How to Cook Acorn Squash that Everyone will Love

It’s simple to prepare and cook acorn squash, and it’s such a great addition to a meal! Baked with butter and brown sugar, acorn squash is a tradition every year at my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. But you don’t have to wait until November to make this delicious treat!

Three halves and glimpses of two whole acorn squash

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Acorn Squash is Economical

As I write this, acorn squash is about $1.29/pound in stores here in New England, but I’ve seen the price go down to 98 cents/pound in the summer. But that isn’t for organically grown squash.

Grow your own for the best deal in town!

The most economical way to get your squash is to grow your own. I grew 19 pounds of squash one year – from just 9 plants! So the garden produced $24.51 in squash from less than 50 cents worth of seeds. Now that’s what I call a deal!

Harvesting & Storing Acorn Squash

At the end of summer when the acorn squash show patches of orange on the dark green skin, they are ready to pick. I use 5-gallon buckets to store them – unwashed, and leaving the stems on.

Since my basement is cool and dry, I store the buckets of squash there until I need them – which is typically for Thanksgiving dinner.

Acorn squash from the vegetable garden

Aren’t these gorgeous? These are the acorn squash from my garden.

How to Prepare & Cook Acorn Squash


  • 6 acorn squash (1/2 squash per person)
  • 12 TBS butter
  • 12 TBS light brown sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Wash and dry each one and remove the stem.
  • Using a cleaver or long, wide knife, slice a bit off the pointy end of the squash so it will sit flat in the baking pan. The stem end is already flat enough to sit in the baking pan without tipping over.
  • Cut each squash in half. They are pretty hard, and have a tendency to roll when you try to cut them, so be careful! Put a tea towel around them to keep them from rolling around on the cutting board, and use a rubber mallet to tap the clever or knife into the squash.
  • Once all the squash are halved, use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy centers of each piece
  • Arrange the halves in a baking dish so they sit flat. You can pack them tightly into the pan, since they will shrink a little as they bake.
  • Put a tablespoon (or more) of butter and a tablespoon of brown sugar in each half.
  • Add about 1/2″ of water to the pan so the squash will steam as they cook.
  • Cover the pan of squash with foil, and bake until the squash no longer feel hard when poked with a fork. (about an hour)
  • Serve hot.  These are best eaten with a spoon, so the flesh can be scooped out along with the buttery brown sugar that has melted in the center.

They are almost a substitute for dessert!

Two halves of acorn squash baked with brown sugar and butter on a plate.

And what’s Thanksgiving dinner without mashed potatoes? You have GOT to try this recipe for the Best Ever Garlic Mashed Potatoes!

Click on the photo to read:

Potatoes with a vintage potato masher and vintage potato peeler for a garlic mashed potato recipe

Click on the photo to read:

Loaf of homemade bread, wood cutting board and serrated bread knife
Diced ham, onion and green peppers with shredded cheese displayed with a cheese grater and bowl of beaten eggs to make a delicious and easy frittata

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