One thing I love about summer, besides the sun finally returning to Seattle, is using the grill to cook quick dinners that don’t heat up the house or make a mess in the kitchen. In the past, we’ve been big protein grillers. But we weren’t big on grilled vegetables, outside of a kebab here or there. This summer though, it’s a totally different story.
A few months ago, I bought a grill pan. And I experimented with veggies until I had a sure fire method for grilling them right alongside our protein. Now, it’s pretty much grilled veggies every night around here.
We tend to grill quick proteins that take about ten minutes to cook, like steaks, boneless chicken thighs, pork chops, sausages, or fish. While our protein and a veggie are on the grill, I throw together a salad or rice. Between prepping and cooking, dinner is on the table in just about twenty minutes most nights.
I love you, summer.
About that grill pan. I’m actually on our second one. The original grill pan I purchased (the one in these photos) had a non stick coating. I used it for a while, but now that grilled vegetables are a daily thing, I’ve replaced it with the stainless steel version to avoid heating a non stick pan, which can be toxic. The detachable handle is awesome for being able to ‘stir’ veggies while on the grill for even cooking. And bonus, the pan is less $20!
Easy Grilled Vegetables How To
The example I’ve shared is Brussels sprouts, but you can use a variety of vegetables for this grilling method. We’ve grilled asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, green beans, red peppers, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes, and I’m sure there are many other veggies that would work as well.
Now that I look at this list, I wonder why I’ve never tried zucchini or yellow summer squash? Probably because I’m obsessed with zoodles.These easy grilled vegetables are a quick way to make a healthy side dish for summer dinners. Click To Tweet
If you want to get crazy, you can mix and match veggies. Just aim for a total of around one pound.
The key is to prep the veggies so that they cook uniformly, in around ten minutes. Here’s how I’ve been prepping grilled vegetables:
- Asparagus – trim ends and cut stalks into pieces about 2″ long
- Broccoli – cut head into florets
- Brussels Sprouts – trim ends and quarter
- Cauliflower – cut head into florets
- Cherry tomatoes – leave as is
- Green beans – trim end and leave whole
- Mushrooms – slice into 1/4″ slices, or quarter
- Red peppers – slice into 1/2″ slices
- Sweet Potatoes – chop into 1/2″ cubes
Once they are cut, toss them with the cooking fat of your choice, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and a pressed garlic clove. Not sure which fat to use? Check out my list of favorite cooking fats for ideas.
Once prepped, toss the veggies into the grill pan and cook on medium high (400ish degrees) for about ten minutes. You’ll want to shake them a time or two to make sure they cook evenly. We usually give the pan a few shakes when we open the lid to flip our meat. Bonus points if you let the grill pan preheat with the BBQ (carefully adding the veggies when you’re ready), which I almost never remember to do.
While not necessarily, I highly recommend finishing your vegetables with a little bit of acid once they are off the grill. I’m pretty sure the most common critique on Top Chef is “it needed more acid”. Since this show is where I receive my culinary training, I now add citrus or vinegar to everything. #fancy
Here are a few of our favorite combos. But the beauty of this cooking method is that pretty much anything goes. So try it with whatever veggies you have on hand.
- With chicken: Asparagus + mushrooms + lemon
- With steak: Green beans + cherry tomatoes + balsamic
- With tacos: Red peppers + sweet potatoes + lime
Products Used For This Recipe
Grill Basket – I love this grill basket for quickly cooking almost any veggie, right alongside our protein. The detachable handle makes it very easy to toss the veggies for even cooking.
Garlic Press – Fresh garlic adds a ton of flavor to a quick recipe; I cheat and save time with this garlic press.
Citrus Squeezer – I’m a big fan of using this citrus squeezer to add a little lemon or lime to finish a simple recipe. Totally not required, but fun.
If you’re interested in more healthy recipes for the grill, I’ve been collecting real food BBQ ideas over on Pinterest!