Crock Pot Acorn Squash

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Looking for a delicious and easy side dish? Try our crock pot acorn squash recipe! This savory dish is made with tender roasted acorn squash, a drizzle of olive oil, garlic powder, and dried dill.

Just stick the recipe in your slow cooker, set it, and before you know it you will have a tasty and healthy veggie that is a great complement to any meal.

A white bowl on a grey slab background with seasoned acorn squash cut into quarters. With the words in green and white writing "Crock Pot Acorn Squash" | Crock Pot Acorn Squash | The Radiant Root

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Finding new ways to prepare your veggies is a great way to keep you from getting tired of the same food. One vegetable that is very versatile is acorn squash.

That is because the taste will change depending on what spices you pair it with. Some of my best acorn squash recipes are those that came out of recipe experimentation, however, I know that you don’t have time to mess around in the kitchen.

So I have come up with a tasty and easy recipe that will go great with your dinner menu that does not require oven cooking.

While oven-baked acorn squash is great sometimes you don’t have time to slave over the oven. That is why I have created this hands-off slow cooker recipe to save you time in the kitchen

Read on to learn how to make my acorn squash crockpot recipe.

Why you’ll love this recipe

What makes this acorn squash recipe special is the following:

  • Ease
  • Convenience
  • Flavor
  • Nutritious

This slow-cooker acorn squash recipe is so easy to make. It needs just four ingredients and requires no hands-on cooking. So instead of making it in the oven, you will set it and forget it in the crock pot!

The convenience of this recipe will save you so much time in the kitchen. Crockpot recipes are so convenient because you can set them and go about your day while your meal cooks. They simplify the process of cooking vegetables like acorn squash.

It also makes them great for batch cooking and meal planning. So you can even cook acorn squash in the crockpot the day before and reheat it when you’re ready to eat.

Another thing I love about slow cooker recipes is they make food so yummy. And this is definitely the case with this winter veggie. The crockpot creates a tender squash. It also enhances the flavor pairings of savory spices with the naturally sweet, nutty flavor of acorn squash.

Eating vegetables is important for health and this recipe is an easy way to incorporate more of these types of food into the diet. Acorn squash is high in essential minerals like vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber. See more nutritional benefits of this veggie in the Acorn Squash Nutritional Information section below.

What is acorn squash?

Acorn squash is a dark green winter squash. It is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family which also includes other veggies pumpkins, zucchini, and cucumbers. It will sometimes have a bit of orange or yellow on its hard outer skin.

This veggie has a distinctive shape. It has a flattened top and a tapered bottom that is slightly curved. It is also ribbed like an acorn. Hence why it’s called an acorn squash.

The inside of an acorn squash is orange-yellow and contains a stringy membrane filled with seeds. Acorn squash seeds are edible. They can be roasted and eaten like pumpkin seeds.

An acorn squash size can run from small to medium. It typically weighs between 1 and 3 pounds but can also get as heavy as 5 pounds. If you’re wondering, “can you eat acorn squash skin?” The answer is yes you can eat acorn squash skin. It is thin and tender and will get softer once it’s cooked. However, typically it’s not eaten due to its tough and woody texture. I

f you do want to eat the skin be sure to thoroughly wash the squash. Since it’s a root vegetable it can have a lot of dirt. So you want to scrub it with a vegetable brush*.

Eating the skin can also add retain moisture, flavor, nutrients, and texture. If you would like a smoother squash or just can’t stomach the skin you can eat around it or easily peel it off after cooking.

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How to tell if acorn squash is ripe

Acorn squash is a veggie that can be found in the produce department from the early fall until late winter.

The nice thing about acorn squash is it’s a vegetable that tends to last a little longer. This is great if you are someone who buys veggies but may not cook them right away.

The degree of acorn squash ripeness can be determined by the following:

  • Color Skin firmness and weight
  • Stem
  • Checking the bottom color and firmness

Ripe acorn squash is dark green. A hint of yellow or orange could mean it’s overly ripe. So if you’re not going to use the squash right away look for another squash that is one solid color.

An acorn squash that is ripe should feel heavy. It should not be too soft. Press the skin with your finger. If it gives way easily then it could be overripe.

The stem on the acorn squash should be dry and corky. If it is green and pliable it’s not ripe yet.

Look at the bottom of the squash. If you have a hard and green bottom it is not ready to be eaten. If there is slightly soft skin that is yellowish in color then it’s ready and ripe.

What does acorn squash taste like?

Acorn squash has a mild, slightly sweet, and nutty flavor. Its flesh is tender and smooth, and it has a slightly fibrous woody texture, similar to a pumpkin or butternut squash.

Cooking softens the flesh making it creamy similar to the texture of a cooked sweet potato. This also carmelizes the natural sugars in the squash. As a result, it will become sweeter.

