Chef John's Baked Acorn Squash

Chef John's Baked Acorn Squash

Chef John 15822

"I like how this tastes, but scoring the squash with a knife before baking really makes for a great presentation. It also allows the simple but delicious glaze to penetrate nice and deep."

Ingredients 1 h 5 m {{adjustedServings}} servings 194 cals

Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 4 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 194 kcal
  • 10%
  • Fat:
  • 6.1 g
  • 9%
  • Carbs:
  • 37.1g
  • 12%
  • Protein:
  • 2.2 g
  • 4%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 15 mg
  • 5%
  • Sodium:
  • 107 mg
  • 4%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  • Prep

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  1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Score the squash by making 1/4-inch deep slashes into the flesh of the squash. Place in baking dish. Brush with orange juice and sprinkle with salt.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned, about 30 min.
  4. Meanwhile, simmer butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a small skillet over medium heat until smooth and the sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove the squash from the oven. Pour out any liquid that may have collected in the squash. Brush the glaze over each squash half. Return to the oven until tender, about 20 more minutes. Spoon any glaze that has collected at the bottom of the squash over the edges of the squash. Season with additional salt, if desired.
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Reviews 34

  1. 49 Ratings

Arizona Desert Flower

For those who love the taste of squash, this recipe is definitely for you! This recipe is for the squash lover at heart, and those who are looking for something really sugar sweet and coated will not find happiness here. All of us at the house decided this isn't the recipe for us as we prefer more...spice and less in your face squash flavor. The glaze was fantastic, but there simply wasn't enough to go around for us to enjoy our squash with. We're headed back to nutmeg, agave, cinnamon and vanilla. I halved the recipe and omitted the cayenne as the kids don't do spicy.


I tried this recipe for my first-ever encounter with acorn squash! I prepared it exactly as instructed, with the one exception of softening the squash in the microwave before cutting it in half (so much easier!). I pierced it with a fork and nuked it for about 5 minutes, then reduced the initial time in the oven to 20 minutes. It turned out beautifully. Scoring the flesh really allowed the glaze to seep in well, and my guests loved the fact that the glaze was sweet, but not TOO sweet. It is refreshing to stumble upon an acorn squash recipe that doesn't drown the flavor in butter and brown sugar! As I side dish, I prepared rice with sauteed celery, mushrooms, apples, onions, water chestnuts, almonds, and Craisins. It was a delicious and relatively simple autumn meal, and I will be making it again!


Another great Chef John creation. Simple, delicious and nutritious. Very family friendly. I made the sauce in a small glass measuring cup in the microwave. Easy cleanup.