It’s the perfect combination of sweet and savory! This Roasted Acorn Squash recipe with Maple Almond Butter drizzled on top is an absolutely lovely addition to any holiday dinner, and it’s simple enough to add some fun to any weeknight meal, too. As an added bonus, it’s 100% Paleo and Gluten Free!
Growing up, we always had a sweet potato casserole on Thanksgiving. It was sweet, nutty, and creamy, all at once. This roasted acorn squash recipe is kind of like that, but a much more refined and paleo-fied version.
Slices of acorn squash are roasted gently, lightly caramelized, and they’re bursting with sweet and nutty fall flavor. Then they’re drizzled with maple-almond butter and sprinkled with a touch of cinnamon, crushed walnuts, and pomegranate arils (be sure to watch my how to cut a pomegranate tutorial!).
Every bite has something creamy, crunchy, sweet, and savory. It’s like the ultimate holiday side dish. Every time I make it, someone asks me for the recipe!
Note: The maple almond butter is delicious, and the flavors totally bring out the nuttiness in the acorn squash. *If you have a nut allergy, simply substitute tahini or sunflower seed butter.
Roasting Acorn Squash
I like to drizzle the sliced acorn squash with Walnut oil from La Tourangelle (affiliate link), but if you don’t have it, just substitute olive or avocado oil.
Want to make your life ONE THOUSAND TIMES easier? Of course you do! Check out my video with tips to cut and roast acorn squash! It’s worth the watch, trust me.
How to prep, cut and roast squash (the cliff’s notes version):
- Microwave the squash for about a minute, then allow it to cool a bit if it’s too hot to touch. This makes it much easier for your knife to cut through and will save your hand from hurting later.
- Stabilize the squash before you cut it. Because you DO NOT want a knife through your palm. It’s a lot easier to do on its side (not stem-bottom).
- Use a grapefruit spoon to scrape out the seeds.
- Drizzle with oil and bake for 25 minutes at 400F, turning once.
Maple Almond Butter Drizzle
This three ingredient Maple Almond Butter sauce is UN-friggin-believable. I could drizzle it over waffles, roasted butternut squash, or who am I kidding? I’d just eat it by the spoonful.
But seriously, when you make the maple almond butter, just stir the ingredients together with a spoon or fork until it’s smooth. And did I mention there are only three ingredients? Yup! Just maple syrup, almond butter, and cinnamon.
It will mix a lot easier if you let the ingredients come to room temperature or slightly warmer before you stir. I usually set it in a bowl just beside the stove while the squash cooks. The oven warms it nicely and keeps it warm until I’m ready to drizzle it on top.
Now put it all together
Once the squash is roasted, just plate it, and while it’s still warm, drizzle with the maple almond butter. Sprinkle a touch of cinnamon on top, then sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and crushed walnuts.
Trust me, you’re going to want to make this for your next holiday get-together!
If you like this roasted acorn squash recipe, check out some of my other healthy holiday dishes:
- Blood Orange, Fennel, and Avocado Salad (Whole30)
- Holiday Kombucha Mocktail (Whole30)
- Winter Salad with Pomegranate and Avocado (Gluten Free)
- Bacon Wrapped Asparagus (Low Carb, Whole30)
- Prosciutto Pears with Arugula Salad (Whole30)
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Roasted Acorn Squash with Maple Almond Butter
Paleo and Gluten Free side dish that's simple enough for a weeknight meal, and beautiful enough for a show-stopping holiday side!
- 1 acorn squash
- 2 tbsp walnut oil or olive oil
- 1 pomegranate
- 1/4 cup walnuts
Maple Tahini Drizzle
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp almond butter or substitute tahini or sun butter
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
Roast the Squash
Preheat your oven to 400F.
While it preheats, wash the acorn squash. Slice into 1/2 inch rounds, then into half moons. Scrape out the seeds with a grapefruit spoon.
Drizzle with oil and turn to coat the squash on both sides.
Bake for 22-25 minutes, turning once halfway through. They should be caramelized nicely but not too dark when they're ready. Watch closely near the end of cooktime to prevent burning.
Make the Maple Almond Butter and Prep the Toppings
While the squash bakes, allow the maple syrup and almond butter to come to room temp or slightly warmer (I set them in a dish beside the stove as it's heating). Mix it together gently until creamy.
De-seed the pomegranate and chop the walnuts.
Assemble and Serve
Lay the squash on a platter and drizzle with maple almond butter and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and chopped walnuts. Add an extra sprinkle of cinnamon (optional).