Acorn squash is described as winter squash, and it belongs to the Cucurbitaceae gourd family. Watermelons, cucumber, melon, and pumpkin are also part of the Cucurbitaceae family.
To some people, acorn squash is considered a fruit. However, there are those who see it more as a starchy vegetable that can be substituted with other high-carb vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, potatoes, and butternut squash.
However you classify acorn squash, one thing is sure, it is highly nutritious and packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are also a good source of antioxidants, which reduces the risk of diseases like cancer.
All in All, this winter-type squash is a must-eat for health and nourishment. But how is an acorn squash to be eaten?
Acorn squash can be eaten raw but it is much tastier when it has been cooked. If you have time on your hands, you can bake or roast your acorn squash in the oven.
If you prefer a quick and easy method for cooking your acorn squash though, the microwave is the way to go.
Whether you are having acorn squash as a side dish or main meal, this article is a guide on cooking acorn squash in the microwave.
Ingredients for cooking acorn squash
Making a tasty acorn squash does not require a lot of ingredients. I will also point out that when it comes to cooking acorn squash you can either make it sweet or savory depending on what you like.
If you are going for sweet, you just need 4 ingredients.
- The first ingredient is acorn squash, of course. Going by the size of an acorn squash, 1 will be enough for 2 servings. If you need more than 2 servings then you will need more than 1 acorn squash.
- Water is needed for steaming the vegetable in the microwave.
- A microwave-safe dish or bowl. This is where the acorn squash will be cooked in.
- You need 1 tablespoon or 4 teaspoons of Butter (yes, you read that right). Butter gives your acorn squash a creamy taste you do not want to miss. You can use salted butter for this too.
- 1 tablespoon or 4 teaspoons of Brown Sugar. Brown sugar is preferred because it compliments acorn squash perfectly.
To improve taste, you will need:
- Salt: This depends on your tastebuds. Some like salty, while some prefer a light sprinkle. So use it according to your preference.
- Pepper: you can go with cayenne pepper or black pepper for that spicey kick.
How to cook Acorn Squash in the Microwave:
Wash your acorn squash before you cook. If you often skip this step with your fruits, never do so again. Washing your fruits and vegetables help get rid of germs that may be on the surface.
I use half a teaspoon of salt with a bowl of tap water to wash all fruits and vegetables. If you don’t want to use your hands to wash them, you can use a vegetable brush for a thorough clean.
When washing is done, use a knife and cut acorn squash into 2 equal halves. Make sure to cut lengthwise.
To make cutting easier, it is recommended that acorn squash is put in the microwave for 3 minutes max. This will allow the vegetable to soften. When it is cooled, you can then make your cut (still lengthwise).
There are seeds inside acorn squash, the seeds are not needed for this recipe, even though they are good to eat.
Yes, acorn squash seeds are good to eat. They are packed with nutritional value. So be it the seed, or its shell, they are all edible.
How long to cook Acorn squash in the microwave?
When you are done removing the seeds, place acorn squash in a microwave-safe dish or bowl. Your acorn squash should be facing downward.
Add 2 tablespoons of water into the bowl and pop it into your microwave.
Set microwave power level on high heat, and cook for 5 minutes. Leave the bowl uncovered.
When 5 minutes is over, take out the heated acorn squash and turn it facing upward. If you are going for sweet, add your brown sugar and butter to each half. If savory is your preference, add in your salt and pepper.
Return acorn squash facing upward to the microwave. And cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Use a fork to check the insides of acorn squash for tenderness and softness. If your fork cannot easily go through, cook for an additional 1 minute or 2 minutes.
The cooking time for acorn squash in the microwave is between 10-12 minutes.
When your acorn squash is heated to your satisfaction, bring it out of the microwave. Protect your hands when bringing out the bowl. Use an oven mitt or kitchen towel.
Allow squash to cool for 5 minutes before serving. You can add cinnamon, nutmeg, or honey for an added oomph!
Can you eat the skin of acorn squash?
Yes, you can eat the skin of acorn squash. When it is roasted in the oven, the skin softens up, making it edible.
Eating the skin of acorn squash can increase the nutrient density of the vegetable because the skin is rich in fiber and antioxidants.
How to store leftover Acorn squash:
Uncooked acorn squash should be put in a plastic wrap or airtight container and stored in the fridge. However, it must be consumed within 4 days.
Some people add a few drops of water into the container to prevent the squash from drying out.
When you have leftover cooked acorn squash, place it in an airtight container and refrigerate it. It should also be consumed within 4 days.
Leftover cooked acorn squash should be refrigerated within the first hour after cooking. If it is left at room temperature for an extended time, it is best to throw it out to avoid consuming harmful bacteria.
How can you tell when acorn squash has gone bad?
The rind of acorn squash is a good way to know if it is good or it has gone bad. The rind will have a ring of dark spots or patches.
The seeds will also be slimy and grey in color. Another way to know if acorn squash has gone bad is by checking the skin.
If the skin has green or black mold patches on it, then it has gone bad and should not be eaten.
Things to remember when cooking acorn squash in the microwave:
Acorn squash is a nutritional and tasty vegetable. You can use this starchy vegetable as a substitute for other high-carb vegetables like potatoes, butternut squash, and pumpkin, to mention a few.
Below are a few things to keep in mind before cooking acorn squash in the microwave:
- Acorn squash comes in two colors, there is white and dark green. But the most common is dark green.
- Acorn squash can be cooked sweet or savory.
- To cook acorn squash in the microwave cut it into 2 equal halves (lengthwise).
- Start by cooking acorn squash downward in the microwave with 2 tablespoons of water to steam it. Do this for 5 minutes.
- Add your ingredients, like brown sugar and butter, and cook for another 5 minutes.
- For storage, leftover cooked acorn squash should be placed in an airtight container and kept in the fridge. It must be consumed within 4 days.
- Cooked acorn squash that is leftover should be kept in the fridge within 1-2 hours after cooking.
- To know if your acorn squash has gone bad, check the skin for patches of mold and also check the rind for any dark spots.
So there you have it, an in-depth guide to cooking acorn squash in the microwave. Give it a try, and let’s know how you get on.
How can I cook acorn squash in the microwave?
To cook acorn squash in the microwave, cut it into halves and place them face down on a microwave-safe dish. Add some water to the dish and cover it with plastic wrap. Microwave for 10-12 minutes until perfectly tender acorn squash is achieved.
What are some easy and delicious recipes for cooking acorn squash?
There are many easy and delicious recipes for cooking acorn squash such as stuffed squash with brown sugar, maple syrup, or other sweeteners. You can also try roasting or baking the squash halves with your favorite spices to enhance their flavor.
How do I cook acorn squash without using an oven?
You can easily cook acorn squash without using an oven by microwaving it. Simply cut the squashes into halves, place them face down on a microwave-safe dish, add some water to the dish, cover it with plastic wrap, and then microwave for 10-12 minutes until they become perfectly tender.
What are some good dishes that use cooked acorn squash?
Cooked acorn squashes make great side dishes when seasoned well with spices like cinnamon or nutmeg. They also work well as stuffing ingredients in stuffed squashes along with brown sugar or maple syrup.
Where should I place my cooked acorn squash halves before serving?
Before serving your cooked acorn squashes halves as a side dish or stuffing ingredient in another recipe, you should arrange them nicely on a plate so that they look appetizing to eat.