Day 227: Acorn Squash Roasted Face Down ♥

Acorn Squash Roasted Face Down
How to roast a winter squash face down. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".

~recipe & photo updated & reposted 2012~
~more recently updated recipes~

2005: And so continues the exploration of how to realiably, consistently, cook acorn squash. It should NOT be this hard! On Day 212, I roasted acorn squash, face-up, for an hour at 400F -- and another half hour was needed before they were ready. (Dontcha just love eating one course at a time?) So today I roasted acorn squash, face-down, for an hour at 400F -- and the flesh was perfectly ready to eat and quite delicious. The rim, however, had passed from caramelized into charred and certainly wasn't edible. Is there no definitive way to consistently successfully bake an acorn squash? It shouldn't be this hard! I'm not done yet. (Good thing squash are cheap, now!) But if anyone's got tips -- chime in!

2012 Update: During A Veggie Venture's first year of exploration, I tried one way after another to roast winter squash. And the tips did come in -- and over time, so much more experience with roasting the sweet winter squashes. I have updated the recipe to show HOW to roast a winter squash face down versus the technique used in 2005.


Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 40 - 55 minutes
Serves 2

1 acorn squash, washed well
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

2012 Technique RECOMMENDED: Preheat oven to 350F. Cut squash in half cross-wise and remove seeds and inner gunk (a grapefruit spoon is so handy for this, otherwise use a fork). Rub a little oil on the cut edges of the squash and arrange face down on a baking sheet. (A silicone mat works beautifully for easy cleanup.) Bake for 30 - 45 minutes until squash is down and the cut edges slightly caramelized. Remove and season with salt and pepper.

2005 Technique NOT Recommended: Preheat oven to 400F. Cut squash in half cross-wise and remove seeds and inner gunk. (Next time I might brush a TINY bit of oil on the baking sheet.) Bake face down for 60 minutes (next time I'll check at 45). Season with salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!

Still Hungry?

~ My Favorite Winter Squash Recipes ~

~ Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash Tagine ~
~ Savory Bread Pudding with Butternut Squash, Chard & Cheddar ~
~ Steamed Butternut Squash ~
~ Roasted Butternut Squash with Maple Glaze ~
~ more winter squash recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple ~
~ Chicken & Wild Rice Soup ~
~ Acorn Squash with Quinoa & Cherries ~
~ more winter squash ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column

A Veggie Venture is home of 'veggie evangelist' Alanna Kellogg and the
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2006

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Cook's Illustrated has a recipe for roasted acorn squash where you put the havled squash cut side down in a bowl cover in plastic wrap and microwave on high for ten minutes, then transfer to a baking sheet brush with a butter and brown sugar mixture and roast (cut side up I believe) for about half an hour or so. I can't remember the exact time in the oven but you should be ok if you keep an eye on it.

  2. I used to cook butternut squash a lot before I started monitoring carbs. Now that I hit my goal weight I think I'll start eating it sometimes too. It was my absolute favorite winter squash. Anyway, I always cut the butternut squash in half, scooped out the seeds, then put the two halves on a plate in the microwave (cut side up) and microwaved for 10 minutes or so, then wrapped it in foil and baked for about 30 minutes. This gave pretty good results for butternut. Have you tried Vege-Sal? It's a vegetable-salt mixture that is fabulous on squash (and lots of other veggies, including popcorn.)

  3. Thanks for the tips! After finishing this post, I did some research and found perhaps a dozen combinations of time/temp -- most of which I think would NOT work based on the versions I've made so far. BUT -- I did see something similar to the CI technique, Kristine, and will try that one in a few days. At the moment, I'm a little acorn-ed out! (And you know aren't even seeing the half of it ... I'm working on a Kitchen Parade column for next fall and the variations are killing me!)

  4. A rather belated addition here, but baking the squash face down in a small amount of water keeps it moist - more steamed than roasted - but it can be drained and put back in to brown and carmelize if desired.

  5. 45 minutes at 350 cut in half face down on a baking sheet...perfect.

  6. If you brush the squash on the cut fleshy side with a little olive oil before you place it face down in the pan, you get a bit of delicious carmelizing without burning.

  7. place acorn squash cut side down in 1-1/2 cups water in baking dish @ 350 for 45 minutes. turned out great!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna