Elevate your autumn dinner table with our Buttery Brown Sugar Acorn Squash recipe, where acorn squash halves are generously brushed with a sweet brown sugar buttery mixture, creating the perfect side dish for any fall meal or holiday table. 

Whenever I make this oven roasted acorn squash, I can’t help but think of my dad. He’s an avid gardener and this is his favorite way to prepare acorn squash. For another favorite squash recipe, try our Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash! Or turn squash into a full meal with our Butternut Squash Sausage Pasta.

Roasted acorn squash with buttery brown sugar in the center of the squash, and a spoon scooping out the squash flesh.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Most amazing brown sugar acorn squash. The combination of sweet brown sugar and rich, creamy butter creates a melt-in-your-mouth experience that will have your taste buds dancing. Karly, a reader, said: “Never really thought I’d be drooling over a squash, but it’s happening. And this looks absolutely amazing- the perfect new dish to add to the Thanksgiving spread!”
  • Easy acorn squash with butter and brown sugar. With just 3 ingredients and straightforward steps, this simple recipe is perfect to put together as a delicious side dish for any of your favorite fall meals. 

Ingredient Notes

Brown Sugar Acorn Squash ingredients on a white marble background: acorn squash cut in half, salt, butter, and brown sugar.
  • Acorn Squash: I used a 3 lb acorn squash, but feel free to use whatever size. Wash the whole acorn squash, then slice it in half and scrape out the seeds and stringy pulp to begin prep for this easy side dish. 
  • Butter: Melt the butter and add the sugar. This will be our sugary butter mixture to brush onto the squash. 
  • Brown Sugar: Feel free to reduce the amount of brown sugar if you don’t want it as sweet. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Prepare the oven and baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cover a baking sheet or baking dish with aluminum foil and set aside.
  2. Prepare the acorn squash. Wash the squash and cut in half. Remove seeds and stringy bits. Place on the baking sheet.
  3. Combine buttery brown sugar mixture. In a small bowl, add 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1/4 tsp kosher salt. Stir to combine.
  4. Brush acorn squash with butter mixture. Using a pastry brush, brush the butter and brown sugar mixture over the entire squash, using the entire mixture. The mixture will pool in the squash cavity.
  5. Roast the acorn squash. Place the acorn squash in the preheated oven and roast for 45-50 minutes until soft and tender. A fork should slide through it with no resistance. Remove and let cool for a few minutes. Serve the baked acorn squash as is or scoop out the squash meet and place in a serving bowl. Enjoy! 
Four photos showing the process of how to make the best brown sugar roasted acorn squash recipe, top left image is butter, brown sugar and salt in a glass bowl, top right image shows the brown sugar butter mixture being mixed, bottom left photo is a pastry brush spreading the brown sugar mixture over acorn squash flesh, bottom right image is final photo of roasted acorn squash on a baking sheet.

Recipe Tips

Make sure to remove all the seeds and stringy center from the acorn squash before brushing it with the buttery brown sugar mixture.

For an extra flavor dimension, consider adding a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg to the brown sugar mixture.

The hint of salt balances out the sweetness of the brown sugar perfectly.

To check for doneness, insert a fork into the roasted squash; it should glide through without any resistance.

Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing

Make Ahead: You can prepare the buttery brown sugar mixture and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When ready to cook, simply brush the mixture onto the squash and roast as directed.

Storing: Leftover roasted acorn squash can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.

Freezing: While acorn squash can be frozen, the texture may change slightly upon thawing. To freeze, cut the squash into cubes, place them in an airtight container, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

A spoon scooping out orange flesh from a bon bon winter squash with brown sugar.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use other types of squash for this recipe?

You can certainly experiment with other winter squash varieties, but acorn squash is recommended for its sweet and nutty flavor.

What can I serve with Buttery Brown Sugar Acorn Squash?

This dish pairs well with roasted chicken, turkey, or pork. It also complements a variety of fall-themed sides like stuffing and cranberry sauce.

Do I need to peel the acorn squash before roasting?

No, there’s no need to peel the acorn squash skin for this recipe. The skin becomes tender when roasted and adds to the dish’s visual appeal.

Can I reduce the amount of brown sugar to make it less sweet?

Yes, you can adjust the brown sugar to your taste. If you prefer a milder sweetness, reduce the amount of brown sugar in the mixture and taste-test as you go.

Roasted acorn squash with brown butter brown sugar mixture in the center of the squash.

More Squash Recipes

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Brown Sugar Acorn Squash on a brown plate.
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5 from 1 vote

Buttery Brown Sugar Acorn Squash

This Buttery Brown Sugar Acorn Squash is creamy and buttery! It’s the perfect side to any meal. 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 2 servings


  • 3 lb acorn squash - or similar in weight (doesn't have to be exact)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar - packed
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Carefully cut the squash in half. Discard the seeds and strings. Place the squash on the baking sheet.
  • In a small bowl combine the melted butter, brown sugar, and salt. Stir to combine. 
  • Using a pastry brush, spread the brown sugar mixture over the entire squash. You should use the entire brown sugar mixture. A handful of the brown sugar mixture will end up making its way to the center core of the squash (that's ok!)
  • Place the squash in the oven and roast for 45-50 minutes or until soft and tender. It's done when you can insert a fork into the meat with ease. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes. You can serve the squash as is, or you can scoop the meat out and add it to a serving bowl. Serve warm. Enjoy!


Calories: 307kcal (15%)Carbohydrates: 53g (18%)Protein: 2g (4%)Fat: 11g (17%)Saturated Fat: 7g (35%)Cholesterol: 30mg (10%)Sodium: 261mg (11%)Potassium: 1204mg (34%)Fiber: 5g (20%)Sugar: 17g (19%)Vitamin A: 1605IU (32%)Vitamin C: 37.5mg (45%)Calcium: 131mg (13%)Iron: 2.5mg (14%)
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
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