These roasted acorn squash slices are hands down my favorite way to eat acorn squash. The recipe is revelatory—acorn squash rings are roasted with a quick brown butter, vinegar and maple syrup sauce. Some of the sauce is drizzled over the squash before serving, and the dish is sprinkled with finely chopped nuts and a scattering of parsley (both are optional). The squash is caramelized and tender while the sauce is nutty, slightly sweet and bright. It’s a match made in heaven. The first time I made it I ate half the squash off the platter with my fingers before it even hit the table (I then finished the leftovers off with breakfast). It’s so good.  

Roasted acorn squash rings on a serving platter.

Roasted acorn squash slices with maple syrup and browned butter

While the roasted squash rings are delicious on their own, the sauce makes this dish swoon-worthy. Luckily it’s a cinch to make. Butter is cooked until the milk solids turn golden brown and smell nutty (one of the best smells in the universe!), to which you add a tablespoon of white wine vinegar. The vinegar is key, as it cuts through the richness of the sauce. A touch of maple syrup is then swirled in. Some of the sauce is tossed with the squash before roasting, and the rest is drizzled over top at the end. I finish the dish with chopped nuts (you could go for hazelnuts, pecans or pistachios), which provide crunch, as well as parsley, which brightens everything up. 

Process shot divided into four quadrants, showing the steps for making roasted acorn squash rings.

Healthy roasted acorn squash

This is a healthy-ish side dish (the sauce uses only three tablespoons of butter, but it will taste like more due to the natural richness of the squash) that you can pair with just about any type of meat, fish or vegetarian main (think roasted chicken or fish, grilled steaks, lamb chops, leg of lamb, roasted whole heads of cauliflower, etc.) The squash is also fabulous in grain bowls and hearty salads. Chop up any leftovers and throw it into pasta dishes, veggie sautés and salads (or eat it for breakfast as I do 😉).

How do you cut acorn squash into slices?

Process shot showing how to slice an acorn squash into half moons.

Good news: slicing acorn squash is easier than handling other bulbous winter squashes (and you don’t need to peel it!). First you cut the squash in half vertically. This is the hardest part, but a sharp chef’s knife makes the job easier. I insert the knife into the center of the squash then work my way down to the bottom. I then flip the squash over and work my way back up to the stem end. Once the squash is halved, the hard work is done. Scrape out the seeds (you can discard them or roast them!), then place the squash halves, cut sides down, on your cutting board. Slice the squash crosswise into 1-inch thick half moons. You can knock out this step a day or two in advance if you want to get a jumpstart on the recipe (refrigerate the squash until you’re ready to cook it). 

Can you eat the skin of roasted acorn squash?

Yes! Acorn squash skin is perfectly edible, and you’ll be surprised at how tender it becomes in this preparation (it’s also a fantastic source of fiber). That being said, you can always scoop out the flesh if you prefer to leave the skin behind.  

Close up of roasted acorn squash slices on a serving platter.

For another approach, try these roasted acorn squash wedges, which get brushed with maple syrup and butter until deeply caramelized. 

I hope these roasted squash rings will make it into your mealtime rotation! Just don’t let me near the platter, because I will steal a slice when you’re not looking. 

Other squash recipes to try:

Recipe tips:

  • This recipe also works with other winter squash varieties, such as butternut, buttercup or delicata (if using delicata squash, check the slices early, as they cook faster).
  • A sharp chef’s knife is your best tool for handling winter squash (I’m partial to my Wustof knives, but any sharp knife will do the trick!).
  • A grapefruit spoon works great for scraping out winter squash seeds.
  • Parchment paper not only prevents the squash from sticking, but it also makes clean-up a breeze (I love these pre-cut sheets, which I store on the top of my fridge!).

Roasted Acorn Squash Slices with Maple Brown Butter Sauce

These roasted acorn squash slices are drizzled with a brown butter, maple syrup and vinegar sauce for a side dish that will leave you swooning. The squash is caramelized and tender while the sauce is nutty, slightly sweet and bright. It’s a match made in heaven. Measure out the vinegar before starting the brown butter, as the butter can go from browned to blackened quickly. Aleppo pepper adds a kick of spice, but it’s optional.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: roasted acorn squash, roasted acorn squash recipe, roasted acorn squash slices
Servings: 4 -6 people
Author: Nicki Sizemore

Ingredients

  • 1 large acorn squash (1 1/2-2 pounds), scrubbed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

For serving

  • Finely chopped parsley (optional)
  • Finely chopped hazelnuts, pecans or pistachios, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cut the acorn squash in half vertically. Scrape out and discard the seeds. Slice each squash half horizontally into 1-inch half moons. Transfer the slices to a large bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the Aleppo pepper, if using.
  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Keep cooking, swirling the pan often, until the milk solids are golden brown and the butter smells irresistibly nutty. Immediately add the white wine vinegar. Remove the pan from the heat and swirl in the maple syrup.
  • Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the browned butter sauce over the squash (reserve the rest of the sauce in the skillet for later). Toss to coat. Arrange the squash in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the squash is caramelized and tender (a knife should slide through without resistance), about 30 minutes, flipping the slices halfway through.
  • Transfer the squash slices to a serving platter. Reheat the reserved sauce until warm then drizzle it over the squash. If you’d like, sprinkle with chopped parsley and nuts. Serve warm.

Notes

Do Ahead: The brown butter sauce and the roasted squash slices can be made several hours in advance (leave them at room temperature). Before serving, reheat the squash and the sauce (drizzle the squash with the sauce right before serving).
Tips:
  • This recipe also works with other winter squash varieties, such as butternut, buttercup or delicata (if using delicata squash, check the slices early, as they cook faster).
  • A sharp chef’s knife is your best tool for handling winter squash (I’m partial to my Wustof knives, but any sharp knife will do the trick!).
  • A grapefruit spoon works great for scraping out winter squash seeds.
  • Parchment paper not only prevents the squash from sticking, but it also makes clean-up a breeze (I love these pre-cut sheets, which I store on the top of my fridge!).

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