27 Grilled Veggie Recipes That Prove BBQs Aren't Just About Burgers
You don’t have to be a grill master to master the grill—especially when it comes to veggies. All you need is a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and you’re halfway to veggie heaven. (A grill or a grill pan helps too.) Though grilling vegetables is easier than meat—you can’t over or undercook veg (technically)—there are a few simple tricks that help to ensure they're just the right amount of smoky and crispy.
For starters, don’t go wild with oil. Similar to roasting vegetables, a little oil goes a long way, and too much oil can yield soggy calorie bombs (not to mention, it’s a fire hazard). Another pro tip: Sear veggies on high heat and then move them to a cooler part of the grill—ideally a higher rack—to finish cooking. Cooking on too high of heat can burn the outer layer while the inside stays raw, especially when it comes to denser veg, like potatoes. We also love pre-cooking pieces and tossing them on the grill for a quick char, which leaves little room for error.
Whether you're new to the grill or a seasoned pro, these 27 grilled vegetable recipes will bring new life—and all kinds of flavor—to your table. Light 'em up!
Radicchio looks like the love child of purple cabbage and romaine. With a bitter taste not too dissimilar from cabbage and texture that’s slightly crispy (like romaine), the Italian relative of chicory pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the homemade balsamic syrup. To ensure the leaves aren’t over-soiled, use a brush to lightly distribute the olive oil. Can’t find honey toasted almond slices? Don’t fret. You can make them at home by drizzling honey on sliced almonds and heating them in a small saucepan.
Ditch the pre-packed chips and dip and opt for this plate of multicolored deliciousness (and nutritiousness). Unlike meat, veggies soak up marinade flavors pretty quickly, so this simple soak can be brushed on right before grilling. (We also love shaking the marinade and veggies in a sealed plastic bag for seamless coverage.) The cheese dip can be made in advance, but make sure you let it reach room temperature before serving for optimal dipping.
This recipe goes next-level with grilled and roasted veggies. Simply make a grain of your choice—we recommend quinoa, millet, or rice—prep the miso butter, grill the eggplant while the tomatoes are roasting, top the grain with veg, and melt the butter on top while everything is piping hot. Don’t want to man the stove and the grill? We get it. Simply skewer the tomatoes and grill until they begin to burst.
Corn on the cob is a classic. And while it’s great with a pat of butter and dash of salt and pepper, it reaches new (flavorful) heights with the likes of truffle oil, chili, and Parmesan cheese. Feel free to grill the corn in its husk or boil instead; just don’t skip the step where you brush each piece with truffle oil and place back on the grill. (This is where the magic happens.) After about six to eight minutes, remove the corn from the grill and immediately douse with chili, sea salt, cilantro, lime zest, and Parm. Sometimes even classics deserve an upgrade.
Grilling romaine is one of our best-kept salad secrets. We love the touch of flavor from grilling the leaves with avocado oil, but nothing beats the rich Whole30-approved ranch dressing that’s made from scratch. If you don’t feel like making mayo, pick up a Paleo-friendly option at a health food store—though it’s worth noting that this won’t result in the same epic flavor. Top with sliced tomatoes, avocado, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
Magic mushrooms, indeed! Though these won’t make you hallucinate, they will give you a smile. Made with only six ingredients, these simple yet punchy skewers are the perfect grilled veggie side. And while a lot of veg don’t need long to marinate, mushrooms do best with at least 30 minutes—trust us, it's worth the wait.
Sliced and opened to look like a lotus flower, these blossom onions are as tasty as they are Instagram-worthy. Use a sweet variety, like Vidalia, for the best flavor and stick to Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, and grated cheese for a subtly decadent flavor. Serve with homemade red pepper aioli, which only requires a quick blend and is well worth the effort.
