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Herb Roasted Acorn Squash with Parmesan (Savory and Simple)

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By: The Real Food Dietitians Updated: 11/27/21

This Roasted Acorn Squash Recipe is unlike anything else you’ll find. We think it’s the best (and easiest) way to prepare acorn squash for your dinner table, holiday menu, and fun foodie gatherings. Though you’ll most often find acorn squash recipes that are doused in butter and brown sugar, that’s certainly not the only way to enjoy this delicious, nutritious, and hearty winter veggie. One taste of this savory squash recipe and you’ll be hooked!

Parmesan coated acorn squash pieces on a platter for a Thanksgiving menu

The recipe was originally published November 5, 2019; Updated Oct 11, 2022.

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Should roasted Acorn Squash be Sweet or Savory?

We say that acorn squash is a delicious and good-for-you vegetable no matter how it’s prepared. However, there are way too many versions of acorn squash out there that lean toward (or far into) the sweet realm without exploring the savory side of this great-tasting winter squash. In this recipe for acorn squash roasted on a sheet pan, you match this naturally sweet veg with herbs, garlic, butter, and Parmesan cheese so your taste buds get tingled with an amazing range of flavors.

Tip!

Eating Acorn Squash is Good For You

Acorn squash is consider a long-storing winter squash (along with pumpkins, butternut squash, delicata, spaghetti squash, and more). It lasts for a long time after harvest when stored in a cool and dark place. Acorn squash is an excellent source of fiber (you get 9 grams of fiber per cup), as well as vitamin C (needed for immunity), B vitamins (for metabolism support), and disease-fighting protective provitamin A.

Acorn squash slices coated in Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs on a sheet pan ready for roasting.

Ingredients to make Roasted Acorn squash

This recipe tastes fancy enough for a restaurant menu, but it comes together so easily with everyday ingredients from your pantry and fridge. Here’s what you need to make one of the best Acorn Squash recipes you’ll ever taste:

  • acorn squash – this recipe was designed to use acorn squash, though you could use butternut squash, delicata, or another sturdy winter squash variety
  • Parmesan cheese – Parmesan is an easy-to-find and flavorful choice to use in the roasted acorn squash recipe, however, you could also use Asiago cheese, Pecorino Romano cheese, Manchego, or another hard aged white cheese
  • herbs – you can use fresh or dried herbs, or a combination of both; we recommend using a combination of thyme, sage, oregano, and rosemary, or dried Italian seasoning is another nice option
  • butter – may sub ghee, olive oil, or coconut oil
  • garlic powder – can use grated fresh garlic or onion powder in a pinch
  • salt and black pepper

This savory and salty combination of ingredients taste magically good when it coats the acorn squash roasted to perfection on a baking sheet in your oven. The skin of the squash gets tender enough to eat, if you’d like. Or, you can easily peel it away from the tender, buttery, cheesy half-moons of squash.

Keep reading and scrolling for tips for success, as well as the complete recipe. The ingredient list with exact measurements can be found in the recipe card below.

Tip!

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Baking sheet with roasted acorn squash slices coated in fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese.

Our Favorite Sheet Pan Set

We all love our set of NordicWare aluminum sheet pans for making sheet pan recipes like this one, as well as baked goods. NordicWare is 100% made in USA in Minneapolis, Minnesota (we love that, being from the Midwest ourselves) and because they’re sturdy (foods don’t burn easily on them) and made from pure, uncoated natural aluminum (aka, easy to clean!)

Check out this set

how to cook acorn squash

Wondering how to bake acorn squash or how to roast acorn squash? Here’s our method for making this perfectly tender oven-baked acorn squash in 5 steps.

  1. Preheat the oven and prep the pans: Preheat the oven to 400℉. Line one large (or two medium size) baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  2. Cut the squash: Cut the acorn squash in half, from stem to tip, and scoop out the seeds. Then, cut each squash half into ½-inch thick moon-shape slices.
  3. Make the topping: In a bowl, combine the Parmesan, herbs, melted butter, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper; toss until well mixed.

  4. Press the topping onto the squash: Spread the acorn squash pieces out onto the prepared baking sheet(s). Using your hands, gently press the Parmesan mixture onto one side of each squash piece for maximum coverage (it’s OK if a little falls off).

  5. Bake the squash: Bake until acorn squash pieces are tender and the Parmesan topping is crispy and slightly browned, about 25 minutes. If desired, garnish with additional Parmesan cheese and herbs. Use a flat spatula to lift each piece off of the baking dish and onto a serving tray or dinner plates. 

For the complete directions, ingredient amounts, and nutrition analysis that lists calories, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, sugar, sodium per serving, scroll down to the recipe card below.

Tip!

The Best Herbs to Use In This Squash Recipe

Herbs are essential to creating the delicious flavor in this acorn squash roasted recipe. But the beautiful thing is that you can use either fresh or dried herbs (aka: whatever you have on hand will work)!

For fresh herbs: Use 2 to 3 tablespoons of finely minced fresh herbs

For dried herbs: Use 1 teaspoon of dried herbs

We suggest you use thyme, sage, rosemary, or oregano (or a mix of these), as either fresh or dried herbs. Dried Italian seasoning is another great option.

More Roasted Veggies to Try

Close up view roasted acorn squash slices with fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese coating each slice.

FAQs for Making This Acorn Squash Recipe Just Right

Here are some frequently asked questions about this popular recipe acorn squash with cheese.

