what to do with acorn squash

what to do with acorn squash | theclevercarrot.com

My aunt sent me the funniest text message the other night.

It was a picture of acorn squash captioned, “What do normal people do with these?”

I laughed.

It’s the million dollar question, isn’t it?

Clearly, they’re not as popular as pumpkin or butternut squash, which obviously dominates the season. Care for a squash latte? Spiced squash candle? Over the last few weeks, our CSA has been quite generous with their squash delivery (both acorn and carnival varieties) and as a result, we have enough to start a Bocce ball team.

This prompted me to find a solution… for normal people (whatever that is).

what to do with acorn squash | theclevercarrot.com

The Two-Step Process: Roast & Purée

Here’s the thing- acorn squash goes bad. If not stored properly (fridge or cool dark place) they’ll turn gray. This happened to me, actually. I displayed several of them in a bowl thinking they looked pretty as decorations.

Don’t do that. They looked like death after 7 days.

To avoid this, roast your squash right away. Throw them in the oven while you’re making dinner or folding laundry or whatever- cook once and be done! Roast at 400 F for about 30-45 minutes or until soft.

You’ll save on time and waste.

what to do with acorn squash | theclevercarrot.com

After roasting, you could just eat the squash as is, perhaps with a drizzle of maple syrup, butter, and salt and pepper. Delicious!

But you’ll still have leftovers, which might end up sitting in the fridge till the end of time if you don’t want to eat squash 5 nights a week with dinner.

Instead, make purée.

Simply take the roasted pieces which have been peeled and de-seeded (see kitchen notes below) and whip them in a blender. Add a splash of water if they’re moving around like glue. It might not sound riveting, but squash purée is a fantastic base for all kinds of delicious and inexpensive recipes.

Here are two examples:

what to do with acorn squash | theclevercarrot.com

The Recipes

1.) Whipped Acorn Squash with Creme Fraiche & Parmesan

You don’t need measurements for this. Just mix everything together, give it a taste and make adjustments as needed. The nutty, salty parmesan is particularly excellent with naturally sweet acorn squash. I keep this mixture in a little jar in the fridge, and gently re-heat to serve in a non-stick pan. Try it with grilled steak and arugula salad (we ate this last Friday night- it was awesome).

2.) Acorn Squash Soup with Kale and Croutons

For this recipe, I just added chicken stock to my creme fraiche purée (above) and threw in some shredded kale to wilt. That’s it. Oh, and stale sourdough croutons because I’m one of those ‘nomal’ people who actually has day-old bread lying around ;)

PS- you might want to file this soup idea for holiday entertaining. It would be nice for Thanksgiving…

what to do with acorn squash | theclevercarrot.com

Overall, I roasted about 4 or 5 squash and ended up with 1 quart of dense purée.

This method is frugal, time-saving and easy to achieve. Even if you’re not in the mood for squash after roasting and de-seeding, just freeze the purée until you’re feeling motivated. Then you can create a delicious meal any night of the week. I’m thinking a fall-inspired risotto on the menu soon…

Kitchen Notes:

  • Cutting acorn squash is just as exciting as stringing Christmas lights. There is no knife on the face of this planet that can actually slice through the darn thing! If by chance you possess such culinary weaponry, send it my way. In the meantime, make sure your knife is super sharp. This sounds really obvious, but how often do you sharpen your knives? I’m guilty of this myself. Use that wand-looking thing that came with your knife set (technical term: steel) and sharpen your knives thoroughly. Otherwise, accept defeat.
  • Acorn squash are riddled with seeds and stringy bits! To save time and patience, scoop them out only after the squash has been roasted. It’s much easier that way. Plus, I’m convinced the seeds and stringy bits add more flavor as indicated by their golden color once removed from the oven. You be the judge.

Comments

    • Emilie says

      Hi Elaine! Me too. I’m loving this method of prep, as it extends their otherwise short shelf life. I just don’t have enough room in my fridge! xo

    • Emilie says

      Hi Celia! You know, it dawned on me only after writing this post- do you think an electric knife would be helpful in the cutting process? Seems to make sense to me. But too bad I don’t have one ;) Love your idea of re-purposing the shells as bowls. I can just picture it… xo

  1. says

    I adore acorn squash. We enjoy it through the fall and winter, pureede, baked and in soups. I love your idea of combining it with creme fraiche. I’m with you about buy it and prepare it. I too once left some in a bowl thinking it awould make a nice fall-ish focal point on the table. Ha! What a mess. Good grief, but it got all mushy and then just sport of oozed all over the bowl one night. Somehow I just thought these kinds of veggies lasted forever. Live and learn.