Sick of Greek salads? Ditch the lettuce and try this grilled asparagus dish instead. Made with lightly grilled stalks and topped with a marinated mix of roasted red pepper, olives, and feta, this recipe is everything you love about Greek flavors with a little extra bite. We enjoy having leftovers with a poached egg for breakfast or stuffed in a pita for lunch.
Vegetarians can enjoy steaks too! Cauliflower steaks, that is. Marinated in a spicy teriyaki glaze and topped with a sweet, herb-infused sauce, these steaks are nearly as filling as meat. If making for guests, use various colored cauliflower (like purple, orange, and green, if you can find them) and top with sesame seeds or toasted pepitas. Warning: Store-bought teriyaki sauce can be a sugar bomb, so check the label and pick a variety that has limited sweetener.
can enjoy steaks too! Cauliflower steaks, that is. Marinated in a spicy teriyaki glaze and topped with a sweet, herb-infused sauce, these steaks are nearly as filling as meat. If making for guests, use various colored cauliflower (like purple, orange, and green, if you can find them) and top with sesame seeds or toasted pepitas. Warning: Store-bought teriyaki sauce can be a sugar bomb, so check the label and pick a variety that has limited sweetener.
The best thing about skewers is that you can run amok with veggie combos and spices. These sticks are seasoned with zesty “fajita butter”—melted butter, lemon juice, and fajita mix (taco mix works too)—and are so tasty you can skip the tortillas. Pair with a protein, like chicken or salmon, or mix into a hearty burrito bowl.
Appetizers should be as simple as they are delicious, which is why we’re head over heels for these goat cheese stuffed sweet peppers. This six-ingredient snack can be tweaked as needed—we love subbing in fresh basil—and is sure to please everyone at the party (even if it’s just you). The one ingredient we don’t recommend skipping: smoked sea salt.
should be as simple as they are delicious, which is why we’re head over heels for these goat cheese stuffed sweet peppers. This six-ingredient snack can be tweaked as needed—we love subbing in fresh basil—and is sure to please everyone at the party (even if it’s just you). The one ingredient we don’t recommend skipping: smoked sea salt.
We’ve grilled all kinds of onions, but green onions?! Those we hadn’t had the pleasure of tasting—and we were seriously missing out. Start by making the Romesco sauce, which can be done up to three days in advance, and then pop the onions on a grill until they’re wilted and brown (a grill pan works wonders). The sauce makes some leftovers, but we say double the recipe: You’ll definitely be wanting more.
If you haven’t had grilled beets, you haven’t lived. Well, you have, but is it really living if you haven’t had this smoky, earthy, savory sensation? We’re not so sure. This recipe is the perfect way to continue your love for grilling when the temperature starts to drop, as fall is when beets reach their peak season. Top with sprouted lentils or a nutty grain (like farro) for extra fiber and feel free to experiment with all kinds of citrus zest, like grapefruit, lemon, and blood orange (our personal fave).
Jerk spice isn’t just for chicken. Sliced eggplant is coated with a spicy, smoky marinade before it’s tossed on the grill for a few minutes of flame. Add over cauliflower or brown rice and generously drizzle with homemade BBQ sauce. Does the long ingredient list feel a little intimidating? Don’t let it scare you off. Most of them are spices you likely have on hand (like cinnamon, ground coriander, allspice, and cayenne pepper).
There are many reasons to love Caprese salads. For starters, it requires little to no prep work. Just slice, layer, dress, and serve. This recipe goes the extra mile by stacking mozzarella and tomato on grilled zucchini—giving it that much more flavor but keeping it almost as easy. Though the flavor doesn’t need help (it’s great as is!), drizzling pesto or thick balsamic on top doesn’t hurt one bit.
Can French fries go green? While you may be hard-pressed to find a green potato—at least one that’s edible—these grilled green beans get pretty darn close. With a crispy outside and soft inside, they’re what French fry dreams are made of, but way healthier. Grill in a grill pan, a tin foil packet, or on skewers and season to your heart’s content. We love Everything Bagel Spice and chili salt for something a little unexpected.
