It’s that time of year again: grill season! Yep, it’s time to dust off the ol’ grill and get ready for the days of backyard/rooftop barbecues and block parties. And although most in the United States consider Memorial Day weekend to be the official kickoff of the summer season, May 16th is National Barbecue Day, a food holiday that we just can’t ignore.
Sure, barbecues are traditionally associated with meat — and if you want meat-free, meaty recipes to throw on the grill, you can try recipes like this Seitan Asada or these Grilled Seitan Kebabs With Creole Coconut Sauce – but today, let’s talk about veggies. When the weather’s warm, throwing some fresh veggies on the grill is just one more way to keep dinnertime exciting. Not to mention, you can really impress company by presenting them veggies in ways that they never thought possible. For tips on the basics for grilling vegetables, read How to Make the Best Grilled Vegetables for Your Next Cookout.
Then, get ready, because we have 25 recipes, including two grilled fruit recipes for dessert, to help you celebrate the start of grill season!
This Grilled Eggplant With Lemon Basil Drizzle makes a delicious light option for lunch, dinner, or side dish. Eggplant slices are seasoned with only salt and then grilled until tender — the real flavor comes from the easy lemon basil dressing. The flavors compliment each other superbly. Open to other possibilities such as being wrapped up and stuffed with your favorite fillings, like cashew ricotta.
Kick off barbecue season with some Sticky Miso Grilled Veggie Skewers! Zucchini, mushrooms, and tempeh each bring their own texture in these deliciously umami vegetable skewers. The zucchini is soft, the mushrooms are meaty, and the tempeh is firm but meaty. As you grill them, the sticky miso sauce begins to caramelize a little, enhancing its flavor even further. Serve with grains as a main dish or make a bunch for your barbecue.
These Garlicky Barbecue Mushroom Kebabs make a great addition to any barbecue. Ready in no time, these skewered mushrooms are a delicious side to any veggie burger or other grilled vegetables. It’s easy to make a big batch of these and take them along to a potluck to be used as a side, or make a big batch and serve the leftovers cold throughout the week in sandwiches, salads, or antipasti plates.
Quinoa adds a wonderful boost of protein to these gluten-free, vegan Grilled Artichoke and Quinoa Lettuce Wraps and the lemon brings some flavor and acidity to them. These wraps are also perfect for packing as lunch the next day, since they are best served at room temperature.
You just found the perfect side to your barbecue — these Grilled Maple Tahini Sweet Potatoes. They’re soft and tender with caramelized edges and especially delicious when drizzled with a sweet-tart maple tahini dip with a squeeze of lemon juice. Top them with roasted, crushed cumin seeds and serve them at your next plant-based barbecue.
For a delicate dish with citrusy notes, look no further than this Grilled Apricot and Endive Salad. Set atop a bed of baby spinach, the bitterness of the endives balances perfectly with the sweet apricots and the apricot-mint dressing ties the whole dish together. Garnish with crushed, toasted hazelnuts for a nice, nutty touch.
Grilled eggplant, crisp bell peppers, and garlicky mashed potatoes, this Eggplant Steak With Fajitas an entrée worthy of any weekend dinner. The eggplant is cut into “steaks,” rubbed with dry spices, and then marinated in an umami sauce before being grilled until crispy. It’s topped with sautéed bell peppers, onion, and tomato for even more flavor and served with a side of garlicky mashed potatoes for scooping on top.
Beet is one of those extremely versatile veggies that you can make a hundred different ways and it still surprises you. Well, it turns out, if you boil it with spices and then slice and grill to make a crust, it makes a perfectly good patty, like these 1-Ingredient Beet Sliders. Serve these little sliders with your favorite greens and enjoy!
Kebab is one of the most common street foods in the Middle East. It’s made by grilling vegetables of all kinds and serving them in a pita or larger flatbread. This Eggplant Kebab is seasoned with za’atar and served with crunchy salad, creamy tahini, and a drizzle of tahini on top. What’s great about this recipe is that it’s completely oil-free, without salt, and plant-based. It’s filled with great spices, crunchy salad, creamy hummus and, of course, tahini drizzled on top. You can bake the eggplant in the oven, or put it on the grill – just until it’s mushy inside and crispy on the outside.
10. Grilled King Oyster Mushrooms With Lemon Pesto Polenta
“Meaty” mushroom steaks sits atop a bed of lemony pesto polenta in this creative dish. The Grilled King Oyster Mushrooms are plump and juicy and the roasted tomatoes and dash of balsamic vinegar bring the whole dish together. Delicious!
