Premise that you can access merely an electric range, and can't access any functioning oven, not even a toaster one. Then what can you do in lieu of roasting your squash? Pan-fry or caramelize it in a cast-iron skillet?

Roasted Acorn Squash and Apple Soup - Making Thyme for Health

I find that acorn squash is a little bit harder to peel and chop so I decided to roast it instead of boil it in the pot. I know roasting it might sound like a lot of work but it’s actually pretty easy.

After you slice of the top, you cut in half, clean out the seeds, rub it with a little bit of oil and then bake it in the oven face down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for about 45 minutes.

Holiday Soup: Roasted Acorn Squash Soup with Sage and Sour Cream - Family Spice

To make the flavors of this soup pop some more, I roasted the acorn squash instead of just sautéing them or boiling them in broth. I also added some carrots – hello, even more beta carotene! After the veggies were browned from roasting, I added it to my pot of sautéed onions and poured in some vegetable broth.

4 Answers 4


It is easy to create a little oven on your range top in a pan with a lid.

  1. simply cook on low heat with a well-fitting lid on the pan (I use a glass lid so I can see the food).
  2. if you want to steam the food for part or all of the cook, just add a little water to the pan
  3. for the ultimate stove-top oven, put your food on a small rack to raise it off the pan's surface so it will get much less direct heat (see photo below).

If you want to caramelize the squash you can do so using options 1 or 3 above very easily. Directly on the heat will be faster but more aggressive, and you'll probably want to use a little oil or other fat. Let it brown on one side and then turn it over. Depending on the thickness of the cut you may want to turn it more frequently so it cooks through tender by the time it's browned on both sides.

Put it on a rack on lower heat if you want a longer bake time, more gently like an oven. This is an especially good method if you want to bake it dry with no fat.

. Stovetop Oven. Patent pending.

  • +1 This is basically the idea behind the piece of cookware known as the Dutch oven. Get a heavy cast iron one.
    – Dan C
    Apr 7, 2020 at 1:29

Assuming you have a cooktop of some kind, a campfire or other way of heating a pan then pan frying it would be the way to go. You'd want to slice it or chop it into small chunks in order to get more surface area onto the pan. If you just halve it and fry the edges you won't get much flavor.

You'll need to peel it before you fry it as you aren't cooking it through, just giving it some color.


They cook fine in a microwave , little less time than a potato. Mine has an automatic for potatoes , that works well. Poke a few holes in the skin to let out steam .

  • 1
    But microwaves don't caramelize? If I were trying to steam (which I'm not), why don't I just steam in water in my pan?
    – user91594
    Apr 6, 2020 at 20:29

If the goal is to avoid that painful pre-cooked peeling part of squash (acorn's the worst), pick a variety that can be more easily peeled and pan-fried or cooked directly in your soup/stew.

Also, consider getting a better/new y-peeler... they're cheap if you go to a restaurant supply store.

Lastly, if you really can't avoid it, try steaming them until you can scrape the pulp out. Maybe sear them first to get a bit of the caramelization flavour.

Check-out the SeriousEats guide to squash - https://www.seriouseats.com/2017/11/winter-squash-shopping-guide.html

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