The satisfying sizzle of colorful veggies on a hot grill yields all the fabulous flavor and charring you want in no time at all. Learning how to grill vegetables makes summer dinners a breeze.
I’ve fallen in love with grilling ever since we moved out of Phoenix, Arizona. I knew people who would go out into the blazing sun and stand beside the fire of their grill, even back then. But, we rarely did.
Now, it’s one of my favorite ways to prepare food, giving roasting a run for its money. You get such a fantastic char on everything, and clean up is a breeze with fewer pots and pans.
One of the biggest questions I get is how long to grill vegetables. So, I’m giving you all the best tips and recommendations I have for cooking perfect grilled vegetables every time.
And remember, always clean your grill grates before cooking. Vegetables will stick to dirty grills. So, crank the heat as high as it will go, wait a few minutes, then scrape. Once clean, give the grates a light brushing of oil and you’re good to go!
How To Grill Corn on the Cob
Grilled corn has to be my absolute favorite way to eat corn. I’ve learned how to grill corn on the cob to get perfectly sweet, charred kernels. And, so this one is a staple for my family when corn is in season.
Choosing the right corn makes all the difference. I prefer to buy it freshly picked from one of the farm stands near us. This is usually the freshest you can find.
When you’re buying corn on the cob in the grocery store, look for bright green husks and silks that aren’t dried out. It’s a good idea to open up the end of the stalk to inspect the kernels too.
Grilling corn is actually pretty painless. Aim for a temperature around 400 in your grill, and plan for it to finish cooking in 8 to 10 minutes. Watch it closely (the first few times especially!) and turn each cob to get an even char.
If you are leaving the corn in the husk, remember to wet it down, then expect for it to take as long as 30 minutes. It takes longer for the heat to penetrate through the protective layers of husk.
Everyone loves corn on the cob with plenty of salted butter. But, if you want to really impress your kids, put a batch of this cheese sauce on the table beside the corn.
How To Grill Zucchini
Grilling is the absolute best way to enjoy zucchini. If you like the slight char that comes from roasting, you will love how grilling intensifies that.
How long to grill can vary. So much depends on your individual grill, your taste preferences, and the thickness of your zucchini slices, spears, or halves.
But, as a general rule of thumb, expect zucchini to take 8-10 minutes to grill. Sliced zucchini takes about 8 minutes, whereas halves take a full 10 minutes on my grill.
Regardless of how you prepare the squash before roasting, you will want to flip them halfway through. If you’re feeling adventurous, sprinkle with some french fry seasoning before serving!
How To Grill Bell Peppers
I’ve had a love affair with bell peppers for as long as I can remember. It’s not my favorite veggie, but it probably goes in more dishes than anything other than onions at my house.
Not sure how long to grill bell peppers? It usually takes around 10 minutes if you slice them into strips, or 20 minutes if you halve them or grill them whole.
When done they should be charred in places. And, the skin should be blistered in places. After grilling, you can remove the skins if desired.
I do not usually perform this task. The skin is thin and edible, and I like the taste of the charred bits, after all that is why you grilled them. But, if you plan to can the bell peppers or don’t like the taste or texture, it’s an easy extra step.
Cover the hot peppers with a bowl or other moisture barrier when you take them out of the grill. This allows the steam to loosen the skins. Wait about 15 minutes and you’ll find them easy to remove.
How To Grill Cauliflower
Grilled Cauliflower is charred, crispy, and tender all in one delicious bite. Less mess, no pans to scrub, and no heating up the kitchen in the summer.
Not sure how to grill cauliflower? Start by washing the head and cutting it into somewhat uniformly sized florets. Pat them dry and toss with oil before seasoning.
You’ll want the grill to be somewhere in the 400-450 temperature range. It can be tricky because of the different thicknesses with this vegetable, but you’ll get a feel for how long to leave them on the grill.
Mine are typically ready to turn at about 7-8 minutes on the grill, and finished at the 15-20 minute mark. This yields a nice crispy char on all sides while tender through. Try them with a side of bang bang sauce. You won’t regret it!
How To Grill Onions
Just like with corn, when learning how to grill onions, it’s really important to be picky with your produce. Sweet vidalia or red onion will both caramelize nicely on the grill, transforming that sharp bite into a mellow sweetness.
Peel off the outer layers, trim the ends, and then slice the onions into half-inch rounds. Use a spatula to transfer them to the grill so that they stay intact.
Now, you want to preheat the grill so it’s medium-hot for–right around 400. You’re looking for the onions to get those gorgeous char marks and soften up, which typically takes about 4-6 minutes per side.
But, every grill is different, so keep an eye on them. Flip them only when you see grill marks. Remove them from the heat and let cool a bit. They’re perfect as a topping for burgers or steaks, a side dish, or even in a grilled salad.
How To Grill Artichokes
This one was a bit intimidating for me, but I’m glad I tackled it. And, you will be glad you learned how to grill artichokes, too! They’re a beautiful addition to any meal.
Start by prepping the artichokes. You’ll have to trim the stems and tops, then clip the pointy tips off the outer leaves. Once that’s done, slice them in half and scoop out the fuzzy choke with a spoon.
Now, you can either parboil or steam them for 15-20 minutes, until they’re just becoming tender. After they come out of the water, brush them with olive oil and season with herbs and spices before putting them on the grill to char.
It should take about 5-7 minutes on the grill to get those gorgeous sear marks. After that, flip them over and grill the other side for another 5 minutes or so. And, just like that, you’ve just grilled artichokes.
Before serving, I like to squeeze a bit of fresh lemon over them, or even drizzle them with an herb-infused oil. But, whatever you do–don’t skip the garlic butter dipping sauce.
How To Grill Asparagus
Asparagus is the official welcome to the garden in the spring for me. Knowing how to grill asparagus is essential for breaking out the grill for summer.
Grilling gives the tips a little char and lots of flavor. Season it simply with oil, kosher salt, and pepper you can even give it a squeeze of lemon after grilling to finish it.
Preheat the grill to high heat. Toss a pound or two of fresh asparagus with oil. And season with salt and pepper and toss to coat.
Grill the asparagus for 2 minutes, then flip the spears over, and grill 1-2 minutes until done. The tips should be crispy and the stems fork-tender when done.
How To Grill Eggplant
We never saw eggplant on the dinner table, growing up. But, I’m glad to have made its acquaintance as an adult. It has a smoky and earthy flavor with just a hint of sweetness, and a meaty flesh that makes grilled eggplant a treat.
This is another veggie that you’ll want to slice into half-inch rounds. Remember how to salt eggplant? Once again, you’ll want to salt the slices and let them rest for at least 20 minutes, or up to a full hour. This will help draw out the excess moisture. Then, just pat them dry and you’re ready to grill.
Next, fire up the grill to a medium-high heat. While it’s heating up, brush both sides of the eggplant slices with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, or go wild with your spice rack. I’ve had good results with taco seasoning, too!
It takes about 5 minutes per side, but watch them closely. You’re looking for those beautiful grill marks to appear. When serving, I like to sometimes sprinkle them with freshly grated Parmesan or fresh herbs.