Grilling isn’t only for meat! Vegetables cook quickly on the grill and get a nice boost of flavor without adding any extra fat, calories or sodium. Follow these simple steps for perfectly grilled vegetables.
Start with oil
Brush the vegetables with oil, or toss them with oil in a large bowl to prevent them from drying out while cooking. Remember that a little oil goes a long way. You don’t want extra oil that will drip into the grill and cause off flavors. Add salt, pepper and dried herbs, if desired.
Use a grill basket or skewers
Larger vegetables, like sliced squash, eggplant, or portobello mushroom caps, can be grilled directly on the grill rack. For smaller vegetables, like cherry tomatoes or button mushrooms, thread onto metal skewers or use a grill basket. If you don’t have a grill basket, create your own using heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Watch the time
Most vegetables will fare best when cooked over direct medium heat. Cook 1/2-inch-thick slices of squash, zucchini, onion or eggplant 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Denser vegetables, like portobello mushroom caps, will take longer. Cooking vegetables over medium heat will help them to cook evenly without burning on the outside.
Try this basic recipe for grilled summer vegetables. These vegetables are full of flavor on their own, or get creative and drizzle with a quick vinaigrette and add crumbled feta or goat cheese for a simple salad.
- 3 small zucchini, cut lengthwise into ½-inch slices
- 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces
- 1 red onion, cut into wedges
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Preheat grill to medium heat.
- Brush zucchini, bell pepper and onion with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Grill vegetables, covered with grill lid, 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until crisp-tender.
Check out these other recipes for grilled vegetables: