Caramelized Acorn Squash With Rosemary

Caramelized Acorn Squash with Rosemary

Do you need an easy, colorful side for Thanksgiving that won’t stress you out, can be done ahead of time and tastes delicious? Have you ever wondered what to do with an acorn squash? If you answered yes to either of those questions, I have the recipe for you!  Or, if you are like me and want to make any dish that has the word caramelized in front of it, then this is for you, too.  I love squash, but in the past have been a little intimidated by them, because they seemed so heavy and awkward, full of seeds (I’m thinking of Halloweens past where scooping out the insides of the pumpkin took hours), and I never knew how long to cook them or how to fix them.  Well, at least for acorn squash, that problem is solved.  This is the simplest recipe, but the results are out of this world delicious!  Top that with the fact that the insides of this squash are such a pretty color, and you have one of the best side dishes ever.

Caramelized Acorn Squash with Rosemary

The nice thing about an acorn squash is that the amount of seeds and goop in the middle is relatively small.  It took me all of about 5 minutes to clean out both halves.  I also love that you don’t need to peel the squash in this recipe.

Caramelized Acorn Squash with Rosemary

You will need a large sharp knife, however, to cut it into 1-inch slices.  It wasn’t that difficult, but in the interest of full disclosure there were a few flying squash pieces that ended up on the other side of the room.  It helped to cut slits into each end of the squash where you want to cut it, then insert your knife in the slits, in order for the knife not to slide around.   It was very therapeutic to cut the squash.  I got all my aggression out and am now completely de-stressed.  Actually, I am making it sound harder than it was.  Flying squash is really pretty funny and made for an entertaining afternoon (I really need to get a life)!:)

Caramelized Acorn Squash with Rosemary

The best part about this dish is how easy it is to caramelize it.  It is a simple paste of brown sugar, butter, salt, and rosemary.

Caramelized Acorn Squash with Rosemary

Instead of melting the butter, you just soften it a little bit, add the other ingredients and smear it onto the top of the slices.  Then you can either put the slices in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake them or cook them right away.  The sugar doesn’t make the squash overly sweet, but just gives it a melt in your mouth quality.  And the rosemary, it goes so perfect with the squash.  Fresh herbs have such a delicate, aromatic flavor that is very different from dried spices.

Caramelized Acorn Squash with Rosemary

Because of its beautiful color, this would be a great side for Christmas dinner as well.  But, I know I will be making this again and again whether it is a holiday or not because it was so flavorful and easy to do.  If you need another side dish or just need a good laugh and to de-stress, consider making this recipe.  Your family and your tummy will thank you!:)

Caramelized Acorn Squash With Rosemary

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more for garnish
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 c brown sugar (firmly packed)
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced, plus more for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the acorn squash in half from top to bottom using a sharp knife.  Be careful of your fingers!
  3. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and strings inside.
  4. Slice squash into approximately 1 inch slices.
  5. Place slices into a foil lined, casserole dish, skin side down.
  6. Combine the softened butter, brown sugar, salt, and fresh rosemary in a bowl and mix into a paste.
  7. Smear the paste all over the squash.  (If desired, the squash can then be placed in the refrigerator until ready to cook.  Don’t forget to leave the dish out for a little bit before placing it in the oven so the dish doesn’t break).
  8. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.  Then baste with the butter mixture from the bottom of the pan and return to the oven for another 20 minutes.
  9. Take the squash out of the oven, place on a serving platter, and drizzle more of the butter sauce on top of the squash.  Garnish with rosemary and kosher salt and serve immediately.
  10. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Recipe slightly adapted by Cook AZ I Do, originally from The Pioneer Woman on Food Network







About Shari

My name is Shari, and I am an Arizona native and married mother of 3 who loves to cook and bake and figure out how to garden successfully in our suburban home in the desert. On this blog you will find a combination of savory and sweet recipes that have been tested by me, along with many tips to help you be successful. I hope you enjoy them! (
This entry was posted in Christmas, Company, Fall Recipes, Recipes, Side Dishes, Thanksgiving Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Caramelized Acorn Squash With Rosemary

  1. Jess says:

    Wow thank you Shari, I was JUST thinking about using acorn squash for Thanksgiving and trying to hunt down a recipe to use. This one is officially bookmarked,it looks fantastic 😀

    • Shari says:

      Thank you so much, Jess. You made my day! It really makes me happy when I can pass along a recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did and that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

  2. This looks delicious Shari! I have a couple squash that are just waiting to be baked. Thank you!

  3. nancyc says:

    This sounds perfect for Thanksgiving!

    • Shari says:

      Thanks, Nancy! I think it would be perfect for Thanksgiving or really anytime. I like that it can be done ahead of time and baked at the last minute. I appreciate you stopping by!

  4. cheri says:

    Hi Shari, this is such a great side dish, beautiful presentation!

  5. apsara says:

    looks very appetizing! Is it very sweet?

    • Shari says:

      Thank you, Apsara! I didn’t think it was that sweet. But I’m not sure I am the best person to ask as I love sweet things. The squash itself doesn’t have a lot of flavor and the sugar, butter, and rosemary just give it a buttery flavor with a hint of rosemary. I actually was surprised it was not sweeter. I hope that helps answer your question. Please let me know if you think it is sweet if you try it! I would love to get your opinion.

  6. Teresa says:

    I love it, Shari. It looks and sounds so amazing. Great as a holiday side dish.

  7. Tracy says:

    Sooo perfect for Thanksgiving! It looks gorgeous!

  8. Nancy says:

    You had me sold at “make ahead”! So perfect for a holiday meal. I love butter & brown sugar in acorn squash, it really enhances the flavors. Great recipe, Shari. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Shari says:

      Thank you, Nancy! I know, don’t you just love dishes that can be made ahead? Once company gets there, I can’t cook and talk at the same time, so I really need make ahead dishes like this!:) I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving as well!

  9. adifranza says:

    Hi Shari,

    I work for Twin Pines Landscaping, and we are putting together a bunch of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes featuring veggies to share on our social media accounts! With your permission, we’d love to share your picture and link to the recipe here on your blog! Let us know what you think!

    Thanks, and Happy Almost Thanksgiving!
    Ashley DiFranza and The Twin Pines Landscaping Team

  10. This looks delish!!!! Wonderful to see unusual squash. 🙂

    • Shari says:

      Thanks so much, Milanka! We really enjoyed it. I had not seen a recipe like this before, either, and am so glad I tried it. I appreciate you stopping by!

  11. dunjabounds says:

    Fast, pretty and delicious! I will give this a try for Thanksgiving. Your photos are stunning – again!

  12. Even though we already had Thanksgiving here in Canada, who says you have to limit these kinds of dishes to once per year? I am going to make this squash in the next few days, because it looks that tasty. I don’t usually bother with acorn squash but that’s all going to change. Thanks for posting this!

  13. Liz says:

    Oh gosh the squash looks absolutely delicious. I feel like grabbing a slice and eating it right now. I shall definitely be making myself some acorn squash this week. What happened to the bread sticks? I bet they turned out wonderful. Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Shari says:

      Thank you so much, Liz! I hope you enjoy it if you try it. I have made breadsticks 3 times now, and they taste very good. I’m just not good at getting them to look like breadsticks. They come out more like bones or something!:) I want to post them, but need a little more practice rolling them out. Your bread always looks amazing!

  14. love the addition of rosemary!

    • Shari says:

      Thank you, Caralyn! It is so nice to meet you. I looked briefly at your blog and can’t wait to check it out more thoroughly. My brother-in-law eats gluten free so will have to pass along some of your recipes. I really appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment!

  15. Great way to amp up the flavors of acorn squash, Shari…and I like the idea of making a butter paste for even distribution of ingredients!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s