• Nancy Boudreau

How to Cook Vegetables So They Taste Good - Part 2



Easy to Make Grilled Vegetables

If you liked last week’s oven-roasted veggies, you will love grilled vegetables. Both methods intensify the sweet flavor of the vegetables. When the weather gets warmer and you don’t want to turn the oven on, grilled vegetables will become your go-to method. It’s a no-fuss, no-muss way to cook vegetables, and cleaning up is a breeze.


Asparagus, zucchini, yellow squash, portobello mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, eggplant, tomatoes, corn on the cob - the list goes on. You name it, you can grill it.

Served hot off the grill or at room temperature, grilled veggies are a delicious way to take advantage of all the spring and summer produce available at the grocery store and farmers' market.


You can serve grilled vegetables in so many ways—as a rustic side dish, with brown rice, quinoa, or farro for lunch or a light dinner, in a wrap or crusty roll with cheese and a drizzle of vinaigrette dressing for a tasty veggie sandwich, chopped up and added to a pasta salad – so good!


Prepping vegetables for the grill

The prep and seasoning for grilled vegetables are the same as oven-roasted vegetables—Wash and pat dry the vegetables, cut them into uniform sizes so they cook at the same time, and season with olive oil, salt and pepper.


How long do I grill vegetables?

Cooking time depends on the type of vegetable and how large the pieces are. Grill for a few minutes on one side, check for grill marks and then flip. Vegetables are done when they are tender and have nice grill marks on them.


The basic timeline is:

  • Softer vegetables like asparagus and green beans take 4 – 6 minutes

  • Denser vegetables like peppers and broccoli take 7 – 10 minutes

  • Hard vegetables like corn and potatoes take longer—20 to 30 minutes.

  • Vegetables grilled in foil packet take about 20 minutes

Don’t get too hung up on this. You can pierce them with a fork to check if they’re done—There should be a little resistance. Quite frankly, I’ve “overcooked” my grilled veggies plenty of times, and they were still delicious!


Three ways to grill vegetables

There are three ways you can grill vegetables. The method you use will determine how you prep your vegetables.


Place vegetables directly on the grill

  • This is the quickest and easiest way to grill vegetables.

  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Scrape any residue off the grates.

  • Cut each type of vegetable into uniform size and in large enough pieces so they don’t fall through the grates. For example, slice heads of broccoli and cauliflower into ½ inch thick “steaks” or cut into large florets, grill mushrooms, carrots, green onions, cherry tomatoes and asparagus whole, slice zucchini, yellow squash and eggplant lengthwise into ½ inch thick slices, cut in half or quarter onions and potatoes and cut peppers into large strips.

  • Toss in oil and season with salt and pepper.

  • Add them to the grill in a single layer and close the lid.

  • After a few minutes, open the lid, flip the veggies over and cook for another few minutes or until done.

Make vegetable kabobs

  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Scrape any residue off the grates.

  • If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for about 10 minutes so that won’t burn on the grill. It’s ok if the ends get charred.

  • Cut the vegetables to about the same size so they cook at the same rate.

  • Thread the vegetables onto a skewer.

  • Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

  • Add them to the grill in a single layer and close the lid.

  • After a few minutes, open the lid, flip the kabobs over and cook for another few minutes or until done.

Cook in a foil package

This is a convenient way to prepare grilled vegetables. Vegetables are cooked in individual packets for each person. You can also add a seasoned or marinated serving of protein (fish, chicken or a vegetarian option like portobello mushroom, seitan, tofu or tempeh) for a light meal.

  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Scrape any residue off the grates.

  • Cut vegetables to about the same size.

  • Place the vegetables on one side of a large piece of foil. Use heavy-duty foil or double the pieces to prevent tears and leaking.

  • Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt & pepper

  • Fold the other half of the foil over the vegetables and crimp the three sides closed.

  • To avoid piercing the foil, use tongs to place on the grill.

  • Cook for 10 minutes, flip the packet and cook for another 10 minutes

Recipe For Grilled Vegetables

Preheat grill to medium-high temperature. Brush the grates to clean off any residue.

  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Scrape any residue off the grates.

  • Wash your vegetables and pat them dry. Cut them into approximately the same size so they cook evenly.

  • Drizzle vegetables with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Place vegetables directly on the grill, thread them onto skewers for kabobs or put them in foil packets.

  • Cook softer vegetables for 4 – 6 minutes and denser vegetables for 7 - 10 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking time.

  • Vegetables are done when they have nice grill marks. Check denser vegetables by piercing with fork.

Serve as is, drizzle with a vinaigrette dressing (here’s a recipe for classic vinaigrette dressing), top with grated parmesan cheese or freshly chopped parsley or basil

You can eat the grilled veggies right off the grill or at room temperature.


How to Grill Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob is a summertime favorite. You can husk the corn and put it directly on the grill, but my preferred method is to grill the corn in the husk. The husks keep the corn moist and juicy, but you still get the same charred kernels and sweet smokey flavor. There’s some prep involved, but it’s worth the wait.

  • Pull the husks back, remove the silk and then pull the husks back up. Remove any dried husk

  • Soak the cobs in water for about 20 minutes. I do this in a large plastic bag or in the sink. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! Soaking the cobs will prevent the husks from catching fire on the grill.

  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat

  • Put the cobs on the grill and close the lid. Grill for about 20 to 25 minutes. Turn them every 5 minutes or so to get even blackening on the outside of the husk.

  • When finished, pull the husks back, slather with salted butter and enjoy!

I hope this inspires you to grill some vegetables for your next meal or picnic.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes!


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