Make room on the grill for vegetables so you can experience how the caramelizing flames and touch of smoke elevate the flavor of even the most everyday produce. These easy tips will help you grill all kinds of vegetables for the most delicious meals.
Two Grilling Methods
There are techniques for creating perfect tender-crisp grilled vegetables: directly on the grill and indirectly in a grill pan.
1. Direct Grilling
- 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. The pieces should be large enough that they don’t fall between the grates.
- Place cut veggies in a zip-lock bag and add some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Most vegetables will cook better and are less likely to stick if they're marinated first or brushed lightly with cooking oil.
- Small vegetables like cherry tomatoes or sliced veggies work best threaded through skewers.
- Grill over medium heat until the veggies reach a desired tenderness.
- 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.
2. Indirect Grilling in a Grill Pan
- Use a grill pan or disposable aluminium foil pan.
- Cut vegetables into the same thickness for even grilling.
- Combine veggies with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Divide the vegetables by size and density, putting more dense veggies like as carrots and potatoes into one grill pan and softer veggies like asparagus and green beans into a separate pan. Denser vegetables will take longer to cook.
- Use medium heat.
- Turn the vegetables, occasionally shaking the pan to keep the veggies from sticking. Cook until they reach the desired tenderness.
Best Vegetables for the Grill
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
- Mexican Corn on the Cob (Elote)
- Grilled Corn with Ancho Chile and Lime Butter
Easy and quick to grill, asparagus doesn't need prep work. Just season with salt and pepper and lay the stalks out across lightly oiled grill grates.
Try these grilled asparagus recipes:
Great on the grill, zucchini cooks best sliced into long strips.
Try these grilled zucchini recipes:
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.
Try these recipes:
- California Grilled Veggie Sandwich
- Grilled Portobello and Mozzarella
- Grilled Tequila Portobello
- Grilled Eggplant, Tomato, and Goat Cheese
A few veggies to avoid: Cucumbers, celery, and most leafy greens don't do as well on the grill because of their high water content. Of course, an exception is Romaine lettuce, which hits the grill with excellent results!
3 Favorite Ways to use Grilled Vegetables
- Serve your grilled vegetables simply with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
- Add grilled veggies to a green salad, wraps, sandwiches, and omelets.
- Enjoy them with hummus and other dips and spreads.