Grilled vegetables are a perfect accompaniment to any summer menu. Below are some tips on how to perfectly cook grilled vegetables.
How to Cook The BEST Grilled Vegetables
Adding more plants to meals is always at the top of my menu planning, and summer’s bounty makes it even easier to do. With a hot grill already fired up for grilled chicken, fish, or kebabs, I love slicing up fresh vegetables and tossing them on the grill for a simple mezze platter side. Even more, grilled vegetables are a healthy vegetarian main. Grill then chop them up for this favorite healthy pasta salad, or add them to healthy Mediterranean grain bowls.
What Vegetables Are Good for on the Grill
Vegetable options that cook well on the grill are pretty much endless.
Grilling vegetables highlights their natural sugars to become sweet, smoky and caramelized.
The best vegetables for grilling are:
- Zucchini — green or yellow work perfectly, cut into 1/3″ to 1/2″ slices before grilling—cut too thin and they’ll fall apart.
- Bell peppers, poblano peppers, jalapeño peppers, sweet baby peppers — slice bell peppers and remove seeds of the bell peppers before grilling for easiest eating.
- Portobello mushrooms or large brown mushrooms — no need to slice the mushrooms, you can grill them whole. Start the mushrooms gill side down then finish cap side down to hold in moisture.
- Eggplant — grilled is my favorite way to eat eggplan
- Carrots — grilling quickly softens carrots and allows their sweetness to take center stage
- Onions — any variety including green onions become very sweet when grilled
- Asparagus — fatter asparagus cooks more evenly than skinny and won’t fall through the grates
- Corn — cooking corn on the grill is THE BEST!
- Cauliflower — slice as steaks so they hold together
- Broccoli — slice as steaks or grill in florets
- Tomatoes — best grilled only if halved or grilled whole
5 Tips for the Best Grilled Vegetables
In my effort to keep things simple and my eating clean, I skip the marinade and the skewers and simply slice and season.
- Slice the vegetables the same thickness so they cook at the same rate. I use a handheld mandoline to make my zucchini, eggplant, and onion slices perfectly coordinate. I aim for slices that fall somewhere between 1/3″ and 1/2″. Slicing the veggies too thin will make them too tender as and disintegrate on the grill.
- Put oil on the vegetables before grilling. Follow the golden rule of grilling: oil what you grill, not the grill itself. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil then spread it evenly with your fingers. The mushrooms will absorb the oil quickly so work fast but don’t fret too much about them, they’ll produce plenty of their own juice.
- Season simply. Sprinkle the vegetables somewhat generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. They will absorb the salt as they cook, enhancing their inherent sweetness. Feel free to add dried herbs such as oregano, mint, tarragon, or basil if you’d like.
- Grill them hot. Start your veggies over medium heat, about 350°F to 450°F. Lay long slices and asparagus or carrots crosswise over the grates so they don’t fall through. Close the grill lid and cook the vegetables undisturbed, flipping after 3-5 minutes.
- Close the lid. Closing the lid of your grill creates the same environment as an oven, baking the vegetables as they lightly char. Check their progress every few minutes and cook until softened and the vegetables have your preferred amount of char.
How Long do You Keep Vegetables on the Grill
Cooking times for grilled vegetables will vary depending on the thickness of your slices. Grill with the lid down to create an oven environment and check the progress of your cooking half-way through cook times.
- Artichokes: Boil first for 10-12 minutes then quarter and grill 4-6 minutes
- Asparagus: 6-8 minutes
- Bell pepper: Whole for 10-12 minutes; halved for 8-10 minutes
- Carrot: Boil first for 4-6 minutes, then grill 3-5 minutes
- Corn: 15-20 minutes in husk
- Eggplant: 5-7 minutes (thicker slices will take longer)
- Portobello mushroom: 8-10 minutes
- Onion: sliced 8-10 minutes; halved 35-40 minutes
- Green onion: 3-4 minutes
- Tomato: 6-8 minutes halved
- Zucchini: 5-7 minutes
What Goes Well With Grilled Vegetables
Because they are just as delicious served warm or at room temperature, grilled veggies are an entertainer’s dream dish. Serve the grilled vegetables along any side just as they are, or consider adding a simple topping or sauce, like:
- Sprinkle veggies with shredded parmesan cheese or crumbled feta
- Drizzle with garlicky chimichurri sauce, creamy avocado salsa verde, or balsamic glaze
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, and follow me on Pinterest at Berriesandoats1.
The BEST Easy Grilled Vegetables
Zucchini, bell pepper, onions, asparagus, and mushrooms become sweet and savory when cooked on the grill. With just a brushing of olive oil and sprinkling of salt and pepper, this cooking method is simple and lets the vegetables natural goodness shine through.
- 2 portobello mushrooms
- 1 eggplant
- 1 zucchini
- 1 yellow squash
- 1 onion
- 1 bunch thick asparagus
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- Prepare the grill with clean grates and preheat to medium heat, 350°F to 450°F.
- Trim the ends of the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and onion and cut into 1/3″ to 1/2″ slices. Seed the red bell pepper and cut into quarters. Trim the ends of the asparagus.
- Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper. Grill the vegetables with the lid closed until tender and lightly charred all over, about 8 to 10 minutes for the bell peppers, onion, and mushroom; 5-7 minutes for the yellow squash, zucchini, and eggplant and asparagus.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
Calories: 162kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1760mg | Potassium: 1021mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 2005IU | Vitamin C: 65.9mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 3.5mg
Simple Grilled Vegetables
- 1 outdoor grill (gas or charcoal)
- 4 ea carrots peeled and cut in half
- 2 ea onions quartered
- 1 ea zucchini cut into 1/2-inch rounds
- 1 ea red bell pepper seeded and cut into cubes
- ¼ c olive oil extra virgin
- sea salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- balsamic vinegar
- Heat the grill to medium-high
- Prep vegetables as noted above, keeping carrots and onions separated from remaining ingredients
- Toss vegetables in olive oil
- Place carrots and onions on the grill first because they will take the longest to cook
- Cook the vegetables for 3-4 minutes on each side
- Transfer to a serving dish, and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar