Paleo Baked Acorn Squash is so simple, but it’ll knock your socks off in the flavor department.
And, this recipe’s got a secret ingredient that makes it just a bit indulgent.
It’s no secret that fall is squash season, and these little autumn darlings start making their appearance at markets of all kinds.
But can I let you in on a little secret?
While kabocha and delicata and even butternut have been my long-time faves…
…acorn squash has never been my top pick.
I think it’s a combination of two things: The flavor being a bit more mild and well, blah, coupled with a hit or miss texture.
But when I started making this Paleo Baked Acorn Squash recipe, I changed my mind.
Acorn squash shot up to the top of my list. Plus, this recipe is so dang easy and a bit surprising because of the secret ingredient.
The method here is incredibly simple: You’ll halve the squash and scoop out the seeds. Then, you’ll sprinkle liberally with pumpkin or apple pie spice.
Next – and this is what makes it special – you’ll pour a couple tablespoons of coconut milk or grass-fed heavy cream into the squash bowl.
(Note: Obvs, if you’re doing a non-dairy version of paleo, skip the heavy cream. Remember, you need to find what works for your body. Context is more important than diet dogma.)
And then you’ll bake it in the oven on a baking sheet until it all gets roasted and yummy. If you feel like really getting crazy with it, you can drizzle with a tiny bit of maple syrup which is what I did.
Of course, if you’re doing a Whole30 or limiting sugar, you can totally leave that out. It’s not a make or break ingredients.
This Paleo Baked Acorn Squash definitely reads a bit more on the dessert side of things. But, I think you could serve it as a side dish and be fine.
Don’t stress about it…just use what you’ve got on hand.
As the acorn squash bakes, the coconut milk or heavy cream thickens and becomes almost custard-like.
It seems so indulgent, but either options are healthy fats, so don’t stress.
Now, if you can’t do coconut milk or heavy cream or don’t like either, you could certainly make your own substitutions.
Just note that watery non-dairy milks like prepared almond or cashew are often too runny and won’t give you the desired result.
It’s really the higher fat content of the coconut milk or heavy cream that makes this recipe work. As the Paleo Baked Acorn Squash roasts in the oven, the water evaporates.
That makes the coconut milk or heavy cream thicken into a custard-like texture.
If you want to make your own, follow my Homemade Almond Milk recipe and cut back on the water by half.
Personally, I’d swap the almonds for cashews and make a cashew cream instead if you can’t do coconut milk or heavy cream.
And if you landed on this Paleo Baked Acorn Squash recipe and need some other squash inspiration, check out these recipes from the archives:
- Paleo Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- Pulled Pork Stuffed Delicata Squash
- Curried Kabocha Squash Soup
- Stuffed Delicata Squash
- Chicken Florentine Spaghetti Squash
You can reheat this Paleo Baked Acorn Squash by popping it in a 350F oven until it’s warmed through. It’ll keep up to five days if properly refrigerated.
Paleo Baked Acorn Squash
- 1 medium acorn squash
- 2 tsp apple pie spice or pumpkin pie spice
- Pinch sea salt
- 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk or heavy cream
- Drizzle of maple syrup, optional
Preheat the oven to 400F. Wash the squash, then cut it in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut a little sliver of squash off the rounded side so it sits flat and won't roll around. Place the squash on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet with the "bowl" facing up.
Sprinkle each half with about 1 teaspoon of apple pie spice or pumpkin pie spice. Then, sprinkle very lightly with sea salt.
Add about half the coconut milk or heavy cream to each squash half. Drizzle with maple syrup, optional.
Bake for about 45 minutes to an hour or until the squash is tender and the milk has reduced and thickened.
For Whole30, use coconut milk and omit maple syrup.
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