November 22, 2021

Maple Glazed Acorn Squash

With savory, sweet & spicy flavors like cayenne, pomegranate seeds and walnuts, this roasted maple-glazed acorn squash is an easy side dish.

No peeling is required for this roasted maple glazed acorn squash.  With savory, sweet and spicy flavors like cayenne, pomegranate seeds and walnuts, it is an easy side dish.

Roasted Maple Glazed Acorn Squash

There isn’t a variety of squash that I don’t like. From butternut to delicata to red kuri, I absolutely love them all.

Because I always end up eating some roasted straight off the baking pan even before it makes it into the actual recipe, I like to roast more than I need.

But the one thing about squash that can sometimes be a pain is peeling it. Depending on the variety, the bumpy but beautiful shape can make this a challenge or pretty much impossible.

While I am a big fan of a y-peeler for preparing butternut squash, acorn squash is best left with its skin on. As it bakes, the skin softens up and is wonderful to eat.

And leaving the skin on lets you enjoy its lovely wavy edges that always look so pretty when they are plated.

How To Cut Acorn Squash

All you need to prep acorn squash is a chef’s knife, a cutting board and a spoon.

To cut the acorn squash:

  1. Trim the top and bottom off the squash. This gives you a flat side to put down on the cutting board.
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. A sharp knife is very helpful for this step.
  3. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. You also want to drag the spoon on the flesh to get rid of any loose strings.
  4. Slice the squash crosswise into half-rings.
How to cut acorn squash

The Ingredients

Ingredients for maple roasted squash

This is what you need for the recipe:

  • Acorn Squash: When you’re looking for acorn squash at the grocery or market, find squash that feel heavy for their size. The skin should be smooth, and they shouldn’t have any soft spots.
  • Maple Syrup: Of course, maple syrup does add some sweetness, but when you combine it with savory ingredients, I think it is more about adding the essence of fall-winter flavors.
  • Olive Oil: The base of the marinade for the squash is olive oil.
  • Cayenne pepper, salt and pepper: For seasonings, I use the obvious salt and pepper plus cayenne pepper for heat.
  • Walnuts: This recipe isn’t just about roasting the squash. The toppings you add after it’s out of the oven are important too. Walnuts give the squash something nutty.
  • Pepitas: These pumpkin seeds add crunch.
  • Pomegranate seeds: I love the sweet, tart and juicy bite of pomegranate seeds.
  • Goat cheese: Creamy and kind of tangy, goat cheese is another component to finish this side. If you want to keep it vegan, then skip the cheese.
  • Scallions: Sliced scallions are crisp and oniony.
  • Parsley: Chopped parsley is a fresh and herby final touch.

How To Make Maple Glazed Acorn Squash

  1. Prep and cut the acorn squash.
  2. Whisk together the marinade including olive oil, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
  3. Add the squash slices to the marinade tossing them around in the mixture.
  4. Arrange the squash on a sheet pan. To maximize contact with the pan, the slices should not be touching.
  5. Bake in a 375-degree F oven for 20 minutes. Flip to the other side and continue roasting for another 15-20 minutes. The squash should be tender, golden and even browned at the edges.
  6. Place the roasted squash on a serving plate.
  7. Top the squash with walnuts, pomegranate seeds, pepitas, goat cheese, scallions and parsley.

Serving Suggestions

This is a great fall side that also feels appropriate served all the way through winter. The pomegranate seeds give it something a bit holiday, so think of this dish for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

More Squash Side Dish Recipes

Miso-Glazed Red Kuri Squash
Parmesan Herb Roasted Acorn Squash
Sautéed Butternut Squash and Kale
Butternut Squash Black Bean Quinoa
Acorn Squash Chickpea Quinoa

Do you need to peel acorn squash?

No! Once you roast the squash, the skin will soften up. It adds a nice chewy bite.

What temperature should you roast acorn squash?

I like to roast it at 375 degrees F.

How long does acorn squash take to roast?

35-40 minutes. Roast it on one side for 20 minutes, and then flip it to the other side to finish roasting.

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Roasted Maple Glazed Acorn Squash

Maple Glazed Acorn Squash

  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35-40 minutes
  • Total Time: 45-50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


 With savory, sweet & spicy flavors like cayenne, pomegranate seeds and walnuts, this roasted maple-glazed acorn squash is an easy side dish.


  • 2 acorn squash 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tablespoons pepitas
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Trim the bottom off the acorn squash and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Slice crosswise into into 1/2-inch-thick wedges.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Add the squash and stir it around, coating all the slices.
  4. Arrange the squash in a single layer on a sheet pan making sure the slices are not overlapping
  5. Roast the squash for 20 minutes. Flip the squash to the other side and continue roasting for 15 minutes until it is tender and golden brown in spots.
  6. Arrange the squash on a serving platter and top with walnuts, pomegranate seeds, pepitas, goat cheese, scallions and parsley.

Keywords: roasted acorn squash, maple roasted acorn squash


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  1. Acorn squash is one of those things that I have never tried, but have been seeing everywhere this year! I’m obviously missing out and need to go get one! This looks lovely, I love that you added spicy nuts to the sweet squash – definitely need to try it!