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How to Grill Vegetables

Whether or not you’re already grilling your main course, grilled vegetables bring out the best flavor in brussels sprouts, asparagus, zucchini, and more. If you or a family member thinks they don’t like vegetables, you might change that mindset after trying veggies grilled.

What Are the Best Vegetables to Grill?

We recommend grilling veggies you think will pair well with your main course. It’s hard to go wrong with grilled vegetables, but here are a few of our favorites.

  • Onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage
  • Zucchini
  • Bell Peppers
  • Asparagus
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Corn

We also recommend grilling vegetables that you don’t usually -- especially if you’ve only had them steamed or boiled.

A lot of us grew up thinking we hated vegetables like cabbage and Brussels sprouts. That's because those two vegetables contain sulfur compounds. When you cook them with moisture, such as steaming them, they become especially bitter.

The chemical reactions around that are complicated but essentially, these vegetables produce hydrogen sulfide when exposed to heat. When they’re steamed, the hydrogen sulfide can’t escape and falls back into the vegetable. Hydrogen sulfide produces that sulfurous smell and bitter taste that many people dislike. When you grill or roast these vegetables, hydrogen sulfide escapes and doesn’t ruin your meal.

How Hot Should the Grill Be for Vegetables?

The ideal grilling temperature for vegetables depends on the vegetable and the texture you want to achieve. Medium to medium-high heat is the recommended range for vegetables. In our recipes, we grill vegetables between 300 and 450-degrees Fahrenheit.

Do You Grill Meat or Vegetables First?

We generally recommend grilling meat before grilling vegetables. Typically, meat takes longer to grill and might require a hotter grill temperature. You should grill your meat before your vegetables if any of the following apply:

  • The meat needs to rest before serving, but the vegetables don’t.
  • The meat will cook more slowly than the vegetables even at the same temperature.
  • The meat is cooking at a higher temperature than the vegetables -- because it’s more fuel efficient to let the grill cool off than raise the temperature. Fuel efficiency is less of a concern with a grill like a Traeger that is more precise, but it’s very important with charcoal grills, which are hotter earlier in the grilling process.
  • The meat is smoking over a long period of time. For example, if you’re smoking brisket overnight.

If you’re cooking your meat and vegetables at the same temperature, and they take about the same amount of time to grill, feel free to cook them at the same time. If the vegetables take longer to grill than your meat, you can start the vegetables first.

Are Grilled Vegetables Healthy?

Yes, grilled vegetables are healthy. In general, grilling is considered a healthy method of cooking because it relies on only little brushed oil versus cooking in bacon grease or lard. That does mean you’re using more oil than you would if you were eating your vegetables raw or steamed. But if adding a little oil and salt to your vegetables means you’re actually eating veggies, that’s healthier than no vegetables at all.

Do Grilled Vegetables Need Oil?

Yes, you should lightly brush oil on your vegetables before grilling. This step can help seasoning (like salt and pepper) stick to the vegetables. Oil also prevents the vegetables from drying out and sticking to the grill.

How Long to Grill Vegetables

The exact time it takes to grill vegetables depends on a few factors including the size and density of the vegetable. Here are a few common vegetables and their recommended grill time and Fahrenheit temperature.

  • Onions: 8 to 10 minutes at 400 degrees, turning every few minutes
  • Corn: 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees, turning every few minutes
  • Peppers: 6 to 8 minutes per side at 400 degrees, though the skin side might take a little longer
  • Asparagus: 5 to 10 minutes at 400 degrees, turning every few minutes
  • Mushroom: 8 to 10 minutes per side at 400 degrees
  • Squash and Zucchini: 5 to 8 minutes per side at 400 degrees
  • Eggplant: 4 to 6 minutes per side at 400 degrees
  • Fennel: 5 to 6 minutes per side at 400 degrees
  • Leeks: 4 to 6 minutes per side at 350 degrees
  • Artichokes: 15 to 20 minutes per side at 350 degrees

Generally speaking, cook vegetables until they are soft enough to be easily pierced by a fork, but not mushy.

Grilled Vegetables Recipes

Grilling vegetables can be as easy as brushing with olive oil and seasoning with salt and pepper. If you’re looking for a little inspiration, here are a few of our favorite grilled vegetable recipes.

Grilled Vegetables With Lemon Herb Vinaigrette

This easy grilled vegetable medley is the perfect foray into grilling vegetables. It’s elevated by our homemade light and flavorful lemon herb vinaigrette. You may never buy dressing in the grocery store again.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon chives, chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 bag of tri-color baby bell peppers, halved
  • 2 bunches baby carrots with tops
  • 2 packages of baby squash, halved
  • 1 bag of baby white onions, peeled
  • 1 bag of baby red onions, peeled
  • 1 pound snow peas, fresh
  • 1 whole carton of tri-color cherry tomatoes
  • 1 can ears fresh corn
  • 1 whole baby eggplant, halved
  • To taste kosher salt
  • To taste black pepper

Serves: 4

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Roasted Root Vegetables

Root vegetables—including beets, squash, and yams— are packed in nutrients, making them a hearty side when cooked on the grill.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch red beets, scrubbed and trimmed
  • 1 bunch golden beets, scrubbed and trimmed
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and seeded
  • 1 large yam, peeled
  • 1 large carrot, peeled
  • 1 large red onion, peeled
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • As needed salt
  • As needed black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Serves: 6