Sometimes the only thing you need to spruce up grilled veg is something to dip it in. This artichoke dish takes something super simple and turns it into something impeccable with a short grill (pre-boil for the best texture) and zesty aioli. If mayo isn’t your thing, melt some butter (or ghee) with smashed garlic and dip it in that instead—dip it real good.
While marinades (and dressings) are often on the sweet side, we love something a bit tangier. This recipe uses white wine vinegar and two kinds of mustard (whole grain and Dijon) to give the sauce the ultimate bite. Top with fresh herbs and microgreens and enjoy as a side, or pair with a protein and serving of grain to make it a meal.
If you’re craving pizza but want something lighter, look no further than stuffed portobello mushrooms. The thick shrooms work great on a grill as they hold their shape even when stuffed—not to mention, it’s pretty tough to overcook 'em. To play it safe, cook them in a grill pan and make sure not to overstuff. (We know, it’s hard when it comes to cheese!) Serve as a hearty side dish or pair with Caesar salad.
It can be tough to find healthy ways to fill up at a barbecue. As much as we love chips and dip and a slice (or five) of French bread, sometimes we just want to keep it light—and gluten-free. These sweet potato wedges are crazy-delicious and super filling, making them the perfect dish for when you’re craving something a bit more indulgent but don’t want the food hangover.
Though many associate grilling with summer, it’s a method we like to use all year long. Why? Because winter staples like Brussels sprouts and broccolini also like feeling the burn and taste pretty damn good when they do. We love the slight crunch from pine nuts and the burst of sweetness from dried currants. The best part, however, lies beneath in a luscious layer of lemon yogurt.
Another fun spin on veggie kabobs, these sticks of ratatouille are a great way to load up on veg without exerting a ton of effort. Made with thin slices of zucchini, squash, eggplant, and portobello mushroom and lightly seasoned with sea salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes, they taste amazing on their own, but even better dipped into pasta sauce. We love making extra and adding leftovers to whole-wheat penne the next day.
This recipe is a great way to keep things simple but still get an incredible flavor. Grill the asparagus as you normally would—lightly coat with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill until tender—and top with a savory butter sauce that gets unexpected flavor from the addition of soy sauce (or tamari if you’re gluten-free). This side pairs great with any protein and also makes a killer bed for poached eggs in the a.m.
We love recipes that use every last bit of the ingredients. Take carrots, which normally have their tops tossed. In this recipe, the greens are chopped, mixed with a fresh herb medley, and weaved into the lentils, giving them an incredibly fresh and earthy flavor that pairs perfectly with the horseradish-infused yogurt. Any variety of carrots will do, but we love buying multicolored to make the dish look extra fancy.
While many grilled veggies thrive on high heat, the secret to these onions is dropping it low. Though we expected to find some surprise ingredients lurking in the recipe—they are called the “best ever”—the tasty burger (or salad) topper sticks to the basics. To ensure they are in fact the best of the best, stick to sweet onions (like Vidalia) and cook them on skewers. Another pro tip: Make sure the skewer sticks through every layer so nothing slips through the cracks.
We’ve already dropped countless grilled veggie tips, but this may be our favorite: When in doubt, grill whatever seasonal veg you can find, chop, mix together, and call it a salad. This recipe gets its sweetness from the corn and peppers (double the sweetness, double the fun?) and a light kick from jalapeño and Dijon mustard. Though the veggie combo is great as is, this recipe also tastes great with grilled mushrooms, green onions, and fresh cherry tomatoes.
If you’re craving a burger but don’t want a bun (and prefer to eat veggies), turn to the portobello mushroom. Its density and juiciness make it as satisfying as steak, and the rich garlic sauce (a vegan one at that) makes it outshine any belle of the grill ball. Because the juices are so delicious, we say to use a grill basket or makeshift foil tray so the shrooms can bask (and bake) in their own splendor.