Get Warm and Toasty with Roasted Acorn Squash, Midwestern-Style 


Growing up in the Midwest, Debby Zuk recalls the warm smells of roasted seasonal vegetables cooking in the oven

With colder days upon us, what’s more welcoming than the comforting aromas of cinnamon blended with melted butter over roasted seasonal vegetables, wafting from our ovens, lifting our spirits?   

Debby Zuk is a longtime River Towns resident (26 years) who grew up in Rock Island, Illinois, one of the Quad Cities along the Mississippi River. There was an abundance of fresh produce, recalls Debby.   


One of her happy memories is coming home to the warm smells of fall, roasted vegetables cooking in the oven.  Her mom was a fabulous cook and had a great repertoire of dishes.   

This recipe is very special to her –   Debby remembers the aromas of fall emanating from the oven as the squash cooked.  Every time Debby makes this dish, she says it is so appreciated that she is always being asked for the recipe. Truly warm comfort for these times. Enjoy!

Roasted Acorn Squash with Cinnamon 


  • 2 medium-sized acorn squash, cut in half 
  • 4 tbsps butter/margarine 
  • can peach halves in syrup 
  • 4 tbsps maple syrup 
  • Cinnamon to top 

Note > To make the dish sweeter, you could substitute the maple syrup with 4 tbsps of brown sugar. 


  • Clean seeds from cut squash  
  • Place cut squash face down in baking dish with a little water in the dish 
  • Roast at 400 degrees for 45 mins or until squash is fork tender  
  • Remove from the oven and fill each half with one peach half, one tbsp of butter/margarine and one tbsp of maple syrup 
  • Sprinkle the top with cinnamon and return to the oven to cook until the top begins to caramelize and turns brown, roughly about 5 minutes   
  • As the squash cooks, the butter, cinnamon and ample syrup pool to make a sticky sauce 
  • Remove from the oven and swirl the melted butter around each half to spread evenly  
  • Serve warm as a side with a main dish, such as roast chicken 

Renu Rao is a long-time River Towns resident who finds cooking therapeutic for the soul and believes eating right is the pathway to wellness. 

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