Learn to make this delicious smoked butternut squash on your charcoal or pellet smoker. This is a simple and classic fall seasonal side dish recipe you need to try!
Once squash season hits at the grocery store I stock up and get ready to make all things butternut squash.
With comfort food season coinciding with squash season I was inspired to create a seasonal dish using the Big Green Egg.
I love smoking anything and everything and knew that the smokey flavor would complement the beautiful taste and texture of butternut squash.
While you do not have to add the burrata cheese or the pepita seeds to deck out your butternut squash at home, the base of this recipe will allow you to make this any way you desire (smoked butternut squash soup, anyone?).
Get all the helpful cooking details, preparation and smoking instructions, and expert tips below. Let’s dive in!
Why This Recipe Works:
- Smoking low and slow uses indirect, dry heat (like roasting butternut squash). Cooking the squash at a low and slow temp helps with even cooking and allows for more smoke flavor to adhere to the squash.
- Butternut squash is a rich and flavorful type of squash. The natural sweetness pairs nicely with the wood-fired flavor from the grill.
- You can make this base recipe and create a variety of main dish or side dish recipes easily on any charcoal or pellet grill.
- Knife & Cutting Board
- Spoon (for removing the seeds)
- Baking Sheet (for easy transfer on and off the grill)
- Oven Mitts
Welcome to my virtual classroom! Use the guided notes below where I often answer commonly asked questions I get from readers and cooks just like you.
This information is meant to help you have a more robust understanding of this recipe and the process so you can find success all on your own.
Ready to begin cooking? Jump to the recipe card below and begin.
- Butternut Squash (halved, seeds removed)
- Olive Oil
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
- Smoky Paprika (sub Chili Powder)
- Fresh Thyme
- Burrata Cheese (optional but recommended if serving this as a side dish)
- Salted Pepita Seeds (aka pumpkin seeds without a shell)
Butternut squashes are large and dense (like most squash varieties). For this recipe, you will need to halve each squash and remove the seeds.
Here is how I prepare butternut squash for the grill:
- Slice the top edge off of the squash with a sharp knife.
- Using a cutting board, carefully slice the squash lengthwise. With a spoon, remove the seeds from the bottom portion on each half and discard them.
- Using a pairing knife, score the cut side of each squash to create a crosshatch pattern. This helps created a beautiful presentation and allows for the seasoning to adhere better as well.
- Lightly add olive oil over the cut and scored side of each piece of sliced squash.
- Season the top of the squash with sea salt, black pepper, and smoky paprika. See more notes below on other flavor profiles you can that work with the smoky flavors in this dish.
What Spices Pair Best With Butternut Squash?
If you want to try your hand at a few other flavor variations, butternut squash is a fun blank slate to play around with. Here are some other seasoning variations you can use with this squash recipe:
- Your favorite BBQ dry rub (we are smoking on the grill after all)
- Italian Seasonings (like rosemary, thyme, parsley, chive, and basil)
- Cinnamon, nutmeg, or a pumpkin pie spice (these are warm spices) would pair well here
- Try curry powder or garam masala for different flavor profiles
- Go sweet with a honey or maple syrup glaze at the end as well
How To Smoke The Squash:
- Preheat the smoker to 250 F. Low and slow is the goal here!
- Place each halved butternut squash, cut side down onto the grill grates.
- Smoke over indirect heat for about 60 minutes. Squash sizes vary. Start by checking the tenderness of each squash half around the 45 minutes mark. Use tongs to lightly squeeze each piece to see if they are soft.
- Remove the squash halves from the smoker when they are golden brown and tender. The outside rind will also take on a nice golden color as well.
- Serve the squash halves as is or add half of a piece of burrata to the hollow part of each slice of squash. Garnish with fresh thyme, a little more smoky paprika and salt, and pepita seeds if desired.
- In order to safely slice the squash in half, I always recommend placing each one individually into the microwave for 5 minutes. This helps soften the outside rind and makes it easier and safer to slice.
- Do not remove the outside rind of the squash for this recipe, this helps hold everything together!
- Use any grill (charcoal, pellet, or gas) for this recipe.
Smoked Butternut Squash Recipe
- 2 Butternut Squash
- 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
- 2 tsp. Sea Salt
- 2 tsp. Black Pepper
- 2 tsp. Smoky Paprika
- 2 Burrata Cheese Balls optional
- 1/4 cup Pepitas optional
- 4 sprigs Fresh Thyme optional
- Preheat the smoker to 250 degrees F. Set it for indirect heat.
- Cut each butternut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds at the bottom of each half.
- Use a pairing knife to score the cut side of each piece of butternut squash in a crosshatch pattern.
- Add about 1 and a 1/2 tsp. of olive oil to each sliced squash piece. Make sure to rub it in so the sliced part of the squash is evenly coated.
- Season each sliced squash half with 1/2 tsp each of the salt, pepper, and paprika.
- Place each slice of butternut squash, cut side down onto the grill grates. Smoke for 60 minutes. Check the squash for tenderness around 45 minutes as the size and thickness varies.
- Use tongs to gently squeeze each piece of squash to check for doneness. The outside rind should slightly indent when tender and both the outside and cut side will become a richer color.
- Remove from the smoker and serve as is or add half a burrata cheese ball to the hollow center of each squash. Garnish with pepita seeds, fresh thyme, and any additional seasonings you desire.