Acorn squash is easy to spot, with its dark green skin and acorn shape. This hard winter squash provides sweet, soft, orange flesh that's ideal for sautéeing, mashing or using in place of sweet potatoes or other starchy vegetables. No need to be intimidated—it can actually be quickly cooked in the microwave.
Acorn squash comes in a range of sizes, from one to three pounds. The larger the squash, the longer it takes to cook in a microwave. Choose firm acorn squashes that are a black-green with some patches of yellow-gold. Yellow, gold or orange squashes are more mature than black-green ones.
How to Microwave Acorn Squash
In a pinch, microwaving acorn squash is an alternative to oven roasting. You'll miss out on the caramelized flavor that comes from roasting, but microwaving is much faster. You can always season the squash with salt, pepper and butter or olive oil to add some flavor.
Cut squash in half and discard the seeds. Place each half cut side down on a microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 6 to 8 minutes, or until tender. Flip the halves over and season the flesh. Leave the halves cut side up, cover, and microwave on high for 1 to 3 more minutes.
Mashed Acorn Squash
Microwaving acorn squash is ideal for making mashed squash recipes. The ridges of the squash can make it difficult to peel, but microwaving makes it a lot easier to do that in order to whip up a smooth mash.
To make mashed acorn squash, scoop out the cooked flesh and transfer to a large bowl. Mash the squash with the back of a fork or potato masher. Season with butter, salt, cinnamon and sugar for a classic dish.