DadShop Blog

40 Best Vegetables To Grill On Your Next BBQ

Variety of vegetables roasting on a bbq grill

Updated on July 2nd, 2024

Australia is known for its vibrant outdoor culture, and what better way to enjoy sunny days than a barbecue filled with a variety of delicious vegetables? Grilling vegetables brings out their natural sweetness and flavour and adds a healthy twist to your barbie. Whether you’re a seasoned griller or just starting out, incorporating grilled veggies into your BBQ can transform your meals into colourful, nutritious feasts. Here’s a guide to the 40 best vegetables to grill, complete with all the tips you need to make them shine on your plate. If you’re a vegetarian then try our best BBQ food to pair up with your veggies.

Capsicum (Bell Peppers)

roasted-capsicum

How To Grill the Vegetables Perfectly Grill over medium-high heat (about 200°C to 230°C) for 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally to avoid burning. Capsicums, or bell peppers, are a vibrant addition to any grilled vegetable recipe. They become beautifully charred and sweet when grilled, enhancing their natural juiciness. Their robust structure makes them perfect for stuffing with various fillings or slicing into strips for kebabs.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Roasted vegetables like capsicum are low in calories yet rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, which are excellent for boosting immune health and skin elasticity.
  • Flavour Profile: Sweet and mildly tangy, with a juicy crunch that intensifies upon grilling.
  • Preparation Tips: Wash thoroughly, remove the core and seeds, and slice into strips or rings for even cooking.
  • Suggestions: Serve as part of a grilled veggie platter or chop into a fresh salad for a smoky twist.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Capsicums pair wonderfully with meats like chicken or beef and are great with feta or goat cheese.

Corn on the Cob

Corn on the Cob

Grilling Corn Tip: Soak in water for 10 minutes before grilling to prevent husks from burning. This is especially useful for a good variety of vegetables. Grill over high heat, turning often, until kernels are tender. Ensure your vegetables are charred slightly to achieve a smoky and rich flavour like grilled delicacies. Grilled corn on the cob is a timeless BBQ favourite. The high heat chars the kernels, bringing out their sweetness and adding an irresistible smoky flavour. Slathering grilled corn with butter and a sprinkle of salt creates a simple yet delicious side dish everyone loves.

  • Nutritional Benefits: A good source of fibre, vitamins B and C, and essential minerals such as zinc and magnesium.
  • Flavour Profile: Naturally sweet with a satisfying crunch, corn becomes buttery and rich when grilled.
  • Preparation Tips: Peel back the husks and remove the silk threads, but keep the husks attached to the grip for turning.
  • Serving Suggestions: Brush with butter and sprinkle with salt, or elevate it with lime juice and a sprinkle of smoked paprika.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Grilled corn is excellent with BBQ pork or fish and complements creamy avocado or tomato-based salads.

Eggplant

grilled eggplant

Tip: Grill over medium heat (about 175°C to 200°C) for 4-5 minutes on each side until tender. Grilled eggplant on the BBQ becomes wonderfully tender and develops a rich, complex flavour. It’s perfect for adding depth to vegetarian dishes or serving as a hearty side. Its meaty texture makes it a favourite for veggie stacks and baba ganoush.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Eggplants are rich in fibre and antioxidants, particularly nasunin, which helps protect cell membranes from damage. Grilled vegetables are a delicious addition to any meal.
  • Flavour Profile: A distinctive earthy taste that becomes wonderfully rich and slightly smoky when grilled.
  • Preparation Tips: Slice into 1cm (1/2 inch) thick rounds or lengthwise to create steaks. Salt lightly to draw out excess moisture and bitterness. Prep vegetables carefully to enhance their flavour and texture before grilling.
  • Serving Suggestions: Drizzle with a balsamic glaze or sprinkle with fresh herbs like parsley or mint for a refreshing contrast.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Eggplant pairs beautifully with robust cheeses like ricotta or mozzarella and complements Mediterranean flavours like tomato, basil, and oregano.

Asparagus

grilled asparagus

Tip: Grill over high heat (about 230°C to 245°C) for 2-3 minutes, rolling them across the grill for even charring. Asparagus spears are quick to cook and easy to handle, making them ideal for a no-fuss BBQ side dish. The grill’s char and smokiness enhance their natural sweetness, complementing meaty and plant-based dishes.

  • Nutritional Benefits: High in fibre, folate, and vitamins A, C, and K, asparagus supports good digestion, healthy skin, and immune function.
  • Flavour Profile: Naturally sweet and grassy, with a tender texture that crisps delightfully at the tips when grilled.
  • Preparation Tips: Trim the woody ends and toss in olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cooking Methods & Tips: Serve with a squeeze of lemon or a dollop of hollandaise sauce for a classic touch. Easy grilled vegetables like asparagus are perfect for any meal.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Asparagus is fantastic with eggs and smoked salmon, making it perfect for a BBQ brunch. Grilled vegetables are a healthy and delicious addition to your menu.

