Garlic-Balsamic Grilled Butternut

Butternut squash made me go “Meh [shrug]” until my pal Stacey told me she likes to cook hers on the grill. Hmmm…

Sweet butternut squash + high heat = caramelization

Y’all know that carmelized and charred is how I like just about everything. I did a little research and cobbled together a recipe that I loved. This is great as a side dish with grilled meats – I’ve also chopped it, mixed it into eggs, and eaten it as part of my post-workout meal.


balsamic_grilled_butternut-1 2

Garlic-Balsamic Grilled Butternut

Serves 2-4 | Prep 10 minutes | Marinate 1 hour | Grill 25 minutes

  • 1 butternut squash (about 3 pounds)

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)

  • zest from 1/2 orange (about 2 teaspoons)

  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste


Cut squash in half crosswise, then in half lengthwise. Cut into slices, about 1/4 inch thick. Mix with melted coconut oil, vinegar, thyme, garlic, and zest. Marinate 1 hour at room temperature.


Remove squash from marinade and save marinade. Preheat grill on high until hot, about 10 minutes. Place squash on  the grill, close lid, and grill 5 minutes per side to brown. Reduce heat to medium high and continue to grill until tender, about 5-10 minutes. (You’ll need to check it periodically to see when it’s reached your desired level of bite.) Toss the cooked squash in the reserved marinade and season with salt and pepper. Let it rest 10 minutes then dig in.

NOTE: Did you notice that Garlic-Balsamic Grilled Butternut would be abbreviated GBGB, which is almost CBGB (OMFUG)… and did you know that stands for “Country Bluegrass Blues and Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers”… and a gourmand is a ravenous food eater… which I’m pretty sure means that Garlic-Balsamic Grilled Butternut, a.k.a., GBGB is punk rock squash! You should definitely listen to the Ramones while grilling and eating. Definitely.

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  • Lydia says:

    Because I know you're working on your cookbook right now, I feel like every new recipe you post here is a precious little treat. Like the clementine I'm eating *right now*. =D

    Thank you.

  • Emily says:

    RIP CB's, we all miss you terribly, even your disgusting bathrooms

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Hey, Lydia! You are just as sweet as a clementine. 🙂

    Emily –> I never got to go to CBGB's, and it's a big regret. Social D played there in 1997 — THAT would have been awesome.

  • I absolutely love butternut squash! And cant wait to try it this way!! I always rost it, but this looks and sounds incredible!

  • Gina says:

    Can’t wait to TRY THIS!!!

  • Caz says:

    I found you through pinterest – someone pinned this recipe – love you blog, your attitude and your essential rock history trivia. Strong work,

    Am trying this recipe tonight. Thanks.

  • Barbara says:

    This looks so delicious! I’ll try it!

  • Jacalyn says:

    Made this last night, and it was amazing! I never want to eat butternut squash any other way! Boyfriend loved it, too. Thanks!

  • jo says:

    What if i dont grill. What would you recommend for cook time and temp in an oven? Would it still work?

    • Mel says:

      Sure! Try 375-400F for 20-30 minutes — keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.

      • Mary Beth says:

        Broiling it in the oven works too. I just put my drip pan with a cookie rack in the oven first for a few minutes to get it very hot, then placed the slices on the cookie rack. Loved the sizzle. Then let it broil for a 5-7 minutes on one side and flipped the slices. You just have to watch it fairly closely once it starts browning.

  • onisti says:

    Trying this one tonight…can’t wait!

  • Kim says:

    Could this be done on a skillet instead of a grill? Would it caramelize the same way?

  • Katie says:

    Made these last night, and I will make them again soon! Great recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  • Lori says:

    So … as a squash newbie, I’m looking at a butternut squash and trying to figure out how to peel it. I branched out and tried your velvety butternut squash dish (loved it) but that just required cracking the thing open and scooping stuff out. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      If you want to peel it, cut it in half crosswise, then in half lengthwise and use a veg peeler, BUT… I’ve been making this without peeling the squash, and it works great!

      You still need to cut it in half both ways, but then just slice it without peeling and follow the rest of the instructions.

  • Cathy M says:

    I may try this with my maple balsamic vinegar.

  • Emily says:

    I did this for 4th of July and added yellow onions to the mix, the caramelized squash and onions together was ah-mazing! Thanks!

  • Danielle E says:

    I came across this when I googled: How do I bbq my butternut squash.
    Other than the fact my knives were kind of dull this was super easy and so DELICIOUS!
    Thank you 🙂

  • trish says:

    i was waffling on this until i got to the punk rock part. i lived a few blocks from CBs in the 90s. the awning picture made me want this squash for dinner. lol!

  • Mary Beth says:

    Tried this tonight. Substituted the coconut oil with an artisanal stir fry oil infused with onion, ginger and garlic (La Tourangelle Pan Asian). Fabulous! Husband loved the references to CBGB and the Ramones.

  • Kim says:

    This recipe looks fabulous but I was missing the coconut oil and an orange so I tweeked it a little… well I guess a lot actually but it came out good. Thank you for the inspiration! I used fresh minced garlic, dried sage, zest of a lemon and juice of half the lemon, honey and olive oil. Yum. I’m excited to try your version when I have all the ingredients. I think I’ll try it with sweet potatoes too. 🙂

  • Alan B Woontner says:

    Works well with lemon juice instead of vinegar. This is my go to grilled veggie nowadays. It goes go well with brocollini as a complement

  • Mica says:

    Found this in your book and tried it tonight. It was a huge hit! I made it as a side and my teenager and husband gobbled it up even faster than I could. Next time I’ll have to make 2 batches so I can maybe have some leftovers. Thanks you!!