This post may contain affiliate links. Please see disclosure form more information.

This easy recipe for Baked Acorn Squash with maple syrup and brown sugar makes a delicious fall side dish that’s special enough for Thanksgiving.

baked acorn squash with brown sugar and maple syrup on plate

Candied acorn squash filled with maple syrup, butter and brown sugar is one of our favorite baked acorn squash recipes. As much as I love savory stuffed acorn squash, this sweet roasted acorn squash is a favorite Thanksgiving side dish, along with easy mashed sweet potatoes, Instant Pot Corn Casserole and Instant Pot mashed potatoes.

I love how acorn squash looks. I love the shape and the color, so I buy some early in the season, put them in a large wooden bowl and use this as my kitchen table centerpiece until I’m ready to cook the squash.

It makes a natural, beautiful arrangement, but I just have to remember to cook it! So right before Thanksgiving, when I’m planning my Christmas decorations, I’ll take the centerpiece apart and serve it for dinner — fun, huh?!

Acorn squash is super easy to prepare, and really, the hardest part is cutting it in half. So I sometimes cheat and have the Hubs cut it for me, and then I do the rest.

How to make Acorn Squash with Brown Sugar and Maple Syrup

First, cut the squash in half. Then, scoop out the seeds with a spoon or fork. If you’ve ever scooped out pumpkin seeds, this part is a breeze!

scoop seeds out of acorn squash

A lot of recipes recommend baking the squash with the cut side down first. This softens up the inside before you add anything to it. But, I found an even easier, quicker way to cook acorn squash!

Cook Acorn Squash in the Microwave

I cook the acorn squash in the microwave for a few minutes — just until it’s slightly soft inside. Then, I fill the cavity with a little butter, maple syrup, brown sugar and cinnamon.

uncooked acorn squash with maple, brown sugar and cinnamon

How Long to Bake Acorn Squash

It takes about 30 minutes to bake acorn squash in the oven at 375 degrees. The insides are soft, and the tops get a nice golden brown color without being overdone.

When the squash is done, it’s filled with a sweet, caramel-like filling that makes it taste like dessert. Yum.

baked acorn squash filled with maple syrup and brown sugar on a plate

How to Cook Acorn Squash in the Air Fryer

I tried baking the squash in the air fryer, and it was even quicker and easier than the oven!

Follow the above steps to prepare the squash., and add the filling. No need to precook the squash before filling it! Then, preheat to 360 degrees, and cook for 10 minutes or until tender and golden brown on top.

I have an oven-type air fryer (Instant Pot Vortex). Cook times may vary among different brands or models.

acorn squash with maple syrup and brown sugar on fork
baked acorn squash with maple syrup and brown sugar filling

I usually cut the squash in half, which makes the sauce spill out, but I scoop it up again and drizzle the sauce over the cut squash, and everyone’s happy, especially the kiddos since this is about the only way they eat squash!

Baked Acorn Squash Recipe

5 from 11 votes

Baked Acorn Squash

By: Dee
This easy recipe for Baked Acorn Squash with maple syrup and brown sugar takes ordinary squash to an entirely different level and makes it special enough for a Thanksgiving side dish! 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 3 acorn squash cut in half
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 12 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter
Save this recipe!
Enter your email and get this recipe sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.


  • Scoop the seeds out from the center with a large spoon.
  • Microwave the squash for 3 minutes or until slightly soft.
  • Sprinkle the insides with salt, and add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup to each squash half.
  • Add some of the cinnamon to each half.
  • Rub the top of each half with butter, and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, or until insides of squash are soft.
  • Optional — Air fry squash at 360 degrees for 10 minutes or until tender using oven-style air fryer


Tip — slice a small piece off the skin of the rounded back of the squash so that it doesn’t wobble in the baking dish 


Calories: 257.35kcal, Carbohydrates: 61.45g, Protein: 1.77g, Fat: 2.11g, Saturated Fat: 1.25g, Cholesterol: 5.02mg, Sodium: 30.12mg, Potassium: 853.75mg, Fiber: 3.41g, Sugar: 35.62g, Vitamin A: 849.2IU, Vitamin C: 23.7mg, Calcium: 128.01mg, Iron: 1.64mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: side
Cuisine: American
Like this? Leave a comment below!
Baked Acorn Squash filled with butter, brown sugar and maple syrup for Thanksgiving
easy Baked Acorn Squash with Maple and Brown Sugar

Recipe has been updated as of October 29, 2019

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. Toni | Boulder Locavore says:

    My kids will surely love to try this with me!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      My kids love acorn squash this way. 🙂

  2. Melanie Bauer says:

    Oh how delicious this recipe looks! I love everything on it, can’t wait to try this!5 stars

  3. Amanda says:

    This is such an interesting recipe. Very easy to follow. I can’t wait to try!!5 stars

  4. Taylor W. says:

    I always forget about acorn squash! I need to make this recipe soon, looks so delicious!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      Thanks, Taylor. I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

  5. Demeter says:

    I love how it doesn’t have to be a complicated recipe to enjoy such an amazing flavor combiantion. Looks fantastic!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      Thanks so much, Demeter! We love this!

  6. Miz Helen says:

    Your Baked Acorn Squash looks delicious. Your recipe is awesome, I have pinned it. We really enjoy you sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you again soon!
    Miz Helen

  7. Dee M says:

    Thanks. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

  8. Dee M says:

    Thanks so much! It really does taste amazing! 🙂

  9. Alia Cherry says:

    YUM! cant wait to try- thanks!

  10. Heart says:

    This looks so GOOD! I like the simplicity of this recipe. It's easy and healthy. And that syrup, indeed, makes it more special.