Simplest Roast Squab

Roast pigeon, halved, on knife
Foodcollection / Getty Images
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
445 Calories
44g Fat
6g Carbs
8g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 445
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 44g 57%
Saturated Fat 21g 107%
Cholesterol 113mg 38%
Sodium 603mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 8mg 42%
Calcium 38mg 3%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 208mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Like all game birds, squab needs to be slightly undercooked so it can be served medium rare. Although the USDA recommends cooking game birds to an internal temperature of 180 F, any harmful bacteria are killed at 145 F. Squab is certainly a special-occasion bird, and this easy recipe makes the most of squab's unique flavor.


  • 1 1/3 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temperature and divided

  • 2 large shallots, minced

  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped

  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme

  • Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or coarse sea salt

  • 4 squabs, rinsed and dried

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Steps to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 450 F.

  2. Beat together 1 stick of butter, shallots, thyme leaves, lemon zest, sea salt and several grinds of freshly ground pepper in a mixing bowl until smooth. Divide into 4 portions.

  3. Using a couple of fingers, carefully loosen each squabs skin attached to the breast and legs, then work in 1 portion of the butter mixture, spreading it over the breast meat and in between the legs. Stuff the squab's cavity with a thyme sprig, tie its legs together with kitchen string. Sprinkle the kosher salt and more pepper over the squab. Repeat with the other squab.

  4. Heat remaining 3 tablespoons butter and the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until the foam subsides. Brown the squab on all sides, then transfer to a roasting pan and roast 15 to 20 minutes. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature of the breast without touching bone. At 145 F, remove the squab from the oven and let rest 5 minutes before serving. (If the temperature is not at 145 F, continue to roast 5 minutes.)