Silverbeet

silverbeet variety

Tip: Grill over medium heat (about 175°C to 200°C) for 1-2 minutes on each side until the leaves are slightly crispy and the stems are charred and tender Silverbeet, with its earthy taste and robust leaves, stands up well to the grill’s high heat. This leafy green caramelizes slightly at the edges, adding a crispy texture to its normally soft leaves, making it a nutritious and flavorful addition to any BBQ spread.

  • Nutritional Benefits: A great source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as magnesium, iron, and dietary fibre. Vegetables are good for providing essential nutrients and adding variety to your diet. Veggies are good options for every meal.
  • Flavour Profile: Earthy with a slight bitterness that mellows when grilled, highlighting its rich, leafy quality.
  • Preparation Tips: Rinse thoroughly, trim stems, and chop leaves into large, manageable pieces. Briefly blanch the leaves and stems separately before grilling to ensure tenderness. Vegetables before grilling often benefit from pre-treatment like blanching to enhance their texture.
  • Suggestions: Toss with garlic-infused olive oil or mix into a warm salad with quinoa and nuts.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Silverbeet pairs with stronger flavours like anchovy or capers and beautifully complements fatty meats like pork or duck.

Zucchini

roasted zucchini

Grilling Zucchini to Perfection: Grill over medium heat (about 175°C to 200°C) for 4-5 minutes on each side or until tender and grill marks appear. When grilled, these veggies transform into a delightful treat. Their mild flavour makes them an excellent canvas for herbs and spices. Their spongy texture absorbs smoky flavours beautifully, turning them into a succulent side dish or a star ingredient in mixed vegetable kebabs.

  • Nutritional Benefits: It contains significant amounts of vitamin A, magnesium, and fibre, making it beneficial for digestion, skin health, and the immune system.
  • Flavour Profile: Mild with a slightly sweet taste that becomes more pronounced and nutty when grilled.
  • Preparation Tips: Slice lengthwise into flat strips to maximize surface area for grilling.
  • Serving Suggestions: Toss in olive oil, garlic, and a sprinkle of herbs before serving, or use as a base for a grilled vegetable stack.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Zucchini works well with robust flavours like rosemary and sage and complements lamb or grilled fish excellently.

Sweet Potatoes

grilled sweet potatoe

Tip: Grill over medium heat, turning occasionally until they are tender and have grill marks. Sweet Potatoes: Grill over medium heat (about 175°C to 200°C) for 5-7 minutes on each side. Sweet potatoes are a hearty, nutritious choice for a BBQ. Their naturally sweet flavour deepens under the grill’s heat, making them perfect for grilling. When sliced into wedges or rounds, they become delightfully crispy on the outside while staying soft and creamy inside.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Sweet potatoes contain vitamins A, C, and manganese, promoting vision health, collagen production, and blood sugar regulation. Cook times may vary, but typically, they need about 5-7 minutes on each side.
  • Flavour Profile: Naturally sweet with a creamy texture that becomes caramelized and intensively flavorful when grilled.
  • Preparation Tips: Slice into 1cm (1/2 inch) thick rounds or wedges to ensure even cooking. Pre-cook in the microwave or boil briefly to soften before grilling. Grilling the yellow squash can take minutes, similar to grilling sweet potatoes.
  • Suggestions: Sprinkle with cinnamon or a spice blend like smoked paprika for extra flavour.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Excellent with grilled poultry or pork and pairs well with tangy sauces like lime-cilantro dressing.

Choko

choko vegetables

Tip: Choko: Grill over medium heat (about 175°C to 200°C) until tender and lightly charred, about 5-7 minutes on each side. Choko, known for its mild flavour and crisp texture, becomes slightly sweet and tender when grilled. It’s an excellent vehicle for flavours, soaking up marinades and seasonings, which makes it a versatile side dish for any barbeque setting.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Choko, or chayote, is low in calories, fibre, and vitamin C, which aids in immune support and skin health.
  • Flavour Profile: It is mild and slightly sweet, similar to a cucumber-squash blend, which makes it versatile for various flavour pairings.
  • Preparation Tips: Peel the skin, remove the core, and slice it into uniform pieces for even cooking. Vegetables on the grill should be prepared uniformly to ensure even cooking.
  • Suggestions: Enhance its natural flavour with olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt, or toss in a tangy vinaigrette. Grilled veg like Choko can be enjoyed warm or at room temperature.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Choko’s subtle taste pairs well with stronger flavours like garlic or chilli and beautifully complements seafood. BBQ vegetables like Choko add a unique twist to any grill menu, especially when featured in innovative grilling recipes.

Portobello Mushrooms

portobello mushrooms grilled

Tip: Grill over medium heat (about 175°C to 200°C) for 5-6 minutes on each side, cap-side down initially to retain their juices, then turn to finish. Brush with oil and season well. Portobello mushrooms on the BBQ are a treat, especially when they’re marinated with balsamic vinegar. They absorb smoky flavours wonderfully, turning into juicy, flavour-packed morsels that are perfect as a side or a burger topping. They also make a great summer side dish.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Rich in selenium, potassium, and B vitamins, portobello mushrooms support immune function and provide an excellent source of plant-based protein.
  • Flavour Profile: Earthy and meaty, with a rich umami taste that deepens when grilled.
  • Preparation Tips: Clean gently with a damp cloth and remove stems before applying your favourite balsamic marinade over the mushrooms. Grill whole for a hearty addition to any meal.
  • Suggestions: Marinate the portobello mushrooms in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, and herbs before grilling. Serve them as a burger topping or slice, and add them to salads for a hearty addition.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Portobello mushrooms are versatile and can be paired with just about anything from steak to grilled tofu, enhancing both with their robust flavour.