The type of spices used can also enhance the flavor. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice will enhance the sweetness while spices like garlic and dill make a savory and aromatic dish that will warm you up during the cold season.

This recipe pairs acorn squash with garlic, olive oil, and dill for a delicious and flavorful combination. Each ingredient enhances the flavor of the acorn squash.

When cooked together the garlic powder and dried dill will coat the squash. This will create a savory and slightly bitter taste that complements the sweetness while also adding a rich and herby taste.

The olive oil will also bring out the natural sweetness of the squash adding another layer of flavor. The mixture of acorn squash, garlic powder, olive oil, and dried dill will create a tasty and aromatic flavor side dish.

Acorn squash nutritional information

There is a lot of nutrition you can get from this yummy squash. This vegetable provides a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. According to the acorn squash nutrition facts cup (205 grams) provides the following:

  • Calories: 115
  • Carbohydrates: 30 grams
  • Fiber: 9 grams
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Fat: 0.3 grams

Looking at the acorn squash calories you can see it is a low-calorie food. However, there are a good amount of carbs in acorn squash per serving.

The amount of acorn squash carbs is also something to consider if you were wondering, “is acorn squash keto?”

Thanks to the high amount of fiber in squash most of the carbs in this food are complex. This means that could be considered a low-carb food. While it is not a zero-net-carb food acorn squash is a low-net-carb food. This means it can be incorporated into a keto diet in moderation when consumed with fat and protein foods.

Other important acorn squash nutrients include essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This food is a very good source of potassium, and vitamins A and C. It is also a good source of vitamin E, thiamin (B1), B6, folate, magnesium, manganese, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.

This food has been associated with improvements in inflammation, eye health, digestion, immunity, bone health, muscle function, and blood pressure. These potential acorn squash benefits may come from the nutrients found in this food.

So if you were wondering, “Is acorn squash good for you?” the answer is yes!

**Please note that the nutrition information for this recipe will be different from that of acorn squash alone.

How to prepare acorn squash

Acorn squash can be roasted, baked, mashed, or steamed and is often used in soups, stews, casseroles, and as a side dish to your favorite protein. The steps on how to fix acorn squash include

  • Washing
  • Drying
  • Cutting
  • Cooking

Clean the squash

Cleaning includes washing off all the debris and scrubbing the squash with a vegetable brush.

Dry the squash

Pat it dry and then move on to cutting.

Cut the squash

Due to its thick skin, cutting acorn squash can be somewhat difficult. Having a very sturdy knife* and cutting board* can help. Here are the steps on how to cut acorn squash.

First, slice the acorn squash in half lengthways so you have two halves. Use a rocking or sawing motion to get through the tough peel.

Be sure to keep your fingers and thumbs away from the blade. I like to grip the squash by folding my fingers over so my knuckles are sticking out. This will prevent an injury. Alternatively, you can also get a cutting glove* to protect your hands while cutting.

Once the squash is cut open you should see the inside membrane and seeds. I like to use a pairing knife* to cut around the inside so the membrane and seeds detach from the squash.

Then I use a spoon to scoop out all the seeds and stringy insides so there is nothing left but the inner flesh.

Since we are cooking the squash halves whole you can move on to the next step in preparing an acorn squash.

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Do you peel acorn squash?

If you’re wondering, “Do you need to peel acorn squash?” It’s really up to you. As we talked about above acorn squash’s peel is edible but it can be quite tough to eat.

Some prefer to remove the peel before cooking for a more tender squash. Peeling and acorn squash are optional. I skipped this step because I like the way acorn squash tastes when cooked with the skin on.

However, if you want to cook it without the skin, here are details on how to peel acorn squash.

Using a sharp butcher knife first cut off the step and the bottom of the acorn squash. This will help it stand upright on a flat surface.

Then cut the squash in half lengthwise so you have two halves. Next, using a paring knife cut the inner membrane and seeds away from the inner flesh of the squash. Once the membrane is detached you can scoop it out with a spoon.

Take one-half of the squash and place it on a cutting board* with the flat side down. Using a vegetable peeler* slowly peel away the acorn squash peel from the top of the squash downwards toward the bottom. Repeat on the other half of the squash.

Once both halves are peeled you can move on to the next step of preparing a squash: seasoning.

If you don’t feel like removing the acorn squash peel prior to cooking don’t worry about it. You can just cook it with the skin on. So skip this step and move on to seasoning the squash.

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Season the squash

Another step in how to prep acorn squash is seasoning. Once the squash is washed, dry, and cut you want to season it with your favorite spices. Then move on to cooking it.

Cooking acorn squash

Some ways to cook acorn squash include steaming, boiling, microwaving, roasting, and baking.

