Craving that perfect comfort food that melts in your mouth with the perfect blend of sweet and savory flavors? This honey-thyme butter roasted squash, inspired by Rasa Malaysia, delivers a mouthwatering medley of tastes embedded in fork-tender bites of winter squash.
Acorn squash is naturally sweet and has a milder flavor than other winter squash. It’s eye-catching deep green color and unique acorn-like shape can make it hard to resist. Once you get your acorn squash home, you’ll find that the dark green shell gives way to a bright orange flesh that eagerly welcomes sweet and spicy flavors while it cooks. In addition to its gorgeous appearance and lovely taste, acorn squash is low in calories and loaded with nutrients, including vitamins A and C, potassium, fiber, and antioxidants.
This honey-thyme butter roasted squash recipe incorporates a succulent sweet honey butter that comes with a hint of heat from cayenne and a slight herbal mint flavor from the fresh thyme. We’ve found that roasting winter squash is the best way to coax out its natural sugars as the flesh softens and becomes a favorite comfort, cold-weather food.
Buttery roasted acorn squash is a simple but delicious side dish you can serve with your everyday meals, but this sublime side is also special enough to accompany holiday feasts. As a bonus, this recipe is gluten-free, vegetarian, and paleo-friendly. You can even make it vegan by swapping out the butter for a dairy-free alternative.
Can’t find acorn squash? If your grocery store is out of stock, substitute another type of winter squash, such as butternut, turban, or carnival squash. All winter squash, except for the string-fleshed spaghetti squash, have an appetizing affinity for honey-thyme butter or any other combination of butter, herbs, and spices sweetened with honey, maple syrup, or brown sugar.
Cook’s warning: Raw acorn squash is notorious for its thick, hard shell that proves challenging for even the sharpest knives. Here are a couple tips to make sure you keep all: First, use a razor-sharp large chef’s knife. A dull knife won’t cut it (pun intended) and is actually more dangerous than a super sharp blade. Hold the squash firmly on a cutting board and slice in between the ridges of the squash to cut it in half. Remove the seeds, lay the squash flat-side down and proceed to cut each half into slices. If the squash is unyielding, poke a few holes in it with the tip of the knife and microwave it for 2 minutes to slightly soften the shell before cutting into slices.
In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, honey, and cayenne to create a lusciously sweet honey butter that delivers a kiss of spicy heat.
Toss the acorn squash with the honey butter
Place the acorn squash slices in a large bowl and drizzle with the honey butter. Use tongs to toss until each slice is coated. The complex flavors of the spicy honey butter deliciously complement the naturally sweet nuttiness of the acorn squash.
Spread the acorn squash slices on baking sheets
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the squash on the baking sheets, arranging them so the slices are spaced apart without touching. Sprinkle the squash with salt, black pepper, and minced fresh thyme leaves. The thyme delectably wilts into the melted honey butter, giving the squash a lovely herbal essence.
Roast the acorn squash
Roasting the squash brings out its sweetness and transforms the firm flesh into fork-tender bites. Roast the acorn squash at 400 F for 30 minutes or until the flesh is soft when pierced with a fork. Roast it a little longer if you want the roasted squash to be lightly browned.
Serve the squash hot
Transfer the acorn squash slices to a serving platter. At this point, your family can dig right in and love every bite, or you can drizzle additional honey butter all over the slices before bringing them to the table.
A sweet and savory compliment to any meal
This luscious squash is roasted to perfection!
Just enough herbs and spice to bring out the natural flavors