I have a confession to make. I used to think acorn squash was the worst winter squash. Growing up the only way I had it was drenched in brown sugar and butter. Sure, it tasted great but as an adult I wanted something a little less sugary. I mostly shied away from acorn, going for naturally sweet butternut and delicata. My first few seasons as a CSA member I even let the acorn sit on the counter until I eventually composted it. But this year I created a naturally sweet acorn squash, with maple syrup. I noticed that acorn has a nutty flavor when you season it mildly, someone even told me they like with just salt and pepper which sounded crazy, but now I get it. Acorn squash is not the worst squash at all.
Here’s something else I didn’t realize. Like delicata, you can just slice the squash into half rings or whole rings and roast with the skin on. Acorn squash with savory spices is now one of my favorites. Simply chop a squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and slice into half moons. Place the squash in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil and spices, roast until soft.
I think the possibilities are endless when for spice combinations, but I’ve tried garlic and fresh sage, cumin seeds and smoked paprika, and cayenne + chili powder + cumin + coriander. Check your spice rack or herb garden for inspiration, and then let us know what you try!
Savory Roasted Acorn Squash
1 acorn squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove the top of the squash, slice in half, and scoop the seeds out of each half. Slice the squash into half moons about a 1/2 inch thick. Place the squash in a large bowl, drizzle the olive oil and spices over, then use your hands to toss the squash and evenly distribute the spices. Arrange the squash on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until squash is soft and starting to brown.
Don’t have cumin seeds and smoked paprika? Try these combinations or come up with your own!
- 1 minced garlic clove and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, thyme, or rosemary
- 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon coriander, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay or your favorite spice mix
- Simple salt and pepper