The Ultimate Guide for the Best Grilled Vegetables

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The Ultimate Guide for the Best Grilled Vegetables – all my easy grilling tips, cooking times, no stick methods, seasoning recommendations and how to serve your grilled vegetables for the best summer dinner out there! 

a platter filled with the best grilled vegetables and a balsamic dressing

How to Make the Best Grilled Vegetables

I don’t know about you, but I find that I eat more vegetables in the summer. First off, I feel like the produce section of the grocery store is booming with gorgeous vegetables so it’s easy to fill your cart with all the goods. But also I LOVE the taste of grilled vegetables and more importantly my family does too.

There is just something about a slightly charred vegetable oozing with smoky grill flavor that makes my tummy happy. Most weeks I grill up a big batch of grilled vegetables and we add them to our meals throughout the week. It’s great! So I wanted to give you the ultimate guide for the best grilled vegetables out there! Some of these will blow your mind AND your taste buds. Let’s dive in!

raw vegetables on a cutting board ready to grill

Which vegetables are good for grilling?

The main question is, which vegetables aren’t good for grilling! Everything can be grilled but there are definitely a few favorites I have out there.

  • Bell Peppers
  • Onion
  • Squash
  • Mushrooms
  • Asparagus
  • Corn
  • Tomatoes
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Eggplant
  • Romaine

raw vegetables with seasoning and oil getting ready to be grilled

How to prepare vegetables for grilling?

I find that grilling things whole or almost whole is the way to go. The more space you give your vegetables for grill marks, the more flavor you’re going to get out of them. It also makes them easier to flip around on the grill without falling through the grill grates, believe me I’ve had a few fall down there. Ok, so here’s how to prepare your vegetables for grilling.

  • Bell peppers: Seeded and quartered.
  • Onions: Cut into 1″ slices with skin left on (this will help hold your onion circle together)
  • Yellow squash, zucchini, and eggplant: Cut lengthwise into 1/2″ thick strips
  • Mushrooms: Remove stems
  • Asparagus: Cut off the woody ends or follow my easy recipe on how to grill asparagus
  • Corn: Remove silk. I also have an awesome post on how to grill corn on the cob with two different grilling methods
  • Tomatoes: If you use roma, I’d cut them in half lengthwise. Cherry tomatoes, I grill on a grill basket like this one. Or you could by small tomatoes that are still on the vine and use the vine as a little handle to remove the tomatoes when they start to blister.
  • Cauliflower: slice into 1″ thick steaks
  • Broccoli: Trim off the fibrous bottom half of the broccoli stem, then quarter broccoli head into small trees. 
  • Romaine: Yes, you can grill lettuce and trust me, you’ll love it. Don’t believe me, give this Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad a try and you’ll see how amazing grilled romaine can be.

vegetables being grilled and a platter filled with finished grilled vegetables

Are grilled vegetables healthy?

Yes, grilled vegetable are healthy. They’re the next best thing after eating the veggies raw, since many of the nutrients are still present in grilled vegetables. However, burning vegetables can form carcinogens. So just don’t char them to a crisp, that’s no bueno and it doesn’t taste good either. The main reason some would assume that grilled vegetables aren’t as healthy is because they’re subjected to heat. Which does reduce some of the nutritional value, but not by very much plus you’re add minimal fat to grill the vegetables. So overall grilled vegetables are a GREAT option and very healthy!

Should I marinade my vegetables before hand?

I would recommend not marinading your vegetables. I find that adding a marinade that’s made with citrus or vinegars will break down your vegetables instead of keeping them crisp. If you would like to “prep” your vegetables ahead of time, you could cut them one day before and season with olive oil, salt and pepper then store in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator. 

close up of best grilled vegetables on a platter

How long do vegetables take to cook on the grill?

Like all things, grilling times will vary depending on the thickness of each vegetable, the size and shape of the cut and the temperature of the grill. Place vegetables directly on the grill and cook with the lid down to create an oven environment, however check frequently so you don’t burn vegetables. I’d recommend checking halfway through the grill time. Also, don’t be afraid to move vegetables around the grill if they aren’t cooking fast enough or if they’re getting too brown. Long Extended Tongs or thin metal spatula like a fish spatula work awesome! Please note, these cooking times are total grilling times not grilling times for each side.