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Roasted Sheet Pan Vegetables

This colorful medley of sheet pan vegetables takes just a few minutes of preparation and is ready to serve in 25 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 small cauliflower, purple
  • 1 small cauliflower, yellow
  • 4 cups butternut squash
  • 2 cups mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • To taste ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Serves: 4

Cooking time: 25

Sherry Roasted Root Vegetables

Another take on roasted root vegetables, this recipe incorporates cinnamon and honey for an unforgettable and hearty side dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch red beets, scrubbed and trimmed
  • 1 bunch golden beets, scrubbed and trimmed
  • 1 whole butternut squash seeded, peeled, and cubed
  • 1 large yam, peeled
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled
  • 1 large carrot, peeled
  • 1 large red onion, peeled
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 sticks cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • To taste salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons honey

Serves: 4

Cooking time: 45

How to Grill Asparagus

This roasted asparagus recipe is simple and delightful. Our Traeger Veggie Rub does the heavy lifting.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
  • As needed Traeger Veggie Rub

Serves: 4

Cooking time: 30 minutes

How to Grill Zucchini

These grilled zucchini squash spears are easy to prep and come together with just a few ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 4 medium zucchinis
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 2 thyme leaves pulled
  • To taste salt and pepper

Serves: 4

Cooking time: 10 minutes

How to Grill Eggplant

The competition is fierce, but we think grilled eggplant is the star of our grilled veggie sandwich. Simply toss the eggplant and other vegetables with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper, then grill until tender.

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 small eggplant, sliced into strips
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced into strips
  • 1 small yellow squash, sliced into strips
  • 2 large portobello mushrooms
  • As needed olive oil
  • As needed lemon juice
  • To taste salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
  • As needed lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • To taste salt and pepper
  • 4 whole ciabatta buns

Serves: 4

Cooking time: 30 minutes

How to Grill Onions

Grilling an onion is as easy as slicing it in rounds or wedges, drizzling with olive oil, seasoning with salt and pepper, and grilling at medium high heat until tender. But if you really want to impress your friends and family, try our grilled blooming onion.

Ingredients

  • 1 large Vidalia onion
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated garlic
  • 1/4 cup onion powder
  • 4 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • To taste salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley

Serves: 4

Cooking time: 30 minutes

How to Grill Broccoli

For a quick and delicious weeknight side, try this roasted broccoli with Parmesan cheese recipe on the Traeger.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups fresh broccoli, cut in bite-sized chunks
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Serves: 6

Cooking time: 10 minutes

How to Grill Brussels Sprouts

To grill these brussels sprouts, toss in olive oil and salt and pepper and grill at 500 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Check out our creamy brussels sprouts recipe for a stellar bacon and cheese sauce to elevate your new favorite vegetable.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • As needed olive oil
  • As needed salt and pepper
  • 2 ounces bacon, cooked and diced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1¾ cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons Traeger Chicken Rub
  • 4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
  • To taste salt and pepper

Serves: 4

Cooking time: 35 minutes

How to Grill Mushrooms

Grilled mushrooms, including our grilled baby portobello mushrooms, are a great addition to other dishes like stuffing or pizza.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups baby portobello, whole
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Serves: 4

Cooking time: 45 minutes

How to Grill Artichokes

According to acclaimed chef Tyler Florence, the key to perfect grilled artichokes is simmering them for 30 minutes before grilling.

Ingredients

  • 3 large globe artichokes, simmered, cut, and cooled
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons dill pickle, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 2 medium hard-boiled eggs, peeled and finely chopped
  • To taste lemon, juiced
  • To taste salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • To taste salt and pepper
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs, toasted

Serves: 4

Cooking time: 15 minutes

How to Grill Cauliflower

Cauliflower is having a moment right now (we’ve seen cauliflower pizza and cauliflower wings!) but cauliflower is a great vegetable on its own. Our simple roasted cauliflower recipe lets this vegetable shine.

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, fresh
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic clove
  • 1¼ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese

Serves: 4

Cooking time: 30 minutes

How to Grill Green Beans

When most folks think of grilling vegetables, they may not consider green beans. We want to change that with our recipe for bacon-wrapped green beans. All you need is a sheet pan and your grill.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound green beans, fresh
  • 4 strips bacon, cut in pieces
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Serves: 4

Cooking time: 20

How to Grill Carrots

Our favorite grilled carrot recipe uses beautiful heirloom carrots and is equally perfect for a weeknight dinner or a special occasion.

Ingredients

  • 12 heirloom carrots
  • 3 tablespoons high-quality olive oil
  • 1¼ teaspoons Jacobsen Salt Co. Pure Kosher Sea Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley

Serves: 4

Cooking time: 40 minutes

How to Grill Cabbage

Our grilled beer cabbage is an ideal side for St. Patrick’s Day and is cooked in an entire can of Guinness.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cabbage heads
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 14 ounces Guinness Extra Stout

Serves: 4

Cooking time: 50 minutes