The Reason You Don't Need To Waste Time Peeling Acorn Squash

Cold season is coming, and that means delicious winter squashes are back on the menu. But one sweater weather staple is getting prepped the wrong way, and you're wasting time doing it. Acorn squash is the little, round cousin to butternut squash that's rich in fiber and full of flavor while being much more manageable to handle due to its smaller size. If you've been skinning your acorn squash, you know how cumbersome it can be — and what's with the weird, sticky goo that gets on your hands when you peel it?

Technically, all winter squashes have edible skin, but just because something is edible doesn't mean we want to eat it. Tree bark is edible, after all. For certain types of squash, it's recommended that you peel the skin off to avoid eating a chewy hunk of plant fiber. Luckily for us, acorn squash isn't one of them. Acorn squash's skin softens up quite nicely and is a great source of nutrients and fiber; that's two wins for the price of one. This is especially true when roasting.

Even if you don't want to eat the skin, peeling acorn squash before it's cooked can be a real pain due to the ridges running along the outside. If you wait until after you've cooked it, the skin becomes soft enough that you can essentially just pull it off. Talk about a time-saver.

How to prepare acorn squash

If you're going to leave the skin on, hands down the best method to prepare your acorn squash is to roast it. It's going to do a much better job of softening up the skin compared to other cooking methods. So, if you're making a creamy roasted acorn squash soup, start by roasting the squash and then removing the skin. You've just saved yourself a lot of sweat and tears by cooking smarter, not harder! You can discard the skin if you want, but some people like to use it to make a nice fall soup stock.

For those of you looking to get all those fibrous nutrients into your diet, stick with roasting and skip the step where you peel the skin off. It doesn't get much easier than that. When a fork can pierce the skin easily, you'll know you're in a good spot. Grilling acorn squash is an excellent alternative to oven-roasting if you have a grill available. Or, if roasted squash isn't sparking your fire, try stuffing acorn squash with something delicious like ground sausage and kale.