How to Grill Vegetables for Amazing Flavor
Fire up the veg!
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. We'll share easy tips to help you grill all kinds of vegetables for the most delicious meals, plus recipes for our most popular grilled vegetables.
Best Vegetables for the Grill
Two Methods for Grilling Vegetables
There are techniques for creating perfect tender-crisp grilled vegetables: directly on the grill over the heat source and indirectly in a grill pan. Here's how to use the two methods:
1. Direct Grilling
- Cut larger vegetables (like eggplants, squash, and onions) into smaller pieces; with more surface area touching the grill, they'll pick up more caramelized grilled flavor. The pieces should be large enough that they don't fall between the grates.
- Most vegetables will cook better and are less likely to stick to the grates if they're marinated first or brushed lightly with cooking oil. To marinate cut vegetables, put in a zip-lock bag and add olive oil, salt, and pepper. Shake to coat.
- Small vegetables like cherry tomatoes or sliced vegetables work best threaded through skewers.
- Grill over medium heat until the vegetables reach a desired tenderness.
- Keep a close eye on your vegetables. Grilling times vary from vegetable to vegetable: Tender vegetables such as asparagus and tomatoes take less time while 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 vegetables with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Divide the vegetables by size and density, putting more dense vegetables like as carrots and potatoes into one grill pan and softer vegetables 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 vegetables from sticking. Cook until they reach the desired tenderness.
Our Most Popular Grilled Vegetables
There's really no end to the variety of vegetables you can grill, but these are the vegetables home cooks love to grill the most. You'll tempt even the most dedicated meat-eaters when they see and smell the delicious vegetables coming off 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
Note: A few vegetables 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 Serve Grilled Vegetables
- Serve your grilled vegetables simply with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
- Add grilled vegetables to a green salad, wraps, sandwiches, and omelets.
- Enjoy them with hummus and other dips and spreads.