Acorn squash is roasted until beautifully tender and lightly browned, then drizzled with browned butter and toasted pecans and served over a simple yogurt sauce for the ultimate holiday side dish. It's a simple, stunning dish that will have your dinner guests reaching for seconds!
THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY THE
OREGON DAIRY AND NUTRITION COUNCIL
Roasted acorn squash is yummy as is, but when roasted acorn squash crosses paths with toasted pecans, browned butter, and dollops of tangy whole milk yogurt with a hint of garlic and lemon, it's downright tasty.
This holiday season I'm excited to be partnering with the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council not only because I'm a native Oregonian who has an appreciation for products made in Oregon, but many of my holiday recipes regularly incorporate Oregon dairy such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter as key ingredients. This roasted acorn squash with browned butter and simple yogurt sauce is no exception.
Oregon is home to nearly 180 dairy farms that supply milk for a variety of dairy products. Milk is local, so if you are in the Oregon area, you are likely enjoying milk from your local farms.
These farms are multi-generational with deeply rooted values for maintaining top-notch animal care and a commitment to leaving their land and natural resources better than they found them as an essential component to farm management and sustainable dairy production practices.
When we enjoy Oregon dairy products, we are supporting dairy farm families and businesses that have been part of our local communities for generations. And clearly our tastebuds benefit too from the crazy tasty dairy products they churn out (literally).
Why you'll love this recipe
It's hard to compete with tasty holiday regulars like mashed potatoes and gravy, turkey with stuffing, and those little bread rolls turned into turkey sandwiches should there be leftovers. If we're being honest, veggies don't typically make the Top 10 for most popular holiday dishes. Nevertheless, veggies need a place at the table (weird but true -> acorn squash is technically and botanically a fruit, but considered a starchy vegetable primarily by how it's cooked).
I love this recipe because:
- it’s a colorful showstopper on any holiday table.
- it’s a side dish recipe that offers maximum tastiness with minimal prep and effort.
- it tastes decadent and luxurious while still using wholesome and nutritious ingredients.
- the sweet nuttiness of browned butter combined with the contrasting tanginess of creamy whole milk yogurt takes the simple acorn squash to a WHOLE NEW LEVEL.
Simply put, this squash recipe has all the elements of a winner.
- Acorn squash: If acorn squash is not available, any other winter squash (butternut, buttercup, Hubbard, or pumpkin) can be used interchangeably.
- Pure maple syrup: Not the 'pancake' syrup, go for the real stuff.
- Unsalted butter: "Fresh, creamery butter. Is there anything more comforting?" (name that movie and we were probably destined to be bffs). Unsalted butter allows you to be the boss with how much salt you like but if you only have salted butter on hand that is totally okay too.
- Plain whole milk yogurt: Yogurt’s versatility extends way beyond a quick breakfast or protein-rich snack. It enhances everyday meals by serving as an excellent topping for tacos, stews, and soups or as a nutritious base for dips, dressings, and marinades. For this festive side dish it provides a perfectly tangy contrast to the sweet, nutty flavors of the acorn squash and brown butter drizzle. Greek yogurt or Icelandic-style varieties can be used in place of plain whole milk yogurt but they may need to be thinned a bit depending on how saucy you'd like the yogurt sauce.
- Pecans: Walnuts and hazelnuts would taste great too.
- Ground ginger: This might seem like a weird ingredient to use but it offers a little zest to the squash which I kinda enjoy.
- Flat-leaf parsley: Also called Italian parsley. Save the curly parsley for tabbouleh.
Step by step instructions
Step 1: Grab a sharp knife. With confidence and tenacity slice off the stem end and base of the squash.
Step 2: Stand the acorn squash on one of the cut ends to serve as a stable base. Slice it in half, from top to bottom.
Step 3: Scoop out all of the seeds and stringy stuff with a metal spoon. I like using a grapefruit spoon for this.
Step 4: Using that sharp knife again, slice each half into wedges.
Step 5: In a small bowl, add extra virgin olive oil, ground ginger, and maple syrup, and whisk until combined.
