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I love squash in the Fall. There are so many varieties that liven up dishes and spark creativity in the kitchen. Just like when I knew I had to make these Maple Roasted Acorn Squash Slices.
Acorn squash is my absolute favorite type of squash. It has a light sweet taste while complementing many different flavors, including maple syrup. It can be grilled, roasted, air fried and even microwaved.
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These maple syrup acorn squash rings take the sweetness to another level with pure maple syrup glazed onto the slices while adding a hint of sea salt brings a powerful savory flavor boost.
This recipe is completely vegan, vegetarian, and paleo and is perfect for any plant-based diet.
How to Make Maple Roasted Acorn Squash Slices
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees (keep reading for specific air fryer cooking directions).
Take an acorn squash and cut it down the middle. If you’re having trouble cutting through the stem, you can cut the very top off the squash, including the stem.
The top of the acorn squash is smaller, which will make it easier to cut.
Once the fall squash is sliced in half, scoop out the seeds and flesh from both sides. I love using a melon baller to do this. You can also use a spoon, but I find a melon baller has much sharper ends than a normal spoon, which makes it much easier.
Turn the acorn squash open sides down on a cutting board and cut them into 1-inch slices.
Place the slices on a baking sheet in one even layer and baste both sides of the acorn squash with maple syrup. You do not need to put maple syrup on the green skin unless you plan on eating it.
The skin on acorn squash is completely edible, however, depends on taste preference.
Sprinkle a light amount of sea salt across the maple syrup coated slices.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until a fork easily pierces through it, but it’s not mushy (overcooked acorn squash is not tasty).
Enjoy immediately or store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
How to Make Maple Roasted Acorn Squash in an Air Fryer
I love making just about anything in an air fryer, especially side dishes. They take less time to cook, so when I forget about a vegetable on the table, I can prepare it and fry it before dinner is even on the table.
Prepare the acorn squash as stated above. I recommend using strictly acorn squash slices in an air fryer for size reasons. Winter squash rings (as noted below) can take up more room and you will need to cook in batches.
With slices, you can push the slices close to each other forming a “rainbow” shape to save room.
Air fry the maple roasted acorn squash for 10-12 minutes. There is no need to flip or shake the basket on this recipe. I find the bottom of the squash gets a nice maple crusted golden brown color that is perfect for serving.
Alternatives to this Healthy Dish
Acorn Squash Rings
If you would prefer to make acorn squash rings instead of slices, here’s what you do. It is tougher to cut sine you’re cutting through the entire acorn squash the entire time instead of just half of it.
First, make sure you have a sharp chef’s knife. They don’t need to be crazy expensive. This Victorinox knife is inexpensive has been great for cutting tough-skinned produce. Then I use a honing stick to keep it sharp on a regular basis.
Turn the acorn squash to its side and cut ½ inch down to cut off the top stem. Continue to cut ½ inch slices until you see seeds.
Scoop out the seeds and flesh with a melon baller or spoon, then continue to cut ½ inch slices throughout the entire acorn squash.
If any slice doesn’t have a hole in it, use a melon baller to form one. This allows you to use the entire squash without wasting any pieces other than the top stem and bottom.
Prepare as normal, but these may take an additional 5 minutes to bake because of their larger size.
Using Butter or Oil
Another alternative to using maple syrup in this dish is butter. If you prefer to skip maple syrup or realized you don’t have it on hand, simply swap the amount of maple syrup needed and use melted butter.
If sticking with a vegan diet, you can also swap it out for extra virgin olive oil.
Is Acorn Squash a Carb?
While acorn squash is a vegetable, it is considered a starchy vegetable. One cup of cooked acorn squash can have up to 30 grams of carbs.
If you’re following a keto diet and can’t stay away from acorn squash, follow the butter variety above and switch out the maple syrup and eat in smaller serving sizes.
Are Acorn Squash Seeds Good For You?
While pumpkin seeds are a staple in most houses (I’m obsessed), acorn squash seeds are lesser-known. Acorn squash seeds are completely edible and nutritious for you. They contain protein and healthy fats.
Enjoy them in an oven with salt, sea salt, seasoned salt, and more.
Other Recipes You’ll Love:
- 1 acorn squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees (see below for air fryer directions).
- Cut acorn squash in half and scoop out pulp and seeds.
- Cut halves into 1-inch slices.
- Spread oil on both side of slices and place on a baking sheet in a single even layer.
- Baste maple syrup on top of each acorn squash slice.
- Sprinkle sea salt on top evenly.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until fork pierces it easily.
- Enjoy immediately or keep refrigerated for up to 3 days reheating prior to serving.
*Air Fryer Directions
1. Prepare acorn squash as stated above.
2. Place slices in air fryer in a single layer.
Cook at 380 degrees for 10-12 minutes until easily pierced with a fork.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 84 Total Fat: 3g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 67mg Carbohydrates: 14g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 6g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 1g