Personally, I think the best way to cook acorn squash is by slow-cooking it in the crock pot. This will give you a tender and concentrated flavored dish similar to what you would get when you make acorn squash baked but without the headache of having to watch the stove. It will also be faster than cooking acorn squash whole.

Depending on how big your squash is will determine the size of the crock pot you will need. For smaller acorn squash you can use a 4 to 6-quart crock pot. If you can only find larger squash you may need a bigger slow cooker. Luckily these appliances* come in up to 8 quarts.

Difference between slow cooker and crock pot

In case you were wondering if there is a difference between a slow cooker and a crock pot the answer is No. The terms “slow cooker” and “crock pot” can be used interchangeably to refer to the countertop electrical cooking appliance designed to cook food at a low temperature for a long period of time.

Though the name “Crock-Pot” was a trademarked brand name for a line of slow cookers first introduced by the Rival Company in the 1970s, over time the term “crock pot” has become a generalized trademark used for any slow cooker brand.

Even though some differences between brands and models of these appliances could occur all of them use the terms “slow cooker” and “crock pot” interchangeably.

So feel free to call this handy appliance a “crock pot” or “slow cooker.”

How to use a slow cooker/crock pot

Using a slow cooker is pretty easy. Here are the steps on how to cook acorn squash in a crock pot:

  • Gather and prep your recipe ingredients
  • Place the food items in the crock pot
  • Cover with the lid
  • Set the temperature and time
  • Test for doneness
  • Turn off the crock pot to cool

Once you have your recipe and ingredients prepared and placed inside the crock pot. all you need to choose the temperature and time.

Most slow cookers have low, medium, and high settings. The low setting is 6 to 8 hours, the medium setting is cooking for 4 to 6 hours, and the high setting is cooking that lasts 2 to 4 hours.

No need to check on the food while it’s cooking. So don’t open the lid while it’s cooking. This will cause heat to escape and take longer to cook.

When the timer goes off check to see if the food is fully cooked. Look for tender and fork-soft food.

Once the food is cooked turn off the crock pot and let it cool. Your food is ready to eat. You can also soak the crock pot base in the sink with warm soapy water.

Please note that settings on crockpots vary so you may need to refer to your instruction manual for specific details on how to use your slow cooker.

Why cook acorn squash in the crock pot

Sure you can cook acorn squash in the oven but there are some advantages to crockpot cooking, especially for busy people with little time to sit and babysit a dish on the stove or in the oven.

Crock pots and slow cookers provide convenient and flavorful meals that will save you time, energy, and space.

Slow cookers and crock pots make cooking easy and convenient. You can use them in your meal planning. They offer a way to cook in advance so you can do little and enjoy the food later.

The slow cooking offered by these appliances will allow flavors to develop and blend together. This will result in tender and moist meals that are delicious and flavorful.

You have a meal ready without putting in much effort. So if you are in need of a time-saving appliance the crock pot is just what you need. You can program it so the food is ready when you are. No need to spend unwanted time in the kitchen.

This appliance is an energy saver. The low temperature allows it to cook food slowly over a longer period of time. This will use less energy than other cooking methods and potentially save you money.

A slow cooker offers more space for other things to go in the oven. If you have a big meal and have limited space in your oven using the crock pot is a great way to cook everything at once so the meal is ready at the same time.

Crock pot acorn squash ingredients

There are only four ingredients needed to make this crock pot acorn squash. They include the following:

  • Acorn squash
  • Garlic powder
  • Dried dill
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Acorn squash

Look for about a 4-inch in diameter, firm dark green squash. If you notice any orange or yellow spots on the squash that could indicate it is readily ripe. If you are not going to make the recipe right away you may want to opt for a more green squash so it does not go bad before cooking.

Garlic powder and dried dill

Garlic powder is a great spice to use when you don’t feel like peeling fresh garlic and are looking for a less pungent garlic flavor. Dill and garlic create a nice mild herbal flavor. This savory flavor pairs well with the mildly nutty sweetness of acorn squash.

Extra virgin olive oil

The addition of extra virgin olive oil merges all the flavors and gives a slight richness to the dish.

A gray slab background with the words “The Radiant Root” at the top. There are three glass bowls containing extra virgin olive oil, dried dill, garlic powder, and an acorn squash with the words saying “extra virgin olive oil,” “dried dill,” garlic powder,” and “acorn squash” next to each ingredient. | Crock Pot Acorn Squash | The Radiant Root

How to make acorn squash in the crock pot (step-by-step instructions)

Here is a step-by-step breakdown of how to make this crock pot acorn squash recipe.

