How to Grill Vegetables for a Healthy Side Dish
It's so easy to grill veggies, and they're so delicious! Smoky heat does incredible things to vegetables, and we're always more excited to add asparagus, corn, zucchini, and more to our plates when we see those gorgeous grill marks. We've included tips below for how to grill vegetables like peppers, mushrooms, eggplants, and onions so you can serve them on the side of your summer cookouts or add smoky flavor to veggie sides. We included specific prepping and grilling instructions for each veggie, but to cook each one evenly without charring, keep the grill heat to medium. You should be able to hold your hand above the coals for 4 seconds before pulling it away.
Prep: Before you start cooking asparagus, snap off and discard the tough, woody bases from the stems.
Grill: 7 to 10 minutes, covered, over medium heat. Grill perpendicular to grates so asparagus does not fall through, or use a grill basket or a piece of heavy foil.
Prep: Cut off carrot tops. Wash and peel carrots.
Precook: Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes in a saucepan in a small amount of boiling water.
Grill: 3 to 5 minutes, covered, over medium heat. Grill your carrots perpendicular to the grates so they don't fall through, or place on a piece of heavy foil or use a grill basket.
Prep: Peel back husks and remove silks. Replace husks around the corn. Place corn with husks in a bowl or pan and cover with water. Soak for 1 hour; drain. Tie husks at the top with cotton kitchen string. Remove string to serve.
Grill: 25 to 30 minutes, covered, over medium heat.
Prep: Cut off tops. If smaller size, cut lengthwise into 1-inch strips. If larger, cut crosswise.
Grill: 8 to 12 minutes, covered, over medium heat.
Prep: Snip off feathery fronds. Cut off the stems and base. Remove the core and cut into thick wedges.
Precook: Simmer for 5 minutes in a saucepan in a small amount of boiling water.
Grill: 8 minutes, covered, over medium heat.
Grilled Onion (White, Yellow, and Red)
Prep: Peel and cut crosswise into 1-inch slices.
Grill: 10 minutes, covered, over medium heat, turning halfway through grilling.
Grilled Mini Peppers
Prep: No prep need for mini peppers. For regular size peppers, remove the stems, halve the peppers lengthwise, remove the seeds, and cut into 1-inch-wide strips.
Grill: 6 to 8 minutes, covered, over medium heat. If desired, you can also use a grill basket.
Prep: Remove stems and scrape out gills from larger mushrooms, such as portobellos.
Grill: Large portobellos: 10 to 12 minutes, covered, over medium heat; for smaller varieties: 6 to 8 minutes, covered, over medium heat on the grate, on a piece of heavy foil, or in a grill basket.
Grilled Baking Potatoes
Prep: Scrub potatoes and prick with a fork. Wrap individually in a double-thickness of foil.
Grill: 1 to 1 ½ hours, covered, over medium heat, turning every 15 minutes.
Grilled New Potatoes
Prep: Halve large potatoes.
Precook: Bring water to boiling in a saucepan. Simmer potatoes, covered, for 10 minutes or until nearly tender. Drain well.
Grill: 10 to 12 minutes, covered, over medium heat on the grate, on a piece of heavy foil, or in a grill basket.
Prep: For large tomatoes, remove the cores and cut in half crosswise. No prep need for grape and cherry tomatoes.
Grill: Grill large tomatoes for 5 minutes, covered, over medium heat. Grill grape and cherry tomatoes for 5 to 7 minutes, covered, in a grill basket, stirring once halfway through.
Grilled Zucchini and Summer Squash
Prep: Cut lengthwise into 1-inch slices.
Grill: 5 to 6 minutes, covered, over medium heat.
Try Grilled Vegetables in Foil
Grilling in foil packets is one of our favorite ways to grill fresh veggies. Because a foil pack cooks with steam, it's essential to craft a tightly sealed pouch. Otherwise, the tasty juices will bubble away, leaving food to dry out or burn. Try adding a spoonful of our favorite flavor boosters for a unique taste: Beer, soy sauce, white wine, apple juice, red pepper sauce, or chicken broth.
- Place a 36x18-inch piece of foil on your work surface and fold in half to make an 18-inch square. Arrange veggies in the center of the square, leaving enough room around the edges to fold over the foil.
- Fold opposite sides to meet in the middle snugly against the vegetables. Fold the edges together several times to make a tight seam.
- Then fold the packet ends, rolling foil tightly. Toss the packet onto the grill immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.
All About Grill Baskets
Using a grilling vegetable basket is one of our favorite ways to cook veggies on the grill. They come in handy when you want to grill a combination of vegetables or if you simply don't want to risk losing veggies through the grates of your grill.
We like perforated grill baskets. Perforated baskets with low sides are available in various shapes and sizes, making it easy to flip and turn ingredients.
Grill any vegetable combination you can imagine, which is easier if the vegetables have similar cooking times. If timing varies great, start the longer-cooking veggies first.
Before cooking, toss veggies with oil. Grill veggies, covered, checking for doneness every 5 minutes.
Grilling Vegetable Skewers
Skewer up some veggie kabobs to cook a variety of vegetables. To make veggie skewers, slide cut veggies or whole smaller vegetables (like cherry tomatoes and small mushrooms) onto soaked bamboo skewers, like 10-inch Natural Bamboo Skewers ($5.68, Amazon), or metal skewers. Grill directly over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until veggies are browned and tender.
Grilling vegetables is a great way to ensure you've got a serving of veggies on your plate at summer barbecues and cookouts. During the rest of the year, you can get your veggies crisp-tender in a similar way (minus the smoky flavor) by learning how to roast vegetables. Between grilling and roasting, you'll easily be able to keep veggie side dishes that everyone in your family will eat included on the table year-round.