Meet Your Ingredients: Acorn Squash

Meet Your Ingredients: Acorn Squash

Acorn squash is a winter squash that’s often baked and has a sweet, nutty flavor. Find out more about selecting, storing, and eating it in this guide. 

The Basics

Also called pepper squash, acorn squash is a winter squash that’s shaped like the nut it’s named after.

While they usually have a dark green rind, some can also be orange or white in color.

While acorn squashes can be stuffed and served in their rinds for an appealing presentation, there are many more ways to enjoy this nutty squash. 

Nutrition Content 

Compared to other types of winter squash, acorn is usually slightly lower in vitamin A. However, it’s still a good source of vitamin A, as well as potassium and vitamin C. 

One cup of cooked acorn squash provides: 

  • 115 calories
  • 30 grams of carbs
  • 9 grams of fiber
  • 18% of the daily value (DV) for vitamin A
  • 37% of the DV for vitamin C
  • 26% of the DV for potassium
  • 25% of the DV for manganese 

It also contains a good amount of B vitamins, which are important for energy and metabolism, and 11% of the DV for iron. 

How to Select an Acorn Squash

To select, start by picking one up. It should feel heavy for its size and be firm without any soft spots. 

For green acorn squashes, a little orange can be a sign of ripeness. However, a lot of orange can signal an older squash that will be more dried out and less flavorful. 

How to Store 

Ideally, acorn squash should be used within 2 weeks of buying it. However, it can last for up to 4 weeks when stored in a cool dry place. 

Try to only store cut squash in the fridge, as whole squash can dry out in the fridge. Once cut, wrap squash in plastic wrap and use within 4 days. 

Want to freeze acorn squash? Make sure to cook it first, allow to cool completely, and then store in a freezer bag for up to 1 year. 

How to use in Acorn Squash in Cooking/Baking

Despite often being served cut in half and stuffed, the rind of an acorn squash is not edible. 

When prepping, always make sure to wash it well to get rid of any dirt and debris. Next, slice off the stem. From here, how you cut the squash will depend on the recipe 

However, regardless of the cut, you’ll need to scoop out the seeds and stringy fibers.  

A classic use of acorn squash is to cut it in half and stuff it with a vegetarian grain salad or turkey. It can also be cut in half and drizzled with maple syrup, baked, and then filled with a scoop of ice cream or sweetened ricotta for dessert. 

Of course, you can also slice it, toss in oil, and roast. These slices can then be added to grain bowls, salads, or as a side dish on their own. 

You can also bake, peel, and puree it for desserts or soups

Meet Your Ingredients: Acorn Squash
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About Kelli McGrane Headshot

I’m Kelli MS, RD, and my mission is to prove that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. Follow along to learn more about food and cooking, with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!

About Kelli McGrane Headshot

Welcome to The Healthy Toast!

Hi, I’m Kelli McGrane MS, RD! My mission is to show you that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. I believe getting to know your food is the first step to a healthy relationship with it. Follow along in my journey to learn all I can about ingredients and cooking with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!

Please contact me at kelli@thehealthytoast.com to request a copy of my resume or media kit, or to inquire about rates and services.

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