  • Bell pepper: whole grill for 10-12 minutes; halved or quartered grill for 8-10 minutes
  • Onion: sliced into 1″ slices grill for 8 to 10 minutes
  • Squash: 1/2″ lengthwise slices grill for 4 to 6 minutes
  • Mushroom: whole portobello mushrooms grill 8 to 10 minutes, smaller mushrooms grill 4 to 7 minutes
  • Asparagus: grill for 4 to 6 minutes
  • Corn: grill for 15 to 20 minutes with or without husk
  • Tomato: halved tomatoes grill 6to 8 minutes, smaller cherry/grape size tomatoes grill 4-6 minutes.
  • Broccoli: grill 8 to 10 minutes
  • Eggplant: 1/2″ lengthwise slices grill 5 to 7 minutes 
  • Romaine: halved or quartered grilled 2-3 minutes

Before you place your vegetables on the grill, be sure to brush both sides with an oil. This will help the vegetables not stick to the grill. I’d suggest using olive oil, avocado oil or grape seed oil.  Also, this should go without saying, but be sure to season both sides with salt and pepper.

closeup side shot of a platter filled with the best grilled vegetables

Tips for the Best Grilled Vegetables:

  1. Cut approximately the same size. I try to keep my vegetables as close to “whole” form as possible. For cutting shapes and sizes, follow the instructions above. To help with consistency with certain vegetables, like squash, I use a mandoline slicer
  2. Brush with Oil. Oil with help ensure that your vegetables don’t stick to the grill. Just drizzle or brush both sides of the vegetables with oil (I recommend olive oil, avocado oil or grape seed oil). 
  3. Season. I don’t like to marinade my vegetables because I find it breaks them down and makes them soggy. I season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. If you want more flavor I’ve been known to add a balsamic dressing drizzle (listed below) or a fresh greek dressing to brighten things up.
  4. HOT Grill. I like to have two zones on my grill. A direct high heat side that about 350°F to 450°F and an indirect side, just in case some of those veggies cook a little too fast! I start on the direct heat side. Most grills are hotter in certain parts of the grill, usually the back so be sure to pay attention and move your vegetables around so they don’t burn.
  5. 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.
  6. Finish with Sauce or Herbs: One of my favorite tricks to do whenever anything comes off the heat is to finish with fresh herbs, a squeeze of lemon juice or a light sauce to brighten everything back up. I guarantee it will take your vegetables over the top and make them irresistible!

Grilled Vegetable Serving Suggestions

The best thing about grilled vegetables is they make a delicious side dish or a main course. Have leftovers? Cut them up and throw them in a salad! Here are some topping ideas for grilled vegetables as well as ways to use up the leftovers.

closeup of best grilled vegetables with balsamic dressing

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closeup of best grilled vegetables with balsamic dressing

How to make the Best Grilled Vegetables

  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: N/A
  • Category: Vegetables
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: American

Description

The Ultimate Guide for the Best Grilled Vegetables – all my easy grilling tips, cooking times, no stick methods, seasoning recommendations and how to serve your grilled vegetables for the best summer dinner out there! 

Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 3 ears of corn, shucked
  • 1 red onion, 1″ thick slices
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced lengthwise
  • 34 portobello mushroom caps
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper to season

Balsamic Vinaigrette Drizzle: (optional)

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dry basil
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill to medium high heat, approximately 350°F-400°F.
  2. Brush both sides of vegetables with either an olive oil, avocado oil or grape seed oil.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place vegetables on grill, follow the following grilling times for each vegetable.
    1. Bell pepper: whole grill for 10-12 minutes; halved or quartered grill for 8-10 minutes
    2. Onion: sliced into 1″ slices grill for 8 to 10 minutes
    3. Squash: 1/2″ lengthwise slices grill for 4 to 6 minutes
    4. Mushroom: whole portobello mushrooms grill 8 to 10 minutes, smaller mushrooms grill 4 to 7 minutes
    5. Asparagus: grill for 4 to 6 minutes
    6. Corn: grill for 15 to 20 minutes with or without husk
    7. Tomato: halved tomatoes grill 6to 8 minutes, smaller cherry/grape size tomatoes grill 4-6 minutes.
    8. Broccoli: grill 8 to 10 minutes
    9. Eggplant: 1/2″ lengthwise slices grill 5 to 7 minutes
    10. Romaine: halved or quartered grilled 2-3 minutes
  5. Let rest for 5 minutes. Serve.
  6. Optional: In a small bowl mix garlic, basil, mustard, honey, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Whisk until combined. Drizzle over grilled vegetables.

Keywords: best grilled vegetables, easy grilled vegetables, grilled vegetables recipe, how to make grilled vegetables, grilled summer vegetables, grilled vegetables, how to grill vegetables,

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Krista
Hi! I'm the recipe developer and food photographer behind all these easy healthy recipes! I love food, Jesus, morning lattes, and am obsessed with fantasy football! { more }

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