1. Clean the acorn squash. Remove any debris from the skin. Use a vegetable brush if needed. Then pat it dry.

2. Using a sturdy knife and cutting board using a rocking motion cut the acorn squash in half lengthways.

Instruction 2 of 10 for the crock pot acorn squash: A grey slab background with two hands holding an acorn squash cut open showing the inside seeds and stringy membrane. says “Take a sturdy knife and cut the acorn squash in half lengthways” | Crock Pot Acorn Squash | The Radiant Root

3. Cut around the insides of each of the squash halves to detach the membrane and seeds.

Instruction 3 of 10 for the crock pot acorn squash: A grey slab background with one hand holding the acorn squash while the other is hand is cutting a circle around the center of the acorn squash to detach the seeds and membrane from the squash flesh. Says “Cut around the insides of each acorn squash half to detach the membrane and seeds.” with a pink arrow pointing to the center of the squash. | Crock Pot Acorn Squash | The Radiant Root

4. Scoop out the seeds and stringy membrane with a spoon.

Instruction 4 of 10 for the crock pot acorn squash: A grey slab background with one hand holding the acorn squash while the other hand is scooping out the seeds and membrane with a spooon. Next to it the words say “Scoop out the seeds and stringy pieces in each acorn squash half.” | Crock Pot Acorn Squash | The Radiant Root

5. Place the acorn squash halves face up in a single layer in the crock pot.

Instruction 5 of 10 for the crock pot acorn squash: A grey slab background with a black crock pot containg two acorn squash halves in it. In the top left corner words say “Place the acorn squash halves in the crock pot.” | Crock Pot Acorn Squash | The Radiant Root

6. Brush on extra virgin olive oil

Instruction 6 of 10 for the crock pot acorn squash: A grey slab background with a black crock pot containing two acorn squash halves in it. One hand is brushing olive oil on an acorn squash and the other is holding a small glass dish of olive oil. There are the words “brush on olive oil.” in the upper left hand corner. | Crock Pot Acorn Squash | The Radiant Root

7. Sprinkle on garlic powder

Instruction 7 of 10 for the crock pot acorn squash: A grey slab background with a black crock pot containing two acorn squash halves in it with olive oil and topped with garlic powder. In the middle it reads “sprinkle on garlic powder.” | Crock Pot Acorn Squash | The Radiant Root

8. Top with dried dill.

Instruction 8 of 10 for the crock pot acorn squash: A grey slab background with a black crock pot containing two acorn squash halves in it that are seasoned with olive oil, galic powder, and dried dill. In the middle it reads “top with dill.” | Crock Pot Acorn Squash | The Radiant Root

9. Cover and set the crockpot to cook on high for 3 hours. Alternatively, if you want to do a longer cook you can set the crock pot for 6 to 7 hours on low.

Instruction 9 of 10 for the crock pot acorn squash: A covered crockpot with a glass lid shows two cooked acorn squash halves seasoned with olive oil, garlic powder, and dill. The words in the upper left corner reasd “Set the crock pod on high for 3 hours.” | Crock Pot Acorn Squash | The Radiant Root

10. Let cool, cut the acorn squash halves into quarters, and enjoy!

Instruction 10 of 10 for the crock pot acorn squash: Shows a white bowl on a grey slab background with an seasoned acorn squash cut into quarters. It reads “Let cool, cut the acorn squash halves into quarters, and enjoy.” | Crock Pot Acorn Squash | The Radiant Root

Tips & Tricks for great acorn squash slow cooker

Here are some tips and tricks that make your crock pot acorn squash recipe a great side for your next meal.

Have a crockpot or slow cooker

To make this and any other crock pot acorn squash recipes you will need a crock pot or slow cooker appliance. I have two crock pots. A Hamilton Beach 6-quart crock pot* and a small Crockpot brand 4-quart Digital Slow Cooker. For this recipe, I used the smaller crock pot.

I’ve had both of these for a few years and have gotten a lot of great use out of them. Don’t have a slow cooker? No problem! you can find a slow cooker crock pot with good ratings on Amazon*.

*Some of these links are affiliate links, this means when you sign up or purchase from these links we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more in our disclosure statement.

Get a good quality squash

Look for a ripe acorn squash. A good squash is one that is

  • Firm
  • Heavier in weight relative to its size
  • Dull, dark green skin

Avoid squashes that have soft spots, cracks, or blemishes. If you know you’re not going to use the squash right away get one that is not as ripe.

Be careful when cutting the squash

Use a sturdy large knife* to cut the acorn squash. Take care while cutting the squash. Hold it with the hand not holding the knife. Grip the squash with your fingers, tuck in your thumb, and let your knuckles hang over your fingers. This will prevent you from cutting yourself.

If you want to be extra safe you can also wear a cutting glove* to protect your hand while preparing the squash.

