Simple and sweet Baked Acorn Squash Slices with brown sugar and pecans are a quick and easy side dish recipe fit for a busy winter weeknight or a special gathering with friends and family.
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Even vegetables deserve to get dressed up once in a while.
Brushed with butter and maple syrup and sprinkled with brown sugar, pecans, and spices, this baked acorn squash slices recipe is the perfect way to sneak something sweet but still healthy-ish (like Roasted Carrots) onto your dinner spread that perfectly complements the savory dishes on your menu.
Quick roasted acorn squash slices are easy, fuss-free, and can be ready in just around 30-minutes.
5 Star Review
“WOW!! My husband and kids LOVED the squash!! Easy to make and a great mix of a little sweet and tad spice. This was a hit!”— April —
How to Make Baked Acorn Squash Slices
Slice, brush, sprinkle, bake.
It doesn’t get much easier than that.
Here are a few best practices for buying acorn squash:
- Choose an acorn squash with dull green skin—a little orange is okay though.
- Ripe acorn squash should feel heavy for its size (heavy = moist)!
- Look out for soft spots.
- Avoid grabbing a squash larger than 3 pounds since those tend to have a drier, stringier texture.
- Acorn Squash. Vitamin C, fiber, iron, folate, potassium, and thiamine (B1) are just a few of the MANY nutritious benefits of this squash superfood. (If you love squash, try this Butternut Squash Casserole and Instant Pot Stuffed Acorn Squash next.)
Try this recipe with other in-season hard winter squash from your grocery store or market. Carnival or delicata squash are two great options.
- Olive Oil. For fat and additional moisture that helps the squash caramelize and become tender in the oven.
- Maple Syrup. A hint of maple syrup infuses the squash with festive flavor and complements the brown sugar. (If you prefer a savory squash side dish, try this Easy Roasted Butternut Squash Parmesan.)
- Brown Sugar. Reach for dark brown sugar if you can for an extra boost of molasses flavor.
- Pecans. Add a lovely contrasting crunch to the tender squash.
Pecans are my favorite nut for this recipe, however, you could easily swap the pecans for walnuts if that’s what you prefer or have on hand.
- Cayenne Pepper. Just a pinch (or more if you want more heat) for a little something that takes this easy baked acorn squash recipe to the next level.
- Halve, seed, and slice the squash. NO NEED TO PEEL!
If you have a pumpkin carving tool laying around, use it to easily (and safely) halve your acorn squash. Then, grab a sharp chef’s knife to cut into slices.
- Stir together the olive oil and maple syrup then brush over the squash slices.
- Pulse the brown sugar and pecans in a food processor with salt, pepper, and cayenne until finely ground. Sprinkle half of the mixture over the squash slices.
- Roast the acorn squash slices in a preheated oven for 5 minutes, flip, then brush with the maple olive oil, and top with the remaining brown sugar mixture.
- Return to the oven until caramelized and fork-tender. Serve warm and ENJOY!
- To Store. Leftover roasted squash slices may be stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Warm in a 350 degree F oven, on a parchment-lined baking sheet, or in the microwave until steaming.
Meal Prep Tip
To prep this recipe ahead:
- The brown sugar topping can be prepped up to 2 days in advance. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
- The squash can be sliced up to 1 day in advance. Store in an airtight container or ziptop bag in the refrigerator.
- When ready to bake, assemble and roast the squash as directed.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Sheet Pan. From cookies to Roasted Potatoes and Carrots, this is my favorite everyday sheet pan set.
- Chef’s Knife. If there’s one thing to invest in, it’s a quality chef’s knife.
- Food Processor. I love this smaller capacity food processor for small jobs like grinding nuts.
The Best Small Food Processor
I love having this smaller Ninja food processor around for smaller tasks and easier clean up. It still has so many features, yet takes up much less space in a cabinet.
Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought!
Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.
Baked acorn squash slices, you’re too sweet to be this healthy. Are you sure you’re not dessert?
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! If you cook an acorn squash long enough and with enough moisture, it’s possible for the skin to become tender enough to eat. The squash skin in this recipe is fine to eat. Personally, I typically just eat the flesh of the squash and discard the tougher skin, though the choice is yours.
I love roasted acorn squash slices because it’s much easier to judge their doneness than whole acorn squash or Roasted Spaghetti Squash. The slices are done then they look caramelized and are fork-tender.
Yes! Made without butter or dairy, this is the BEST quick roasted acorn squash recipe for individuals that choose to follow a plant-based diet.
Baked Acorn Squash Slices
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 acorn squash or similar hard winter squash, such as carnival (about 1 1/2 pounds each)
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup whole pecans
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Place a rack in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
- Halve, seed, and slice the squash into 1-inch thick crescent slices, then arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets.
- In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil and maple syrup and then brush the squash slices with half of the olive oil/maple syrup mixture.
- Add the brown sugar and pecans to a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until the pecans are finely ground. Add the salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper and pulse to combine. Sprinkle half of the brown sugar mixture over the top of the brushed squash slices, reserving the other half.
- Place the squash in the oven and roast for 5 minutes, until the brown sugar begins to melt. Remove from the oven and, using tongs, a fork, or very quick fingers, flip over each slice. Brush with the remaining olive oil/maple syrup mixture and sprinkle them with the remaining brown sugar mixture. Return the baking sheets to the oven and continue roasting until the squash slices are fork-tender, about 20 additional minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- TO STORE: Leftover roasted squash slices may be stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- TO REHEAT: Warm in a 350 degree F oven, on a parchment-lined baking sheet, or in the microwave until steaming.
- TO MAKE-AHEAD: The brown sugar topping can be prepped up to 2 days in advance. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. The squash can be sliced up to 1 day in advance. Store in an airtight container or ziptop bag in the refrigerator. Brush and sprinkle the squash slices just before baking.