Today, I’m sharing with you a great side dish that would be perfect for Thanksgiving yet easy enough to make on any weekday. Behold! I give you sweet and spicy acorn squash! I happen to love the buttery texture from cooked acorn squash so I thought it would pair well with a lot more flavorings like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, brown sugar, maple syrup and chili powder! The cinnamon and nutmeg make this more of a seasonal dish, but the chili powder gives it a kick that is a little unexpected but very pleasant! I might even go out on a limb and say delicious. It’s yummy stuff. And, so easy to make! You just cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, slather on the sweet and spicy mixture and bake! So simple!
A few recipe notes for you all before you run out to the store and pick yourself up an acorn squash: (1) If you do not like acorn squash, then odds are you are not going to like this. (2) I happen to have really spicy chili powder and 1/4 teaspoon was more than enough for me. Use your discretion and taste as you go! Add in as much or as little as you’d like! (3) After mine was baked, I chose to slice mine into smaller pieces and remove the tough outer skin. After doing this and arranging them on my serving platter, my husband thought they looked like very large peaches. I didn’t see it at first, but after looking through my photos, I sort of get it. Moral of the story: cut and slice how you like!
Now you can rush out to the store for some squash! Try it for dinner tonight, during the holidays or after! You may be surprised at how many people try this and like it! Have a great day, folks! Happy cooking! 🙂
Sweet & Spicy Acorn Squash
yield: 6 servings
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1-1 1/2 lb. acorn squash
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons real maple syrup
pinch of cloves
pinch of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a sharp knife, slice acorn squash down the center. Scoop out the seeds and set aside. In a small bowl, combine butter, maple syrup, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar and chili powder together until well combined. Slather half of the mixture on the insides of the two halves of acorn squash. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until squash is cooked thoroughly and soft all the way through.
Remove from oven and cool 10-15 minutes. Cut into slices and remove skin. Spread remaining butter mixture over warm squash and serve.
-I happened to have really spicy chili powder and 1/4 teaspoon was more than enough for me. Use your discretion and add as much or as little as you’d like.
-I chose to slice mine after it was cooked and remove the skin as well, but that it totally up to you how you serve it.