I like how this tastes, but scoring the squash with a knife before baking really makes for a great presentation. It also allows the simple but delicious glaze to penetrate nice and deep.

Recipe Summary

prep:
10 mins
cook:
55 mins
total:
1 hr 5 mins
Servings:
4
Yield:
4 servings
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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

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  • Score the squash by making 1/4-inch deep slashes into the flesh of the squash. Place in baking dish. Brush with orange juice and sprinkle with salt.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned, about 30 min.

  • Meanwhile, simmer butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a small skillet over medium heat until smooth and the sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • Remove the squash from the oven. Pour out any liquid that may have collected in the squash. Brush the glaze over each squash half. Return to the oven until tender, about 20 more minutes. Spoon any glaze that has collected at the bottom of the squash over the edges of the squash. Season with additional salt, if desired.

Nutrition Facts

194 calories; protein 2.2g 4% DV; carbohydrates 37.1g 12% DV; fat 6.1g 9% DV; cholesterol 15.3mg 5% DV; sodium 10.3mg. Full Nutrition

Reviews (74)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
10/12/2012
I tried this recipe for my first-ever encounter with acorn squash! I prepared it exactly as instructed, with the one exception of softening the squash in the microwave before cutting it in half (so much easier!). I pierced it with a fork and nuked it for about 5 minutes, then reduced the initial time in the oven to 20 minutes. It turned out beautifully. Scoring the flesh really allowed the glaze to seep in well, and my guests loved the fact that the glaze was sweet, but not TOO sweet. It is refreshing to stumble upon an acorn squash recipe that doesn't drown the flavor in butter and brown sugar! As I side dish, I prepared rice with sauteed celery, mushrooms, apples, onions, water chestnuts, almonds, and Craisins. It was a delicious and relatively simple autumn meal, and I will be making it again! Read More
(35)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
10/19/2011
For those who love the taste of squash, this recipe is definitely for you! This recipe is for the squash lover at heart, and those who are looking for something really sugar sweet and coated will not find happiness here. All of us at the house decided this isn't the recipe for us as we prefer more...spice and less in your face squash flavor. The glaze was fantastic, but there simply wasn't enough to go around for us to enjoy our squash with. We're headed back to nutmeg, agave, cinnamon and vanilla. I halved the recipe and omitted the cayenne as the kids don't do spicy. Read More
(42)
114 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 77
  • 4 star values: 23
  • 3 star values: 11
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 3 stars
10/18/2011
For those who love the taste of squash, this recipe is definitely for you! This recipe is for the squash lover at heart, and those who are looking for something really sugar sweet and coated will not find happiness here. All of us at the house decided this isn't the recipe for us as we prefer more...spice and less in your face squash flavor. The glaze was fantastic, but there simply wasn't enough to go around for us to enjoy our squash with. We're headed back to nutmeg, agave, cinnamon and vanilla. I halved the recipe and omitted the cayenne as the kids don't do spicy. Read More
(42)
Rating: 5 stars
10/12/2012
I tried this recipe for my first-ever encounter with acorn squash! I prepared it exactly as instructed, with the one exception of softening the squash in the microwave before cutting it in half (so much easier!). I pierced it with a fork and nuked it for about 5 minutes, then reduced the initial time in the oven to 20 minutes. It turned out beautifully. Scoring the flesh really allowed the glaze to seep in well, and my guests loved the fact that the glaze was sweet, but not TOO sweet. It is refreshing to stumble upon an acorn squash recipe that doesn't drown the flavor in butter and brown sugar! As I side dish, I prepared rice with sauteed celery, mushrooms, apples, onions, water chestnuts, almonds, and Craisins. It was a delicious and relatively simple autumn meal, and I will be making it again! Read More
(35)
Rating: 5 stars
11/08/2011
Another great Chef John creation. Simple, delicious and nutritious. Very family friendly. I made the sauce in a small glass measuring cup in the microwave. Easy cleanup. Read More
(19)
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Rating: 5 stars
02/14/2012
Thanks Chef John!!! Love the wonderful squash flavor shining through! I didn't have orange juice the second time I made it so I substituted a small can of Dole pineapple juice. Didn't even need the brown sugar with the sweetness of the pineapple. A definite go-to for my family! Read More
(11)
Rating: 4 stars
07/17/2012
Pretty good side dish the scoring made the glaze adhere better but the cooking time on the written recipe isn't accurate should cook longer the second part of cooking more like 40 minutes as in the video. Thanks for the recipe Read More
(11)
Rating: 5 stars
10/21/2011
Haven't tried it yet but already like it. Less sugar - better health and taste Read More
(7)
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Rating: 5 stars
10/18/2012
I thought this was really a winner. I read some of the other reviews and took some of their advice. I changed the orange juice to pineapple juice and doubled the maple syrup and butter but took out the brown sugar. The best part was the cayenne pepper. When you first taste this dish it is sweet but in the aftermath of your bite... a nice warmth from the cayenne. I will sure make this again! Read More
(6)
Rating: 5 stars
10/20/2012
This was wonderfully delicious! The only trouble I had was scoring the squash; find the right knife and be careful! I found a small paring knife to be the best once I cut the squash in half. Great recipe. Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
02/22/2012
I added some fresh oj to the glaze as well and just divided that equally into the squash and served with the glaze in the middle. Read More
(4)