Make sure your squash fits into the crockpot

The last thing you want is for your squash not to fit in your crock pot. So be sure to measure the size of it before buying your squash. For this recipe, I used about a 4-inch diameter squash in a 4-quart crock pot. 

Be sure the squash halves can lay flat in a singer layer of the crock pot without any crowding.

Don’t overcook your squash

Overcooking will make your squash mushy. In this recipe, I found that cooking it for 3 hours on high worked just right for a fork-tender, tasty squash. 

Please also be aware that the acorn squash cook time may vary depending on the model and type of crock pot or slow cooker. It may also depend on the size of your squash. If you have a larger crock pot and a larger squash cooking times could be longer.

You might want to start with an hour or 2 on high and see how it is at that point. 

If you want to do a long slow cooker acorn squash instead, you can set your crock pot for 6 hours on low. Once that time has passed check to see how the squash is doing at that point. If it still needs to cook put it on for another 30 minutes to an hour.

Once it’s done you can keep it warm until you’re ready to eat it. Turn the slow cooker off after you take out the squash.

Make clean-up easy with these tips

Though using the crock pot is easy and time-saving, this crockpot acorn squash recipe will still leave you with a mess to clean up. Here are some tips to make your cleanup easy as well. 

  • Parchment paper
  • Grease the pan
  • Soak it overnight
  • Use a pan scraper
  • Put it in the dishwasher

Some people will use parchment paper or slow cooker liners. I’ve never used these in the crockpot but they have been noted as making cleaning a breeze.

Coat the pan with olive oil or other non-stick cooking oil. This cooking sprayer* makes greasing your crock pot super easy.

Soak it and forget it. If you don’t feel the need to clean up immediately you can soak your pot overnight to get it clean. Fill it with warm soapy water and let science do its work. This will loosen any food stuck in the pot. 

For this recipe, I did not use any liners but I find that clean-up can be just as easy using a pan scraper.* These kitchen tools are made to safely clean pots and work great!

Some slow cookers have parts that can go in the dishwasher. This is the best method for easy cleanup.

Additions, substitutions, and variations of the recipe

If you like to make any additions, substitutions, or variations to this acorn squash slow cooker recipe here’s the section on how to do that.

Recipe additions

If you are looking to make this a little sweeter you can top it off with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup. 

Alternatively, brown sugar acorn squash is also a popular dish. This adds two tablespoons brown sugar making it an even sweeter acorn squash. Be sure to add these as the last seasoning before you start cooking.

A sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg can also add sweetness without any added sugar. Fresh and dried fruit is another way to flavor the dish without additional sweetener. One idea would be to make slow cooker acorn squash with apples, raisins, or pears. Peel and chop half of the fruit into pieces. Then place them into the squash halves and cook. 

For the raisins use one tablespoon and distribute them evenly across both squash halves. Then cook.

If you like a fully stuffed acorn squash you can top the fruit with some chopped nuts, onions, chopped sausage, and/or cooked bacon.

Please note that these additional ingredients will affect the nutritional status of the recipe. It may also affect how long to cook acorn squash. 

You also want to check to see how well done the squash is after the 3 hours with these additional ingredients. You may need to alter the cooking time.

Substitutions

To make an easy and time-saving recipe I used dried spices. Feel free to use fresh garlic and dill instead. These types of spices may create a different flavor pallet since these fresh spices are more pungent, sweet, and tangy than their dried counterpart.

In place of dill and garlic, you can also use dried oregano and garlic powder or lemon zest and dried thyme. These spices will also create savory acorn squash recipes.

If you cannot find acorn squash you can in the store you can make a butternut squash slow cooker or carnival squash recipe.

Using a smaller butternut squash can be a substitute in this recipe. A butternut squash is a tan or beige-ish color squash with a long bell shape. The bottom has a bulb on the bottom connecting to a narrower cylindrical neck. 

A carnival squash can also be used in place of acorn squash. It looks like an acorn squash but it has yellow, green, and orange striped skin. 

The change in these ingredients will change the nutritional information.

Variations

This section outlines ingredient variations as well as whether or not you can substitute an instant pot for a crock pot in this recipe.

Ingredient variations

I used olive oil in this recipe because I am dairy-free and try to avoid butter. However, feel free to use a tablespoon of melted regular or vegan butter in place of the oil in this recipe.

Some recipes will call for a quarter or half cup of water. I did not use this ingredient and still had great results. If you want to steam your squash feel free to add a little water to the bottom of the pan but otherwise, it could cause your squash to get too mushy so you may want to forgo this ingredient.

After cooking acorn squash I like to eat the flesh right out of the skin. That is why I did not peel the squash before I put it in the crock pot. If you prefer to peel the squash before you cook it. Refer to the “Do You Peel Acorn Squash?” section above for tips on how to peel the skin on your squash.

