You’ve stumbled upon a recipe that’ll make your autumn feast unforgettable: Roasted Acorn Squash with Cinnamon Butter. We guarantee it’s as delicious as it sounds.
You’ll source and prepare the squash, whip up some homemade cinnamon butter, and roast it to perfection. Don’t worry, we’ve got all the tips and tricks you’ll need.
So, get ready to impress your guests with this flavorful, seasonal dish. Let’s get started, shall we?
Sourcing Your Acorn Squash
While you’re at your local farmer’s market or grocery store, you’ll want to look for acorn squash that’s firm, heavy for its size, and has a dull, rather than shiny, skin. If it’s light or has soft spots, you’re better off leaving it behind. If you’re unsure, give it a knock. It should sound hollow. This indicates that it’s ripe.
Also, don’t forget to check the stem. A dry, grayish stem means it’s been harvested at the right time. Avoid ones with green or moist stems as they’re likely underripe. Remember, acorn squash is seasonal, so you’ll find the best ones in early autumn.
Carefully select your squash because it’s the star of your roasted acorn squash with cinnamon butter dish.
Preparing the Acorn Squash
Before you dive into making your roasted acorn squash with cinnamon butter, you’ll need to properly prepare your acorn squash.
Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Then, wash the squash thoroughly under cold water to remove any dirt or grime. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the squash in half from stem to base. If it’s too tough, you can soften it in the microwave for a few minutes.
Once it’s halved, scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp with a spoon.
Lastly, score the insides of the squash with a knife, making a crosshatch pattern. This helps the cinnamon butter seep into the flesh, infusing every bite with flavor.
Now, you’re ready to roast your acorn squash to perfection.
Making the Cinnamon Butter
After you’ve prepped your squash, it’s time to whip up the cinnamon butter that will elevate this dish to new heights of flavor. Start by softening a stick of unsalted butter. You’ll want it just malleable enough to mix with the other ingredients, so don’t melt it completely.
Next, add two tablespoons of ground cinnamon, and a tablespoon of brown sugar. The sugar isn’t just for sweetness; it’ll help the butter caramelize on the squash while it roasts. Beat the mixture until it’s smooth and well combined, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Remember, you’re looking for a balance of sweetness and spice.
Once you’re happy with the flavor, it’s ready to spread onto your squash.
Roasting the Acorn Squash
Now that you’ve prepared your cinnamon butter, let’s move on to roasting your acorn squash.
First, preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
Cut your acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Don’t worry if it’s tough, a good chef’s knife should make it easy.
Brush the inside of each half with olive oil and sprinkle a little salt.
Place them cut-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes until the squash is tender. You can test this by poking a fork into the flesh.
Once it’s done, flip your squash halves over, apply your cinnamon butter generously, and return them to the oven for another 10 minutes.
Enjoy your deliciously roasted acorn squash!
Serving Suggestions and Tips
When you’re ready to serve your roasted acorn squash, consider pairing it with a hearty grain like quinoa or wild rice to make it a complete meal. This combination not only boosts the overall nutritional value but also adds a pleasing texture contrast.
If you’re after a more festive presentation, you can stuff the squash halves with the grain before serving. For a touch of sweetness, drizzle a bit of maple syrup over the top. Don’t forget the cinnamon butter; its warm spiciness complements the natural sweetness of the squash perfectly.
For the best eating experience, ensure the squash is warm when served. And remember, the skin of acorn squash is edible too, so don’t shy away from eating it if you’d like!
Roasted Acorn Squash With Cinnamon Butter
- 1 medium acorn squash
- 2 Tbsp butter softened
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar or 1 tbsp for less sweet
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Rinse the squash and pop off the stem. To make the squash easier to cut, microwave it for 2 minutes to soften it and allow it to cool for a minute. Use a large sharp knife to slice the squash in half, lengthwise. Pierce it in the center of a depression line, then cut through, following the line of the ridge. Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds and pulp. Lightly score the flesh of the squash to allow the cinnamon butter to absorb better, don’t cut too deep or you might cut through. Place the squash halves cut side up on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
- To make the cinnamon butter, in a small bowl, combine the softened butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt by mixing and mashing with a fork. Spoon the cinnamon brown sugar butter equally into the squash cavities and spread to coat all of the flesh, including the top.
- Place the baking sheet onto the center rack of your preheated oven. Bake the squash until the flesh is soft, about 35 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of your squash. My squash was perfect at 40 minutes, pierce with a fork to check for doneness. Once your squash has finished baking, carefully remove it from the oven and serve warm.
How to Cook Acorn Squash in the MicrowaveYou can also microwave acorn squash as an alternative to baking it. I personally prefer baked acorn squash. However, microwaved acorn squash is much faster. So use this method if you are short on time. Follow all of the instructions up until the baking section, except for using a baking sheet. Instead, you will use a microwave-safe dish. Prepare the squash and cinnamon brown sugar butter the same way. Then cook the acorn squash in the microwave for 8-10 minutes, or until you can pierce the flesh with a fork easily.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use a Different Type of Squash Instead of Acorn Squash in This Recipe?
Absolutely, you can substitute acorn squash with another type. Just remember, different squash may vary in sweetness and texture, so you might need to adjust the cooking time and spices accordingly.
Can I Store Leftover Roasted Acorn Squash And, if So, How Long Will It Keep in the Fridge?
Yes, you can store leftover roasted squash. It’s best to place it in an airtight container. It’ll typically keep in the fridge for about 3 to 5 days. Ensure it’s cooled before storing.
Are There Any Health Benefits of Consuming Acorn Squash?
Yes, acorn squash is packed with nutrients. It’s a great source of vitamins A, C, and B, as well as fiber and potassium. So, you’re not only enjoying a tasty dish, but also benefiting your health.
What Are Some Alternative Spices I Could Use in Place of Cinnamon for the Butter?
Sure, instead of cinnamon, you could try nutmeg or allspice. They’ll give your butter a different flavor profile. Ginger or cloves would also work well. It’s all about your personal taste preferences.
Are There Any Specific Wine Pairings You Would Recommend When Serving Roasted Acorn Squash With Cinnamon Butter?
You’re asking about wine pairings. I’d recommend a white wine with a hint of sweetness, like Riesling or Gewürztraminer. They’ll complement the squash’s natural sweetness and the spiciness of the cinnamon butter beautifully.
So there you have it! You’ve sourced, prepped, and roasted your acorn squash to perfection. You’ve even whipped up a delectable cinnamon butter to enhance its natural sweetness.
Whether you’re serving this as a hearty side or a main dish, you’ve mastered a simple and delicious way to enjoy acorn squash.
Remember, the key is in the roasting and that irresistible cinnamon butter. So go on, dig in and savor the fruits of your labor!