Valley Fig Growers

Quick Roasted Acorn Squash with Brown Sugar

Serves 4
  1. Sprinkle the squash halves with salt and place the halves cut side down in a 13 by 9-inch microwave-safe baking dish or arrange the halves in a large (about 4-quart) microwave-safe bowl so that the cut sides face out. If using Pyrex, add 1/4 cup water to the dish or bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, using multiple sheets, if necessary; with a paring knife, poke about 4 steam vents in the wrap. Microwave on high power until the squash is very tender and offers no resistance when pierced with a paring knife, 15 to 25 minutes. Using potholders, remove the baking dish or bowl from the oven and set on a clean, dry surface (avoid damp or cold surfaces).
  2. While the squash is cooking, adjust an oven rack to the uppermost position (about 6 inches from the heating element); heat the broiler. On the stovetop, melt the butter, brown sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a small saucepan over low heat, whisking occasionally, until combined.
  3. When the squash is cooked, carefully pull back the plastic wrap from the side farthest from you. Using tongs, transfer the cooked squash cut side up to a rimmed baking sheet. Spoon a portion of the butter-sugar mixture onto each squash half. Broil until brown and caramelized, 5 to 8 minutes, rotating the baking sheet as necessary and removing the squash halves as they are done. Set the squash halves on individual plates and serve immediately.


Quick Roasted Acorn Squash with Rosemary–Dried Fig Compote. This slightly more involved variation is perfect for company.

  1. Follow the recipe for Quick Roasted Acorn Squash with Brown Sugar, omitting the brown sugar–butter mixture. While the squash is cooking, combine 1 cup orange juice, 4 Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Mission Figs, chopped medium (scant 1/2 cup), 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary, 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a small saucepan. Simmer rapidly over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until syrupy and the liquid is reduced to about 3 tablespoons, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter.
  2. Continue with the recipe to fill and broil the squash halves, substituting the fig compote for the brown sugar–butter mixture.

NOTES: This half-and-half method relies on the microwave oven and broiler and was developed using acorn squash. Squash smaller than 1½ pounds will likely cook a little faster than the recipe indicates, so begin checking for doneness a few minutes early. Likewise, larger squash will take slightly longer to cook. However, keep in mind that the cooking time is largely dependent on the microwave. If microwaving the squash in Pyrex, the manufacturer recommends adding water to the dish (or bowl) prior to cooking. To avoid a steam burn when uncovering the cooked squash, peel back the plastic wrap very carefully, starting from the side that is farthest away from you.

America's Test Kitchen Logo
Recipe source: America’s Test Kitchen. Valley Fig is a proud sponsor of the America’s Test Kitchen.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!

Nutrition Information

amount per serving

  • Calories 219
  • % Calories from Fat 36%
  • Fat 9
  • Cholesterol 23
  • Protein 2
  • Carbohydrates 37
  • Fiber 4
  • Iron 2
  • Sodium 87
  • Calcium 97
  • Potassium 914