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How to Cook Acorn Squash Whole

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This is such an easy and delicious way to cook acorn squash, not to mention it’s packed with beta carotene. I bake mine in the oven whole and then cut it open and scrape out seeds. It’s such an easier way to cook acorn squash.

how to cook an acorn squash

What is an acorn squash

The acorn squash is a variety of the squash species Cucurbita pepo, which also includes pumpkins and zucchini. It’s a winter squash, meaning that you typically eat it in the winter when the fruit is fully mature.

The acorn squash generally has an acorn-like shape and is typically dark green.–LiveStrong

how do you cook acorn squash

Have you ever tried to cut a large raw squash of any type and found that it can be quite tough and difficult?

That’s what I kept running into before deciding that baking the whole thing first made for a much easier experience.

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How to cook acorn squash whole

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Poke 5-7 holes in squash.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper (because I’m too lazy to wash the pan afterward).

Place whole acorn squash in the oven and bake approximately 30-40 minutes.

how do you cook acorn squash

Once cooked allow to cool.

Slice squash in half and use a spoon to scrape out seeds and strings.

acorn squash

Drizzle with maple syrup, and sprinkle with salt and cinnamon. Serve warm.

baked acorn squash

Ease of cutting and scraping seeds

Once baked and soft, it is much easier to slice and clean out the seeds of a large squash with a spoon. Simply scoop them out of the now soft flesh. So much easier!

cook acorn squash sliced with seeds
After cooking, the squash is so easy to slice and deseed.

I personally do not eat the skin of the squash, because it has an egg-shell texture even when it’s cooked well. It is just not good, in my opinion, so we stick with eating only the fleshy part. 

Classic Acorn Baked Squash is a sweet addition to any meal and is packed full of beta carotene!

What does acorn squash taste like?

The creamy yellow inside flesh has a delicious nutty flavor that reminds me of a sweet potato. Some people say it tastes like a combination of butternut squash, sweet potato, and corn. It has a slightly sweet flavor compared to a pumpkin. 

What do you eat with acorn squash?

There so many options for what to eat with acorn squash. Most of the time, I love to eat a great salad with them, and I don’t mean just a garden salad. There are so many varieties of salads that can be whipped up without much or any cooking required. These are some of my favorites to serve with acorn squash:

Other great options to pair with baked acorn squash are soups and even main dishes like chili or a good stir fry dish

This baked Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe is a great one for holidays and special events because it makes a beautiful table display.

Stuffed baked Acorn Squash
Stuffed Acorn Squash is beautifully delicious! Click the photo to see the full recipe.

Is acorn squash healthy?

Acorn squash is a great source of vitamin C, which is one of the best ways to boost your immune system. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, stimulates the production of white blood cells, which defend the body from pathogens and other unwanted germs/microbes.

Furthermore, vitamin C is an important part of the body’s development, in terms of muscle tissue, blood vessels, teeth, skin, and organs. Vitamin C also works as an antioxidant, helping to protect the body from serious conditions, like heart diseases and certain cancers.–Organic Facts

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How long will an uncut acorn squash last?

Though winter squash, like acorn squash, is grown in the summertime months, it is most often eaten during the fall and early winter. It keeps best in cool dark places like a pantry. Storing in the refrigerator really won’t extend the life expectancy very much and can actually change the texture and flavor, so it is not recommended.

Typically, uncut acorn squash will last 1-3 months if kept in a cool dark place.

Acorn squash will begin to get soft and leak when it is going bad. Mold can also be seen growing and is a sign that the squash should be thrown away.

baked acorn squash

How to Cook Acorn Squash Whole

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

This very simple recipe is a sweet addition to any meal and is packed full of beta carotene!


  • 1 whole acorn squash
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup


  1. Take a whole acorn squash, and poke holes in it with a sharp knife. 5-6 punctures is plenty.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (because I'm too lazy to wash the pan afterward).
  4. Place whole acorn squash in the oven and bake approximately 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of your squash.
  5. Remove from the oven.
  6. Slice in half.
  7. Use a spoon to remove seeds and stringy parts in the center.
  8. Sprinkle with salt and cinnamon, then drizzle with maple syrup and serve warm.


      Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.

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    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 2
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 69Total Fat: 0gCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 5gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g

    To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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    How to Bake Acorn Squash Whole
    No difficult cutting or scraping required.

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    Sue Ann

    Sunday 8th of December 2019

    This was so easy and good! Plus -- no oil! Thank you!

    Terri Edwards

    Monday 9th of December 2019

    I'm so glad it was helpful! Thanks so much for letting me know. :)

    Pat K

    Wednesday 21st of November 2018

    I’m going to make a sausage stuffing in acorn squash. The squash will be sliced in “rings”. The last time I did this, I cut through the raw squash - it took forever!! This time I’m going to cook the whole squash, as you suggested. Can I cook the squash, but stuff it the next day? Or, should I do everything the same day?

    Wednesday 21st of November 2018

    When I make this, I stuff it the same day. However, I feel confident it could be done the next day with no problem.


    Monday 19th of November 2018

    Don't forget to roast the seeds afterward!


    Saturday 10th of November 2018

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing. I'll pick up 1 or two for on my next shopping trip.

    Saturday 10th of November 2018

    They really are so simple to make and, oh my, so delcious. Hope you enjoy!

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