Side Dish Vegetables

How to Roast Squash

Roasted Acorn Squash on Whisk Together-5451

Book:  Still re-reading “The Last Child” by John Hart.  In the meantime, I discovered “The Good Wife” has Season 6 released on Hulu.  One of the smartest shows ever!  The writing is so funny, and you learn so much about the behind the scenes of politics and the law.

Recipes:  I almost titled this post “How to Roast Autumn”…. but then felt bad for the little girl I know 🙂

So… here is how to Roast Acorn Squash and the other Fall Vegetables.   I find roasting is my favorite way to eat vegetables (other than perhaps hidden in a warm soup).  It isn’t the fastest, but with a little prep you can have yummy veggies quick and easy while the main dish cooks.  This is also another reason why I love having a little convection oven in the kitchen – I can cook the main meal in the oven and use the little oven to roast the veggies.  I know it is $250 – but it lasts forever.

Unlike my Keurig machine.  Which was totally awesome until it died last week.
My French press hasn’t died in 20 years.

Roasted Acorn Squash on Whisk Together-5454

Aldi right now has spaghetti squash on sale for 99 cents and butternut and acorn squash on sale for 69 cents.  Super cheap side dishes with a huge nutritional boost as well!  So what’s the best way to make them?

This acorn squash is cooked differently than most.  Spaghetti and Butternut squash do well in the oven.  Acorn squash turns stringy or grainy and tends to be dry.  This microwave method is faster and results in a nutty and silky acorn squash you are sure to love.  The printable recipe is at the bottom.

How do you roast the other vegetables?

Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna_3 on WT

Butternut Squash:  First, you could cut it in half lengthwise.  Scoop out the seeds.  Spray it with olive oil.  Place on a rimmed cookie sheet that has been sprayed with oil.  It should be cut side DOWN.  Bake 375 degrees for 40 minutes.  Or bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.  Or bake 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  Your fork should pierce through easily.  Scoop, mash and eat!
Second, you could cut the skin off.  It is tough skinned, but it is possible.  This is the kid’s favorite way to eat squash.  Cut it into 1/2″ cubes.  Toss in a little olive oil or melted butter. Throw on some cinnamon/brown sugar or thyme/rosemary/garlic.  Bake for 25-30 minutes at 375 degrees or until tender.

Make Butternut Squash Lasagna!  You will not regret it!  I STILL here about this recipe a year after I served it.

Cheesey Spaghetti Squash and Spinach on WT

Spaghetti Squash:   Cut it in half lengthwise.  Scoop out the seeds.  Spray the inside with a little olive oil.  Place cut side DOWN on a rimmed cookie sheet that has been sprayed with olive oil.  Bake 375 degrees for 40 minutes.  Or bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.  Or bake 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  It is soooo easy!  You can’t mess it up.  Then let it cool a little bit and drag your fork inside to get the “spaghetti”!  I would not recommend freezing the cooked spaghetti squash.

Make Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese!  Or Spaghetti and Meatballs!  Or any favorite dish with squash instead of pasta.

Pumpkin Bowl Soup_7 on Whisk Together

Pumpkin:  Cut off the top.  Scoop out the seeds.  Spray inside with olive oil.  Roast at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  It will be tender when pierced with a fork when done.  Fill it up with your favorite soup and eat!  Coolest eating bowl ever and much healthier than a bread bowl.

Try with this Squash Soup in a Pumpkin Bowl!

sweet potato casseroleCR

Sweet Potatoes:  I peel and cut these into cubes and store in the freezer.  When I want sweet potatoes as a side dish, I just thrown some olive oil, brown sugar and cinnamon on them and pop into the oven at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes or so.  When I want mashed potatoes, I’ll nuke the frozen cubes until tender.  Storing sweet potatoes in the pantry works, but I would forget about them and they would go rancid.  So now I prefer storing them in the freezer.  Mashed sweet potatoes freeze well, too.

Make Sweet Potato Soup or Sweet Potato Casserole!

Brussel Sprouts CR

Brussels Sprouts:  Break off the outer leaves if they are about to fall off.  Slice them in half lengthwise.  Toss in a little olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Toss in a little lemon zest, browned butter or maple syrup.

Try Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Browned Butter Glaze!

**Technically most of these are NOT vegetables.  Pumpkins are large berries.  Squash obviously have seeds.  But most people consider them veggies, and they are on the vegetable side of Aldi.  Plus “How to Roast Fall Fruit” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.**

How to Roast Acorn Squash
  • 1 acorn squash
  • salt
  • 2 Tb. butter
  • 2 Tb. light or dark brown sugar
  1. Cut the acorn squash in half longways. From top to bottom. Use a nice big sharp chef's knife because these are pretty tough.
  2. Scoop out the seeds in the middle along with the stringy stuff attached to them. I find the best way to do this is with a grapefruit spoon! Yes. Grapefruit spoon! My saving grace in Fall in this spoon.
  3. Now sprinkle a little salt on the inside.
  4. Place the squash cut side DOWN into a pyrex dish or other microwave safe and oven safe container. If using pyrex (I use my 7x11 dish), fill the bottom with ⅛ cup of water).
  5. Cover the squash with a microwave safe lid like glass or the plastic one made for microwaves.
  6. Microwave for 15 minutes.
  7. Pierce a fork through the center of the squash. It should go through easily and this means the squash is done.
  8. While that cools, melt the butter in the microwave. Add the brown sugar and give it a stir.
  9. Flip squash over. Drizzle the butter/sugar mixture.
  10. Broil the acorn squash on high for a few minutes. Of course, always remember to keep the door slightly ajar when broiling. Keep an eye on it because the sugar will caramelize quickly.
  11. Scoop and eat!
Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated



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