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Guide to Grilling Vegetables

There are a lot of different ways to incorporate vegetables into an everyday healthy diet, but one of the easiest and most delicious is by grilling them. Open flames reveal the natural, caramelized sweetness of vegetables and a smoky char that elevates the flavor to the next level! With a grill that’s already fired up for the main course of sausage and brats, throwing on some veggies is one of the easiest ways to make a healthy side that everyone will love. Many vegetables do well on the grill, but there are a few that really stand out.  

grilled onions and peppers and corn

Which Veggies to Grill

We all know about grilled corn or adding mushrooms to kebabs, but there are so many other veggies that shine when grilled! Let’s take a look at some of the best veggies to grill and how they should be prepared.

  • Bell Peppers: Seeded and cut into quarters.
  • Onions: Peeled and cut into quarters.
  • Yellow Squash: Sliced into halves lengthwise.
  • Zucchini: Sliced into halves lengthwise.
  • Eggplant: Sliced into halves lengthwise, or sliced into thick coins.
  • Mushrooms: Remove the stems and cut them into halves. Additionally, you can remove the stem and grill it whole, starting with the gill side down and flipping once half done.
  • Asparagus: Trim off ends and lay across the grill to avoid falling.
  • Tomatoes: This depends on the kind of tomato. When grilling whole, large tomatoes like red beefsteak tomatoes, slice in half and grill with the sliced side down. You can also buy small tomatoes on the vine, like cherry tomatoes, and grill the whole group together. Keeping them on the vine while grilling lets you move them easier and prevents any from falling through the grates.
  • Corn: Pull the silk off and put on the grill while still in the husk. You can remove a couple of outer layers of the husk to allow easier access to the corn itself.

Once the vegetables are prepared, brush them in olive oil to prevent sticking to the grates. The flavor of veggies will be strong, so seasoning with just a little bit of salt and pepper will be enough to do the trick. Also, don’t forget to clean your grill before throwing them on!

How Long to Grill

The grill should be set to medium-high heat to guarantee the best cook throughout. Each vegetable requires a different cook time depending on their size and shape. Start by putting the heartier vegetables on first, like onions and peppers. From there, work up to the more delicate ones that need only a few minutes, like tomatoes.

  • Corn: 15-20 minutes in the husk.
  • Bell peppers and onions: 8-10 minutes.
  • Yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, and mushrooms: 6-8 minutes.
  • Asparagus and tomatoes: 4-6 minutes.
roasted zucchini and peppers on the grill

Tips for Grilling

  • The more surface area the vegetable has on the grill, the more char it will get as it cooks. To get the maximum smoky flavor, place your veggies face-down on the side with the most surface area!
  • Avoid moving the veggies around too much to really get those intense grill marks burned in.
  • If you want to avoid placing the vegetables directly on the grates, you can always put them in aluminum foil.
  • To add some extra flavor once they’re cooked and resting, sprinkle some parmesan cheese over top, or squeeze a lemon to add some zest!
  • The vegetables can also go great drizzled with a fresh, homemade sauce, like an avocado sauce or chimichurri.

Grilled vegetables are usually eaten by themselves as a side dish, but try throwing them into different recipes to mix it up! Salads, sandwiches, pizza, and even pasta can all benefit from adding vegetables from the grill. Check out some of our recipes and experiment by adding your own grilled veggies to them.

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