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 Thanksgiving 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 brown sugar and hazelnuts, plus a little spice, 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.

Tieghan Gerard
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Tieghan is the founder of award-winning site, Half Baked Harvest, and author of three best-selling cookbooks. She creates recipes from her converted horse barn in Colorado, and her features include Cooking Channel, Food Network, and HGTV.

So obviously this side dish needs to be on all of your Thanksgiving tables. It’s a classic taken up a notch, with just a little twist and some really good butter. After all, I don’t 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.

Keep scrolling for Tieghan Gerard’s go-to holiday side dish!

Rosemary Roasted Acorn Squash with Brown Butter and Hazelnuts

Serves 8 servings

By Tieghan Gerard

20 minutes


40 minutes


  • 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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Comments (6)
  1. 1
    Katherine December 5, 2021 at 8:32 am

    Hi, the recipe calls for rosemary but in the picture it looks like there are sage leaves. Do you add those also and if so, fry them in butter first? Thanks!

  2. 2
    Natalie December 21, 2021 at 4:40 pm

    Is the acorn squash with SAGE as in the picture; or Rosemary as stated in the recipe??

  3. 3
    Natalie December 21, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    Nvrmd. I see your other reply.
    But it seems like rosemary AND sage would be kind of strong.
    If you chose only one of the two, which would you choose?

  4. 4
    Lisa November 10, 2022 at 8:42 am

    This looks delicious but my daughter is allergic to hazelnuts. What is another nut you would suggest? Thanks

    • Isabelle Eyman November 14, 2022 at 10:33 am

      Macadamia nuts are a great alternative to hazelnuts! They’re crunchy and crisp up in the same way that roasted hazelnuts will. Let us know what you think of the recipe when you make it—this is a fave.



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