Tender, sweet, delicious Honey Roasted Acorn Squash with Pine Nuts, a dash of cinnamon, and thyme for a hint of savory flavor. This recipe uses olive oil instead of butter for a healthier twist.
Acorn squash is the PERFECT side dish ingredient. It is hearty, filling, delicious, yet ridiculously healthy. It's packed with nutrients, vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. Because of this, acorn squash works both as a carb and a vegetable in our house.
Roasting acorn squash brings out its delicious natural sweetness. But of course, a little honey and cinnamon never made things worse.
This Honey Roasted Acorn Squash takes less than 5 minutes of prep time and is the most delicious and simple acorn squash recipe ever, hands down. I promise. It's simple, but it's so good.
My husband pointed out that the pine nuts look like beans in the picture. I assure you, these are not beans!! That would be weird. They are delicious little pine nuts that get toasted and so fragrant while the squash is roasting.
If I just freaked you out with the bean comment, feel free to use crushed walnuts or pecans instead of pine nuts. Walnuts and pecans are usually much cheaper than pine nuts anyway.
How to Roast Acorn Squash
To make this Honey Roasted Acorn Squash, I brush it with olive oil (you won't be able to taste it much in the end, but it's MUCH healthier than slathering the acorn squash with butter), drizzle it with honey, add some pine nuts, thyme, and a pinch of cinnamon.
I pop it in the oven at 375F (it's OK if the oven isn't done preheating, roasting acorn squash is not an exact science like baking), and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the squash is fork tender. It's OK if you overcook it a little, it just gets softer and even more delicious. It's a truly fool proof recipe.
While the squash is roasting, I prep and cook the rest of the meal (see below for ideas on how to serve this!).
Of course, you can use brown sugar instead of honey if that's what you have. I made two side by side and they really don't taste all that different when they are done roasting.
Some variations for this roasted acorn squash recipe:
If you want to switch things up, or if you are simply out of honey or pine nuts, you can try the following ingredient swaps with pretty much the same results. It will taste just as good, I promise:
- Instead of honey, try brown sugar, maple syrup, or agave syrup for a vegan version (honey is technically not vegan because it is made by bees)
- Instead of pine nuts, try crushed walnuts or pecans
- Instead of olive oil, try a neutral tasting vegetable oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, or thinly sliced butter
- Instead of thyme, try chopped fresh tarragon
- Instead of cinnamon, try a pinch of pumpkin spice, or add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a sweet & spicy flavor combination
How to serve acorn squash
For dinner, I serve these acorn squash halves next to some protein, such as grilled chicken or grilled sausage. You can also chop the acorn squash halves into quarters or into slices if you prefer.
For lunch or as a snack, roasted acorn squash can be its own meal or would be great next to a bowl of soup.
Can you eat the skin of Acorn squash?
Yes, you can eat the skin of acorn squash! When acorn squash is roasted or cooked, the skin softens. I wouldn't recommend eating the skin on its own, but if you get a forkful of the acorn squash with the skin on, you won't even really feel the skin when you eat it.
The skin of acorn squash contains a lot of vitamins and antioxidants (source). This is because of its dark color... I wrote my Masters thesis on antioxidants in food, so I am pretty passionate about this.
But if the skin weirds you out or you don't like the texture, it's pretty easy to avoid it: the orange part of the acorn squash separates from the skin pretty easily when it is fully cooked. Don't try to peel the squash before roasting though, that's a disaster waiting to happen.
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I am absolutely in love with my Corningware Baking Dishes. I have this set. They are a classic. They go with everything, and are perfect for taking food from the oven to the table. Just don't forget a trivet and be careful not to touch the baking dishes with your hands while they're hot!
There's no need to get fancy honey for this recipe. It will all taste pretty much the same once its baked or cooked in a recipe. I mean, if you have some fancy local or raw honey, go ahead and use it. But if not, I keep this large jar of honey around to use specifically for baking and cooking with it. It's a great price for that much honey. 32 ounces!!
Pine nuts are always so dang expensive. If you have no other use for them, you're better off getting a small package (such as this one, it's a half a cup) and using them all up quickly, instead of letting them sit and get rancid over time. I've done that way too many times, saving them for later only to realize they've gone bad! If you do plan on using lots of pine nuts (because they are deeeelicious!), this package from Trader Joe's is a really good value.
And of course, cinnamon and a basting / pastry brush to brush on the olive oil. I love using these brushes to brush olive oil onto pans for cooking - I can spread a smaller amount of olive oil around a large pan with a brush and use less oil in my cooking.
If you made it all the way here, you're probably thinking "this sounds really good!" And you are correct. If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!
Roasted Acorn Squash
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Slice the acorn squash in half. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and any loose strands on the inside of the acorn squash.
- Brush each acorn squash half with half the olive oil (or see notes for butter). Top with a drizzle of honey, pine nuts, a pinch of cinnamon, and fresh thyme. Roast for 35-45 minutes, or until a fork pierces the acorn squash easily. Serve warn, garnishing with extra honey, pine nuts, or fresh thyme.
- Instead of honey, try brown sugar, maple syrup, or agave syrup.
- Instead of pine nuts, try crushed walnuts or pecans.
- Instead of olive oil, try a neutral tasting vegetable oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, or thinly sliced butter. If using butter, slice a tablespoon of cold butter into thin slices. Place the slices all over each acorn squash half.
- Instead of thyme, try chopped fresh tarragon.
- Instead of cinnamon, try a pinch of pumpkin spice, or add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a sweet & spicy flavor combination.
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