Grilled sweet corn sprinkled with cayenne pepper, drizzled with chipotle-spiked sauce, and topped with fresh cilantro … this Hot n’ Spicy Mexican Street Corn one spicy bite! Traditional street corn is served with cotija cheese, a seasonal cheese named after a town in Mexico. Beware, this sauce is hot, hot, hot … so go lightly if you’re not ready for the heat!
Chicken of the Woods is a mushroom also known by its fancy name, Laetiporus. It’s a bright orangey-yellow shelf mushroom with a texture similar to chicken and a soft, lemony scent. In this awesome Grilled Chicken of the Woods Sandwich, these tasty mushrooms are cooked in a cast iron skillet with seasoning until golden and crispy before being baked in the oven. You can assemble the sandwich any way you like — with vegan cheese, onions, greens, etc… You’ll be amazed by just how chicken-like this sandwich tastes.
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Looking for an easy meal to enjoy with company? Try these Grilled Sweet Potato Boats With Black Bean Mango Salsa! No flipping necessary. No poking. No nothing. Just stand around and enjoy your company. Serve this as a side dish or as a light main dish over a bed of kale.
Not sure what to do with those zucchini siting in your refrigerator? Try these Grilled Zucchini With Herbed Crumbs! This recipe is easy — light brushing of fruity olive oil, a quick grill in a pan, and a sprinkling of herbed bread crumbs. Serve them as a part of dinner or at your next cookout.
This fresh, summery Za’atar Grilled Eggplant Salad combines soft grilled eggplants and lots of fresh herbs. Make a big batch since cold leftovers make great pita fillings with hummus and extra greens. Serve with a big squeeze of lemon for a refreshing kick.
Who ISN’T a fan of tacos? These spicy, sweet, and filling Chili Lime Lentil Tacos are not only packed with protein from lentils, but they go the extra mile with a salsa made from grilled peppers, onions, and pineapple. They’re awesome on their own, but taste even better with a dollop of vegan sour cream or mashed avocado.
Believe it or not, these gorgeous Grilled Portobello Burgers are ridiculously easy to make. Earthy, sweet black bean beet patties are sandwiches with turmeric hummus between two meaty Portobello mushroom caps. With spices like smoky cumin, garlic powder, and fresh coriander, these delicious burgers don’t skimp on flavor.
In this recipe for Grilled Eggplant With Ginger Dressing, Japanese eggplants are halved and grilled until they begin to brown. They’re then coated with a gingery and umami dressing that complements the creaminess of the cooked eggplant. Serve these delicious eggplants on a bed of freshly cooked coconut, with more vegetables on the side.
You’ll be using your grill two ways in these Mediterranean Grilled Chickpea-Stuffed Avocados: for cooking up some crispy chickpeas, and for getting perfect grill marks on avocado halves! As if avocados themselves couldn’t be any better, right? The grilled avocado halves are stuffed with a colorful mixture of tomato, cucumber, grilled chickpeas, and drizzled with a generous amount of tasty tahini sauce.
There’s nothing quite like grilled mushrooms as a meaty entrée for your summer barbecue. This recipe comes with three different components: Thyme Grilled Mushrooms, a simple salsa, and a fennel slaw. Serve them together on a bun like a burger, or combine them with greens and other vegetables for an awesome summer salad.
This Mediterranean-inspired Grilled Vegetable, Olive Flatbread, and Hummus Plate is the perfect summer meal for serving outside on warm evenings. The flavors of the grilled spelt flatbread flavored with olives and herbs, quick and easy hummus, and grilled hummus and zucchini all work in harmony together. Marinated lives and juicy cherry tomatoes on the side add more color and flavor to the plate. Serve with a big, green salad on the side with plates, because this dish was made to be shared.
This Spicy Grilled Cauliflower Summer Bowl is a fresh, tasty dish made with spicy grilled cauliflower, a fresh salad, and black rice tossed with a refreshing mint coriander oil. Cauliflower is marinated in a spicy sauce seasoned with chili powder, smoky cumin, garlic paste, and turmeric powder that pairs perfectly with the refreshing mint coriander dressing.
Kick off your summer cookout with this deliciously tasty and easy to make Grilled Eggplant Stack! Sliced eggplant is seasoned with paprika and then grilled until it begins to crisp. It’s layered with a savory roasted red pepper sauce and served with simple sides of corn and sliced avocado.
These Grilled Apricots With Almond Pistachio Ricotta are as tasty as they are eye-catching. Juicy apricots are sliced open, stuffed with a creamy and slightly tangy almond ricotta, and topped with chopped pistachios. Vibrant and delicious!
This unreal Grilled Banana Split starts with grilled, caramelized banana halves, and homemade, creamy vanilla coconut ice cream. Then, you top it with a warm, chocolate drizzle and a sprinkle of chopped walnuts.
Have fun firing up the grill!
Lead image source: Grilled Eggplant Stack