How To Grill Vegetables For Amazing Flavor

Make room on the grill for veggies. The caramelizing flames and touch of smoke do wonders for vegetables.

Grilled Vegetables with Pita

Grilled veggies with feta and pita bread | Photo by Meredith

Best for the Grill

A lot of veggies do well on the grill, but some really stand out — asparagus, corn, eggplant, mushrooms, peppers (bell or hot), onions, even cabbage.

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.

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.

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.

Grilled veggies on white plate

Photo by Meredith

Keep a close eye on your vegetables. Grilling times vary from veggie to veggie, but they’re generally more delicate than meats. Harder vegetables like potatoes will take a little longer on the grill.

Grilled Corn

Perfect for grilling, corn even comes with its own wrapper.

Grilled corn with limes

Photo by Meredith

VIDEO: See How To Make Mexican Grilled Corn

Watch Chef John make grilled corn topped with mayo seasoned with ancho chile powder, smoked paprika, and lime juice and grated cojita cheese.

Chef John’s recipe for Mexican Grilled Corn.

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.

Grilled Tomatoes and Red Onions

Grilled Tomatoes and Red Onions | Photo by Meredith

Make It A Pizza Party

While you’re tossing veggies on the grill, add some pizza dough for a super-quick dinner. Here’s why the best homemade pizza is Grilled Pizza.

Grilled veggies on grilled pizza

Grilled veggie pizza | Photo by Meredith

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!

Grilled Romaine Salad

Grilled Romaine Salad with grilled cherry tomatoes | Photo by Meredith


See our collection of BBQ & Grilled Vegetable Recipes


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:

1) The first is to place the vegetables directly on the grill;

2) And the second is to place them into some type of grill pan and then on the grill. I like to use a disposable aluminium foil pan for my grill pan. It is inexpensive and clean up is easy. Just throw it away.

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.

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 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.

Then it is time to heat up the grill. I put mine on a medium heat. If you are using the first method, place your cut vegetables directly onto your grill.

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.

Tender Crisp Grilled Bell Peppers

Photo by Leigh Anne Wilkes

For the second method I put my vegetables directly into the foil pan, after adding the oil and seasoning. For pan grilling, 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.
Vegetables Grilled in a Foil Pan

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.
Grilled Vegetables

Leigh Anne’s Grilled Vegetables Recipe

Ingredients

  • Selection of vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, peppers, zucchini, squash, onions, asparagus, green beans.
  • 1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. Place in a plastic container and coat with 1-2 Tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper.
  3. Grill over medium heat until desired tenderness.
  4. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar or more salt and pepper if desired.

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