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Roasted acorn squash with parmesan and panko on a plate
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5 from 2 votes

Roasted Acorn Squash

Roasted Acorn Squash is a perfect fall side dish. It is easy to prepare and offers delicate, nutty flavor. You can serve it plain, but we like to toss it in a bourbon sage sauce, then aadd toasted breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and crunchy pecans! Vegetarian
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: acorn squash slices, thanksgiving side dish, vegetarian side dish, zucchini with panko breadcrumbs
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 271kcal
Author: Ari Laing


  • Rimmed baking sheet
  • Small saucepan
  • Spatula
  • Parchment paper
  • Small skillet


  • 2 medium acorn squash skin on, cut into ½" thick half slices, see note below
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter divided
  • 2 Tbsp bourbon
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp chopped sage
  • tsp nutmeg grated
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 Tbsp Parmigiano Reggiano grated
  • 3 Tbsp toasted pecans coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp goat cheese crumbled


  • Season the acorn squash. Preheat an oven to 425F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, then place the sliced squash on top. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, then season with ½ tsp Kosher salt and ⅛ tsp black pepper.
  • Roast the acorn squash. Cook until tender, about 20-25 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
  • Make the bourbon sauce. In a small saucepan, combine 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, 2 Tbsp bourbon, 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbsp chopped fresh sage, ⅛ tsp grated nutmeg, and a pinch of cayenne. Heat over medium heat until the butter has melted and the bourbon cooks off and reduces, about 4 minutes total. Note: when the alcohol heats up enough, the vapors will ignite and you'll have a small flame in the pan. This is supposed to happen! Keep cooking until the fire dies out on its own. Remove from the heat until needed.
  • Toast the breadcrumbs. Heat 1 Tbsp unsalted butter in a small skillet over medium heat until melted. Add ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs, then use a spatula to stir constantly until evenly toasted, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat, then transfer to a small bowl.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients. To the breadcrumbs, add 3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese and 3 Tbsp toasted chopped pecans. Stir well.
  • Finish the squash. When the squash is fork tender, toss it in a large bowl with the bourbon sauce, then transfer to a plate or platter. Sprinkle on the parmesan panko mixture. Garnish with crumbled goat cheese, if using, then serve immediately!


Note: never pour alcohol from the bottle into a pan over a direct flame. If the alcohol catches fire or ignites as you're pouring it, you can have a pretty big flame. Add the bourbon before turning on the heat and you'll be good to go!
  • To cut acorn squash: Carefully cut off the stem and the base of the squash so that it sits flat on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut through the squash, from top to bottom, no need to peel! You'll have two acorn squash halves. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds (discard).
  • Next, place the squash cut side down on a cutting board. Use a sharp chef's knife to carefully but strongly press down into the squash, cutting each half into ½" thick slices. Repeat until each squash is fully sliced.


Calories: 271kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 276mg | Potassium: 548mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 831IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 2mg
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