Grilled Red Kuri Squash with Greens combines incredible complexity to what could be an ordinary grilled squash. Kuri Squash is topped with greens, roasted pine nuts, grapes, Craisins, feta cheese and drizzled with a homemade lemon balsamic vinaigrette to make the perfect light fall meal.
Kuri squash is not found as frequently as butternut or acorn squash, but when you find it, grab it! It isn’t as hard to cut, the seeds are super easy to remove and the mild flavor lends itself to many meals. Adding it to a salad mix is a simple idea, but this squash is just begging to be included. Once you try it, you are going to love it.
Granted, we don’t usually make many recipes that require multiple steps like this one, but this was so delicious that I am sure you’ll look past it and see what a great squash this is to grill up.
Why This Recipe Works
Fast – We all need a few quick and easy side dishes to make successfully for not only dinner but our next block party as well. Whether you are looking to serve this for a bbq, cookout or Sunday night out on the deck, this one is fast and easy.
Flexible – We show you how to make this as simple slices or as part of a heaping salad. Either way, this shows you how versatile this dish can be for you. Try mixing up the squash with different coatings like we did in the Za’atar seasoned Butternut Squash, Honey Acorn Squash or Grilled Acorn Squash with Herbs.
Delicious – This is a gorgeous and delicious dish that tastes amazing every time even though it is a simple squash.
Kuri Squash – This bright red fall squash is the star of the show here. I have only found them in the autumn, but I always grab a few. Not only are they gorgeous, they are delicious too. This is a very mild squash that has a slightly nutty flavor. It is loaded with fiber and Vitamin C, and relatively low in calorie count. This is a flexible squash that you can slice and roast or halve and use your favorite filling. You can eat the skin as it is thin. I have never encountered a problem with the larger ones, but the skin will be thicker. For this recipe, grill it with the skin on.
Pine Nuts – These are little seeds that come from pinyon pine trees. They tend to be a tad more expensive due to the length of time it takes to grow and then to harvest. You’ll find pine nuts in many Mediterranean dishes and salads, often toasted to bring out the earthy flavor. That’s what we did here – on a cast iron skillet on the grill.
Step One: Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds from the inside. Cut each half into thirds to get nice wedges. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. I don’t recommend using stronger seasonings here, as the squash is wonderfully mild and it can overpower the flavor quickly
Step Two: Place squash on the grill at 400 degrees on direct heat. Grill for 15 minutes and turn over. Grill 15 more minutes or until fork tender.
Step Three: While the squash is cooking, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon zest, salt and pepper and whisk in a bowl to combine. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Shake a little prior to serving.
Step Four: Place the pine nuts in a small cast iron skillet and place over the grill at 400 degrees for five minutes. Stir them every minute or two so they don’t burn. You want them to be a nice toasty brown. Allow to cool. Store in an airtight container.
Step Five: Lay out one section of the squash on a plate and top with a handful of greens, grapes, pine nuts, Feta cheese and Craisins. Drizzle with dressing.
There are lots of ways to make this recipe your own – and if you’re like us, you can already feel your brain going crazy with options.
Always think of serving this with just olive oil, salt and pepper for an easy grilled side dish that you don’t have to think about.
Drizzle a bit of honey as it comes off the grill. You can even cut it into cubes and toss it in a bit of honey before grilling. You would need to watch this closely so it doesn’t burn but this is an awesome option.
Make a seafood stuffing serve on top.
Add a rice medley that is mixed with fall fruits.
Toss the squash in an olive oil/cinnamon mixture to grill up.
Add a dollop of applesauce to the center (I’d warm it up!) for the perfect grilled fall dish.
You can eat these as leftovers by simply reheating in the microwave and serving. We made a big batch so we could enjoy a week full of lunches by heating them up and adding greens each day.
If you want to freeze these after cooking, place these on a sheet pan and put them in the freezer for 12 hours. Remove them from the sheet pan and place in a freezer safe gallon Ziplock bag. This flash-freeze technique allows you to grab one and reheat it when you want.
💡 Recipe Tips
Don’t cut the squash too thin. You’ll want them a bit thicker to be a solid base to the salad.
Make sure to brush or spray the squash with olive oil before grilling so it doesn’t stick to the grill.
Always keep a close eye on the pine nuts when roasting them. You are looking for them to brown up and get toasty, but not burn. They will turn from brown to burnt in a few seconds if you are not watching them closely.
You can eat the skin of the squash if it is thin enough. We have found that grilling the Kuri squash softens the skin most of the time and we have no problem being able to eat even the larger ones.
Use a GrillGrate for optimal results. This accessory sits on top of your existing grate, but the fins heat up significantly, resulting in the excellent sear marks you see above.
I also use this when cooking fatty meats. The valleys capture the drippings and it minimizes them dripping into the hot coals, causing undesirable flare-ups.
It’s a slightly sweet and nutty flavored squash. There are many ways to make it from roasted to adding it to soup. The mild flavor is really delicious.
Yep! It’s best if you let it cool and place it in any freezer safe bag or container you have on hand. It will last for 2-3 months in the freezer.
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Grilled Red Kuri Squash
Lemon Balsamic Dressing
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 clove Garlic minced
- 1/2 Lemon zested
- 1/4 cup Pine Nuts toasted
- 1 large Kuri Squash
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- 6 cups Mixed Greens
- 1 cup Craisins
- 1/2 cup Feta Cheese
- 12 Grapes
Lemon Balsamic Dressing
- Combine all the ingredients into a small bowl and whisk. Store in air tight container in refrigerator until ready to use. Shake before pouring.
- Place the 1/4 cup of pine nuts in a small cast iron skillet and place on a 400 degree grill over direct heat. Toast for five minutes. Keep an eye on them the entire time so they don't burn.
Grilled Kuri Squash
- Preheat the grill to 400 degrees on direct heat.
- Wash the outside of the squash and cut into half. Remove the seeds and then cut into thirds.
- Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place on the grill for 15 minutes and flip over. Grill another 15 minutes or until fork tender.
- Remove the Red Kuri Squash from the grill and place on a plate. Add on a cup of greens plus your salad toppings. We added a grapes, Feta cheese, Craisins, toasted pine nuts and dressing.