You’ve heard of BBQ pulled jackfruit as an Vegetarian alternative to pork, but have you ever had BBQ Pulled Squash? This recipe is based off the sandwich from Butcher and Bee in Charleston, South Carolina.
Butcher and Bee is a super cool resturant in Charleston, South Carolina (there is also a location in Nashville, Tennessee). Back in the day, they would post their daily menu on their Facebook page. I ate there every single day for an entire week when I was in Charleston because the food was so creative and delicious. I fell in love with their BBQ Pulled Pork sandwich. So in love that I had to recreate it on my first website Beauty and the Beets and publish it my Vegetarian cookbook.
While the squash itself is quite delicious when roasted, it is the Southern style BBQ sauce that really makes this dish so good. In the Carolinas we have two basic styles of BBQ sauce – the North Carolina vinegar based BB! sauce, and the South Carolina mustard based BBQ sauce. To me, the mustard base sauce reigns supreme.
I have made this sauce a million times and have never looked back. It’s sweet, tangy, and has a slightly spicy kick. It would be equally good on BBQ pulled squash, jackfruit, or pulled pork.
When I first started making this BBQ pulled squash, I would struggle with cutting the spaghetti squash in half. When raw it is really tough to cut, and dangerous. My Mother taught me a pretty cool trick. Place the squash whole onto a baking sheet and use a fork to poke about 10 to 15 holes into the skin. Then place in the oven and bake until softened. It’s certainly easier to cut once the squash is baked and softened.
Scraping the seeds can be a little tricky because you really want to use as much of the stringy flesh that you can. Once you are able to start scraping out the flesh of the spaghetti squash, it should be stringy and soft.
Then just toss the BBQ sauce with the spaghetti squash together and add it to toasted buns. I like to top my BBQ pulled squash with bread and butter pickles. I mean after all, what’s better than pickles and BBQ?
For the Pulled Squash:
- 2 medium to large spaghetti squash
- Olive oil, for brushing
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup mustard-based BBQ sauce (see below)
- 4 hoagie rolls or hamburger rolls
- bread and butter chips, for garnish
For the BBQ sauce:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1 to 2 teaspoons hot sauce (depends how spicy you like)
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup ketchup (no fructose or sugar added)
- 3 tablespoons smoked mustard (can substitute with Dijon)
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon tumeric spice
- 2-4 tablespoons water (for thinning)
- Preheat oven to 375°
- Place whole squash on a large baking sheet. Using a fork, poke each squash 10-15 times.
- Bake the squash in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until squash is soft enough to cut.
- While the squash is baking, make the BBQ sauce: Heat the olive oil over medium high heat.
- Add the onion and garlic. Saute until softened, about 3 minutes.
- Add the cider vinegar and stir to combine. Let cook for one minute.
- Stir in the hot sauce, ketchup, mustard, sugarm and tumeric.
- Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.
- Pour sauce into a blender or food process and blend.
- If the sauce is too thick, add water, one tablespoon at a time and blend until desired consistency is reached.
- Remove squash from oven and let rest until cool enough to tough. Lower the oven temperature to 250°
- Carefully cut each squash lengthwise (squash will be hot on the inside).
- Using a spoon, gently scrape out the seeds.
- Next, scrape out the flesh. The flesh should be stringy.
- Toast the bread in the oven for about 5 minutes, until toasted and browned.
- Mix the BBQ sauce and squash strings until squash is well coated.
- Fill the bread with the BBQ Pulled Squash and top with bread and butter pickles, if desired.