Make room on the grill for veggies. The caramelizing flames and touch of smoke do wonders for vegetables. These easy tips will help you grill all kinds of vegetables for the most delicious meals.
Top Tips for Grilling Vegetables
Cut larger veggies (like eggplants, squash, and onions) into smaller pieces; with more surface area touching the grill, they'll pick up more yummy grilled flavor.
Small vegetables like cherry tomatoes or sliced veggies work best threaded through kabobs. You can also wrap vegetables in heavy duty foil, though cooking in foil cuts back on that appealing smoky flavor.
Keep a close eye on your vegetables. Grilling times vary from veggie to veggie, but they're generally more delicate than meats. Harder, denser vegetables like potatoes will take a little longer on the grill.
Best for the Grill
A lot of vegetables do well on the grill, but some really stand out -- asparagus, corn, eggplant, mushrooms, peppers (bell or hot), onions, even cabbage. Here are some of our favorites:
- Grilled Asparagus
- Thai Charred Eggplant with Tofu
- Savory Grilled Onions
- Cabbage on the Grill
- Grilled Poblano Pepper and Mango Quesadillas
Most vegetables cook better and are less likely to stick if they're marinated first or brushed lightly with cooking oil. For added flavor, sprinkle grilled vegetables with fresh herbs. Try these recipes:
- Eggplant Mixed Grill
- Marinated Barbecued Vegetables
- Marinated Veggies
- Grilled Beets in Rosemary Vinegar
- Marinated Mushrooms and Eggplant with Peanut Sauce
For a short list of meals you can create just by grilling an extra batch of vegetables each time you fire up the 'que, check out Save Time, Grill Extra Vegetables.
Perfect for grilling, corn even comes with its own wrapper. Check out these tips for grilling corn three different ways>
Try these recipes for grilled corn:
- Miss Bettie's Zesty Grilled Corn
- Cajun Grilled Corn
- Tasty BBQ Corn on the Cob
- Horseradish Corn on the Cob
- Grilled Corn with Ancho Chile and Lime Butter
- Corn with Bacon and Chili Powder
Grilled Tomatoes and Mushrooms
Corn's frequent companion, the tomato, might not seem well-suited for grilling, but it works surprisingly well. Grilling also brings out the best in most mushrooms, especially portobellos.
- California Grilled Veggie Sandwich
- Grilled Portobello and Mozzarella
- Grilled Tequila Portobello
- Grilled Eggplant, Tomato, and Goat Cheese
Some Veggies to Avoid
Most vegetables love the grill. But a few like cucumbers, celery, and most leafy greens don't do as well because of their high water content -- although you can grill Romaine lettuce with excellent results!
Two Grilling Methods
To help us create perfect tender-crisp grilled vegetables, we asked Leigh Anne Wilkes of Your Homebased Mom to break out to the grill and show us some simple tips for flame-cooking vegetables.
Here's Leigh Anne in her own words:
I use two different methods for grilling vegetables: directly on the grill and in a grill pan.
Tips for Grilling Vegetable Directly on the Grill
- If I am grilling directly on the grill I cut the vegetables into big pieces so they don’t fall in between the grill. I cut my peppers into quarters and my zucchini and squash into longer, flat horizontal pieces.
- After cutting up and preparing my vegetables I like to place them in a plastic zippered bag and add some olive oil and salt and pepper.
Tips for Grilling Vegetables in a Grill Pan
- If I'm grilling in a grill pan, I like to use a disposable aluminium foil pan. It is inexpensive and clean up is easy. Just throw it away.
- If I am using a grill pan I will cut my peppers and zucchini/squash into circles or coin shaped pieces. Just be sure that they are all the same thickness for even grilling. I will place asparagus directly on the grill but like to grill my green beans in a grill pan.
- After adding the oil and seasoning, I divide the vegetables, putting my denser vegetables such as peppers, carrots, potatoes into one pan and my softer vegetables such as my zucchini, squash, asparagus and green beans in a separate pan.
- Allow them to cook until desired softness, approx. 12-15 minutes. Turn the vegetables occasionally and shake the pan so they don’t stick to the bottom and burn. Use a medium heat.
- Your denser vegetables will take longer to cook. My peppers took about 15 minutes where my zucchini only took about 10. The asparagus and beans cook faster also. Cook until they reach the desired tenderness.
I like my vegetables to not be too soft but tender crisp.
Favorite Ways to use Grilled Vegetables
- Grilled vegetables can be used all kinds of way. I love to drizzle them with a bit of balsamic vinegar and serve as a side dish.
- They are delicious in a salad, in wrap or a sandwich, too.
- We also love to use them to dip into hummus or add some into an omelet! And of course they are delicious all by themselves too.
Leigh Anne's Grilled Vegetables Recipe
- Selection of vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, peppers, zucchini, squash, onions, asparagus, green beans.
- 1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Slice vegetables into pieces depending on grilling method. Round, smaller pieces if using a grill pan and longer, wider pieces if placing directly on the grill.
- Place in a plastic container and coat with 1-2 Tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper.
- Grill over medium heat until desired tenderness.
- Drizzle with balsamic vinegar or more salt and pepper if desired.