I know, I use smoked paprika in everything, but that’s because it makes everything so good. Especially when it’s combined with pure maple syrup, which kind of has a hint of smokiness itself. This simple smoked paprika and maple glaze dresses up roasted acorn squash just enough to make it special, without overpowering its natural subtle flavors. If you’re looking for a simple side dish to take advantage of fall produce, this Smoky Maple Roasted Acorn Squash is it. Plus it’s super pretty, so it’s not a bad candidate for your holiday table, either. ;)
Smoky Maple Roasted Acorn Squash
Can You Eat Acorn Squash Skin?
Yes ma’am! It’s totally edible, and looks quite striking against the vibrant orange flesh of the acorn squash, so I prefer to leave it on when it’s cut into slices like this. The skin does have a slightly thicker texture, similar to that of eggplant, so those who are sensitive to textures may not like it. But don’t worry! The skin peels off effortlessly once the squash is roasted, so each person can choose to eat or skip the skin.
Maple Syrup, Not Pancake Syrup
This is an important distinction. You must use real maple syrup for this recipe, not pancake syrup. The two ingredients differ in both texture and flavor, and can not be used interchangeably in this recipe. Maple can be quite pricey, BUT the good thing is that you don’t need a lot and the rest of the bottle will last pretty much forever in your fridge. The incredible flavor and its longevity make it well worth the purchase. Here are a few other recipes where you can use real maple syrup and take advantage of its incredible flavor:
- Maple Dijon Chicken Thighs
- Maple Brown Butter Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Maple Miso Roasted Carrots
- Sweet Crunch Winter Salad
Smoky Maple Roasted Acorn Squash
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Wash the squash well, then dry with a clean towel. Carefully cut the acorn squash in half lengthwise (from top to bottom), then scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Slice the squash crosswise into 1/2-inch wide slices.
- In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, maple syrup, smoked paprika, and salt. Place the sliced squash in a bowl, then pour the maple syrup glaze over top. Stir the squash until it is evenly coated.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then arrange the seasoned squash slices on the sheet in a single layer. Use a rubber spatula to scrape all the remaining glaze out of the bowl and onto the squash slices.
- Roast the squash slices for 40 minutes, or until it is very tender. Season with a pinch of salt, then serve.
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Step by Step Photos
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Wash a 1.5 lb. acorn squash, then dry with a clean towel. Carefully slice the squash in half lengthwise, then scoop out the seeds with a spoon (you can roast these seeds, just like pumpkin seeds!). For extra safety when cutting the squash in half, you can slice off a piece of the bottom to give the squash a flat surface to stand on as you cut.
Once the seeds are removed, slice the squash crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices.
In a small bowl, stir together 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp maple syrup, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, and 1/4 tsp salt.
Place the squash slices in a bowl, then pour the smoky maple glaze over the slices. Stir until the squash slices are coated in the glaze.
Arrange the seasoned acorn squash slices in a single layer on a baking sheet lined in parchment paper. Use a rubber spatula to scrape out all of the remaining smoky maple glaze from the bowl and drizzle it onto the squash.
Roast the squash in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until they are very tender. Season with one last small pinch of salt, then serve.
It doesn’t get any more “autumn” than this Smoky Maple Roasted Acorn Squash! Look at that gorgeousness!