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8 Vegetable Grilling Tips to Unleash Maximum Flavor

A pan full of grilled vegetables.
Valeria Aksakova/Shuterstock

Grilling vegetables (and fruits) gives them a really nice, smoky flavor, that’s different than roasting or sautéing them. It’s also really easy and makes for an excellent addition to any outdoor get-together.

You can grill almost any kind of veggie, but some popular favorites include zucchini, eggplant, corn, onions, mushrooms, peppers, asparagus, and potatoes. These all cook pretty quickly and don’t require too much seasoning.

There are a few tips (and accessories), though, that can help you grill your vegetables to perfection, every time!

Don’t Douse Them with Oil

You might think you need to add a lot of oil to your vegetables to give them flavor and ensure they won’t stick to the grill. However, too much oil leaves your veggies mushy and, well, too oily, which just isn’t that appetizing.

Instead of tossing them in oil, use a spray—it’ll cover more of the surface of the vegetable and is much easier to control. Chosen Foods 100 Percent Pure Avocado Spray is a healthy choice with a high smoke point, so it can withstand the heat of the grill.

It also provides a really delicious, light flavor. Because it’s plant-based, it’s also free of gluten, soy, and canola.

Marinate and Season

A grill loaded with seasoned vegetables on skewers.

Unfortunately, you can’t just throw raw veggies on the grill and expect them to taste great without any help! Adding plenty of seasoning, or even a marinade, is how you add lots of flavor to your produce.

Season and marinate your vegetables at least 20-30 minutes before you put them on the grill. This way, it all has time to really soak in.

Put Them in a Grill Basket

A grill basket is one of the easiest ways to grill vegetables and fruits. It keeps them from touching the actual grates, which is ideal if you’re making them for a vegan or vegetarian, and you normally cook meat on your grill.

Grill baskets also prevent smaller pieces of produce from falling through the grates. It’s also easier for you to move the food around—you can just shake it up instead of using tongs.

This Weber Deluxe is made of durable stainless steel that will last a long time. It also cooks evenly and creates a great sear.

Weber Deluxe Grilling Basket

Cooks evenly and leaves a nice sear.

You can also opt for a basket you can flip, like this one from Aizoam. The lockable grill gate makes it incredibly easy to flip your food over (especially potatoes), and also prevents the food from falling through the grates.

Use Skewers

Another way to cook vegetables on the grill is to put them on skewers instead of in a basket. This leaves them on the grates, but the skewers keep them in one spot, so they won’t get moved around too much.

BearMoo Kabob Skewers are especially great because they’re flat instead of round. This makes it harder for veggies to spin on their own, as they tend to do on round skewers. These also work great for small pieces of produce or anything soft. They also come in a nice canvas pouch that makes it easy to keep them together, so you don’t lose one or two.

Put Them in Packets

Don’t have skewers or a grill basket? You can also put your veggies in an aluminum foil packet for easy grilling that locks in flavor and keeps them off the grates. Reynolds Wrap Heavy Duty is incredibly strong—it can hold even bigger, heavier vegetables, like eggplant or potatoes.

Simply place your veggies, seasonings, and marinade or oil in the foil, and then wrap it all up before placing it on the grill. This cooks the veggies pretty quickly and traps all the flavor and juice.

Only Flip Them Once

A man placing skewered vegetables on a grill.
LightField Studios/Shutterstock

You don’t need to flip your vegetables a million times while grilling them. As most are a little more delicate than a piece of steak, flipping them a lot just makes them fall apart. Plus, it’s unnecessary to cook them evenly.

Give your vegetables some time on the grill (how much depends on which kind you’re grilling), and then flip them just once to ensure each side is cooked and has some nice grill marks.

Pick Them Up Correctly

Whether you’re cooking your vegetables directly on the grates or picking them up out of a basket, you want to use the right tongs to move them around. This set by OXO is sturdy, and the nonslip handles make them easy to use.

They also have a nonstick nylon head to prevent your produce from latching to them. They come in a 9- or 12-inch length, and the locking feature makes them simple to store.

OXO Good Grips 9-Inch Locking Tongs with Nylon Heads

Nonstick heads with nonslip handles.

Don’t Overcook

This one is obvious, but seriously, don’t overcook your veggies. If you leave them on the grill too long, they’ll be mushy and kind of watery, which is the opposite of what you want.

Grilled veggies should be crisp and a bit on the firm side, even when cooked. Keep a close eye on them and remove them from the grill as soon as they’re done.

Jessica Booth Jessica Booth
Jessica Booth is a freelance writer for LifeSavvy. She has been working in the editorial world as a freelance writer for over two years and previously worked as an editor for over eight years.  Jessica writes about travel, beauty, wellness, health, food, home decor, and parenting, and has reviewed and tested out products for all of those verticals over the course of her career. Read Full Bio »
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