Sunday, November 02, 2014

Recipe for Foil-Wrapped Grilled Butternut Squash with Sage (Gluten-Free, Meatless, Can Be Paleo)

You can cook this Foil-Wrapped Butternut Squash with Sage on the grill or in the oven.

Recipe for Foil-Wrapped Grilled Butternut Squash with Sage (Gluten-Free, Meatless) found on

(Updated with better photos, November 2014)  Back in the good old days (when I had a garden), one of the plants I loved was a variety of butternut squash called Really Big Squash. This type of butternut can grow nearly two feet long (hence the name Really Big Squash!) and the extra growth is a very long neck, so there's more of the meaty part of the squash.  I made this Foil-Wrapped Grilled Butternut Squash with Sage the first time with Really Big Squash, but it's just as delicious with butternut from the store, and this is another good idea for combining butternut squash with herbs.

I loved finding out how easy it was to cook squash on the grill when you don't want to heat up the house, but you could also bake the foil packets in the oven.  And even though I didn't grow the squash myself this time, I was happy that I still had plenty of sage growing in the pots by my front walk, and this was a delicious way to use sage while you still have it! (You might want to read How to Peel and Cut Up a Butternut Squash before you make this.)

Butternut squash is grown in many parts of the world, but in Australia, Europe, and some parts of Asia it's called pumpkin or Butternut Pumpkin. Butternut is a winter squash, a name which refers to squash that's harvested when the skin has turned into a hard rind and which can be stored through the winter. Winter Squash are ranked as some of the world's healthiest foods, with phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and this versatile vegetable can be used in many dishes.   And of course this tasty way to cook butternut squash is my Meatless Monday recipe suggestions for this week. (There are lots more Meatless Monday ideas tagged with the label Meatless Monday, or check Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index.  I also have a great Meatless Monday Pinterest board with ideas from blogging friends, and I feature a weekly recipe for Meatless Monday at 

Recipe for Foil-Wrapped Grilled Butternut Squash with Sage (Gluten-Free, Meatless) found on KalynsKitchen.comCut the butternut squash in half lengthwise, and cut off the stem end and the blossom end. If it's squash from the garden, wash it first before you start cutting!

Recipe for Foil-Wrapped Grilled Butternut Squash with Sage (Gluten-Free, Meatless) found on KalynsKitchen.comUse a sharp vegetable peeler to peel the squash. On this type of squash I had to go over it more than once in a few spots to remove the green stripes of peel. Scrape out seeds and stringy stuff around the seeds with a sharp spoon.

Recipe for Foil-Wrapped Grilled Butternut Squash with Sage (Gluten-Free, Meatless) found on KalynsKitchen.comCut the squash into cubes about 1 1/2 inches square. It's important to try to get the pieces all close to the same size.

Recipe for Foil-Wrapped Grilled Butternut Squash with Sage (Gluten-Free, Meatless) found on KalynsKitchen.comToss cubed squash with olive oil, thinly sliced fresh sage leaves, coarse ground black pepper and Spike seasoning.

Recipe for Foil-Wrapped Grilled Butternut Squash with Sage (Gluten-Free, Meatless) found on KalynsKitchen.comPut about two cups of the squash cubes into each foil packet. If you don't have heavy-duty foil, I recommend wrapping them twice.

Recipe for Foil-Wrapped Grilled Butternut Squash with Sage (Gluten-Free, Meatless) found on KalynsKitchen.comYou want to fold over edges of the foil tightly several times, where you pull foil ends up to make the top seam of the folded packet as well as on the ends.

Recipe for Foil-Wrapped Grilled Butternut Squash with Sage (Gluten-Free, Meatless) found on KalynsKitchen.comGrill packets about 25 minutes, turning often. You'll probably have to open one to check for doneness, and be careful not to get burned with the steam. Serve hot, with a tiny bit of butter and sea salt to season it at the very end.

Recipe for Foil-Wrapped Grilled Butternut Squash with Sage (Gluten-Free, Meatless) found on
And although I wasn't completely happy with the new photos for this (and cooked butternut squash isn't especially photogenic!) it's an improvement over this original photo from 2007!)

Recipe for Foil-Wrapped Grilled Butternut Squash with Sage (Gluten-Free, Meatless) found on
Foil-Wrapped Grilled Butternut Squash with Sage
(Makes about 4 servings, recipe created by Kalyn, with inspiration from many recipes combining butternut squash with sage.)

