These instructions and step-by-step photos show how to safely cut an acorn squash to use in a variety of recipes. Acorn squash can be difficult to slice, but the rewards are many! This post describes how to cut acorn squash into halves, wedges, slices, or cubes without cutting yourself!
Looking to unlock the delicious potential of acorn squash in your cooking? Discover the perfect technique for cutting acorn squash effortlessly with this step-by-step guide.
Whether you're preparing a side dish or a creamy soup, mastering the art of cutting acorn squash is essential.
Learn the tips and tricks to make this process a breeze, ensuring you get the most out of this nutritious vegetable in your favorite recipes.
Say goodbye to kitchen struggles and hello to a world of possibilities with this easy-to-follow acorn squash cutting tutorial!
❤️ Why choose acorn squash?
- It has a sweet mild flavor that is almost nutty, different from other winter squash varieties.
- It's beautiful! Its dark green skin contrasts with its delicate yellow-orange flesh. A white variety is sometimes available, too.
- When sliced, it forms beautiful half-moon shapes, making an attractive simple side dish.
- Its shape lends itself to cutting in a variety of ways: in half for stuffing, or in wedges, slices, or cubes for roasting or baking.
- Acorn squash is budget-friendly! You can prepare it in several different ways.
- It has a delicious, mild texture and soft edible skin. It makes a nice change from other winter squashes like spaghetti squash or butternut squash.
🔪 Equipment you'll need
You'll need a very sharp chef's knife with a blade about 8 to 10 inches long. If you don't have a sharp knife, a serrated knife will be the next best choice.
You'll also need a sturdy cutting board. If you think it may slip, lay a damp cloth underneath it to prevent it from sliding around.
❓How to safely cut an acorn squash
Start by thoroughly washing and drying the squash to remove any dirt or garden debris.
Next, slice off both the bottom end of the squash and the top end, removing about ½ an inch from both ends. This gives you a flat surface with which to work.
Next place the squash with the flat end down. Slice from the stem end through the tip end. You may need to use a sawing motion or use your other hand as a helper to press down and slice the squash in half.
Use a metal spoon to remove the seeds and the membrane. The seeds look very similar to pumpkin seeds. (Just like when you're carving a pumpkin, a melon baller works well for removing squash seeds and the stringy bits, too.)
You can either compost the seeds or save them to roast.
Now you'll have a vessel if you want to stuff your squash. You can stuff acorn squash with mixtures made of sausage (like chicken sausage, turkey sausage, or Italian sausage) rice or other grains, veggies, and more.
You'll find ideas for stuffed squash in this collection of 17 Stuffed Squash Recipes.
To make squash slices
If you're planning to cut your acorn squash into slices instead, turn the scooped-out half cut-side down (skin-side up) and cut cross-wise. Make your slices about ¾ inch thick. Try to cut them all the same width so they'll cook at the same rate.
Use sliced squash in these recipes for Garlic Parmesan-Crusted Roasted Acorn Squash or Honey Balsamic Roasted Acorn Squash and Brussels Sprouts.
To make squash boats, wedges, or cubes
Want to make acorn squash "boats" instead? If I'm baking acorn squash with melted butter or olive oil, brown sugar, and pecans, I like to cut it into wedges instead. This time you'll place the squash halves flesh side down and cut lengthwise along the ridges, usually every second one.
And finally, if you want to cut acorn squash into cubes, cut lengthwise along each ridge, then cut each wedge crosswise into cubes.
Store your cut squash in an airtight container in the fridge until you're ready to use it in your favorite ways.
❓Frequently Asked Questions
Unlike other squash varieties like butternut, there's no need to peel acorn squash. The skin is edible and it becomes soft once it has been baked.
If you don't want to eat it, it's easy to slip it off, once it has been cooked.
You'd only need to peel it if you want to make a silky acorn squash soup, like this butternut squash soup. In this case, the easiest and safest way is to use a vegetable peeler, not a paring knife.
How do you know which will be the best acorn squash to choose?
Look for ones that have smooth skin with no soft spots, cracks, or mold. The skin should be dull. If it's shiny, it may mean it was picked too early and will not be as naturally sweet.
The skin should be almost all dark green. If it has a lot of orange color, that indicates it is overripe and it may be dry and stringy. Smaller squash (about 1 to 3 pounds) are the best. If they're larger, they are sometimes dry and lack flavor.
🍽 What to serve with acorn squash
This is a versatile vegetable! Here's a list of main dishes and side dishes to try when you're cooking acorn squash:
Main dishes that pair well with acorn squash
- Roasted Lemon Chicken or Stuffed Turkey Rolls: Serve roasted poultry with roasted acorn squash for a classic fall meal.
- Grilled Salmon: The sweetness of acorn squash complements the rich flavors of grilled salmon.
- One Pan Spiced Chicken with Apples and Bacon: This harvest-time recipe is sweet and smoky, tender, and juicy!
- Pork Tenderloin: Roast or grill pork tenderloin and serve it alongside roasted acorn squash for a hearty meal.
- Easiest Chicken Saltimbocca: A classic Italian chicken breast dish with fresh sage leaves and prosciutto, in a buttery white wine sauce. An easy recipe, perfect for a dinner party.
Side dishes to serve with acorn squash
- Apple Cider Roasted Root Vegetables: Roast a variety of root vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, and parsnips alongside acorn squash for a colorful side dish.
- Cranberry Sauce: Homemade cranberry sauce provides a tangy contrast to the sweetness of acorn squash.
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Maple Sweet Potatoes: This side dish checks the boxes for those on special diets! It's vegan, vegetarian, paleo, and gluten-free (and delicious!)
- Crispy Lemon Oven Roasted Potatoes: Serve crispy roasted potatoes seasoned with lemon alongside your squash.
- Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes: So easy to make creamy mashed potatoes in your electric pressure cooker!
- Parmesan Pecan Green Beans: Blanch green beans and toss them with toasted pecan and Parmesan cheese for a simple, tasty side.
- Cornbread: A slice of warm gluten-free cornbread pairs well with the flavors of roasted acorn squash.
- Need more suggestions: See 30 Holiday Side Dish Recipes. (All gluten-free.)
Feel free to mix and match these main and side dishes to create a well-balanced and satisfying meal with acorn squash. Enjoy!
🗒 More side dish recipes
How to Cut an Acorn Squash Safely
- 1 medium acorn squash
- Start by thoroughly washing and drying the squash. Next, slice off the ends of the squash, removing about ½ an inch from both ends. This gives you a flat surface with which to work.
- Next place the squash with the flat end down. Slice from the stem end through the tip end. You may need to use a sawing motion, or use your other hand as a helper to press down and slice the squash in half.Use a metal spoon to remove the seeds and the membrane. You can either compost the seeds or save them to roast.Now you'll have a vessel if you want to stuff your squash.
- If you're planning to cut your acorn squash into slices instead, turn the scooped-out half face down and cut cross-wise. Make your slices about ¾ inch thick. Try to cut them all the same width so they'll cook at the same rate.
- To cut wedges or "boats," place the squash halves flesh side down and cut lengthwise along the ridges, usually every second one.
- And finally, if you want to cut an acorn squash into cubes, cut lengthwise along each ridge, then cut each wedge crosswise into cubes.