Need an Easy Baked Acorn Squash Recipe? Look no further. This creamy, parmesan version is kid-friendly and a cinch to put together for busy weeknight meals!
The other night, I was sitting at the dinner table with my kids watching my daughter was push her corn around her plate while my son tried to hide his peas under his rice pilaf. I was getting a bit frustrated and asked them why they weren’t eating their vegetables. My daughter told me that they were “bo-o-o-o-o-ring” and rolled her eyes so far back in her head that I thought they’d get stuck there forever.
I politely stabbed my broccoli and tried to control the frustrated tone that I knew was going to pop out of my mouth. I calmly reminded them that they get to choose their vegetables every single night, and they were the ones that picked corn and peas…again.
I was feeling a bit peckish and started lecturing them about why they need to try new foods. I was really on a roll and was spouting all sorts of Mom’s-On-A-Soapbox-Stuff like how their culinary palettes were going to be stunted, and blah-blah-blah, when all of the sudden, I realized I was calling the kettle black.
As I looked down at my own plate filled to the brim with my favorite veggies, a sheepish shade of red flushed my cheeks. I immediately apologized and told the kids that I wasn’t being very fair because I always choose the same vegetables too. When given the choice, I will always pick: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peas, corn or a pepper medley.
I asked the kids what we should do about it and they just stared at me. I knew I couldn’t really expect them to get all excited about trying new vegetables (yet), but I was going to try. Stealing a page from my sister’s play book (see how she got her kids to eat Roasted Cauliflower), I asked the kids if they would like to join me on a “Try New Foods Quest”. They were intrigued and we started making up some ground rules.
- Trying new fruit counts.
- They get to pick the vegetables.
- They don’t have to like it.
- They can spit it out into a napkin if they don’t like it. (And, they won’t get in trouble as long as they do it politely. No gagging. No eyeball rolling. No barf noises. Etc.)
- If they do like it, even a teensy bit, they have to tell the truth, so we can make it again. (I explained to them that studies say you have to try something 5-10 times before you know if you like it or not.)
I wasn’t quite sure what we would try first, so I reached out to our Facebook friends and asked them what their favorite vegetables were. I couldn’t believe how adventurous some of our fans were and I started jotting down all sorts of ideas. The kids wanted me to go first, so I decided to try a vegetable that I usually saved for our dogs: Acorn Squash. Acorn Squash makes a lovely addition to homemade dog biscuits, and even though I’ve had it in my kitchen numerous times, I’ve never actually eaten it myself.
I found this easy-to-make recipe here and decided to give it a whirl. Although this recipe was creamy and full of lovely thyme flavor, it is a Martha recipe so it was a bit bland. Next time, I will use more seasoning – perhaps some cayenne pepper or garlic or both – to give it a little heat.
So what’s the overall verdict? The dogs are going to be pretty upset because I really like acorn squash!
EASY BAKED ACORN SQUASH RECIPE, KID-FRIENDLY
Makes 4 halves.
- 2 acorn squash (1 pound each), halved lengthwise, seeded, and bottoms trimmed to lie flat if necessary
- Salt and pepper, season to taste
- 1/4 cup heavy cream (if you have really big squash, use a little more)
- 8 sprigs thyme
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (use more if you want it cheesy)
- 2 tablespoons butter, cut into halves
Step 1: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Halve squash lengthwise and remove the seeds. Trim to lie flat if needed. (I just squashed mine together in a dish so they didn’t tip over.)
Step 2: Place squash halves cut side up in a CorningWare dish, or on a rimmed baking sheet, and season with salt and pepper. Place 1/2 tablespoon of butter into each squash half. Divide cream and thyme among halves.
Step 3: Bake until squash is tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, 35 to 40 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan and bake until cheese is melted and golden, 10 to 15 minutes more.