2 lb acorn squash, (or two 1 lb acorn squash)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil, extra virgin
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated (or more)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, thyme or sage, or 2 teaspoon dried herbs
- ½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, optional
- Heat oven to 400°F.
- Wash squash and slice off the ends. Cut in half from stem end to tip. Remove the seeds with a spoon and either save for roasting or add to your compost. Lay halves cut side down on cutting board and slice crosswise into ¾ inch slices.
- In a large bowl, toss squash slices with olive oil, garlic, Parmesan, salt and pepper, and one of the sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely chopped.
- Heat baking sheet in oven for 5 minutes. Remove and arrange squash slices so they are not touching each other. Return to oven and roast for 20 minutes.
- If desired, put the sheet under the broiler for 2 - 4 minutes, to crisp edges. Watch carefully to prevent burning. Serve garnished with fresh rosemary sprigs or other fresh herbs.