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13 Grill-Friendly Vegetables For Your Barbecue

Grill up these veggies for a great addition to your backyard BBQ.

With summer in full swing, people are firing up their grills and creating tasty dinners while enjoying good company.

Grilled Vegetables In A Cast Iron Grilling Pan

A rise in vegetarian and vegan diets, as well as healthy and balanced diets, is turning grilled vegetables more popular.

Grilled veggies make for a great accompaniment to the classic burgers and steaks, and it allows vegetarians and vegans to enjoy the barbecue fun! It also gives the vegetables the much-loved charred flavor that reminds you of summer.

Best Vegetables To Grill

A vegetable that’s good for grilling is one that will hold up to the grill and get full flavor from the open flames. From corn to bell peppers, learn all about the best vegetables for grilling below!


Corn

There are multiple ways to grill corn. The first way is in the husk.

You can also grill the bare corn and remove the husk. Whichever your preference, corn is a favorite vegetable to grill!

My favorite way to grill corn is with the husk still on. This way results best when you pre-soak the corn. It allows steam to build up and creates juicy, grilled corn.

You can also grill corn without the husk. This grilling technique causes more charred corn since the corn cob is straight on the fire.

This method is preferred if you are making a charred corn salad or just like more of a charred flavor!

Whichever is your preference, corn is one of the best vegetables for grilling.


Asparagus

The subtle, yet particular flavors of asparagus add a touch of freshness to every meal.

My favorite way to grill asparagus is to preheat the grill to high heat. This allows for a good char and quick grill.

I coat my asparagus in some olive oil, season it with some salt and pepper, and throw it on the grill.

It only takes 2-3 minutes to grill asparagus. I like mine still a little crunchy, so if you prefer more tender asparagus, leave it on the grill for a minute or two longer.

You can also cover the asparagus with a lid to get more tender asparagus in a short amount of time.


Eggplant

Eggplant is such a versatile vegetable. It is great baked, grilled, or fried. I can use it as a low-carb substitute or make it shine on its own.

My favorite way to grill eggplant is with garlic and herbs. The eggplant flavor shines through with an added zing from the herbs and garlic.

I heat my grill to medium-high heat. I coat my eggplant in olive oil, salt, pepper, freshly chopped garlic, and herbs.

I like some char, so I leave my eggplant on the grill until the desired texture and grill marks are achieved. 


Zucchini

My kids don’t like zucchini, but I can usually sneak it into dishes without them knowing!

It is a great way to make sure they are getting the vegetables they need in one of the healthiest ways possible.

My favorite way to grill zucchini is to flavor it with salt, pepper, and either lemon pepper or fresh-squeezed lemon juice.

The lemon adds a zing of sour to the zucchini that’s irresistible! My kids gobble it right up.


Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a little more tricky to grill than other vegetables.

They are more tender, so you have to be careful when putting them on the grill. When done right, they have the perfect texture!

The trick to the perfect grilled tomato is to not leave it on the grill too long. Have the grill preheated to a high temperature, throw the tomato on, and grill just until grill marks appear. Use larger tomato varieties so they don’t fall into the grill.

I like to season my tomatoes with salt, pepper, and oregano. 

They taste just like grilled pizza! Grill your next batch of fresh tomatoes for a twist on your regular grilled meal.


Romaine Lettuce

One vegetable many people don’t think to grill is romaine lettuce. Once you throw your greens on the grill, you won’t want to eat raw lettuce ever again!

It doesn’t take long on a hot grill to get the perfect grilled romaine lettuce. I don’t add anything to the lettuce; I just throw it on the grill until charred and grill marks appear.

Grilled romaine lettuce gives a kick to a salad or on its own as a side dish. 


Artichokes

Artichokes are a great vegetable for grilling. They are hardy and hold up well to the high heat and won’t fall apart on you as easily as some other vegetables.

My favorite recipe for grilled artichokes uses herbs, oil, and lemon to flavor. Microwave herbs such as oregano or thyme in olive oil for 30 seconds.

Prepare the artichokes by trimming away the outer leaves.

Use the lemon to prevent the artichokes from browning. Steam the artichokes for 20 minutes.