There could be variations in the cooking times for this recipe. It all depends on the make and model of your slow cooker/crock pot. I would say try for the time outlined in the recipe below. If it is still not cooked heat for another 30 minutes to an hour until it the squash is soft to the touch.

How to use instant pot as slow cooker

Ideally, you figure that acorn squash in the crock pot will not have the same results as cooking in the instant pot. So if you were to use this appliance it would turn your crock pot acorn squash recipe into an acorn squash instant pot recipe.

However, instant pots do have a slow cooker setting. So this begs the question, “Would the instant pot slow cooker setting cook the squash just like in the regular slow cooker?”

Possibly. Here are the deets on how to use an instant pot as a slow cooker and the results you may get.

If you want to turn your instant pot acorn squash into slow cooker acorn squash look for the “slow cook” function on your instant pot. This allows you to cook food at a low temperature for a longer time.

So to turn your instant pot into a crock pot you want to click the “slow cook” function and set it to your desired cooking time.

It is also important to consider a few differences between the two appliances.

An instant pot may not have all the features of a crock pot like warming. Also, a crock pot is often made of ceramic while the instant pot is made of steel. The size and shape of an instant pot are different from a regular slow cooker.

The sealed lid could trap more moisture and leave more liquid in the finished dish. This could be problematic for this particular recipe.

All of these differences may affect how the food comes out as well.

If you only have an instant pot then feel free to use that in this recipe. I suggest if you have a crock pot please use that appliance for this recipe instead.

What to serve the recipe with

This crock pot acorn squash recipe features olive oil, garlic powder, dill, and of course, acorn squash. This food can be served as a side with a lot of different main dishes. Here are some ideas: chicken, grilled fish, quinoa, sauteed greens, soup, and/or salad.

One pairing is grilled or roasted chicken with acorn squash. This protein pairs wonderfully with the sweetness of the acorn squash. If you want to get more flavor you can also top the chicken with more dill. Also, if you want to save even more time you can even throw in some pieces of chicken around the squash and turn this recipe into an acorn squash slow cooker chicken.

Grilled fish is another tasty protein that goes well with acorn squash. Making a lemony tilapia can bring a bright and acidic note to the meal. It can also balance out the earthy flavors of the acorn squash recipe.

If you want a plant-based protein you can use quinoa. The nutty flavor of quinoa will complement the flavors of acorn squash.

Sauteed greens are another way to add texture as well as an additional dose of vitamins and minerals to your dish. Kale, spinach, and Swiss chard are some good options to add

This acorn squash recipe will also make a great side with a hearty soup or salad.

How to store acorn squash

If you wind up with leftovers here is information on how long this recipe will last. It will also give you instructions on how to store this and other slow cooker squash recipes to keep them fresh for when you’re ready to eat the squash.

How long does acorn squash last

Fresh uncut acorn squash will last longer than if it was cooked. So this cooked squash when properly stored will last from a few days up to a few months.

Storing acorn squash in the fridge

Before putting leftovers in the fridge, make sure the squash is cooled down to room temperature or within 2 hours of cooking. Take any remaining squash and place it in an airtight container.

It will stay fresh in the fridge for between 4 and 7 days.

Can you freeze acorn squash?

Before freezing acorn squash, allow it to cool down to room temperature. Then place the remaining squash in a freezer-safe container. Seal it and then label the container with the date and contents if possible. Put the acorn squash leftovers in the freezer.

Acorn squash will be good in the freezer for up to 8 to 10 months.

Can you freeze acorn squash?

Before freezing acorn squash, allow it to cool down to room temperature. Then place the remaining squash in a freezer-safe container. Seal it and then label the container with the date and contents if possible. Put the acorn squash leftovers in the freezer.

Acorn squash will be good in the freezer for up to 8 to 10 months.

Refrigerating and freezing acorn squash will prolong freshness. Ideally, you want to eat the leftovers within a few weeks to get the best quality and flavor.

How to reheat the crock pot acorn squash

Here are instructions on how to reheat and other winter squash slow cooker recipes. If you have your leftovers in the freezer put them in the fridge to thaw overnight. If you have them in the fridge you can take them out right away and reheat them.

Once your leftovers are ready you can heat them up in the oven, microwave, air fryer, and on the stovetop.

One reheating option is to bake acorn squash in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the acorn squash on a baking sheet and cook for 20 to 25 minutes. Cooking times may vary depending on the size of the squash. So check it for doneness after 10 minutes of reheating.

You can also heat up the acorn squash in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes or until warm.

The air fryer can help you heat up acorn squash in a short time. Place the leftover squash in the air fryer basket. Cook it at 375°F for about 5 to 7 minutes. Or until warmed and slightly browned. Since all air fryers are different the cooking times may vary. Check for doneness after 5 minutes.

