How to Steam an Acorn Squash

by Suzanne S. Wiley

Acorn squash seeds are edible.

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Acorn squash is one of the simpler foods to steam. Its only disadvantage is that it takes more than a few minutes. As a bonus, the seeds are edible, too. Chop the squash into pieces and begin steaming it before you prepare the rest of your meal. By the time you’re done, the squash should be, too.

Wash the acorn squash. Use a vegetable wash or rub the surface with a little baking soda and rinse off.

Cut the squash in half and clean out the seedy, stringy insides with a spoon.

Divide the squash halves again at least once so you have quarters. Cut them into smaller sections if you prefer.

Remove the skin before steaming if you want, though the University of Maine says the skin will come off easily after you’ve finished steaming the squash.

Unfold a steamer tray and place it inside a pot. Add water to the pot to just below the steamer. Place the squash on the steamer.

Start the stove and let the water start boiling. Once it does, reduce the heat so the water is still rolling but not at full force -- the University of Maine says medium-low heat should work -- and cover the pot. Let the squash cook for at least 25 minutes, though it may take up to 40 minutes before it’s as soft as you want.


  • Save those seeds you’ve removed from the squash. The University of California Nutrition Education Program suggests roasting acorn squash seeds almost like you would pumpkin seeds. Wash off any remaining flesh and let the seeds sit out for a while to dry. After that, roast the seeds with a little oil on a baking pan at 300 degrees. Watch them carefully and take them out once they start turning brown.

    Note that you might see the term “steaming” in a recipe for baking the squash. This is because some recipes call for putting some water in the pan along with the squash. The evaporating water steams the squash a little as it bakes.

Photo Credits

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About the Author

Suzanne S. Wiley is an editor and writer in Southern California. She has been editing since 1989 and began writing in 2009. Wiley received her master's degree from the University of Texas and her work appears on various websites.