Step 6: Place the acorn squash wedges in a pile on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and toss with the maple syrup mixture.
Step 7: Spread the acorn squash out evenly on a large baking sheet, and roast for 40 minutes at 400°F, flipping the squash wedges halfway through.
Step 8: While the squash is roasting, make the simple yogurt sauce. Combine plain whole milk yogurt, finely grated lemon zest, minced garlic, Kosher salt, and black pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
Step 9: Once the squash has finished roasting, it's time to make the browned butter! Place butter in a light-colored saucepan over medium heat.
Step 10: Melt the butter, continually stirring just until you begin to notice the milk solids in the butter (those are the little specks that form in the bottom of the melted butter) beginning to turn a deep golden brown.
Step 11: Add the pecans and stir quickly to combine.
Step 12: Immediately pour the browned butter and pecans into a bowl to prevent the butter from continuing to cook.
Step 13: Time to plate it up! Spread the yogurt sauce on a serving platter, reserving a small amount for drizzling on top of the squash.
Step 14: Arrange the roasted squash wedges on top of the yogurt sauce.
Step 15: Drizzle and spoon the browned butter and pecans over the squash. Sprinkle with fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley.
Step 16: Drizzle the remaining yogurt mixture over the squash. Serve warm or at room temperature. Get your mouth ready to enjoy this colorful masterpiece!
- To help make slicing into the acorn squash easier, place the whole squash in the microwave to warm up for just a minute or two.
- A simple kitchen hack tool for easily scooping out the squash seeds and fibers is a grapefruit spoon. The little teeth on the end of the spoon are perfect for scraping out all of the squash gunk.
- Use a light-colored saucepan to brown the butter. This will allow you to easily recognize when the milk solids have turned to a light golden brown helping to avoid the risk of overcooking and burning.
- If you wind up with leftover brown buttered pecans, use it as a topping on pancakes or waffles the following morning. You might faint, it's heavenly.
Recipe frequently asked questions
No, just leave the skin on the squash and roast! After the acorn squash has roasted the flesh will easily scoop right off of the skin.
Yes, the skin is edible. However, in my opinion, roasted acorn squash skin tends to be a little tough and brittle so I prefer not to eat it.
The brown specks are toasted milk solids. The milk solids in melted butter can turn from beautifully golden brown to burnt and bitter rather quickly so once you see those nice brown specks in the bottom of the pan, immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour into a heat-proof bowl to stop the cooking process.
Oregon dairy products can be found all across Oregon grocery stores, farmers markets, and direct from Oregon creameries and shops. Also, approximately 70% of dairy products made in Oregon are consumed outside of the state, including domestic and international markets, so be sure to look for that Made in Oregon designation anywhere you shop!
I really love it when simple ingredients can be made into a cozy holiday dish that is this beautiful, wholesome, and wonderfully tasty.
Squash and dairy are clearly meant to be. ♡
More tasty side dish recipes!
- Roasted Root Vegetables honey-glazed, oven-roasted root vegetables with golden beets, carrots, and parsnips
- Roasted Beet & Butternut Squash Salad served over spicy arugula and topped with crunchy pepitas, creamy goat cheese, fresh herbs, and a simple balsamic vinaigrette
- Roasted Delicata Squash roasted with dill, parmesan, and garlic, and fresh squeeze of lemon
- Roasted Garlic Mashed Cauliflower creamy, garlicky, luscious, and requires only 25-minutes to make!
Did You Make This Recipe?!
If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment and a star rating below! I greatly appreciate your feedback and it is also so helpful for other PMST readers who are thinking about making the recipe. Remember to snap a photo and tag @passmesometasty on Instagram so I can see!
Thank you to the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council for sponsoring this post and for supporting the hardworking Oregon dairy farm families and dairy processors who provide us with outstanding dairy products! And thank you to those of you who support the brands that allow Pass Me Some Tasty to keep cooking up the tastiness!
Be sure to follow along with all of the tasty dairy happenings in Oregon by following @odncouncil on Instagram and Twitter, and @DairyOregon on Facebook! To learn more about Oregon dairy farms and how you can even visit one, visit the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council’s website.
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