Using the stovetop reheat method first cut up the acorn squash halves into pieces. Then place squash pieces and a small amount of olive oil in a skillet. Stirring occasionally, cook on medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until heated through.

Common and FAQs

What does an acorn squash look like?

The acorn squash is a distinct-looking vegetable. It is a small round squash with hard ribbed skin. It is usually 4 to 8 inches in length and 2 to 4 inches in diameter. Its skin is blackish-dark green. Sometimes acorn squash will have golden or orange stripes indicating its ripeness.

Can you eat the skin of baked acorn squash?

Yes, you can eat the skin of baked acorn squash. Roasting and baking acorn squash in the oven softens the skin and makes it tender and edible. It also contains fiber and nutrients.

Sometimes the skin is removed prior to eating because cooking causes a tough and chewy texture that people don’t like the taste of.

Do you remove the skin from an acorn squash before cooking?

Removing the skin from an acorn squash before cooking is a personal preference. The skin is edible but can be tough and chewy may want to remove it before cooking.

You may also want to get rid of the skin if you are boiling or steaming the squash.

How do I peel an acorn squash?

If you want to remove the skin before cooking the squash here is what you do. First cut the bottom of the squash off. Then using a sturdy large knife cut the squash in half. Turn it over so it is face-side down.

Then use a vegetable peeler to take off the acorn squash skin of one squash half. Then scoop out the seeds and membranes, cut, and cook the squash as desired.

How do I cook acorn squash?

There are a number of ways to cook acorn squash. They include roasting, baking boiling, and microwaving.

Can you cook acorn squash in a crock pot?

Yes, the crock pot is a great way to save time cooking an acorn squash.

Can you keep squash warm in a crock pot?

Yes, you can keep squash warm in a crock pot. Once it’s done cooking you can then put it on the warm setting until it’s ready to be eaten.

How can you tell if an acorn squash has gone bad?

A few ways to tell if acorn squash has gone bad include the following: 

– Visible signs of decay
– Odor
– Soft skin
– The quality of the stem

Mold, wrinkles, soft spots, and/or shriveled skin can indicate the squash has gone bad. 

If the acorn squash smells sour or unpleasant it is a sign it’s starting to spoil. 

Touching the acorn squash will tell you if it has gone bad. If you feel mushy or soft skin it could be starting to rot.

The stem can also tell you if the squash is going bad. Has it separated from the squash? Is it moldy or discolored? That will tell you it is no longer fresh. 

If your squash has any of these issues it could indicate it’s going bad and you should throw it away.

How long to cook acorn squash in crock pot?

The time that it takes to cook acorn squash in the crock pot varies by the size of the acorn squash and the temperature setting on the crock pot. A fully cooked squash will take about 6 to 8 hours on low or 3 to 4 hours on the high setting.

Please note that cooking temperatures will also vary depending on the make and model of the slow cooker appliance. So check the squash for tenderness and adjust the cooking time when needed.

How do you know when the acorn squash is finished cooking?

The way to tell if your acorn squash is done cooking is by how it feels, its color, and its texture. Use a fork or knife to check for tenderness once it’s finished cooking. When the acorn squash is soft it is most likely cooked.

If the squash flesh and/or skin are still firm or hard it will need to cook some more. If it still feels firm or hard, it needs more time to cook.

The color and texture are additional indications that the acorn squash is fully cooked. If the squash has a deep orange color and a tender texture it is ready to be eaten.

Exact cooking times will vary depending on the squash and cooking method. If you find your squash is not cooked enough try cooking it for another interval of time until it’s ready to be eaten.

Other Acorn Squash Recipes You Will Love

Equipment used in this recipe*

Here is a list of equipment or similar items used in this crock pot acorn squash recipe.

*Some of these links are affiliate links, this means when you sign up or purchase from these links we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more in our disclosure statement.

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Crock Pot Acorn Squash

Try our delicious crock pot acorn squash recipe for a healthy and easy dinner. With just a few ingredients, this dish is perfect for busy weeknights. Just set it and forget it!
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, Snack, vegetable
Cuisine AIP, dairy-free, night shade free, no added sugar, nut-free, paleo
Keyword AIP, crockpot, dairy-free, gluten-free, low carb, no added sugar, nut free, paleo, vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Servings 8 ⅛ of the acorn squash
Calories* 119kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 4-inch in diameter acorn squash
  • 2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp Dried dill weed

Instructions

  • Clean the acorn squash. Wash off any debris and scrub with a vegetable brush if needed. Then pat dry.
  • Cut the acorn squash in half lengthways.
  • Using a paring knife cut out the inner seeds and stringy membrane.
  • Scoop out the seeds and membranes with a spoon.
  • Place squash halves face up in the crockpot.
  • Brush the acorn squash halves with extra virgin olive oil.
  • Top with garlic powder.
  • Sprinkle with dried dill.
  • Cover and set the crockpot to cook on high for 3 hours (about 6 hours on low).
  • Let cool, cut the acorn squash halves into quarters, and enjoy.