1 very large or 2 regular size butternut squash (about 6 cups squash cubes when cut up)
3 T olive oil
30-40 large sage leaves, thinly sliced crosswise
1-2 tsp. Spike Seasoning (optional, but highly recommended; for Paleo use any all-purpose vegetable seasoning)
fresh ground black pepper to taste
nonstick spray, to spray foil
1-2 T butter to season at the end (optional; omit or use coconut oil for Paleo)
Sea Salt or Vege-Sal to taste, to season at the end

Preheat gas or charcoal grill to medium-high. You can only hold your hand there 2-3 seconds at that heat. Wash sage leaves, pat or spin dry, then cut into very thin strips.

Wash squash if needed, cut off stem and blossom ends, and cut squash in half lengthwise. Peel squash with a sharp vegetable peeler, scrape out seeds and strings with a sharp spoon, and then cut squash into cubes 1 1/2 inches square.

Put squash into large bowl and toss with olive oil, sage, Spike if using, and black pepper. Stir until squash is well-coated with oil.

Tear foil into 3 pieces about 15-18 inches long. (You will need six pieces if you're doubling the foil.) Spray the inside of each piece of foil with nonstick spray or mist with olive oil. Put about 2 cups squash cubes into each foil packet and arrange in flat layer. Pull foil edges up and fold over to make a seam on top side of the foil packet, then fold in ends, folding over tightly several times.

Put foil packets onto hot grill and cook, turning every five minutes. Check one packet after 20 minutes to see how done they are getting. I cooked my squash just about 25 minutes. They are done when squash is soft and getting slightly browned on the edges.

Toss squash with 1-2 tablespoons of butter if desired, and season with sea salt. Serve hot. This will keep in the refrigerator for a few days.

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South Beach Suggestions:
This type of squash isn't mentioned on the South Beach list of foods, and I was so happy when I saw it mentioned in The South Beach Diet Parties and Holidays Cookbook. This would be a great side dish for phase two or three of the South Beach Diet. I would serve this with something like Herb Encrusted Grilled Salmon or Grilled Halibut with Garlic Cilantro Sauce with a salad like Cucumber Salad with Balsamic Dressing.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Tasty Meatless Ways to Cook Butternut Squash:
(Recipes from other blog may or may not be South Beach Diet friendly, check ingredients.)
10 Easy and Amazing Vegetarian Recipes using Butternut Squash from Kalyn's Kitchen 
Steamed Butternut Squash from A Veggie Venture
Butternut Squash with Creamy Tofu, Thyme, and Walnut Stuffing from Christine Cooks
Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage from By the Bay
Brussel Sprout and Camembert Gratin in Butternut Squash from 80 Breakfasts
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

This recipe was first posted for Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Myriam of Once Upon a Tart.
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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

More to Chew On:


  1. Butternut squash and sage...what a great combo!! I never thought of grilling it in a packet!! Looks great!

  2. I baked butternut squash myself yesterday: it is my favorite squash. I have never cooked it the way you describe. I can imagine how delicious it was.

  3. Kalyn, you always seem to be a little bit ahead of me! I've been planning to make a chili with butternut squash, but just haven't gotten around to it. Tonight's the night!

    Also, I envy you those long-necked squash. Wonderful!

  4. Delicious! I was trying to find some at the market today, but perhaps my local market isn't quite ready for fall yet :)

  5. Ah its good to find a new recipe for butternut. This is my second favourite squash, the first being gem squash (a huge favourite of most South Africans).

    When I first moved to this corner of the world things like squash and pumpkin were seen as 'exotic' food and was hard to come by. In the UK now it is fairly common but here in Ireland it is still quite rare, except and farmers markets and of course around Halloween when jack 'o lanterns are quite common.

    Kalyn, butternut combines well both with chilli and also with honey for roasting in the oven. Also, if you just cut it in half, stuff the cavity with any mix of your liking, wrap it in foil and put it in the embers of a bbq for a while it is a wonderful meal.

  6. Thank you, thank you! I planted them in my garden too, because I love winter squashes. However, I have never eaten or cooked a butternut - and now I know how. I did not know they were so thinned skinned that they could be peeled... I'm going to pick one tomorrow...maybe I'll check to see it they're ripe first...

