The Ultimate Summer Grilled Vegetables Guide

Is there anything better than fresh vegetables from the farmers market? Even those of us who wouldn’t consider ourselves veggie lovers have a hard time turning down a grilled summer vegetable fresh from the garden. Whether you look at these grilling recipes for your main course or an easy side dish, you’ll find a few new ways to make the most of the cherry tomatoes, summer squash, and green beans abundant in every garden.

We’ve put together a few recipes for easy grilled vegetables and fruit (without a long cook time) that will have you wanting more all summer long.

Size Matters

When grilling veggies, it’s important to make sure you’re working with practical sizes. The pieces of veggies that you grill should be small enough to be manageable and cook without taking forever, but they should also be big enough that they stay together during cooking, whether you use a grill basket, roast them on the grates, or pop them on skewers with a little balsamic vinegar. What’s more, that little bit of prep time will help speed up the rest of the cooking process.

For example, corn can be left on the whole cob or cut into 2-inch pieces. Eggplant, zucchini, red onion, and yellow squash should be sliced. Bell peppers are easiest to grill when cut into thick strips, while tomatoes grill best when cut in half. Ultimately, the choice is yours, but choosing to cut your vegetables into manageable sizes makes grilling much easier.

Add Some Protein

One of the best things about grilling vegetables is that adding a boost of protein to the mix is surprisingly easy, just remember for a little increase in the total time it takes to cook the dish.

Take this “clean on the cob” recipe for grilled corn with vegan aioli. Grilling the corn is a snap, but the vegan aioli is really what makes the dish pop. Simply mix vegan mayo, lime juice, lime zest, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, and unflavored protein powder together and spoon the mixture over the grilled corn.

If aioli’s not your thing, try incorporating unsweetened protein powder into your marinade or seasoning mixture of choice. Grab a large bowl and mix in your powder. Because unsweetened protein powder has no taste, you’ll be surprised to find how seamlessly it can be incorporated into your favorite seasoning or sauce for some extra protein to keep you feeling full. Don’t forget to add in herbs like parsley or oregano for flavor (and a hint of color).

Grill Your Dessert

It might not technically be a vegetable, but grilling stone fruit offers a healthy (and delicious!) alternative to more traditional desserts. Use fresh summer peaches, plums, or nectarines (anything with a pit) and lightly brush the slices of fruit with olive oil before grilling. While grilling the fruit, whisk together a mixture of Greek yogurt, protein powder, vanilla extract, and maple syrup to drizzle over the fruit as a sweet but healthy garnish. You’ll even get in a little bit of extra protein to end your night thanks to the Greek yogurt and protein powder.

Use a Healthy Oil

It can be tempting to think that vegetables have plenty of moisture that will keep them from sticking to the grill, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. In addition to sticking to your grill and making a mess, veggies that are not lightly oiled dry out quickly when exposed to the heat, which reduces the flavor. We recommend lightly brushing your veggies of choice with olive oil or another heart healthy oil, such as canola oil, before grilling up your favorite vegetable recipes.