Labor Day has come and gone and we are moving toward autumnal flavors and fall grilling. You know I believe in grilling year-round or at least until the snow drift covering your grill makes it next to impossible. But it also means changing the way you approach grilling. As the weather cools down, you might be less inclined to hang out by the grill drinking a beer… I said might be, 🙂 but you still want that grill-kissed flavor. Time for indirect heat… the griller’s answer to set it and forget it (well, almost).
There is only 15 minutes of prep for this meal and it can be done up to two days in advance — perfect for a great and healthy weeknight or weekend grilled dinner. After that, it’s 10 minutes at the grill and then you can let the indirect heat do the rest while you help the kids with homework or watch the big game.
Dry brining the turkey breast ahead of time will help to insure a moist flavorful bite. The spaghetti squash gains some sweet smokiness by giving it a little char over direct heat before adding some butter and wrapping in foil to grill-roast alongside the turkey with indirect heat. If you are someone who feels that turkey always needs a little gravy, try my In-A-Pinch Poultry Gravy.
Sage-Rubbed Turkey Breast with Grilled Spaghetti Squash
For turkey breast:
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground sage
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
One 2-1/2 pound bone-in turkey breast half, trimmed of excess skin and fat
In-A-Pinch Poultry Gravy (optional), for serving
For spaghetti squash:
1 spaghetti squash
1 teaspoon reserved sage rub
3 tablespoons butter – I used Brown Sugar & Bacon Butter!
In a small bowl, combine the salt and spices. Measure out 1 teaspoon and set aside for the squash. Sprinkle the remainder of the rub over the entire top and bottom of the breast. Let set at room temperature for an hour before grilling or loosely covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. The longer the turkey breast “cures” with the rub, the more flavorful it will become. If refrigerating, let come to room temperature for an hour before grilling.
Set up grill for indirect heat grilling over medium high heat. Place a drip pan below the grates where the turkey breast will sit. Brush and oil grates before cooking.
Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Sprinkle the inside of the squash with the reserved sage rub. Grill the squash cut-side down for 5 minutes on the direct heat side of the grill. Remove from grill and close the grill cover.
Divide the butter into the cavity of each half and then wrap the halves separately in foil.
Place the turkey breast skin-side up on hot, oiled grill over a drip pan. Add the foil-wrapped squash cut-side up to the grill. Cover grill and roast for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours, or until internal temperature reaches 160°F. If using a charcoal grill, add a few more briquettes to each pile of coals after one hour. Transfer turkey to a cutting board and loosely tent with for 10 minutes before carving. The internal temperature will continue to raise another 5°F.
Unwrap the squash and separate strands by running a fork from top to bottom through the spaghetti squash, then scoop out with a spoon. Season if desired. Carefully remove the turkey breast from the bone and thinly slice. Serve hot or at room temperature with a serving of spaghetti squash.
Cheers and Happy Grilling!