I can’t think of a better way to kick-off the holiday season than with this roasted acorn squash with brown butter. It’s easy, delicious, and the perfect side dish for any festive gathering. When I was a kid, my mom would make acorn squash with butter and brown sugar all the time, and this fancied-up version is Christmas dinner-worthy.
The real secret to this recipe is European premium salted butter. It’s actually kind of my special ingredient in many of my recipes lately, but especially this squash. When paired with the brown sugar and hazelnuts, with a little spice, yeah, it’s perfection like no other. Trust me. But wait… you actually brown the butter to give it this nice warm and toasty flavor. I know, YUM.
So obviously this side dish needs to be on all of your holiday tables. It’s a classic taken up a notch, with just a little twist and some really good butter. After all, I don’t really think you can properly do the holidays without butter. Aside from the main meal, it’s kind of the star of the show. Really, think about it, you need butter for that pie crust, butter for those mashed potatoes, butter for the roast meat, butter for gravy, and those rolls? Yeah, they definitely need butter—see, totally the star.
And, I have to mention how easy this is to prepare–the oven does all the work for you and the ingredients are simple ones you may even have on hand right now. Yes! Simple is always good this time of year. Scroll on for the recipe.
- 2 acorn or kabocha squash, seeded and sliced into half-moons
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Pinch of chili flakes
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) salted butter
- 1 cup raw hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. On a baking sheet, toss together the squash, olive oil, brown sugar, rosemary, red pepper flakes, and a pinch each of kosher salt and pepper, tossing to coat. Transfer to the oven and roast for 30-40 minutes, until the squash is golden and tender, turning halfway through cooking.
3. Meanwhile, heat the butter, hazelnuts, and a pinch of salt in a skillet. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the butter is browned and the hazelnuts are toasted. Remove from the heat.
4. Arrange the squash on a serving plate, pour over the brown butter, and top it with hazelnuts.
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