35 Foods You Wouldn't Think to Grill But Definitely Should Try

Grilled Vegetables


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Grilled Vegetables

Meat Your Superior

Grilling doesn't have to be all about meat. In fact, grilling is an easy and quick way to infuse simple and inexpensive vegetables with flavor. Delight the vegetarians and vegans in your life with these recipes that celebrate summer with plant-based foods. And consider using a dedicated area of the grill for meat-free options, keeping them away from any meat juices and flavors.

Related: Unusual Backyard Cooking Gadgets That Are Actually Useful

Grilled Garlic Mushrooms
Liv friis-larsen/shutterstock

Garlic Mushrooms

When in doubt, mushrooms make a great vegetarian option when meat would usually be the star. Mushrooms not only have a naturally meaty texture and umami-rich flavor, they have a lot of protein for just as much nutritional satisfaction.

Recipe: The Spruce

Related: Dishes Under 100 Calories Per Serving

Grilled Veggie Kabobs
Black Bean Cakes

Black Bean Burgers

Black bean burgers, as well as other veggie burgers, serve as a flavorful substitution for a traditional beef patty that works well with a variety of fixings.

Recipe: Allrecipes

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Grilled Asparagus with Lemon and Shaved Bella Lodi

Asparagus Salad

Summer asparagus doesn't need much to take it to new flavor heights — a slight char on the grill adds depth and complexity to its mild flavor. Dress it up even more by letting it star in a simple salad.

Recipe: Once Upon a Chef

Grilled Hearts of Romaine
Bernhard Richter/shutterstock

Hearts of Romaine

It may sound odd, but cooked lettuce has been a popular dish for centuries, and grilling is the most flavorful method. It is a quick way to work greens into otherwise heavy meals.

Recipe: Allrecipes

Grilled Cauliflower Steaks
Tatiana Volgutova/istockphoto

Cauliflower Steaks

Cauliflower steaks are all the rage for a satisfying meatless entree and work well with a traditional grill preparation. The heat from the grill caramelizes the natural sugars, yielding a dish much cheaper than steak but similar in flavor.

Recipe: Bon Appétit

Grilled Corn Salsa
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Corn Salad

Fresh sweet corn gets even sweeter when turned on the grill a few times. Combine it with a piquant dressing and bright herbs to make a hearty salad that can be served as a side dish or topping for other grilled goods.

Recipe: Epicurious

Grilled Pineapple Salsa
Grilled Pineapple Salsa by Helen (CC BY-NC-SA)

Pineapple Salsa

Grilled pineapple's explosion of flavor is delicious on its own. Take it up a notch by building it into a salsa to add a tropical flair to a meal. A little bit goes a long way, enhancing meals for a small amount of money and effort.

Recipe: Carlsbad Cravings

Grilled Onions


There's so much flavor in the caramelized sugar resulting from grilling naturally sweet onions of any variety, from scallions to vidalias. Serve them on the side to add flavor to grilled veggies, or as a filling for sandwiches and tacos.

Recipe: ChefSteps

Spicy Grilled Cabbage

Spicy Grilled Cabbage

It's an unlikely stand-in for meat, but cabbage has a robust structure that can stand up to heat and retain a tender texture. Once you perfect the grilling method for this spicy Thai version, any seasonings can work.

Recipe: Serious Eats

Grilled Avocado Salad

Avocado Salad

Adding a few grill marks to avocado lends an extra bit of flavor that helps them pop alongside other flavorful ingredients. It's also a relatively inexpensive way to add flair and drama to plated food.

Recipe: Michael Chiarello

Grilled Peaches With Gorgonzola
Lesya Dolyuk/shutterstock

Peaches With Gorgonzola

The sharp sweetness of grilled peaches with tangy and pungent blue cheese is a thing of beauty. This elegant dish comes together quickly and can be served as a side dish or even as dessert with a glass of sweet wine.

Recipe: Thriving Home

Don't Forget the Corn
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Mexican Corn

Fresh grilled corn is perfected with condiments such as mayonnaise and chili, a traditional street food treatment in Mexico. It can be made for less than $1, which means permission to serve smaller portions of high-cost ingredients without hurting a meal.

Recipe: Tyler Florence

Grilled Pizza
Julie Vader/shutterstock


Giving low-cost homemade pizza a flavor boost from the grill can be tricky at first, but pays off in the end. Get creative with toppings, or have the family customize their own.

Recipe: The Kitchn



While quesadillas might not be top-of-mind for grilling, it adds a distinct flavor that pairs well with melty cheese and crisp tortillas. Double up by using grilled veggies inside the quesadillas.

