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Three Delicious Ways to Grill Fresh and Colorful Veggies

A platter of grilled vegetables.

Let’s face it; fresh veggies often miss out on gorgeous char lines because the grill is best known for cooking up burgers, steaks, and chops. We’ll teach you three methods for grilling up just about any vegetable of choice.

Grilled vegetables provide bright color (and flavor) to your cookout creations, and always end up disappearing quickly. Next time you plan a party, be sure to slice up a few and add variety to your potluck.

Best Veggies to Grill

You’d be surprised to know that almost all veggies do well on an open flame, but we’ll give you a list of our favorites. Any firm vegetable will do, but keep the leafy and delicate produce like spinach, away from the grill as they will wilt, then burn off to nothing.

Here is a list of vegetables that fair well on a hot grill:

How to Grill Veggies (Three Ways)

We’ll walk you through the steps of grilling veggies on an open flame, in a foiled packet, or kabob style. Each method is simple and unique in providing a different texture and flavor to the vegetables you’ll grill.

Grill Directly on the Grates

Preparing various vegetables by basting them with a seasoned olive oil mixture before putting them on the grill.
Emilee Unterkoefler

Placing your seasoned veggies right on the grill grates is, without a doubt, the easiest method of choice. Slice eggplant, zucchini, and yellow squash lengthwise, to ensure you are providing plenty of surface area for char lines.

Peel and cut the red onion in thick rings, seed and quarter bell peppers, and cut portabella mushrooms into thick slices.

Purchase medium-to-thick sized asparagus and cut the woody ends off before grilling. Roma tomatoes do well on the grill simply cut in half lengthwise, but keep in mind that they cook and blister quickly.

Once all your veggies are washed and prepped, you’ll want to make a quick seasoned oil mixture. We use olive oil, combined with salt, pepper, and minced roasted garlic. Simply baste the oil mixture on both sides of your veggies right before grilling.

Keep in mind that hearty veggies like the eggplant, thick-cut zucchini, squash, and bell peppers will take longer to cook than the mushrooms and tomatoes, so start with those.

Grill lines will start to form after about three to five minutes, then flip each slice. Once cooked to the desired crunch or softness, pull them off the grill and serve immediately.


Kabobs on a cutting board, fresh off the grill.
Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Kabobs are always fun to eat, but a bit more work, as you must thread each bite-sized piece onto a skewer. Before working on your veggies, place your skewers in water and let them soak for at least 20 minutes to ensure they don’t burn and break on the grill.

Bell pepper, red onion, squash, zucchini, baby Bella mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes all taste excellent in kabob form. Cut your veggies of choice into bite-size pieces, then simply thread them on the skewers creating colorful patterns.

Baste them with a similar mixture as already described, using olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper, and even some lemon juice for a bit of tang. Grill them up and enjoy immediately.

Foil Packet Method

Vegetables enclosed in a foil packet, with a cutting board, linen and aluminum foil in the background.
Emilee Unterkoefler

Vegetable foil packets are the perfect make-ahead addition for any cookout. New potatoes or sliced red bliss potatoes combined with chopped onion and garlic taste excellent together.

If you want to add extra color and variety, you can combine peppers, squash, zucchini, and pretty much any hearty vegetable you like.

Cut your vegetables into bite-size chunks and set aside in a large bowl. Coat your veggies with olive oil, sprinkle on salt and pepper, and add in minced garlic as well and combine thoroughly.

Pull out two large pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil, and layer one on top of the other. Pour your combined veggies on the layered foil, then pull the long sides up and over. Fold the foil about two or three times to seal the top, then roll the two open sides inward until it is sealed shut.

Place the foil packet right on the grill for about 20-30 minutes, on medium heat. The sealed package will steam the veggies into a lovely side dish you’ll love grilling for the family.

Take those grilled veggies up a notch by basting them with a thin pesto drizzle or garlic butter sauce. Or, keep things simple by finishing them off with freshly squeezed lemon. Either way, we hope these grilled veggies will help to add vibrancy to each summertime dish you grill up this year.

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »
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