How to Grill Vegetables Perfectly
The best way to cook vegetables is on the grill—especially once the weather starts to warm up. You might be wondering about the specifics, like how to grill corn or how long to cook asparagus on the grill.
How to Grill Asparagus
There are so many ways to cook asparagus, but the grill is our favorite. Start by trimming off the bottom inch, discarding the woody ends. Then toss it in a marinade or keep things simple by dressing it with olive oil. Preheat the grill for high heat and place the spears on a lightly oiled grill rack, cooking for 2 to 3 minutes, turning once.
How to Grill Avocado
Grilled avocado makes a great addition to any salad, or you can mash it up to make smoky guacamole. The easiest way is to grill halves, cutting the fruit down the middle, removing the pit and brushing the cut sides with lime juice and olive oil. Grill the avocado cut-side down over medium-high heat for 4 to 6 minutes, until charred. Similarly, you could grill slices, but things get messy if your avocado is overripe.
How to Grill Bell Peppers
We love grilling halved bell peppers and stuffing them with beefy filling! Simply cut them in half and remove the stem and seeds. Cook the peppers over medium-high heat for 4 minutes a side, starting with the cut-side down. Then, stuff them with warm, cooked filling or slice them into 1/2-inch pieces for salads or sandwiches.
How to Grill Beets
You can cook beets ahead of time and finish on the grill—or you can use the grill from start to finish. Remove the stems and place whole beets on a sheet of aluminum foil. Add a good glug of olive oil and a pinch of salt and wrap the foil into a pouch. Cook on a medium-high heat grill for 20 minutes, until they’re soft when pierced with a fork.
Let cool and slice into 1/2-inch rounds. Brush them with a little olive oil and grill for 2 minutes a side, until lightly charred.
How to Grill Cabbage
Grilled cabbage steaks make a great vegetarian entree, or you can serve them as a side. Cut the cabbage into eight wedges and rub olive oil on the cut sides. Season with salt and pepper and place the wedges on a medium heat grill. Turn occasionally and cook until soft and lightly charred, about 15 to 20 minutes.
How to Grill Carrots
You can slice the carrots if you need them to cook faster, but we love grilling whole carrots. Scrub them clean and trim off the green tops. Toss them with olive oil and place on a medium heat grill. Cook covered, turning occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the carrots are tender and lightly charred.
How to Grill Cauliflower
Meaty cauliflower steaks are an excellent choice for Meatless Monday! Remove the outer leaves and cut the cauliflower into three large “steaks” (or you can cut it into eight wedges if serving as a side dish). Brush with olive oil and grill, covered, over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes a side, flipping once.
How to Grill Corn
It doesn’t get more summery than grilled corn on the cob, especially when you serve it with chipotle lime butter! Carefully peel back the husk, removing the silk before folding it back into place. Soak the corn in cold water for at least 10 minutes (but no longer than 30 minutes). Then, grill the cobs over medium heat, covering the grill but turning occasionally. They should be soft and tender in 25 to 30 minutes.
How to Grill Eggplant
These grilled eggplant stacks are one of our favorite vegetarian entrees! Start by slicing the eggplant and sprinkling the cut ends with salt to pull out the bitterness. After 5 minutes, blot the slices dry, brush them with olive oil and grill over medium-high heat for 4 to 6 minutes a side.
How to Grill Green Beans
You can grill trimmed green beans directly on the grill over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally. But, it’s frustrating how easily they fall through the grates. That’s why we prefer wrapping them in a foil pouch. They take twice as long to cook, but they still get a smoky grill flavor, and the process is much easier!
How to Grill Kale
Lacinato (dino) kale is our favorite, but this method works for any hearty green on the stem, including chard, broccoli rabe, mustard greens and collards. You may want to consider steaming the bitter greens for 2 minutes before tossing them on the grill. Trim off the bottom inch of the stem, toss the greens in olive oil and grill them for 3 minutes a side over medium-high heat. You can serve them whole or chop them into 1-inch pieces for a charred salad.
How to Grill Mushrooms
Our favorite way to grill small mushrooms like button or cremini is on skewers. Simply thread the mushrooms onto soaked wooden or metal skewers, brush them with butter or oil and grill over medium-high heat for 10 to 15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes.
How to Grill Onions
Fancy-up your burgers by adding grilled onions! Slice red or sweet onions into 3/4-inch slices and brush with olive oil. Preheat the grill and turn one side down to low. Cook the onions for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping every 10 minutes, until they’re lightly charred and softened.
How to Grill Romaine Lettuce
Grilled romaine with chive-buttermilk dressing is one of our summertime favorites. Simply halve the romaine hearts lengthwise and brush with oil. Grill them cut-side down over medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes, until the leaves are lightly wilted and the cut side develops some color.
How to Grill Sweet Potatoes
You can grill up wedges as a side dish, but grilled sweet potato steaks make an excellent meatless sandwich. Start by par-cooking the potatoes, either in a microwave for 6 to 8 minutes or by boiling them whole for 6 minutes. Then, slice them into 1/2-inch thick rounds and grill, covered, over medium heat for 4 minutes a side.
How to Grill Tomatoes
The easiest way to grill tomatoes is to select cherry tomatoes. Toss them with olive oil and skewer them through the middle. Grill over high heat, turning occasionally until they’re charred and blistered, about 3 minutes. Or, you can cut heirloom tomatoes into 1/2-inch slices and grill them over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes on each side.
How to Grill Zucchini
Summer isn’t complete without a side of grilled zucchini. You can chop them into pieces and add them to kabobs, but we like keeping it simple. Slice them in half and toss them with oil. Then, grill them cut-side down over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, turning once. You can serve them whole or slice them after they’re cooked.
Bonus: Foil Packets
Don’t forget about cooking in foil packets! You can combine any number of vegetables in a foil packet to create a mess-free side dish. Just make sure your vegetables are all cut to similar sizes so they’ll cook at the same rate.