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An easy Thanksgiving side: Coconut Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is an unreasonable vegetable. It’s difficult to cut, difficult to skin, and difficult to remove the seeds. It’s as sturdy as a rock and nearly as heavy. But its excessive durability is exactly why it makes such a great camping food. We guarantee you’ll never have to worry about it getting bruised or going bad.

Now, if you’re backpacking and concerned about weight, then virtually any other vegetable is going to be a better option for you. But if you’re car camping and looking for something seasonal to cook over the fire, then a butternut squash is a great idea.

Back when we were living in Los Angeles, oven roasted butternut squash was one of our signature Thanksgiving dishes. Now that we’re without an oven, we decided to tweak the recipe slightly so it can be cooked over an open fire or propane camp stove. The key is to cut the pieces down smaller. We previously cut the squash into 1” cubes, now we try for 1/2” cubes. 

While originally prepared as a Thanksgiving side, this is definitely one of those dishes that can be enjoyed all throughout the winter months.

A Note About Selection: The signature butternut squash look is a bulbous bottom and a long skinny neck, but those are exactly the types of squashes you want to avoid. All the meat is in the neck, while the bottom is filled with seeds. So when picking up a squash, look for one with the fattest possible neck.

An easy Thanksgiving side: Coconut Butternut Squash
An easy Thanksgiving side: Coconut Butternut Squash
An easy Thanksgiving side: Coconut Butternut Squash

Cast Iron Butternut Squash

This is an adaptation of our friend Ethan's butternut squash. His recipe is as follows: "Bake some squash in a sh*t ton of coconut oil." Here's our version.
Author: Fresh Off the Grid
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
4 servings


  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage, not ground


  • Peel your squash and cut it into 1/2" pieces (here is a great tutorial on how to accomplish this). This step can be done at home, just place the cubed squash in an airtight container and stick it in your cooler when packing up.
  • Heat the coconut oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the squash and the salt, tossing to evenly coat the squash with the oil. Cook, covered if possible (a dutch oven lid or foil work well), until the squash is tender - about 15 minutes. Toss every few minutes to ensure even cooking.
  • Remove from the heat, sprinkle in the ground sage and salt to taste.


Equipment Needed
Sharp knife
Cutting board
10 or 12" cast iron skillet
Large spoon or spatula
(optional: vegetable peeler, if using - we just used our knife to peel the squash)

Nutrition (Per Serving)

Calories: 124kcal
*Nutrition is an estimate based on information provided by a third-party nutrition calculator
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An easy Thanksgiving side: Coconut Butternut Squash

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