How to Grill Vegetables to Absolute Deliciousness (5 Secrets Revealed)

In our comprehensive guide on how to grill vegetables, we provide expert tips and techniques to help you achieve perfectly charred and flavorful veggies. From selecting the right produce to mastering grilling temperatures, this post will transform your vegetable grilling skills and leave you with mouthwatering results.

How to grill vegetables via Organic Authority

The slightly sweet flavor of seasonal grilling vegetables, complete with that hint of charred bitterness, means that zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, and more, have once again won a place of pride at the dinner table. Even kids will eat vegetables when prepared this way. Btw, not every pan is suitable for grilling, be sure to check out our non-toxic cookware guide as well as the differences between carbon steel vs stainless steel vs cast iron to ensure you’re choosing wisely.

CONTENTS

  1. Here’s How to Grill Vegetables: A Guide
  2. How to Prep Your Vegetables for the Grill
  3. How to Marinate Your Vegetables
  4. How Long Do You Cook Your Vegetables on the Grill?
  5. Here’s How to Serve and Finish Your Grilled Vegetables
  6. Turn Your Grilled Veggies into a Meal

But do you know how to grill vegetables? We have the secrets to making delicious grilled vegetables a staple of your summer table. While you’re at it, here’s how to grill peaches and our favorite sauce for chicken kabobs.

Are you a veggie grilling master? Share your tips with the OA community in the comments. 

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Here’s How to Grill Vegetables: A Guide

Grilled vegetables on white plate, how to grill vegetables via Organic Authority

How to Prep Your Vegetables for the Grill

Prepping your vegetables is just as important as grilling them. First, you want to choose in-season vegetables that are ripe and abundant. A great clue as to what’s the ripest in-season produce and veg is to look at what’s on sale. When your local farmers market or grocery store has an overabundance of seasonal produce that’s what they put on sale because they want to move it quickly.

Next, you need to decide if you’re going to simply toss your vegetables in EVOO with a little salt and pepper or marinate them. Below is guidance for both options.

Here’s a short list of vegetables that are great for grilling and how to prep them:

  • Onions: halve, remove skin, and quarter cutting root to tip
  • Zucchini, eggplant and yellow squash: cut lengthwise about ¼” thick. You don’t want them too thin because they will cook too quickly and fall through the grill racks.
  • Bell peppers: quarter and remove veins and seeds
  • Portobello mushrooms, cremini or baby bellas: remove stems and if large, half and or quarter
  • Tomatoes: If you can find tomatoes on the vine about medium size. No need to cut or remove the stem. You will grill these whole, with stems intact, which help hold the tomato together.
  • Asparagus: trim off woody stems
  • Green onions: trim ends

Once you’ve cut your veg, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

How to Marinate Your Vegetables

grilling vegetables on a white plate, how to grill vegetables via Organic Authority

While an in-season vegetable is going to pack a punch of flavor no matter what, there’s no harm in dressing them up a little bit. A flavorful marinade goes a long way in adding both flavor and lubrication to the grilled vegetable, making it easier to cook and tastier when served.

Marinades can range from simple to complex. We like starting with a base of equal parts oil and acid, spiced up with some aromatics.

By following this formula, you can come up with nearly endless combinations, but here are just a few of our favorites to get you started:

  • Eggplant with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, and garlic
  • Zucchini with grapeseed oil, lemon juice, and basil
  • Summer squash with avocado oil, lime juice, and mint
  • Green beans with equal parts sesame oil and grapeseed oil, Chinese black vinegar, ginger, and orange zest
  • Corn on the cob with avocado oil, lime juice, and chile pepper

Pick your favorite veggies and combos, marinate for anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the porosity of the vegetable and how much flavor you want, and throw them on the grill for a simple, delicious way to change up your dinner routine.

How Long Do You Cook Your Vegetables on the Grill?

easy grilled vegetables on grill rack with tongs via Organic Authority

You want a nice char on your vegetables, but you don’t want them to be burned on the outside and raw on the inside. For an ideal grilled vegetable, what you really want is a medium-high temperature, but how can you tell if your grill is medium-high?

The easiest way may be with a point-and-shoot thermometer. Aim for 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit, and your vegetables will be expertly cooked before you know it.

If, however, you don’t want to invest in such a gadget, you can also guess if your grill is hot enough by holding your hand out, palm-down, about 4-5 inches from the grill (remove any jewelry first!) If you can hold your hand there for between 4 and 5 seconds before it becomes uncomfortable, you’re good to go.

Grilling time for each vegetable varies depending on the size, thickness and shape. The thicker heartier veg, like bell peppers and onions will take longer to cook than the thinner veg like asparagus and tomatoes, and should go on the grill first and in the hottest spot of your grill.

Hot tip: For more control (and to make sure smaller pieces of food don’t fall through the grates), opt for a grill pan. We love this Blue Carbon Steel Grill Frying Pan, by Made In.

Then add your next group of vegetables in batches in order of cook time. So after the onions and bell peppers, I would zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms and eggplant.

When placing your vegetables on the grill it’s a good idea to place them diagonally across the grill so they don’t fall through the grates and you get some nice grill marks.

A good rule of thumb for grilling is a 60/40 timeframe for grilling each side. That means grill the first side of your veg for about sixty percent of your estimated cooking time and forty percent on the other side.

  • Onions and bell peppers: eight to 10 minutes
  • Zucchini, eggplant and yellow squash: seven to nine minutes
  • Tomatoes on the vine, green onions, asparagus: four to six minutes

As your vegetables cook, using a long pair of tongs (to keep your hand away from the hot grill), you can move your veg from hotter points of the grill to the cooler as they cook and as you add more vegetables to the grill.

Here’s How to Serve and Finish Your Grilled Vegetables

As you finish grilling your vegetables, move them onto a platter. We like to finish seasoning our grilled veg with a splash or two of our favorite vinegar like this tangy and delicious apple cider balsamic vinegar that comes from a small farm in Sonoma, Ca, and is made with organically grown apples and slow-fermented and barrel-aged for four years.

You can also serve your grilled veg with a side of delicious chimichurri or pesto sauce.

Turn Your Grilled Veggies into a Meal

When you’ve mastered grilling vegetables, you’ll want to make them the star of your dinner table – not a measly side.

Luckily, it’s easy to turn grilled vegetables into a delicious main dish that’s hearty enough to fill you up. Here are our favorite ways:

  • Pick a variety of vegetables with a host of different colors, and arrange them on a beautiful platter. Add some freshly sliced, homemade bread, and dinner is done.
  • Add more protein to your grilled veggie selection with some grilled homemade tofu or seitan.
  • Alternatively, top a plate of grilled vegetables with a poached organic egg or two. The semi-liquid yolk will create extra sauce for your vegetables.
  • Pair your grilled vegetables with grilled halloumi, like in our grilled halloumi salad.
  • Take a tip from the French, and serve a selection of vegetables with a homemade aioli or mayonnaise.

And don’t turn off the grill when dinner is cooked — the best way to finish a grilled veggie meal is with a grilled fruit dessert. Here are just a few of our favorites:

With seasonal produce and a bit of time, it’s hard to go wrong when learning how to grill vegetables this summer.

P.S. Did you know? Organic Authority has its own nutrition and wellness shop to meet your needs and help you take control of your health. Shop clean supplements for energy, sleep, inner beauty for skin support, protein, workouts, pantry items and more.
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Emily Monaco is a food and culture writer based in Paris. Her work has been featured in the Wall... More about Emily Monaco

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