What Does Acorn Squash Taste Like?

Acorn squash is one of the most popular varieties of winter squash, a group of squashes with tougher skins and a longer shelf life.

You can find acorn squash in grocery stores year-round. It is easy to spot with its distinctive acorn-like shape and ribbed green skin.

If you’ve never tried this unique vegetable, you may be wondering what it tastes like. We’re here to give you all the details!

Acorn squash taste

Acorn squash has a mildly sweet and nutty flavor that is often compared to pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash. 

When cooked, the flesh of acorn squash becomes soft and tender but also a little fibrous. It holds its shape well in salads and other side dishes but can also be pureed for soups.

If overripe, acorn squash turns orange and can be dry, stringy, and bland. To avoid this, choose acorn squash that is heavy for its size with mostly dark green skin and just a hint of orange on the bottom.

Acorn squash skin is moderately thick but edible — it tastes slightly bitter and can add an interesting texture to dishes.

The seeds inside acorn squash can also be eaten. They have a similar taste and texture to pumpkin seeds when roasted.

Does acorn squash taste like butternut squash?

Acorn squash tastes similar to butternut squash but is generally milder and not quite as sweet. It also has more of a fibrous texture, while butternut squash tends to be smooth and creamy.

What foods pair with acorn squash?

Acorn squash pairs well with both sweet and savory foods.

For a savory option, serve acorn squash with sausage or roasted meats, along with whole grains like wild rice, quinoa, and barley.

Roasted vegetables, such as brussels sprouts, beets, and cabbage, make excellent side dishes for meals that include acorn squash.

For a flavor boost, season acorn squash with herbs and spices like rosemary, sage, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Pecans, walnuts, and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) also pair well.

To boost the sweetness of acorn squash, try pairing it with brown sugar, maple syrup, or fruits like apples and cranberries. It can also be used to replace pumpkin in baked goods.

Final thoughts

Acorn squash has a unique flavor that’s both sweet and nutty. It tastes similar to butternut squash but isn’t quite as sweet or buttery.

This delicious vegetable can be enjoyed in both sweet and savory dishes and pairs well with roasted meats, whole grains, winter vegetables, nuts, and even desserts.

Give acorn squash a try for your next meal and see just how tasty it can be! 

Amy Richter is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist based in Missouri. She is an experienced nutrition writer and medical advisor for Healthline and Medical News Today.  Amy is passionate about all things food-related and enjoys translating complex science into easy-to-understand articles.

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