The perfect low carb, gluten free, fall delicata squash recipe! This squash is wrapped in spicy tangy BBQ sauce coated bacon, smoked or baked to perfection for the best squash side dish.
I love squash season! While you can’t go wrong with a spaghetti squash, summer squash, butternut squash, or even and acorn squash, there is something extra special specifically about the delicata squash.
While there are many types of squash to choose from, this one is so easy to prepare, has a rich, slightly sweet, creamier texture , and is incredibly versatile with cooing methods (roasting, smoking, sautéing and more).
This side dish is a fun stand out (because bacon) with the smoky bacon flavor, the sweet and spice combination of the BBQ sauce and spices, and the creamy rich and delicious taste and texture of the delicata squash. Switch up your squash sides with this epic low carb dish that your whole family will love.
Grab the complete recipe below and be sure to read through for the helpful tips and techniques for cooking and preparing this low carb squash dish!
- Baking Sheet
- Pastry Brush
- Knife & Cutting Board
Let’s dive in to some helpful questions and culinary techniques for cooking and preparing a delicata squash-
Is delicata squash keto friendly?
A delicata squash can fit into a keto diet if you count the total net carbs and apply it correctly to your macros. Because most people who are looking to stay in a state of ketosis want to stay under 20 net carbs eating an excessive amount could put this vegetable more in the low carb diet range.
Nutritionally, a half cup of delicata squash is roughly 5 net carbs. For this recipe, it’s easy to keep each piece of bacon wrapped squash to about 1 net carb per piece if you utilize my keto all purpose BBQ rub and my favorite Kansas City style low carb BBQ sauce.
Can you eat the skin of delicata squash?
Yes! Which is why this squash is a great alternative to others because of the ease of prep (no peeling) and the fact that you get a lot of added benefits from the additional fiber. The skin itself is thin enough, that when roasted or grilled it cooks nicely and provides structure this recipe.
The extra fiber from the skin helps balance out the carb count on this dish. Additional nutritional information according to Nutritionaction.com it shows that delicata squash is a good source of vitamin A, potassium
How to prepare a delicata squash?
The prep is pretty standard comparatively to other squashes. I like to start by trimming off the ends on each side, the cut the squash in half lengthwise. Once it has been divided in half, scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard them.
Lay the squash down flat, so the skin is the side that’s facing up. Using your chef’s knife, you want to cut 1/2 inch thick half moons pieces of the squash. This shape makes it ideal for wrapping the bacon onto it as well.
Once the squash crescent moons are all cut, toss in a small amount of olive oil and sprinkle with your go to BBQ seasoning (I go with this keto all purpose rub or my favorite from Code 3 Spices). Divide your bacon in half and wrap the bacon around the squash and secure both ends of the bacon onto the bottom side of the squash.
Line a baking sheet with foil and place a cooling rack over the tip of the foil. Elevating the squash to cook (grill or oven) helps render the bacon fat and cook everything evenly at the same time.
Cooking Method Options:
Smoked on the grill:
Preheat your grill to 350 F and set it up for indirect cooking. I love apple wood with this but use what you like (milder is best). I cook the squash pieces (bacon seam side down) on the baking sheet still for ease of moving it on and off the grill. Be sure you use a pan that will fit the grill you have. Cook until the squash is tender and the bacon fat has rendered, about 25- 30 minutes.
Roasted in the oven:
Preheat your oven to 350 F. and bake for 25-30 min on the middle rack in the oven.
Applying the sauce:
I like to add a layer of BBQ sauce over the entire piece of squash the last 10 minutes of the cooking process. Finish it off this way so it sets (either on the grill or in the oven) and add one final layer before serving.
What should I pair this with?
It makes a great side dish with these Grilled Crispy Chicken Quarters and some Cauliflower Mash. If you want to make this as a Thanksgiving side dish be sure to prepare this with my Champagne Brined Turkey, Keto Cornbread Stuffing, and the best Low Carb Green Bean Casserole too!
- Slice the squash in half vertically down the middle. Scoop out the inside seeds and discard. Cut the squash into 1 1/2" crescent moon slices.
- Take the bacon and slice in half. Wrap each half around one slice of squash and set it seam side down on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and BBQ seasoning (if desired).
- Grilling: Set the grill for indirect heat at 350F. Place each piece onto the grates (seam side down) and cook for about 20-25 minutes. Baste with BBQ sauce if desired and cook till the bacon is slightly crispier and the sauce is set. Remove from the heat and place on a plate for serving. Apply the BBQ sauce the last 10 minutes of cooking and again before serving.
- Oven Roasting: Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with foil. Place baking racks over the baking sheet and place the bacon wrapped squash on the rack. Cook for about 20-25 minutes before basting with BBQ sauce and allow it to cook till squash is tender and bacon is semi-crispy.Apply the BBQ sauce the last 10 minutes of cooking and again before serving.
Don't worry about peeling a delicata squash, you can eat the skin!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 67Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 288mgCarbohydrates: 3gNet Carbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g