Smoked Butternut Squash

I have been on a “Side Dish Kick” recently as I try to find great sides to compliment a traditional barbecue feast. Today’s adventure involved this Smoked Butternut Squash recipe that is definitely something that we will be making again.

This recipe is easy to make and provides a ton of flavor and food.  It might be worth while throwing these squash on your smoker anytime you have it fired up for ribs or a brisket just to take advantage of the space in your cooker.

If you are going to fire up your smoker then you might as well make sure that it is full, right?

Close Up Picture of Squash

Let me show you how I smoked this squash and share some tips that you can use if you want to modify this recipe!

Prepare the Butternut Squash for the Smoker

I found that I needed two knives to get this job done; a standard 8 inch Chef’s knife and a smaller paring knife.

Strat by using a large Chef’s knife to split the squash open into two equal halves.

I was working with a two pound butternut squash and the skin and flesh were pretty hard.  It took a little bit of effort to slice this thing in half lengthwise so be careful  and watch your fingers!

Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds from each half of the squash.

Use a smaller paring knife to score the flesh of the squash.  You will have more control using the smaller knife than if you use the Chef’s knife.   I scored a simple grid pattern into the squash but you could do a fancier diamond score if you wanted.

Once the squash was scored it was brushed with olive oil and seasoned with our Award Winning Rib Rub.

Butternut Squash Seasoned with Rib Rub

The seasoning is pretty flexible as you just want a little color, sweetness and salt. If you don’t feel like making up a batch of our rib rub then you can just go with salt and pepper or use this simplified rub:

Simple Smoked Squash Seasoning

  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Smoke the Squash

My goal for this recipe was to have something that I could cook alongside our Award Winning Baby Back Ribs which meant that I need to smoke the squash at 250F.

I fired up my Z Grills pellet grill and set it to 250F using hickory pellets.  You could easily smoke these squash on your Traeger or Pit Boss pellet smokers or even in a Masterbuilt electric smoker.

Put the squash halves on the cooking grate skin side UP and let them smoke for 2.5 to 3 hours until your digital thermometer (or other probe) slides easily and cleanly through the squash.

Butternut squash smoked for 2 hours

The rub takes on some beautiful color and the squash smell amazing!  This was almost, but not quite, as good as the Smoked Acorn Squash we recently made.

Tips for Next Time

The scoring pattern opens up nicely during the cooking process.  The scoring has several benefits including:

  • Great Presentation
  • Allows Smoke to Penetrate Deeper
  • Let’s You Add More Flavors.

Smoked Butternut Squash

Great Presentation

The basic grid scoring pattern looks fine on these squash but, in hindsight, I do wish I had gone with a diamond pattern.

I mean, if you are going to go through the effort of making it look pretty you might as well do your best.

Deeper Smoke Penetration

Once the squash opens up along the score marks then the smoke flavor can get deeper into the squash and, depending upon your preferences, this can be either a good or bad thing.

If you want a lighter smoke profile then you can lightly cover each half in aluminum foil after 90 minutes on the smoker.  I would not tightly wrap the squash as the rub might get steamed off.

More Flavor Layers

We didn’t do this extra step but if you wanted to make this smoked squash a flavor bomb then you could do the following:

  • Melt two tablespoons of butter
  • Stir in 2 tsp of brown sugar
  • Add 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Pour the mix over the smoked squash

That would be simply fantastic!

Close Up Picture of Squash

Smoked Butternut Squash

A butternut squash is split in half, cleaned, scored and seasoned before being smoked for three hours.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 275 kcal


  • butternut squash about two pounds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  • Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise
  • Use a spoon to scoop the seeds from each half of the squash
  • Use a paring knife to score the surface of the squash
  • Brush the surface of the squash with olive oil
  • Combine the dry rub ingredients and season the surface of the squash
  • Set your smoker to 250F using hickory
  • Smoke the squash, skin side down, for 2.5 to 3 hours until probe tender.


This is a great side dish to cook along with a slab of ribs or any other large protein that takes a while to cook in you smoker.
The squash takes up a lot of smoke so some folks will want to loosely tent the squash with aluminum foil after 90 minutes for a milder smoke flavor.
Keyword Smoked Butternut Squash