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Baked Acorn Squash with Bacon and Brown Sugar

Nothing screams Fall more than a Baked Acorn Squash and nothing is better than having your own Roasted Acorn Squash recipe with bacon, butter, and brown sugar!

Side by side halves of baked acorn squash filled with bacon

Nothing screams Fall more than a Baked Acorn Squash and nothing is better than having your own Roasted Acorn Squash recipe with bacon, butter, and brown sugar!

When I was a youngster, my siblings and I often wrestled over the new box of cereal before it was even out of the grocery sack. There were four of us kids and it was a fight of the fittest.

However, when we had Baked Acorn Squash, we all got our own half. I savored it even as a child. It made me feel like a grown-up!

I’ve got to be honest, the only squash I’d ever had or cooked was acorn squash with brown sugar and butter. But why mess with something that isn’t broken right?

Well, how about expanding your horizons little miss Hostess At Heart? So, I started expanding my squash horizons with a little investigating.

What’s the healthiest squash?

According to Care2 Healthy Living Winter squashes tend to have higher nutrients. They state “Acorn squash takes the gold thanks to its higher amounts of folate, calcium, magnesium, and potassium than butternut, hubbard, or spaghetti squash.

One cup of cooked acorn provides more potassium (896 mg) than two bananas (844 mg)” Squash is also full of soluble fiber. In fact, one-half cup of cooked squash has as much soluble fiber as a cup of lentils or barley!

Bacon, butter and brown sugar sound like a recipe for weight-conscious failure but an entire half only has 180 calories!

3/4 view of top side of a baked acorn squash filled with bacon

That being said, I’ve now expanded my horizons and have tons of recipes to share like these!

How to bake Acorn Squash

  • Wash the skin of the squash. I use a vegetable brush
  • Microwave the whole squash or 3 minutes
  • Lay the squash on its side and cut it in half.
  • Scoop the squash seeds out
  • Place the squash in a baking pan flesh side up.
  • Brush the flesh with butter.
  • Season with salt and pepper and fill with ingredients
  • Bake until tender when pierced with a fork

Don’t forget to pin this recipe to your favorite Pinterest Board!

Raw half of an acorn squash stuffed with bacon

Tips for cooking squash

  • I microwave my squash before cutting it. It makes cutting or peeling it so much easier. Make sure you handle it with a hot pad or towel. It gets really hot!
  • Scrub the squash before cutting or peeling it. If your squash is not clean, you’re transferring anything on the outside to the inside when you cut it.

Many recipes have you adding liquid to the baking dish and baking the squash flesh side down for half the baking time.

I’ve never found that to be necessary. This squash is tender and moist baking it the entire time flesh side up. Plus I love the color and roasted flavor that it takes on.

What to serve with Baked Acorn Squash

I love serving Roasted Acorn Squash with grilled chicken and steaks.

John has cooked them on the grill and loves the smokey flavor they take on. It’s filling enough that you don’t need a lot of other sides and it makes for a delicious simple meal. Here are some great recipe ideas.

Top view of a half baked acorn squash filled with bacon

Items you may need to make Baked Acorn Squash:

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  • Vegetable Brush – I try and keep the peel/skin on my vegetables when I cook them. They contain vitamins and other nutrients. It’s important to get them clean and using a brush works well!
  • Loaf Pan – I find that both halves of the squash will usually fit in a loaf pan without tipping over. I like that these pans are a little bit bigger. I use them for meatloaf and bread recipes too!
  • Chef’s Knife – This is my favorite knife and I use it 95% of the time. I’ve used this knife for years and it still looks brand new. It’s been worth the investment!

Here are some other variations that we love!

  • Canadian bacon and pineapple
  • Filled with stuffing and leftover chicken or turkey.
  • Ground Sausage and Thyme
  • Brown Sugar, Butter, and pecans
  • Maple syrup adds another flavor and can be used instead of brown sugar
  • Fresh apple slices, cinnamon, and dried cranberries
Half of a baked acorn squash filled with bacon

Baked Acorn Squash with Bacon and Brown Sugar

Author: Julie Menghini
Nothing screams Fall more than a Baked Acorn Squash and nothing is better than having your own Roasted Acorn Squash recipe with bacon, butter, and brown sugar!
5 from 14 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword: Baked Acorn Squash, roasted acorn squash
Servings: 2


  • 1 acorn squash
  • 2 tsp butter divided between each half
  • 2 tsp brown sugar divided between each half
  • 1 slice bacon 1/2 to 1 slice per half
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Light Karo Syrup


  • Preheat the oven (or grill) to 400°F.
  • Wash the outside of the squash.
  • Microwave the whole acorn squash for 3-1/2 minutes.  Remove with hot pads or a towel.  Lay the squash on its side (not end) and slice the squash in half.  Scoop out the seeds using a spoon.  Put the squash in a baking dish lined with parchment paper. A loaf pan will usually work.
  • Rub the cut side of the squash with 1 teaspoon of butter and put the remaining piece in the center for each half.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of brown sugar in the center of each half of the squash.
  • Drizzle each half lightly with light Karo syrup.  This glazes the squash and helps the bacon line the center of the squash.  Sprinkle each side with a pinch of salt.
  • Slice the bacon down the short side and line the center of each squash.
  • Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the squash is fork tender.


Calories: 180kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 3gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 406mgPotassium: 769mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 915IUVitamin C: 23.7mgCalcium: 71mgIron: 1.5mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.

Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

These Baked Acorn Squash are perfect to eat as a side dish, especially with poultry.

John has cooked them on the grill and loves the smokey flavor they take on.

Do you have another version that you like? I’d love it if you’d share! I’m always looking for inspiration.

While Baked Acorn Squash makes a great meal or side dish, here are a few more that we love!

5 from 14 votes
Recipe Rating


Wednesday 21st of September 2022

Thank you for this recipe! Growing up, my mom made this for me, but without the Karo, plus she covered it.

I was wondering if you do two slices bacon total, so there’s one for each half. The recipe says one slice, but from the pictures, it looks like there was one per half. Thanks :)

Julie Menghini

Sunday 25th of September 2022

I'm all about bacon so I'm sure I did one per half. You could use less if you'd rather. The Karo is my twist to squash. I just love how it gives the squash that sweet contrast to the butter and smokey bacon.


Wednesday 14th of August 2019

microwaving the squash before cutting it was a BRILLIANT idea! Made this today... but on our grill since its so warm... and it was amazing! The bacon was done perfectly and the squash so light and yummy!

Julie Menghini

Thursday 15th of August 2019

Oh, that sounds amazing! Time to head back to the farmers market!

Michaela Kenkel

Wednesday 14th of August 2019

My husband LOVES acorn squash. I always bake it with just the brown sugar. The addition of bacon is brilliant!! He LOVED it!

Julie Menghini

Thursday 15th of August 2019

Thank you Michaela!


Tuesday 20th of November 2018

Love the addition of the bacon!

Julie Menghini

Tuesday 20th of November 2018

Thank you, Liz! We really like that bit of savory with the sweet.

Jennifer A Stewart

Tuesday 13th of November 2018

I rarely eat acorn squash but now I know that I need to be eating it more often! I love that you lined the cups with bacon so all that yumminess seeps into the squash! I can't wait to try this!!

Julie Menghini

Tuesday 13th of November 2018

Thank you Jennifer! Bacon makes everything better right?

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