Roasted Squab with Balsamic Vinegar, Honey, and Italian Seasoning

I wanted to start this post off with a witty comment about being at the end of the school year and so poor I had to resort to eating pigeons… but when I calculated the approximate cost of the meal, it became very apparent that this meal is a bit on the expensive side of my usual budget.

Loki thinks this dinner is for her

Loki thinks this dinner is for her

A few weeks ago we were selling squab at work. I wasn’t quite sure what it was at first, but not entirely surprised when I was told it was domesticated pigeon. Naturally, my curiosity got the better of me and I decided I needed to try it, even though I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. It looked kind of like a small chicken, so I thought that roasting it might be nice (and the evenings have cooled off enough that I can justify turning on my oven again). The recipe that caught my eye called for the squab to be marinated and grilled, so I adapted it. I didn’t have time to marinate the squab, so I skipped that step. And I roasted the squab whole instead of breaking it into pieces and marinating it.

Loki must be thinking: "Food Girl, this smells like chicken, my favourite. You're going to share, right?"

Loki must be thinking: “Food Girl, this smells like chicken, my favourite. You’re going to share, right?”

So, what did I think of it once it was cooked? It was yummy! The squab is all dark meat, tasting similar to chicken/turkey.  The balsamic and honey was very nice basted over the squab as it cooked. The sweet and tangy sauce was good, but had mostly evaporated by the time the squab was fully cooked, so I’d probably take the time to marinate the squab next time I make it.

Roasted Squab with Balsamic Vinegar, Honey, and Italian Seasoning

Adapted from Honey-Thyme Squab from


  • 1 squab – approximate cost $11.50
  • 3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 teaspoon honey – approximate cost $0.25
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt – approximate cost $0.05
  • 3/4 cup water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Rise whole squab well.
  3. Place in baking dish.
  4. Pour water over squab.
  5. Drizzle honey and balsamic vinegar over the squab.
  6. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and sea salt.
  7. Bake breast side down and covered until mostly cooked through.
  8. Baste squab in liquid.
  9. Flip squab so the breast is facing up.
  10. Turn oven to broil.
  11. Uncover and return squab to oven.
  12. Broil until skin is crispy and squab is cooked through.
  13. Remove from oven.
  14. Allow squab to rest for a few minutes.
  15. Serve with sides of roasted potatoes and green beans.

Makes 2 servings (approximate cost: $6.20 per serving).

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  1. I was terrified they would serve us squab in Morocco; I don’t relish eating pigeon, domesticated or not. Your dish looks very nice though.

    • Thanks Eva! I’m not really familiar with squab, cooking it with Moroccan flavours sounds great! I can see how many people would have hesitations about eating it…

      • In August we had a stupid pigeon abandon her babies on our little balcony at the office. One died in the viscous heat and the other likely died from starvation (the building removed them). Stupid mother pigeon. Mind you, I have never in my life seen such an ugly baby, you should google it. they are absolutely hideous (maybe that’s why the stupid mother abandoned them).

  2. I never knew what a squab was. Your presentation was very nice. Thanks so much for stopping by Posed Perfection and leaving me a sweet comment about the Chicken Ranch Wrap. I hope you’ll come back for a visit soon. Have a great week!

  3. mjskit

     /  September 6, 2012

    I’ve never had squab but yours makes me want to change that – it looks like a roasted quail – which I love! Love your pictures with the cat! 🙂

    • Thanks MJ! I’ve never had quail, would you suggest trying it? Loki (kitty) says thanks, she’s very photogenic and loves to get in my food and food photos. 🙂

  4. Looks nice and succulent! I also did not know that squab was domesticated pigeon till I saw it being cooked on Masterchef Australia. In Kerala, we eat a small bird called ‘kaada’ (quail.)

    • I really must watch the Master Chef TV series – I’ve seen one episode (North American series where they made Hake). I’ve heard many good things and learned so much watching just that one episode (did you know you shouldn’t eat the skin of Hake fish?). Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Great post! This looks and sounds delicious. I’m determined to try squab at least once in my life! Greg Malouf, a terrific Australian chef, uses it a lot – his pigeon pie looks amazing.

    • Thanks Saskia! Hmmmm pigeon pie sounds very interesting! Any chance there’s a particular link where you found the recipe?


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