Autumn Bounty: Roasted Acorn Squash and Seeds

Hope all you folks (who celebrate it) had a nice Thanksgiving!  We visited our family in Illinois for a week.  I also visited the children at Woodland Primary School in Gages  Lake where my sister-in-law works on Monday. We had fun pretending to make soup!

From the Daily Herald -- my sister-in-law is in the back in the striped sweater!

While I was in Illinois, I received a really touching email from a woman whose adorable 2 1/2 year old daughter, Addison, enjoys my book, Soup Day.  She did a blog post about them spending the day recreating the story that is so perfect I just have to share it.  Check it out here!

Before, during, and after the Thanksgiving festivities, we all indulged in comfort foods and desserts.  My mom made our favorite enchiladas.

My nephew made amazing grilled chicken sushi.  Unfortunately I have no photos!  Major fail on my part.  He basically grilled some chicken breast seasoned with salt and pepper in olive oil.  Then he cut it into strips and rolled it with cucumber, green onion and wasabi on seasoned rice and seaweed.  See the maki method here.  We also made crazy kimchee and jalapeno versions with smoked salmon and avocado that were so good.

My nephew’s girlfriend made these decadent, addicting Oreo Truffles with milk and white chocolate.

Photo credit: Run For Your Life on

My cousin made her own inventive creation of Coconut Frosted Pumpkin Cupcakes filled with Haupia (Hawaiian Coconut Pudding).   She’s from Hawaii and had the brilliant idea of combining Ina Garten’s Pumpkin Cupcake recipe (sans Maple Frosting) with this Haupia and Frosting recipe  (sans cupcake).  They were to die for!!

Since my brother’s house was overflowing with decadent food, I focused on making a lot of vegetables!  One of dishes I made was my favorite fall veggie that is also readily available throughout the winter months—acorn squash.  You can steam cook and even microwave them, but my favorite way to prepare them is to roast them at high heat.  It really brings out the natural sugars, and you can do double duty and roast the seeds at the same time.

To serve, I mash the cooked acorn squash halves in their skins a bit and add butter and brown sugar and cinnamon to taste.  I cut the halves into wedges and serve them in their skins.  If you don’t eat the skins, it’s easy to scoop out the sweet flesh and eat with a spoon.  It tastes like dessert.

We like to eat the savory roasted squash seeds as is or tossed on our salads for added crunch.

For about $1.49 per acorn squash, this is a fantastic deal I love to take advantage of this time of year.  🙂

Roasted Acorn Squash

non-stick spray

1 medium acorn squash

butter to taste

brown sugar or maple syrup to taste

cinnamon to taste

Roasted Acorn Squash Seeds

Seeds from an acorn squash

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

Kosher salt to taste (or other spices — cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic salt might be good!)

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil.  Spray with nonstick spray.  Set aside.

2.  Cut acorn squash in half lengthwise.  Scoop out seeds and stringy flesh.  Separate seeds from flesh and rinse in a colander.  Spread seeds out on a paper towel to dry a bit.

3.  Place acorn squash halves cut side down (I do this to get them caramelized on top) on parchment or foil lined baking sheet.  Roast for 30 minutes.

4.  While squash is roasting, scrape seeds off paper towel into a medium bowl.  Toss seeds with oil and seasonings.  Set aside.

5.  When squash has roasted for 30 minutes, flip halves over so cut side is up.  Set timer for 20 more minutes and continue roasting.

6.  When timer goes off, move acorn halves to one side of the the baking sheet and spread prepared seeds on other side of pan in one layer.  Set timer for 10 minutes.

7.  When timer goes off, stir seeds and continue to check every five minutes or so once or twice.  Remove seeds to a plate when they are golden.  They will crisp up more as they cool.  Test acorn squash flesh to see if they are done.  If they are soft like a cooked sweet potato, they are ready.

8.  Season acorn halves with butter, brown sugar or maple syrup, and cinnamon to taste.  Cut into wedges and serve.
9.  Serve seeds as is in a bowl or tossed on salads as a healthy, crunchy condiment.



Filed under Children, Desserts, Dinner, Sides, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Vegetarian

17 responses to “Autumn Bounty: Roasted Acorn Squash and Seeds

  1. Amy

    My Mom made her squash like this and it was always delicious…but she never saved the seeds. Great idea, I will have to try this now instead of tossing them!

  2. I hope you like them! I think the acorn squash ones taste even better than pumpkin seeds!

  3. Everything looks so tasty….sounds like you had a wonderful week. Reading to the kids must have been so much fun. I will have to pick up a copy as Julian reads books to Henry all the time.

  4. Jeff

    Actually the school is in Gurnee IL. Silly reporters.
    Overflowing with decadent food?? lol
    Hey you didn’t mention my mushroom barley soup. Actually I got the recipe from Wendy’s Spice and Spirit book, and added a few things.
    The seeds were yummy!

    • Oh my gosh, I would love to post about that soup — it was the best!! We were just talking about it yesterday in fact — “barely” was a vocab word on Jamie’s list because I guess the Ancient Egyptians also harvested it! We reminisced on how good it tasted in your soup. Please send the recipe!
      As for the school – I actually googled it so I could link to the school’s site from my website (under “book events”), and the official address is Gages Lake, IL!
      Miss you guys already!!

  5. what a coincidence – we had enchiladas as well. and all of us made a little something

  6. Everything sounds wonderful and sounds like you had a lovely holiday 🙂 I have never roasted acorn squash seeds before, only pumpkin…should try this 🙂

  7. Jeff

    We love barley. Sometimes I cook it in the rice cooker and we have it like rice. Very healthy, lots of fiber.
    I’ll send the recipe from the book. It is very simple.
    Miss you guys too!

  8. that is awesome! it inspires me!

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  12. Melody Balthaser

    I love acorn squash. Why do I throw away the seeds???? Thanks for the inspiration to use them! Will try this 🙂

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  14. Pingback: Spiced Acorn Squash Cookies | eat healthy, eat happy

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