Roasted acorn squash makes this simple, whole-grain barley salad nutritious and holiday-ready. This dish is a great way to feature fall produce!
It’s hard to believe we’re already talking holiday recipes, but here we are! We’ve already had our first snow here in Colorado, so it only felt right to roast up my first acorn squash of the season. TBH, I could not wait.
I love the crescent-moon shape of sliced acorn squash—I think it makes even a simple barley salad like this one party-worthy. I didn’t bother peeling this time, and I’m happy to report it was the right choice. The skin of an acorn squash (like delicata) is tender enough to eat, especially after thirty-plus minutes in a hot oven. (Leaving the skin on is also a convenient way to decrease my at-home food waste.)
For this recipe, I spiced acorn squash with cumin and smoked paprika for flavor, and topped it with barley (a whole grain containing fiber, protein, magnesium, and iron), fresh kale (massaged with my hands to tenderize first), and toasted sunflower and sesame seeds (I used a mix of black and white sesame seeds). Don’t skip the toasted seeds—you’ll be amazed at how much flavor they add to this dish! All tossed with an easy drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and apple cider vinaigrette. This recipe is holiday-worthy, but there’s no need to wait until Thanksgiving to dig in.
Roasted acorn squash makes this simple, whole-grain barley salad nutritious and holiday-ready!Click To Tweet
- 1 medium acorn squash (about 2 ½ pounds), cored and sliced into half-moons
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil (or cooking oil of choice)
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, divided
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
- 1 tablespoon black and white sesame seeds
- 1 cup cooked barley (see note)
- ½ cup massaged kale, thinly chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375º F and prepare a baking sheet. Spread acorn squash slices on baking sheet in a single layer.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together sunflower oil, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, cumin, paprika, and soy sauce. Pour over squash and place baking sheet in the oven. Roast until squash is fork-tender, about 35-40 minutes.
- In the meantime, toast pumpkin and sesame seeds in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring throughout, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Using the same bowl used for sauce, toss cooked barley and chopped kale. Set aside until squash is ready.
- When squash is ready, remove baking sheet from the oven, and transfer roasted squash to a serving dish. Top with barley and kale mixture, and sprinkle toasted seeds on top. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and remaining 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar. Enjoy!
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