Video

Notes

See below for notes on making, storing, and reheating this crock pot acorn squash recipe.

Tips for making Acorn squash in the crock pot

 
Some tips to make this recipe great include the following: 
 
  • Use a crockpot
  • Find a ripe acorn squash
  • Make sure your squash will fit into your crock
  • Be careful cutting your squash
  • Don’t overcook your squash
  • Use these tips for clean-up
 
Having a crockpot. I used a small 4-quart Crockpot brand digital slow cooker*. If you don’t have a slow cooker you can find one with good ratings on Amazon*. 
Ripe acorn squash is dark green. It is also firm without any soft spots or cracks, and/or blemishes. This type of squash will also be heavier in weight for its size. If you do notice a color of orange or yellow this will indicate it is ripe but needs to be used sooner than the squash that is completely green.
When cutting your acorn squash in half use a large sturdy knife*. Hold it with your fingers and thumb tucked inside while your knuckles are hanging over. You can also wear a cutting glove* to prevent injury.
Measure your crock pot before you purchase your acorn squash so the halves can fit easily in a single layer inside your crock pot. 
To prevent a mushy acorn squash try not to overcook the squash. In this recipe cooking on high for 3 hours worked to get a soft squash. The times may vary depending on the slow cooker used.
Check to see how well cooked it is after that time. Cook for another 30 minutes to an hour depending on the doneness of the squash.
Ways to make clean-up easy include the following: greasing the pot, using parchment paper, or crock pot liners. You can also just let the pot crock ceramic pot sit in warm soapy water overnight. A pan scraper* can also make clean-up easy.
 

Additions, substitutions, and variations

 
Here are some additions, substitutions, and variations for this crock pot acorn squash recipe. 
Things you can add to this recipe 
 
If you feel like you need a sweeter acorn squash you can add a drizzle of honey or maple syrup. Brown sugar is another sweetener that is used. A tablespoon or two added before cooking will work if you want to sweeten this recipe. 
A sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg. A half piece of hand fruit like apples, pears, or a tablespoon of raisins can sweeten this dish without any added sugar.
If you want a crockpot stuffed acorn squash you top the seasonings with fruit, nuts, onions, sausage, and/or cooked bacon. 
 
Substitutions for this recipe 
 
Can’t find acorn squash? Use butternut squash or carnival squash instead.
Fresh garlic and dill can also be substituted but these will create a more pungent flavor. 
If you don’t have dill and garlic powder you can also use lemon zest and dried thyme or dried oregano and onion powder to make a savory dish.
If you don’t want to use olive oil you can use a tablespoon of butter instead. 
What makes these acorn squash crock pot recipes healthy is the acorn squash. So please know that all additions and changes in ingredients will alter the nutritional information. 
These changes may also affect the cooking time. See how well done everything is after the 3 hours and cook more if needed.
Only have an instant pot and no crock pot? An instant pot may be substituted by putting it on the “slow cook” setting.
Alternatively, there could not be the same cooking results since this appliance is a different material and shape than a crock pot. So use this with caution since you could get different results.
Variations for this recipe 
 
I did not peel my acorn squash but if you want to peel your squash, refer to the “Do you reel acorn squash?” section on how to remove the skin.
Cooking times may vary depending on the actual slow cooker used. Follow the recipe and if it’s not cooked by the end of 3 hours you can heat it again for another 30 minutes until it is fork tender.
 

How to store and reheat this recipe

 
If you wind up having any leftovers they can be stored and reheated to be enjoyed later. 
Cooked acorn squash should be cooled to room temperature. Then place it in a sealable container and put it in the fridge for 4 to 7 days. 
If you know you are not going to eat your squash in the next few days you want to store it in the freezer. Place your remaining squash in a freezer-safe container and keep it in the freezer for 8 to 10 months.
Reheating acorn squash can be done in the
 
  • Oven
  • Microwave
  • Air fryer
  • Stovetop
 
Reheat in the oven by cooking it at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes. Check the squash after 20 minutes to see if it is warm enough.
The squash can be reheated in the microwave after 1 to 2 minutes.
The air fryer can also be used to reheat the squash. Set it at 375°F and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.
Crock pot acorn squash can be warmed up in a skillet on medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

Nutritional information

*Nutritional information is estimated using Nutrifox nutrition label maker*
 

*Disclaimer: Some of these links are affiliate links, this means when you sign up or purchase from these links we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. The Radiant Root is also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Learn more in our disclosure statement.

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