By Christie Vanover | Published October 27, 2022 | Last Updated November 8, 2022
Whether you’re looking for a new side to serve with Thanksgiving dinner or a changeup for your weeknight, this simple recipe only has 4 ingredients. It’s sweet and savory, buttery and crispy.
What is delicata squash?
Delicata squash is a winter squash that is shaped like a small football. It’s primarily yellow with green or orange stripes.
The interior is yellowish-orange and has a slightly sweet flavor and super smooth and creamy texture.
Unlike other winter squashes like butternut squash and pie pumpkins, the skin of delicata squash is tender (or delicate) and enjoyable to eat, once it’s cooked. Because the rind is softer, it’s also not as challenging to slice, which makes this recipe really easy to make.
Delicata squash can usually be found in the grocery store in the fall and winter, since that’s the time of year when it’s harvested.
How to make grilled delicata squash
This recipe can cooked on a grill or smoker. In either case, you’ll need to create an indirect heat zone. If you’re using a pellet grill, just set the temperature to 300F degrees.
If you’re using a charcoal grill, move the coals to one side and cook the squash over the side without coals or use a deflector to block the direct heat.
If you’re using a gas grill, turn on one burner and grill the delicata squash on the side with the burners turned off.
- STEP ONE: Wash the squash. Using a sharp knife, slice off both ends and discard. Slice the squash into 1/2-inch thick slices.
While the skin of a delicata squash is delicate, if you buy one that has a little growth on the side (like pictured below), trim it off. It will taste woody and won’t be pleasant on the palate.
- STEP TWO: Using a metal spoon or knife, remove the seeds from the center and discard. (You can also clean them and smoke them for a flavorful garnish on salads)
- STEP THREE: Wrap one slice of bacon around each ring. Start by placing the bacon at the 3 o’clock position and tuck it under and through the ring. Pull it up at the 6 o’clock position. Fold it back over at the 9 o’clock position. And finish the wrap at the top.
- STEP FOUR: Season both sides lightly with rub.
- STEP FIVE: Place the slices of squash onto the grill over indirect heat, and cook for 30 minutes. Flip, and cook for 30 more minutes.
- STEP SIX: After the squash has been on the grill for one hour, brush maple syrup on top and cook for 5-10 more minutes. Test them with a fork or knife to ensure the squash is tender and cooked through and make sure the bacon is crispy to your liking.
How to serve grilled delicata squash
These bacon wrapped delicata squash rings can be served as an appetizer or side dish. Each squash yields 8-10 rings.
They taste wonderful when they’re fresh and warm from the grill, but they’re also delicious when they’ve cooled off. You could make them in advance, refrigerate them and serve them with a traditional veggie platter or alongside a bowl of Grilled Wild Rice Kale Salad.
Grilled delicata squash can be saved in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-5 days.
You can also freeze them for up to six months and reheat them in a 400F degree oven or air fryer.
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Health benefits of delicata squash
Delicata squash is a great, healthy vegetable that is low in calories and rich in fiber, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C. A one-cup serving has around 7 grams of sugar.
Adding the bacon and maple syrup obviously makes this more indulgent, so if you want to make a simple grilled delicata squash, just brush the rings with a little olive oil or vegetable oil, season and follow the rest of the steps (with or without the maple syrup).
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s a little challenging to know when squash are ripe, because the exterior rinds are pretty hard. If you press the squash from the bottom (where the flower blooms), it should feel firm and not squishy.
Acorn squash is a pretty good substitute for delicata squash, because it also has edible skin that becomes tender when cooked. Because an acorn squash is wider than a delicata squash, you may need to use 1 1/2 to 2 pieces of bacon per ring.
Nope. The skin is nice and tender. It’s delicate. Get it? Delicate…delicata. Once it’s cooked, it’s soft enough to eat.
If you cut the rings so they are about 1/2-inch thick, it will take about 1 hour and 15 minutes at 300F degrees for them to become tender. If you cut the rings thinner, they will cook faster. That works great if you’re not wrapping them in bacon. But with the bacon, I recommend cooking at 300F degrees so it doesn’t cook too fast.
Bacon Wrapped Grilled Delicata Squash Rings
- 2 delicata squash
- 1 lb bacon
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tbsp BBQ rub
- Heat Grill: Heat your grill or smoker to 300F degrees with an indirect heat zone.
- Slice: Wash the squash. Slice off both ends and discard. Slice the squash into 1/2-inch thick slices. Using a spoon or knife, remove the seeds from the center and discard.
- Wrap: Wrap one slice of bacon around each ring. Season both sides lightly with rub.
- Grill: Place the rings onto the grill over indirect heat. Cook for 30 minutes. Flip. Cook for 30 more minutes.
- Glaze: After they’ve been on the grill for one hour, brush maple syrup on top and cook for 5-10 more minutes.
This estimate was created using an online nutrition calculator