Make this tender and delicious Microwave Acorn Squash in just 10 minutes! Learn how to cook your seasonal acorn squash in the microwave so you have a quick, tasty, and simple side dish. Make it sweet with brown sugar, or keep it savory, for a hearty squash side dish that’s great in a pinch!
I absolutely love the flavor and texture of acorn squash. Sweet, slightly nutty and full of fall flavor.
The problem is that they can be intimidating because they look hard to cut open and eat. This makes people shy away from them in favor of easier options like spaghetti squash or regular yellow summer squash.
Luckily, there is a very simple way to cook a whole acorn squash that takes under 10 minutes to make by using your microwave!
Simply cut the acorn squash in half carefully with a sharp knife and microwave face down until it begins to get tender.
Flip it over, then if you'd like, add sweet warming flavors like brown sugar, cinnamon and syrup before cooking it the rest of the way.
Enjoy this healthy squash as a lightly sweet side dish that pairs well with any protein or is great in soups and stews!
Learning how to microwave acorn squash will make your life easier when it comes time for dinner prep!
Why Make This Recipe
It’s an easy way to cook an otherwise time-consuming squash.
You can flavor it with sweet flavors or savory to match what you’re serving.
The entire squash cooks in just 10 minutes or less.
Using the microwave to cook acorn squash requires little prep time or knife skills.
If you cook acorn squash in the microwave, you save time preheating the oven.
It's also great during Thanksgiving or Christmas so you don't take up space in the oven!
You can make simple microwave acorn squash with just 1 ingredient - the squash! I've added optional brown sugar toppings for a sweet and tasty side dish.
- Butter - Used to help tenderize the inside and give the squash a buttery flavor.
- Brown Sugar - Adds a deep caramel-like sweetness to complement the flavor of the squash.
- Maple Syrup - Gives the acorn squash a maple flavor with a natural sweetener.
- Cinnamon - Adds a touch of warm comforting flavor.
- Salt - Helps to balance and cut through the sweet flavor notes in this side dish
Please scroll down to the recipe card below for the full quantities.
How to Cook Acorn Squash in the Microwave
Wondering how to make this recipe? It's easy!
Just follow this step-by-step photo tutorial. Then, scroll down for the recipe card for the full ingredients list and recipe method.
Prepare the acorn squash: Thoroughly wash the outside of the acorn squash to remove any dirt or impurities. Then, cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Rinse the squash once again.
Microwave the brown sugar acorn squash: Place each half on a microwave-safe plate cut side down. Add two tablespoons of water to the dish and microwave for 5 minutes as the acorn squash becomes tender,
Season and finish: Using tongs turn the acorn squash halves cut side up. Fill the hole inside with butter, sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Microwave for an additional 3 minutes or until the entire squash is tender and cooked through.
Make sure to fully wash the acorn squash both before cutting and after the seeds are removed. This will help cut down on any bitter impurities or pesticides that may have been used to grow the squash.
It is crucial to have some water on the plate before microwaving. This will help the squash steam from the inside so it cooks quickly and evenly.
Use tongs to turn over the acorn squash before seasoning as the acorn squash will be very hot.
When microwaving with the seasonings, you want to make sure the seasonings are hot, but not bubbling.
Different sizes of acorn squash will require more or less cooking time. After the second microwave, heat in one-minute increments until cooked through if needed.
Mildly sweet acorn squash pairs well with warming sweet flavors like cinnamon and maple syrup, but you can also flavor it in different ways. Try these seasoning ideas!
- Top with shredded parmesan cheese.
- Sprinkle with freshly cut herbs.
- Add pumpkin pie spice.
- Top with dry seasoning blends like Italian, Greek, or Cajun.
- Use a simple garlic, salt, and pepper blend.
Blend up the squash and use it in a warming Harvest Squash Soup.
Add a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream on top and enjoy as a dessert.
Serve it over a bed of brown rice, Texas Seasoned Rice or your favorite grain for a sweet and savory flavor combination.
Add a scoop of chili inside for a built-in vegetable bowl.
Storage & Freezing
Storing: Cooked and cooled acorn squash can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave before serving.
Freezing: Any unused portion of cooked acorn squash can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Remove the flesh from the skin and add it to a freezer-safe bag or airtight container. Thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.
Yes! The skin is very thin and is completely edible once the squash is cooked through. It is also a great source of fiber.
This winter squash has a lightly sweet and buttery flavor. It can be described as a more mild version of pumpkin or butternut squash.
While both contain a variety of nutrients and antioxidants, acorn squash tends to be half the calories than sweet potatoes. Both are healthy, one is just more calorie-dense.
More side dish recipes
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Microwave Acorn Squash
- Cutting Board
- 1 acorn squash
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- Wash the acorn squash well, then cut it in half, remove the seeds and rinse the acorn shells again.
- Place each acorn half onto a microwave-safe plate or bowl, cut side down, along with 2 tablespoons of water. Heat on high for 5 minutes or until just fork tender.
- Turn the squashes over and, if using, fill each hole with half the butter, sugar, syrup, cinnamon and salt.
- Heat on high for 3 minutes or until hot, cooked and bubbling. If necessary, cook longer until the squash is tender.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
- Make sure to fully wash the acorn squash both before cutting and after the seeds are removed. This will help cut down on any bitter impurities or pesticides that may have been used to grow the squash.
- It is crucial to have some water on the plate before microwaving. This will help the squash steam from the inside so it cooks quickly and evenly.
- Use tongs to turn over the acorn squash before seasoning as the acorn squash will be very hot.
- When microwaving with the seasonings, you want to make sure the seasonings are hot, but not bubbling.
- Different sizes of acorn squash will require more or less cooking time. After the second microwave, heat in one-minute increments until cooked through if needed.