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This acorn squash casserole features tender, caramelized acorn squash and rich brown butter pecan topping. The squash filling is sturdy and scoopable and the topping adds a nutty, sweet crunch. All of the flavors are a perfect combination for a Thanksgiving table.

Be sure to check out more of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes to get you started on this year’s menu. Love squash? Maple cinnamon roasted butternut squash makes a delicious side dish, too!

acorn squash casserole with a spoon in it
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You’re looking at a cozy casserole of roasted acorn squash, mixed with brown butter, brown sugar, and a thick layer of pecan topping.

If you haven’t noticed from these brown butter toffee cookies, brown butter banana bread, or brown butter sage butternut squash ravioli sauce, I love brown butter.

Because 1) butter generally adds a rich flavor and 2) browning the butter adds a nutty, almost sweet flavor, perfect for the holidays.

When you imagine taking a bite of this cozy dish, think of your favorite sweet potato casserole. We wanted to make a variation of that to mix things up. When it comes to Thanksgiving side dishes, this is one of the best.

Our goal this holiday season is to offer new recipes that put a spin on the holiday table classics (see savory bread pudding and boursin mashed potatoes(coming soon))!

Why this Acorn Squash Casserole Works 

  • Delicious flavor:  Your taste buds will love this acorn squash recipe that’s creamy, indulgent, fragrant, and flavorful.
  • Perfect fall meal: This dish is colorful, warm, and inviting. It’s full of the best fall ingredients like squash, brown sugar, and pecans.
  • Fun Thanksgiving side dish: it features classic ingredients and casserole basics, with a new ingredient.
spoonful of acorn squash casserole

Ingredients You Need

Here are the simple ingredients for this acorn squash casserole. Most are pantry staples and easy (and affordable) to find in grocery stores. Jump down to the recipe card for exact measurements and nutritional information.

  • Acorn squash: The star of the show, you’ll use the whole acorn squash.
  • Olive oil: Substitute with avocado oil.
  • Kosher salt: Kosher salt is the best salt to cook with. Add to taste.
  • Light brown sugar: A great coconut sugar substitute, so feel free to replace with coconut sugar or maple syrup if needed.
  • Flour: Use gluten-free if needed. Bob’s Red Mill is our favorite gluten-free brand.
  • Unsalted butter: Use vegan butter if needed.
  • Eggs: Help to bind the ingredients together.
  • Cinnamon: Just a pinch of cinnamon adds natural sweetness and a subtle spiciness.
  • Vanilla extract: Adds sweetness and warmth.
  • Raw pecans: Gives a nice crunch and makes the most amazing topping.
acorn squash casserole on a plate

How to Make Acorn Squash Casserole

The complete recipe is below, but let’s walk through the steps with some photos and a video so you have a clear idea of what to expect. This acorn squash casserole is really easy and these step-by-step instructions will make sure it turns out every time.

Roast the squash. Place the squash on a cutting board on its side and slice the acorn squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits. Brush the insides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt to taste. Place them skin-side-down on a large baking sheet and roast for 40-45 minutes.

Success tip: put the whole squash in the microwave for 1-2 minutes to soften the skin and make it easier to cut in half. We like to do this with spaghetti squash and butternut squash.

two process shots of how to roast acorn squash

Make the brown butter. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook for 4-5 minutes, until it bubbles, froths, and browns. 

brown butter in a saucepan for acorn squash casserole

Make the pecan topping. In a separate bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients and set aside.

two process shots of pecan topping for acorn squash casserole

Mash the squash. Remove the squash from the oven and peel away the skin or scoop out the inside with a large spoon. Add the baked acorn squash to large bowl and use a potato masher to roughly mash.  

Tip: For an even smoother squash mixture, use a food processor or electric mixer to blend it well for a smooth.

mashed acorn squash in a bowl

Mix the filling: Mix in the brown sugar, milk, flour, melted butter, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, and a pinch of kosher salt.

two process shots of how to make acorn squash casserole filling

Bake. Transfer the acorn squash filling to a casserole dish. Sprinkle with the topping and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Cover the whole dish with aluminum foil if the topping starts to brown too much. 

two process shots of acorn squash casserole in a baking dish

Recipe FAQs

Is the skin of acorn squash good for you?

The skin of acorn squash is generally safe to eat and contains some nutritional value, but it can be tougher and less appealing compared to the flesh.  If you decide to eat the skin, you should wash the squash thoroughly to remove any dirt or contaminants. You can also cook the squash with the skin on, which can make it more tender and easier to eat. 

Does acorn squash need to be peeled before cooking?

Acorn squash can be cooked with or without peeling, and the decision to peel it or not depends on your personal preference and the recipe you’re following. Leaving the skin on adds a nuttier flavor.  If you prefer a smoother, creamier texture, you can peel the acorn squash before cooking. 

