It’s an American tradition to get outside in the summer and grill lots of meat for backyard barbecues and holiday cookouts. That being said, don’t forget the veggies! Whether you’re a true carnivore in need of some sides, or a dedicated vegetarian looking to fill up on healthy veggie mains, vegetables on the grill are a great way to satisfy your craving for fire and food.

Here are some tips for what veggies to grill, how to prepare them, how long to cook them, and what to top them with – adapted from Foodie Crush.

The Best Vegetables for Grilling

  • Zucchini or Summer Squash
  • Peppers (sweet or hot)
  • Portabello mushrooms
  • Eggplant
  • Carrots
  • Onions of any kind
  • Corn (in the husk)
  • Cauliflower (sliced in steaks)
  • Broccoli (steaks or florets)
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Tomatoes (best if halved or whole)

5 Tips for the Best Grilled Vegetables

  1. Keep it simple – just slice and season.
  2. Slice vegetables the same thickness so they cook at the same rate, between 1/3″ and 1/2″. too thin and they’ll disintegrate on the grill.
  3. Follow the golden rule of grilling: oil what you grill, not the grill itself. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil then spread it evenly with your fingers.
  4. Sprinkle the vegetables with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. They will absorb the salt as they cook, enhancing their inherent sweetness. Add herbs such as oregano, mint, tarragon, or basil to your taste.
  5. Start veggies over medium heat, about 350°F to 450°F. Lay long pieces crosswise over the grates so they don’t fall through.
  6. Close the lid and cook, flipping halfway through. This creates the same environment as an oven, baking the vegetables as they lightly char. Check their progress every few minutes.

Cooking Times for Grilled Vegetables

  • Bell pepper: Whole for 10-12 minutes; halved for 8-10 minutes
  • Carrot: Boil for 4-6 minutes, then grill 3-5 minutes
  • Corn: 15-20 minutes in husk
  • Eggplant: 5-7 minutes (thicker slices will take longer)
  • Portabello mushroom: 8-10 minutes
  • Onion: sliced 8-10 minutes; halved 35-40 minutes
  • Green onion: 3-4 minutes
  • Tomato: 6-8 minutes halved
  • Zucchini: 5-7 minutes

Cooking times for grilled vegetables will vary depending on the thickness of slices. The veggies may look a little dry, but will begin to sweat and deflate as they rest

What to Put on Grilled Vegetables

Just as delicious warm or at room temperature, grilled veggies are an entertainer’s dream dish. Serve them unadorned, or add a simple topping or sauce.

  • Parmesan cheese
  • Crumbled feta or goat cheese
  • Pieces of fresh mozzarella
  • Chimichurri sauce
  • Salsa verde
  • Balsamic glaze
  • Your favorite pesto
  • Harissa
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