Rub the herb-infused oil all over the artichokes, then place them on a high-heat grill. Cover with a lid and grill for 5-10 minutes, until desired texture and charring occurs. 


Bell Peppers

Grilling bell peppers gives them a sweet, smoky flavor. They make a great side dish for your backyard cookout! They are super easy to make. 

My favorite thing to do is to mix bell peppers with red onions. I toss them in olive oil and kosher salt.

When I use onions, I have to use tin foil. Throw all the veggies in the foil and throw them on the grill until they are tender.

If you don’t like onions or want more charring, prepare the bell peppers the same way, but throw them right on the grill grates instead of using tin foil.

Other peppers like sweet peppers also work great on the grill!


Cauliflower

Cauliflower is another veggie that you can use for a million different dishes.

Low-carb dieters use it as a substitute for all sorts of things, including potatoes and rice. I try to eat low-carb, so I and cauliflower have become pretty good friends.

One of my favorite ways I have found to prepare cauliflower is not as a substitute at all. I let the cauliflower speak for itself by grilling it to perfection.

I do most of my summer cooking on the grill, so grilled cauliflower has become one of my favorite summer foods.

I toss the cauliflower in olive oil, kosher salt, chili powder, and lemon juice. I char it on the grill until the desired texture and charring are achieved, then garnish it with chives. Delicious!


Portobello Mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms are big in the vegetarian world.

Mushrooms are a great substitute for meat products because of their fleshy consistency. Flavor them and treat them like a steak on the grill!

Even if you are grilling steaks, portobello mushrooms are a great side dish. I like to marinade my portobello mushrooms before throwing them on the grill.

I use balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, garlic powder, black pepper, cayenne, and fresh rosemary.

Let the marinade seep into the mushrooms, then throw them on a medium-high heat grill. Grill until tender and the perfect amount of charring has occurred. Eat them just like a steak, or as a side dish to your meal!


Broccoli

Broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables. You can stir-fry, bake, steam, or grill them.

In the summer, I tend to grill most of my veggies and I have found a delicious way to make the best-grilled broccoli.

Whisk together soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and salt. Let your broccoli florets soak up the tasty mixture.

Place on a preheated grill and grill until perfection. I like to top my grilled broccoli with fresh parsley and more salt. This tasty side dish is a great addition to your steak or burger dinner!


Carrots

I have so many carrots growing in my garden. What am I going to do with them all? Grill them, of course!

The best size of carrot to grill is ones whose thickest spot is ¾ of an inch thick.

If they are much thicker than this, it’s often hard to get the carrot cooked through without burning it. You want to trim the greens off the carrots as well.

Toss the carrots in olive oil and salt, and throw them on the direct heat for 7-10 minutes until they have a good char.

Then, transfer the carrots to the side and cook for another 15-20 minutes until they are tender. Drizzle a mixture of olive oil, harissa paste, and lemon juice over the carrots. I like a little bit of freshly chopped mint on mine as well!


Brussels Sprouts

I planted some brussels sprouts in my garden, but I’m not having much luck with them so far.

Good thing they have them in the grocery store because grilled brussels sprouts are one of my favorite summer side dishes!

Brussels sprouts are small, so the best way to grill them is to use a skewer. Before skewering the brussels sprout halves, toss them with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, grainy mustard, red pepper flakes, and kosher salt. 

Skewer the halves and grill on a high-heat grill until desired consistency and char are reached. Garnish with parmesan cheese for a creamy finish. 


Best Vegetables To Grill

  1. Corn 
  2. Asparagus
  3. Eggplant
  4. Zucchini
  5. Tomatoes
  6. Romaine Lettuce
  7. Artichokes
  8. Bell Peppers
  9. Cauliflower
  10. Portobello Mushrooms
  11. Broccoli
  12. Carrots
  13. Brussels Sprouts

Final Thoughts

The best vegetables for grilling are vegetables that can withstand the grill and get a great flavor with charring.

I hope you enjoy grilling vegetables as much as I do and try some of these recipes the next time you pull out the grill this summer!

If you don’t want to throw a barbecue at home, check out the best BBQ restaurants in the US to get the best from the grill and the charcoal pit!

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Written by Erin Elizabeth

Erin lives in East Passyunk and enjoys checking out the local restaurants in South Philly and beyond. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.