Summer means lots of opportunity to grill delicious food, and being a vegetarian or vegan doesn’t mean you can’t cook up something delicious on the grill. I love, love, love a grilled veggie kabob, and it’s so easy to make. The trick is to choose hearty vegetables, and you can either grill them “as-is”, or kabob style, or in a medley wrapped in foil or a veggie grilling tray. I also like to make homemade marinades, which really makes the grilled veggies “pop” with flavor.
Keep reading to find out which are my top recommendations for best vegetables to grill.
Ok, first off, make sure you are using either some good aluminum skewers or water soaked wooden skewers when grilling. Not soaking wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes before grilling can result in flaming skewer sticks and burnt veggies.
Secondly, always use mostly hearty vegetables, and you can add in a few less hearty options, which I’ll outline below. If marinating, which I highly recommend, be sure to allow your veggies to soak for at least 30 minutes and preferably overnight for best flavor intensity.
And, lastly, when prepping vegetables for kabobs, you want to cut them into bite sized pieces.
Best Hearty Vegetables for Grilling
Mushrooms – Mushrooms really grab the flavor of a marinade, and their firm yet moist texture once grilled compliments the flavors and textures of it’s veggie companions.
Onions – Marinating onions before grilling takes the “bite” out of them, and turns them into sweet delicious flavor enhancers.
Squash – Both zucchini and yellow squash grill very well, BUT, because they are so porous I do NOT recommend marinating them or brushing with too much oil because they will quickly turn soggy.
Eggplant – Like squash, eggplant will remain hearty as long as you don’t marinate or brush with excessive oil. It’s porous texture mops up oil and liquids quickly, so you don’t want to risk having soggy chunks of eggplant. If you’re grilling eggplant “steaks”, a nice thin coat of oil on each side as you grill is all that’s needed for a delicious, hearty vegetarian “steak”.
Sweet Bell Peppers – Whether green, red, yellow or orange, their natural sweetness provides great flavor balance against your more savory veggies. Additionally, they stand up well to both marinade and oil brushing.
Potatoes – Small red potatoes that are quartered, make your veggie kabobs nice and hearty and filling. Like most of the other hearty vegetables mentioned, they stand up well to both marinades and oil brushing.
Brussels Sprouts – These are an often overlooked great grilled vegetable. I find that they grill best when halved, either on a kabob or in foil or a veggie basket. And, Brussels sprouts stand well to both marinades and oil brushing.
Corn – For the most part, unless you’re going to cut your corn cobs into segments to use on a kabob, you’ll grill them separately. There are many ways to grill corn – in foil – in their husk – etc.. Try them different ways and see which way you prefer. Because marinades and oil will readily slide off of the corn, do NOT brush them on until after you’ve grilled the corn to avoid starting a grease fire. However, if you’re grilling your corn in a contained medium, such as foil, you can SPARINGLY add sauces, butter, oil, etc. during cooking time but do keep a very watchful eye to make sure there is no dripping.
Lesser Hearty Vegetables That Are Good for Grilling
Tomatoes – Everyone loves tomatoes, but they can be hit or miss when grilling. First off, always seed your tomatoes before grilling unless you’re using cherry or grape tomatoes. Tomatoes will stand up fairly well to marinades and oil brushing, but do so sparingly.
Asparagus – Asparagus grills very quickly, so I don’t recommend grilling them on a kabob, but they can be grilled separately in foil or a veggie basket.
So, don’t feel left out when everyone else is grilling. Vegetables make great grilling fare, and they’re fast to both prep and cook.
Bon Veggie Appetit!
Gina “The Veggie Goddess” Matthews