Got a squash and not sure what to do with it? Here are all the best ideas for acorn squash recipes, from soup to salad to stuffed.
Are you a squash fan? As soon as glossy green round squashes starts to pop up farmers markets and grocery stores, Alex and I start brainstorming acorn squash recipes. Stuff them with wild rice, puree them into soup: there are so many tasty acorn squash recipes! Growing up, I’ll admit I wasn’t so into squash (it was a new food that was a little too exotic!). But today, Alex and I are enchanted with it for it’s bright and beautiful tender flesh. Here are some of the absolute best ways we’ve found to eat it!
How to roast acorn squash
Acorn squash is easy to make: the only hard part is cutting it! To roast acorn squash, you’ll need to halve the squash using a very sharp knife and then scoop out the seeds. Then cut the acorn squash into quarters — you also can cut it into half moons (like in the salad below). Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Then place the squash onto a parchment paper-lined baking tray.
It takes about 40 minutes to roast the squash; test and make sure it’s fork tender. The edges will turn slightly brown in the oven and the squash should smell slightly nutty as well.
Acorn squash nutrition
So, what’s in squash that makes it so great? According to the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, squash is full of beta carotene, protein, Vitamin C & B6, potassium, and fiber. While there are no studies to cite on specific health benefits of winter squash, a diet rich in vegetables and fruits can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, and have a positive effect on blood sugar to keep your appetite in check.
Basically: acorn squash is full of vitamins and nutrients. So why not make it part of your fall recipe repertoire?
And now…our best acorn squash recipes!
First up in our acorn squash recipes: roasted squash with wild rice stuffing! One of the best ways to "stuff" acorn squash is to cut it into wedges and drape the stuffing over the top. It's easier to serve and eat! Here the squash is roasted until sweet and tender, and then covered with nutty, chewy wild rice, crunchy pistachios, and salty feta cheese. It tastes like fall on a plate.
This curried acorn squash soup recipe warm-spiced and cozy. Swirled with coconut milk, it's seasoned with warm Indian spices like curry powder, garam masala, and cumin. Topped with crispy quinoa and pepitas to garnish, it has just the right amount of spice, complexity, and heat.
For this acorn squash recipe, you'll roast the squash, peel it, and then puree it. It's actually customizable for many types of squash, or even a mix if you have other varieties. All you'll need is 5 cups puree (and you could use store bought puree to cut down prep time).
This one's a hands-down favorite. Here the acorn squash is roasted until tender, then it’s draped in a toasted pecan rice stuffing that makes your kitchen smell like a fall paradise! You know that scent of onions, celery and leeks cooking in butter? Well, this recipe delivers it in spades. Everyone we’ve served it to becomes a believer…and then immediately asks for the recipe.
Got an Instant Pot? Here's a version where you can cook both the acorn squash and the rice in the pressure cooker. See Instant Pot Acorn Squash
Ever tried squash...in a salad? Roasting acorn squash in half moons makes for a hearty and filling main dish salad that's perfect for lunch or a light dinner. And the flavors here: well, all we can say is WOW. The roasted acorn squash is served over greens with warm farro, toasted walnuts, salty feta, and a zesty orange and mustard vinaigrette. It makes for one memorable acorn squash recipe!
What's farro? It's whole grain from the wheat family that can be used as an alternative to rice. You can eat it plain or in soups and salads like this one. Farro is not gluten-free, so if you'd like substitute it with quinoa or brown rice.
Last up in our acorn squash recipes...who could say no to another stuffed acorn squash? Here it's cut in half and stuffed with a quinoa stuffing that's quick and simple to put together. The stuffing features sauteed leeks and a hefty dose of fresh sage and thyme to give it all the fall feelings!
Use this as a base recipe for endless variations of how to stuff squash! You can use your favorite whole grains and stuffing flavors. Try rice, millet, farro, freekah or bulgur, and extras like your favorite cheese, pistachios, dried cranberries, or other herbs.
Note: Several of these Butternut Squash Recipes can also be made with acorn squash!
More with squash?
Like butternut? Got a spaghetti squash instead? Found a delicata and not sure how to use it? Here are some resources for other types of squash:
- Superfood Butternut Squash Lentil Soup
- Vegan Butternut Squash Soup
- Roasted Butternut Squash
- Best Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
- Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese
- Roasted Delicata Squash Fries
- Stuffed Delicata Squash Recipe
- Delicata Squash Recipe with Black Bean Stuffing
- Easy Spaghetti Squash Recipe with Pesto
- Top Spaghetti Squash Recipes
This crowd-pleasing roasted acorn squash cooked until fork tender, then draped in a savory filling of wild rice, pistachios and feta cheese.
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked wild rice
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 4 medium acorn squash
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 shallot
- 1 bunch kale
- 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup pistachios, chopped
- 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- Pre-heat oven to 450°F.
- In a medium pot, combine the wild rice, 3 ½ cups water, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 45 to 50 minutes until tender. Let sit for 10 minutes before draining any extra liquid.
- Meanwhile, chop each of the acorn squash in half and then into quarters. Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, place the squash on the sheet and drizzle with olive oil on the cut sides, then sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Turn cut side down on the sheet and roast until tender, about 40 minutes.
- While the squash roasts, mince the garlic and the shallot. Cut the kale into thin strips. In a large skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil; add garlic and shallot and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until the shallots are soft. Then add the kale and sauté for 2 to 3 additional minutes until the kale is tender and bright green. Turn off the heat and stir in the rice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Taste, and adjust seasonings if desired.
- To serve, place the squash quarters on a plate. Top with wild rice stuffing, then sprinkle with feta cheese and pistachios.
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Roasted
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Acorn squash recipes
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.