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Maple-and-Soy-Glazed Acorn Squash

The sweetness of maple syrup, the saltiness of soy and the subtle heat of ginger come together in a perfectly balanced glaze for thick slices of acorn squash. Other varieties, such as butternut and banana, can be prepared the same way. Winter squashes with firm orange flesh are great sources of beta-carotene. Serve this cool-weather dish with roasted meat or poultry.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp. canola or safflower oil, or canola-oil cooking spray 
  • 2 acorn squashes, each about 1 1/2 lb. 
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup 
  • 1 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce 
  • 1/2 tsp. peeled and grated fresh ginger 
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, or more, to taste 
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste  

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly coat the foil with the oil or spray with cooking spray.

Cut off both ends of each squash. Halve lengthwise and scoop out and discard the seeds and strings. Turn the squash halves cut side down and cut each half crosswise into 4 or 5 slices, each about 1/2 inch thick. Arrange the slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake the squashes for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, soy sauce and ginger.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and remove the foil. Brush half of the maple syrup mixture on the squash slices. Season with the salt and pepper. Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and turn the squash slices over. Brush them with the remaining maple syrup mixture. Return to the oven and bake until browned and tender when pierced with a knife, 5 to 10 minutes more.

Transfer the squash slices to a warmed serving dish and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Healthful Cooking, by Mary Abbott Hess, Dana Jacobi & Marie Simmons (Oxmoor House, 2003).