Is acorn squash high in carbs?

Acorn squash is a starchy vegetable and does contain carbohydrates, but is not extremely high in carbs when compared to other starchy vegetables or grains. The carbohydrate content of acorn squash can vary depending on the size and preparation method, but on average, it contains approximately 15-20 grams of carbohydrates per 1-cup (205-gram) cooked serving.

Recipe Variations

It’s up to personal preference how you might change up the original recipe, but here are a few ideas:

  • Add pumpkin pie spice, allspice, or fresh ginger.
  • Top with Parmesan cheese or mascarpone.
  • Season with black pepper for a little spice.
  • Instead of pecans, top with walnuts or hazelnuts.
acorn squash casserole with pecan toppinig

What to Serve with Acorn Squash Casserole

Serve this acorn squash casserole as part of your Thanksgiving menu, or just a fall dinner. Have it with flavors that complement it well like this Thanksgiving salad or dairy-free green bean casserole.

You can’t have a proper Thanksgiving meal without turkey, potatoes, and pumpkin pie! Follow our recipes for cheesecloth turkey with herb buttercheesy scalloped potatoes, and dairy-free pumpkin pie.

Meal Prep and Storing Tips

Roast the squash in advance and store in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Alternatively, make the entire casserole and store it in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight and reheat it the next day. Reheat in the oven at 350 until warmed through.

brown butter pecan acorn squash casserole

More Squash Recipes

We love winter squashes – and have plenty of recipes to show for it!

In the mood for pasta? Make this butternut squash and spinach lasagna or buy some butternut squash ravioli and cover it in this butternut squash ravioli sage butter sauce.

For something lighter, try this fall salad with chicken, apples, and butternut squash or airfyer butternut squash.

Maple roasted brussels sprouts and butternut squash has the perfect amount of savoriness and sweetness combined.

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4.80 from 5 votes

Acorn Squash Casserole

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour 40 minutes
This acorn squash casserole features tender, caramelized acorn squash and rich brown butter pecan topping. The squash filling is sturdy and scoopable and the topping adds a nutty, sweet crunch. All of the flavors are a perfect combination for a Thanksgiving table.

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Servings: 10 servings



  • 3 large acorn squash halved and seeded (yields 9-10 cups roasted squash) (Note 1)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup (30g) all-purpose flour gluten-free if needed
  • 4 Tablespoons (56g) unsalted butter melted
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Brown Butter Pecan Topping

  • 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp; 57g) unsalted butter cut into cubes
  • 1 cup (200g) light brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup (60g) all-purpose flour gluten-free if needed
  • 1 3/4 cups raw pecans roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  • Roast the squash. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Slice the acorn squash in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seedy centers. Brush the insides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt to taste. Place them skin-side-up on a large baking sheet. Roast in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes.
  • Make the brown butter. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir for 4-5 minutes until it bubbles and froths. The froth will subside and you should start to see small brown bits form on the bottom of the pan. Remove it from the heat when you start to see the brown bits and smell a distinct nutty flavor.
  • Make the pecan topping. Add the brown sugar, flour, pecans, sage, salt, and brown butter in a medium bowl and stir to combine.
  • Mix the acorn squash. Allow the squash to cool for 10-15 minutes, or until it’s cool enough to handle. Peel away the skin from the flesh or scoop it out with a spoon. Add the acorn squash to a mixing bowl and mix well with a potato masher. For really smooth filling, use an electric mixer to blend it well. Mix in the brown sugar, flour, melted butter, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, and a pinch of kosher salt. Taste the filling with a spoon and add more salt as needed.
  • Bake. Turn the oven temperature down to 350°F. Transfer the acorn squash filling to a 9×13-inch or other 3-quart baking dish. Sprinkle the brown butter pecan topping evenly over top. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the sides are bubbling and the pecans are golden brown. Cover with foil with the nuts are becoming too brown too quickly. Serve warm with crispy sage or flaky sea salt.
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!


Note 1. Acorn Squash. For easy cutting, place each acorn square in the microwave individually for 1-2 minutes to soften it. Allow it to cool slightly and cut it in half lengthwise. Repeat with each squash.



  • Large baking sheet
  • 9×13-inch (or 3-quart) casserole dish


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 483kcal | Carbohydrates: 53.1g | Protein: 5.2g | Fat: 30.1g | Cholesterol: 73.8mg | Sodium: 152.6mg | Fiber: 4.2g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 156.4IU | Vitamin C: 14.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Edward McNally says:

    5 stars
    I believe you need to add flour to step 4 above. It’s mentioned in the ingredients but not in that step.

    1. Molly Thompson says:

      Yes, you’re right! I tested this recipe a few times and added the flour while I was testing and forgot to add it to the instructions. I updated it. Thanks for letting me know!

  2. Bob Rickert says:

    4 stars
    Looks good but does not say how much milk to use.