Although Thanksgiving is right around the corner, I couldn’t help myself and made one of my favorite holiday treats a few weeks early. This recipe is one I’m pretty sure everyone has their own take on. I grew up with this dish and over the years have expanded upon the classic butter and brown sugar we all know and love.
This time around I thought it would be fun to try out a carnival squash. I learned later that they have a much thicker skin and are harder to cut through, but once cooked it tastes similar to a combination of butternut squash and sweet potato, which in my eyes is totally worth the extra time spent chopping.
I also added dried cranberries for texture and chopped pecans to offset the sweetness. Once baked I topped each squash off with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg. Feel free to swap out the toppings with what you enjoy!
2 tablespoons butter, plus more for surface
2 medium acorn or carnival squash (about 1 1/2 pounds each)
2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Dash of cinnamon & nutmeg
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut the squash in half, lengthwise, and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds in the center of each half. Slice a small piece off the bottom of each squash half just enough to level. Place each half in a baking pan, cut side down. Add about a 1/4 inch of water to the bottom of the baking pan so that the squash doesn’t get dried out. Cover with tin foil and place in the oven for 25 minutes.
Remove squash and water from the pan. Turn squash over, cut side up. Divide 2 tablespoons butter and sugar and 1/4 cup cranberries and pecans among halves; season with salt and pepper. Continue to bake until squash is very soft, 25 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle tops with cinnamon and nutmeg and serve warm. Enjoy!