    • Emilie says

      Adri! Yay! So happy to see you!!!!! You must try pureed acorn squash with creme fraiche or even mascarpone, if you prefer. it’s absolutely delicious. It really mellows out the natural sweetness. Speaking of ooze, I put on a fleece this morning and found two rotten cherry tomatoes in the front pocket ;)

    • Emilie says

      Hi Jennifer! I bought my creme fraiche from Trader Joe’s. Although, Vermont Creamery makes a good one too, which can be found in most grocery stores. I’ve made my own creme fraiche in the past, but I have to admit, it was a little tricky. Most dairy products are ultra pasteurized which messes up the natural fermenting process. I’ve found that all natural dairy is the way to go, with better predictability- maybe I’ll do a post on this? xx

  2. says

    Ah I love this <3. I love it even more because you don't need measurements. Sometimes I struggle when writing up my recipes because so much of my cooking is by taste and feel. I'm definitely going to have to try this out. Plus, creme fraiche everything!!

    • Emilie says

      I cook that way too, you’re not alone ;) I usually have to go back a second time to measure it out correctly, but oftentimes, it messes up the flow. So, I totally get it. The ‘recipes’ here (if you want to call them that) are derived from a simple base puree and should be adapted to suit your taste! No rules. No right or wrong way. I hope you enjoy! xo And yes, creme fraiche everything!!! So glad you love it as much as I do!

    • Emilie says

      Hi Allyson, it’s the best shortcut. I find that the seeds and stringy bits clump together as you scoop them out. No need to scrape. If you try it, let me know how it goes! xo

    • Emilie says

      Hey Mary Ann! Thank you! It’s a really great way to re-visit acorn squash. Hope you enjoy and thanks for stopping by :0

  3. says

    Oh dear I didn’t even know they were called acorn squash :) I’ve seen them in the shops and thought they would be cute stuffed in some way – but will definitely be roasting and pureeing now.

    • Emilie says

      You are hilarious. You know, they are very cute stuffed… I think seen it done with a sausage sauce one before. It looked good. Hope you enjoy the roasted and pureed version- can’t beat soup on chilly days. xx

  4. says

    I always make butternut squash soup but I don’t know why I’ve never thought to make acorn squash soup! So clever (your blog name really does say it all)! And, adding greens to the soup…brilliant! P.S. love the minion shirt!

    • Emilie says

      You see? Butternut squash and pumpkin totally dominate. Acorn squash soup is lovely, a tad bit sweeter than butternut, that’s why it’s nice with a little sharp parmesan for balance. xx
      PS- it’s minion mayhem in this house!

  5. says

    I am going to make this soup in the next few days! I have an acorn squash sitting in my kitchen looking all nice and autumnal but it’s time to put it to better use–in my stomach!

    • Emilie says

      Ohhh! I hope you do! Let me know how it goes! yeah, they’re cute as decorations until they rot! I have two more in my fridge to use up now ;)

  6. says

    “Cutting acorn squash is just as exciting as stringing Christmas lights” Baaahhaaa! That gave me a good laugh, thank you my dear! Loving your tips on storing (or not) and roasting acorn squash. Such a time saver when needed, to have roasted squash on the ready. This is the time of year I need an additional freezer for Fall goodies as the freezer is packed with pesto, berries.. now pumpkin puree… next up is squash. I don’t know what I’ll do with it all.. but my neighbor may have some room :D. The whipped acorn squash sounds divine and the soup will be happening soon. Thank you for this, Emilie.

    • Emilie says

      It’s true! Tell me, is there an easier way? It’s a love/hate thing I guess. PS- I also need an additional freezer. Mine is so packed I can’t even see in there. Although, I wouldn’t finding some pesto or berries ;) xx

      • becca says

        I’ve found a kind of easier way. After Halloween one year, I bought the sturdiest pumpkin carving knife I could find. It still takes a big of sawing, but it’s worlds better than any kitchen knife, which makes sense because it’s made for squash/pumpkins

  7. Lori says

    My friend Lolita gave me a recipe for butternut squash that I have tried all squash but zuchinni and have had rave reviews.
    Oven at 400
    cube squash
    add 2 T melted coconut oil, 1/4 cup maple syrup
    bake covered about 30 minutes
    add 3/4 C dried figs, raisins, currants, prunes-whatever you like plus 3/4 C nuts: pecans, slivered almonds, and stir into squash mixture for last 10 minutes.
    I also add about 1/2 cup of shredded coconut at this time

  8. Leandra Duerst says

    I find that a seraded knife really works when cutting the squash in half! And I roast the seeds with the squash and salt them for future snacks! They’re pretty amazing

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