  7. Maria, I loved the combination.

    Simona, my favorite too. I thought it was great like this, and with very little butter.

    Susan, I'm never ahead of you! I was a bit premature for this, but the squash was ready and I was so curious about it. Highly recommend this variety.

    Kally, thanks. Hopefully soon.

    Rob, I'd love to try the Gem squash. I've heard of it but haven't tried it. Great suggestions, thanks.

    Katie, I'm not saying they are *easy* to peel. You need a sharp peeler for sure! But when you don't peel it, sometimes the soft peel gets broken off into the cooked squash and I hate that!

  8. I love the idea of making these packets! I do potato rosemary packets all the time, but would have never thought of butternut squash and sage on my own! Thank you for posting this!

  9. Another wonderful idea! I love the foil packet on the gril concept.

  10. Pam and EMWK, the foil packets are great. Nothing to clean up, and your house stays cool.

  11. Butternut is absolutely my favorite of the winter squash varieties -- not only is it easiest to peel, but so versatile. I love roasting it and then turning it into soup, or making black bean and squash chili (yes, it's so Halloween!). This grilled version looks and sounds wonderful, so that's the next thing I'll try.

  12. Jaden, yes, I've decided not to fight the idea of fall any more!

    Lydia, hope you like this method.

  13. Love this combination Kalyn. Cannot wait to try.

  14. I love winter squash in all its forms, and this one definitely sounds delicious. It just reminds me of fall leaves in food form! And you have me curious about the annual roundup...will sage be the second "king" of herbs? or will it be a favored vegetable this time. With my transatlantic move I am bowing out of this week's WHB, but plan to be back soon.

  15. Lucky you to be able to grow this hot weather beauty. As soon as I feel Fall coming on I think of butternut squash - in soups, in stews and just cubed and roasted. You made a lovely looking dish.

  16. Bea, thanks. I'm trying an experiment today freezing some sage so I can have it all winter.

    Skinny Gourmet, good luck with the big move. It sounds like such a wonderful adventure!

    Christine, thanks. Nice to see your face pop up! Hope you're not working too hard!

  17. Kalyn, that is really tempting. Nice series of photos. too. Now that you have made squash with sage, try bay, then try stuffing pasta with it. Then invite me to dinner. (oops, darned out loud voice!)

    Do we get a hint about next week's shindig so we can plan?

  18. KM, there will be a post on Monday with *lots* of details, but the actual two year celebration week isn't until October 8-14. But something fun is happening between now and then, so keep in touch!

  19. Hmm, now you have me thinking. Orange food! That's it--you will ask us to make orange colored food for the celebration???

  20. Sher, it isn't orange food. And I'm also not requiring everyone to cook with cilantro either!

  21. Hi Kalyn,
    Thanks for linking to my Chana Masala! Your recipe looks great--I love butternut squash cooked ANY way.

  22. Considering how much I hate washing dishes, this recipe is just perfect!

    I've been wanting to rejoin WHB for ages (er, what, a year and a half?), so it's pretty cool to be catching up here just before your big party!

    Hmmm... not orange food, not cilantro... Oh! Cooking with tin foil? ::g::

  23. Julie, you're welcome, and me too on the butternut squash.

    Miz D, nice to see your name pop up! Nope, tin foil is not what makes this recipe perfect for the celebration.

  24. Congratulations, Kalyn! That squash looks beautiful!! And it sounds delicious prepared that way. (If you have any more, you must try making squash ginger soup garnished with lime)


  25. Love winter squash. Love orange food. Love fall.

  26. Man, this is another fabulous squash idea. Keith is big on wrapping veggies in foil and putting them on the grill; maybe I can get him to try this. My sage is still going, too. Mmm.

  27. Great way to cook squash outdoors!
    I never ever peel butternut squash, even late in winter.

  28. P.S.:
    Sage really freezes well. I like to toast the frozen leaves in a bit of olive oil til they are fragrant.

  29. Merisi, my grandma always cooked it without peeling, but I like the way the flavors get absorbed into the squash better when it's peeled. And I do freeze my sage, every year!

  30. I'm always looking for recipes to use the sage in my garden; it's one of the herbs that hangs on long after others have succumbed to the cold. And of course I love butternut squash, too!

    1. Ditto here Lydia. Although this morning my sage is covered with frost and I'm wishing I had gotten some into the freezer!


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