  • How do I get the herb-cheese mixture to stick on the squash? This topping mixture is a little like a paste-like crumble. When the acorn squash is setting on the baking sheet, spoon and gently press the crumble mixture onto each piece of the squash (a little will fall off, and that’s OK). After baking, use a flat spatula to lift the acorn squash pieces off of the sheet pan.
  • What oven temperature should I roast acorn squash? Wondering what temperature and how to roast acorn squash? We get that question a lot. For this recipe, a 400-degree oven is just right.
  • Is it better to use fresh or dried herbs? Both fresh and dried herbs will work in this recipe, so it’s more a matter of your preference and what you have on hand. If using fresh herbs, use 2-3 tablespoons. If using dried herbs, use 1 teaspoon.
  • Can you eat the skin on the acorn squash? Yes, because you are roasting the squash in thin(ish) slices, the skin becomes tender and you can eat it (a lot like eating the skin of a baked potato). But if that’s not your jam, you don’t HAVE to eat it – it peels away nicely from the roasted squash.

Here’s What Readers Say About This Five-Star Acorn Squash Recipe

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“My first experience with acorn squash and I LOVE IT! We grew some in our garden this year and this recipe was easy and awesome!” ~ Sally

“So easy to make. So DELICIOUS! And much healthier than adding maple syrup or brown sugar. Even the skin tastes GREAT! I look forward to fall and this recipe.” ~ Joseph

“Absolutely delicious. Looks exactly as pictured.” ~ Trudy

“I had never had acorn squash and did not want to use sugar. I was skeptical but, much to my surprise, this was delicious. I will be making it again.” ~ Carol

“This is a tasty alternative to the sweet brown sugar and nuts version. The evening full moon was so bright it light up our yard like a yard light. I went out several times to look at the sky. When I cam back in, the herbal aroma was delicious.” ~ Simon

FAQs Continued ….

  • What other toppings could I add? We’ve had some commenters tell us that they added such things as finely diced bacon pieces, capers, finely minced mushrooms, onion powder, paprika, and even cooked sausage bits to the topping.
  • What does acorn squash taste like? I’ve never had it. Acorn squash has a bit of a more fibrous texture than butternut squash. It has a mild natural sweetness and some would say it has a mild nutty flavor. The flavor is not overpowering in any way, which is why acorn squash roasted with a cheesy herb topping like this one is a wonderful way to prepare this winter squash.
  • The hardest part for me is cutting the squash. Any tips? Yes, a tough squash like an acorn squash can be hard to cut through. We recommend that you hold the squash firmly with one hand on a cutting board. Use a Chef’s knife to cut the acorn squash in half, from root to stem. Then, place each half on the cutting board, flat side down. Use the same knife to cut the squash into 1/2-inch thick half circle (or moons). We’ve also heard that microwaving a whole squash for 1-2 minutes can make it easier to cut.
  • Should I cut the squash root to stem, or side to side? We recommend that you first cut the squash in half from root to stem. Then, cut each half into 1/2-inch-thick slices to create the half moon shapes.

Perfect Occasions to serve Oven-roasted squash

This roasted acorn quash recipe is simple enough for a weeknight dinner and also a great side dish for your holiday table. Don’t be surprised if someone tells you that they had no idea that acorn squash could be prepared in a savory way! Here are some times we think this roasted acorn squash recipe is just right:

  • fall, winter, and spring holidays
  • potlucks
  • hosting dinner guests
  • a new veggie for weeknight dinners
  • brunch

More Recipes with Squash You’ll Love!

Try serving this roasted squash recipe with salmon or other fish. Or, roasted chicken, pork chops, grilled steak, or even as a vegetarian main dish with other foods.

Parmesan coated acorn squash pieces on a platter for a Thanksgiving menu

Recipe

Herb Roasted Acorn Squash with Parmesan

Think beyond the classic brown sugar and give acorn squash a flavor up with this Herb-Roasted Parmesan Acorn Squash recipe. A delicious and easy side dish that’s made from a few everyday ingredients.

Prep: 10 minsCook: 25 minsTotal: 35 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 large acorn squash (or 2 small)
  • cup grated Parmesan cheese + more for garnishing
  • 23 tablespoons fresh herbs or 1 teaspoon dried herbs (we suggest: thyme, sage, rosemary, oregano, or a mix of these)
  • 1 tablespoons butter or ghee, melted (may sub olive oil or coconut oil)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt + more to taste
  • teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Line one large (or two medium size) baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  2. Cut the acorn squash in half, from stem to tip, and scoop out the seeds. Then, cut each squash half into ½-inch thick moon-shape slices.
  3. In a bowl, combine the Parmesan, herbs, melted butter, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper; toss until well mixed.

    Sheet pan filled with acorn squash slices coated in fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese.
  4. Spread the acorn squash pieces out onto the prepared baking sheet(s). Using your hands, gently press the Parmesan mixture onto one side of each squash piece for maximum coverage (it’s OK if a little falls off).

    Roasted acorn squash slices with fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake until the acorn squash pieces are tender and the Parmesan topping is crispy and slightly browned, about 25 minutes. If desired, garnish with additional Parmesan cheese and herbs. Use a flat spatula to lift each piece off of the baking dish and onto a serving tray or dinner plates. Parmesan coated acorn squash pieces on a platter for a Thanksgiving menu

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Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 1/4th of recipe
  • Calories: 143
  • Fat: 7 g
  • (Sat Fat: 2 g)
  • Sodium: 210 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 13 g
  • (Fiber: 3 g
  • Sugar: 0 g)
  • Protein: 5 g

Dietary

© The Real Food Dietitians

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White platter filled with herb roasted acorn squash slices with melted Parmesan cheese.

For ultimate success, we highly recommend reading the tips in the full blog post above. All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words. Link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!


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