Recipe: Martha Stewart

Grilled Halloumi and Tomato Salad

Halloumi and Tomato Salad

Halloumi is a mild cheese that is meant to be heated on a griddle or grill, getting firm and slightly crisp on the outside and melty on the inside. A thick cut is as satisfying as any piece of meat.

Recipe: Hannaford

Grilled Potato Salad
Stuffed Jalapenos


The key is grilling on indirect heat, without leaving char or grill marks. The peppers still take on a slightly smoky flavor, and soften up to make them easy to eat.

Recipe: Taste of Home

Grilled Eggplant
Massimiliano Gallo/shutterstock


Grilled eggplant gets soft and smoky, ideal for layering onto sandwiches or blitzing into a dip. It's simple to make while the grill is hot, and yields one of the most diverse vegetarian options.

Recipe: Food.com

Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese

Grilled Cheese

Typically we enjoy grilled cheeses made on a griddle or from a pan to get a uniform crust. Using an actual grill yields a lighter product with a deeper char flavor that contrasts and balances pungent cheeses.

Recipe: Fix

Ranch Potatoes

Ranch Potatoes

This full-flavored dish combines crispy-edged potatoes with creamy ranch for a universally loved dish — and one fit to be a main dish.

Recipe: Delish

Carrot Hot Dog with Giardiniera
Carrot Hot Dog with Giardiniera by Mr. Tender Branson (None)

Carrot Hot Dog

This ingenious vegan twist on a grilled classic requires some preparation, but the result is worth it. Those who prefer plant-based meals will be impressed and satisfied.

Recipe: Peta

Tempeh kabobs on the grill
Tempeh kabobs on the grill by mache (CC BY)

Barbecue Tempeh

Tempeh is a meat substitute that can be used in kabobs or straight on the grill. The key to getting it just right is to pre-cook so the grill imparts crisp edges.

Recipe: Organic Authority

Grilled Zucchini


Zucchini goes quick on the grill, thanks to its high water content, and in the warm seasons is guaranteed to be cheap. Keeping a few on hand ensures a healthy veggie option.

Recipe: Allrecipes

Grilled Artichokes
Vincenzo Di Dio/shutterstock


The mild, unique flavor of artichokes benefits from extra caramelization on the grill, and high heat means they cook quickly. Served simply with a squeeze of lemon or garlic aioli, they can be the centerpiece of a grilled meatless meal.

Recipe: Eating Well

Grilled Watermelon Salad
Y Photo Studio/shutterstock

Watermelon Salad

Grilling fruit heightens the natural sweetness by caramelizing the sugars as well as adding a char flavor for contrast. It is perfect just served on a platter, or can be the star of a unique salad.

Recipe: Claire Robinson

Loaded Veggie

Grilled Vegetable and Mozzarella Sandwich

If veggie burgers aren't wanted, try a hearty grilled vegetable sandwich with oozy mozzarella. The full flavor comes from using grilled vegetables as well as grilling the bread.

Recipe: Tablespoon

Grilled Mushroom Tacos
Gregory Gerber/shutterstock

Mushroom Tacos

Making tacos is quick and easy on a hot grill. Prep the ingredients and lay them out for a make-your-own bar.

Recipe: Food Network

Grilled Tofu Sandwich

Tofu Sandwich

Tofu is full of vegetable protein and super versatile, but it's not very flavorful on it's own. Marinating and grilling the tofu ensures every bite will have flavor.

Recipe: Whole Foods Market

Spicy Grilled Broccoli

Spicy Grilled Broccoli

Turning broccoli into a craveable part of a grilled spread requires some flavorings. Add spice to the mix with chili flakes, tangy vinegar, and smoked paprika to create an impressive vegan dish.

Recipe: Taste of Home



Even those who don't love okra tend to like it slightly crisp from the grill. The chiplike quality makes it so easy to pop in the mouth and enjoy as a snack or use to add bulk to burgers.

Recipe: Allrecipes

Grilled Panzanella
Liliya Kandrashevich/shutterstock


This classic summer salad gets a grill-marked twist: Instead of using day-old bread, give it a turn on the grill to slightly dry it out. The bread soaks up juices from the salad for maximum flavor.

Recipe: Ina Garten

Grilled Curry Cauliflower
Elena Veselova/shutterstock

Curry Cauliflower

Cauliflower and curry are a tasty combination in any form, from soup to roasted florets. This inexpensive blend works as well on the grill.

Recipe: Serious Eats

Grilled Pound Cake With Berries
Elena Veselova/shutterstock
Grilled Banana Split
Yulia Grigoryeva/shutterstock

Banana Split

It's hard to make building a banana split any more fun, but grilling just might do it. Caramelized bananas take on an even sweeter, candylike flavor and texture, taking this treat to new, indulgent heights.

Recipe: Martha Stewart 

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