These Grilled Summer Vegetables with zucchini, summer squash, red onions, cherry tomatoes, and bell pepper tossed in olive oil, lemon juice, and Italian seasoning is the ultimate summer side dish.
One of my favorite summer side dishes is grilled vegetables. You just can’t beat the fresh taste of delicious summer produce combined with the smoky, slightly charred taste from grilling. Plus if you are making dinner on the grill, then there is no extra dishes or clean-up.
While you can grill almost any veggies, during the summer months I like to grill all the amazing summer produce I find at the weekly farmer's market. Think sweet red bell peppers, tomatoes, fresh corn, zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, or green beans.
These veggies are so great on the grill since they are at their peak of freshness. All you need is olive oil, salt, pepper, and a simple seasoning blend. When the vegetables are so fresh, they don't need a lot of extra garnishes or seasoning.
Let's talk about the process. I find it easiest to use a grill basket and choose veggies that cook in the same amount of time. That way you don’t have to worry about the timing of each vegetable or losing half the veggies through the grill grates. Skewers or aluminum foil also work, but if you are planning on grilling vegetables often, a grill basket is a great investment.
What summer vegetables are best for the grill?
- Summer squash
- Green beans
- Bell peppers
- Asparagus (although technically not a summer vegetable)
- Corn on the cob
Tasty Seasoning Ideas
- Change up the spices: Italian seasoning is my go-to spice blend for vegetables, but you could mix things up and use ranch seasoning, Cajun seasoning, or simply use some garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Add fresh herbs: To add even more fresh flavor to your veggies, try finishing the dish with some fresh summer herbs like basil, oregano, parsley, cilantro, dill, or mint.
- Add cheese: Cheese makes everything taste better and grilled veggies are no different. Finish the vegetables with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and some freshly crumbled goat cheese, feta cheese, or Parmesan cheese.
- Finish with sauce: When I am making a simple dinner like grilled chicken and vegetables, add a sauce to make the dish something special. Good options include chimichurri, pesto, green goddess dressing, balsamic vinaigrette, or jalapeno ranch.
4 Tips for Delicious Grilled Vegetables
- Cut the vegetables to a uniform size: To make sure the vegetables all cook in the same amount of time, make sure to cut them to the same size and thickness. For example, in this recipe, the zucchini, summer squash, red onion, and red bell pepper are all cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
- Always use oil: Make sure to always toss the vegetables with oil so they do not stick to the grill or grill basket.
- Don't flip too early: One of the biggest mistakes people make when grilling is flipping things (or shaking the grill basket) too early. If the vegetables are sticking, they probably aren't ready to be flipped. Wait until they crisp up and release naturally from the grates. Also, keep the grill closed when you aren't moving the vegetables.
- Choose vegetables that cook in the same amount of time: Make sure to choose vegetables that will cook in the same amount of time. There is nothing worse than having some vegetables mushy and overcooked, while others remain raw.
What to Serve with Grilled Summer Vegetables
Grilled veggies work with so many different meals including grilled proteins, salads, pasta, sandwiches, burgers, and more. Here are some of our favorites:
- For a simple summer dinner, serve these veggies with Grilled Lemon Dijon Chicken Thighs, Grilled Swordfish, Grilled Salmon, or Grilled Steaks.
- Make a summer grain bowl by combining vegetables with quinoa, brown rice, or farro. Top with your favorite sauce or dressing.
- Turn these vegetables into a tasty pasta dish by adding them to cooked pasta with lemon juice, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese. Or toss them in pasta salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to the most commonly asked questions about grilling vegetables.
Vegetables do not need to soak before being grilled. Just make sure to wash off any debris and dry them well before placing them on the grill.
Technically speaking, frozen vegetables can be cooked in a grill basket but they won't turn out like fresh vegetables. Frozen vegetables have higher water content and will get soggy on the grill. They also won't caramelize and brown in the same way. Whenever possible, cook fresh vegetables on the grill.
Most vegetables can be cooked directly on the grill with good results. The only exception is heavily starchy vegetables like potatoes and winter squash, which may need to be cooked beforehand. This step can be avoided by cooking those starchy vegetables in a foil packet.
Grilled Summer Vegetables
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- 2 zucchini, cut into half moons
- 2 summer squash, cut into half moons
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 red pepper, sliced (or other variety)
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning (or more)
- Salt and pepper
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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