Nosh: Parmesan-Roasted Acorn Squash

Ready for one of the easy-peasiest recipes ever?  Because this is it.  I’m here to help.

I’ve already confessed my love for gourds of all kinds in a previous blog, and acorn squash is no exception.  My biggest problem with acorn squash is that most recipes insist on adding even more sugar…brown sugar, maple syrup, whatever…to an already deliciously sweet vegetable that is bred for even more sweetness.  I realize as a culture we love to mainline sugar, but this?  Makes squash a little boring.  One-note.  There’s no complexity to the flavor it delivers.

So how do we season it?

Some other way!

When do we do it?


OK, for real…this is probably the closest I’ve ever come to being a cheerleader.  And I digress.

We’re going to roast our acorn squash, fer sher.  Only we’re going to do so with a little savory thyme, a little Parmesan cheese.  It will still be sweet and delicious, but also a little nutty and herbal-cheesy-toasty fragrant.  Is there anything that could possibly be wrong with that?

No.  I didn’t think so.

Here’s what you need for two squash-loving hungry people, or four normal people who can share what’s in a bowl.

  • 1 acorn squash, unpeeled and thoroughly washed (the skins are edible!)
  • 1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • enough olive oil to coat the squash
  • salt & pepper to taste

Seems simple so far, right?  Right.

Preheat your oven to 425°.  Cut your squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and then cut those halves into half-to-3/4-inch half-moons.

So far, not so bad, right?

So far, not so bad, right?

Put the squash in a large mixing bowl.  Coat it with olive oil and add in the salt and pepper and thyme.  Give it all a really good toss around until it’s all nicely coated.

Still seems pretty doable, yes?

Still seems pretty doable, yes?

Then lay the slices of squash out in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Food needs room to cook, so don’t let the squash overlap or crowd too closely together.  Sprinkle the tops of the slices with half the Parmesan.  What’s nice about this is, you really don’t need a lot of cheese and you still get a lot of flavor.

Get 'em cooking!

Get ’em cooking!

Put the squash in the heated oven.  Go do something else for twenty minutes.  I don’t know; read a blog, go pet the cat.  Make a salad.  It’s up to you.  At the end of twenty minutes, flip the squash and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on it.

No tricks up my sleeve.  Just dinner.  And not literally.

No tricks up my sleeve. Just dinner. And not literally.

After another 15, maybe 20 minutes in the oven, they’re ready to eat.  These are–literally–a dish I have to walk away from before I stuff myself silly with every bit of squash I can wrap my greedy little mitts around.

Try and stop yourself from hoovering.  I dare you.

Try and stop yourself from hoovering. I dare you.

The squash gets nice and soft and a little creamy, almost.  The skin and heavily browned parts get a little crispy.  And it is all?  A crazy-good way to expand your vegetable repertoire and shake up the side dishes, which aren’t always the most interesting part of a meal.  Who needs canned peas when you can have this?  And all you do it cut some stuff and stick it in the oven!  Super-easy-peasy.  We served this last week with Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe Sauce and Fiery Onion Relish and I’ve already made this squash again.  It’s that good.


9 responses to Nosh: Parmesan-Roasted Acorn Squash

  1. hermosausaadmin

    It’s so nice to find other squash enthusiasts! Thanks for sharing this easy & delicious looking recipe! Acorn squash is going on the shopping list as I post this comment…^_^


    • beyondpaisley – Author

      OMG, it’s true, I’m a total tart for a good squash dish. And seriously, this dish? So. Fricking. Easy. All you need is a little bit of time to let it roast. Other than that? Cooking basics 101, baby. I hope you enjoy it! It’s pretty quickly become a major fave (especially once I discovered you can eat the skins).


  2. I made this from a different recipe tonight and wish I’d seen yours first! Flipping it over and adding more cheese halfway through, what an awesome idea! Mine turned out really tasty anyway, but I’ll bet it’s even better your way. A tip for other people who hate cutting up squash because they’re sure they’ll cut off a finger: Prick the squash all over with a knife and microwave it for a few minutes. The squash will soften up a bit and make it easier to cut up. I suggest only microwaving it for 3-5 minutes. Apparently I mis-remembered how long it takes squash to cook in the microwave. My really big acorn squash was in the microwave 12 minutes and it completely cooked through, oops! Still turned out tasty but the 15 minute jaunt in the oven was basically just to crisp up the parmesan and the edges of the squash a bit.


    • beyondpaisley – Author

      I only learned recently about putting squash in the microwave–I had no idea! LOL The fun thing about acorn squash (as I say again and again) is that you can eat the skin. Yay! No need to worry about cutting and scooping and peeling and slipped-knife owies.

      For the record, I will ALWAYS opt for adding more cheese.

      My boyfriend and I LOVE this recipe; as soon as we tried it it became part of our permanent rotation. It works with other thin-skinned squash, too, like sweet dumpling or delicata.


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