Poblano Peppers

grilled poblano peppers

Tip: Grill over high heat (about 190°C to 200°C) for 5-7 minutes on each side until the skin blisters and chars, adding to its smoky flavour. When grilled, poblano peppers take on a wonderful char, which enhances their mild, slightly earthy flavour. They become tender and blistered, perfect for stuffing with cheeses or meats as a standout BBQ dish.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Contains vitamins B6, C, and folate, which contribute to energy metabolism and cellular repair.
  • Flavour Profile: Mildly spicy with a deep, smoky flavour when charred.
  • Preparation Tips: Clean gently with a damp cloth and remove stems before applying your favourite balsamic marinade over the vegetables. Grill whole for a hearty addition to any meal.
  • Serving Suggestions: Stuff with a mixture of minced meat, rice, and spices, or slice into strips and add to tacos or salads.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Their smoky sweetness pairs well with robust meats like beef or pork or melds beautifully with the creamy textures of avocado and cheese.

Cherry Tomatoes

cherry tomatoes close up grilled

Tip: Grill over medium heat (about 175°C to 200°C) just until they begin to char and burst, usually about 3-4 minutes. Cherry tomatoes on the BBQ burst with flavour as they grill, becoming sweetly caramelized and deliciously juicy. They make a colourful and tasty addition to skewers or can be grilled in a basket to catch all their vibrant juices, following the recipe for optimal results.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Cherry tomatoes are packed with vitamins and taste even better when cooked on the grill. Unlike meat, they retain flavour and juiciness. Vitamins C and K, potassium, and antioxidants, particularly lycopene, promote heart health and sun protection.
  • Flavour Profile: Bursting with sweetness and a juicy, vibrant acidity that intensifies when grilled.
  • Preparation Tips: Keep whole and skewer for easy grilling or grilling in a perforated basket to prevent them from falling through the grates.
  • Serving Suggestions: It is a colourful addition to a grilled vegetable platter or cooled and tossed in a fresh basil and bocconcini salad.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Works well with creamy cheeses and fresh herbs or as a complement to grilled fish and chicken.

Jalapeños

grilled jalapenos

Tip: Grill over medium heat (about 175°C to 200°C) for 3-4 minutes on each side until charred and tender. Grilled jalapeños mellow out slightly in heat, taking on a smoky, spicy character that is excellent in salsas, dips, or as a fiery garnish for meats and burgers.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Jalapeños are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and folate. Their capsaicin content can help boost metabolism.
  • Flavour Profile: When grilled, the heat is bright and sharp but softens into a mellow warmth, enhancing the grassy notes.
  • Preparation Tips: Slice in half lengthwise and deseed if you prefer a milder flavour, or grill whole for a spicier kick. Using a grill pan can help achieve even cooking.
  • Suggestions: Stuff with cream cheese and wrap in bacon for a smoky, spicy treat, or chop and sprinkle over nachos.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Jalapeños are great with meats like pork and chicken and can spice up cocktails or salsas. The addition of smoky jalapeños particularly enhances grilled chicken.

Chinese Eggplant

chinese eggplant

Tip: Grill over medium heat (about 175°C to 200°C) for 4-5 minutes on each side with a bit of oil until the slices are golden brown and soft. They make grilled veggies a delightful addition to any meal. Chinese eggplant has a thinner skin and more delicate flavour than its larger counterparts, making it perfect for quick grilling. Best grilled, it absorbs flavours well and can be served in stir-fries or as a side with a garlicky or spicy dressing.

  • Nutritional Benefits: This variety of eggplant offers dietary fibre, potassium, and a host of other nutrients that support heart health.
  • Flavour Profile: Sweeter and more tender than its larger cousins, with a delicate skin that grills beautifully.
  • Preparation Tips: Slice into thin rounds or lengthwise to create quick-cooking, surface-rich pieces.
  • Serving Suggestions: Drizzle with a soy sauce and ginger glaze for a touch of Asian flavour, or toss with sesame seeds and green onions for a side dish.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Chimichurri complements dishes with soy sauce and sesame oil and pairs well with grilled fish or tofu. It can also be a delightful dressing for grilled Chinese eggplant, adding a tangy and herbal note.

Swede

swede roasting on grill

Tip: Boil lightly before grilling to start cooking and ensure they’re tender. Grill over medium heat (about 175°C to 200°C) on each side for 5-6 minutes until caramelized and tender. Swede, or rutabaga, develops a sweet, nutty flavour when grilled. It’s a hearty vegetable that stands up to strong flavours and can be served mashed or as steak-like slices.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Swede, also known as rutabaga, is a root vegetable rich in vitamin C, potassium, and fibre, which helps in digestion and cardiovascular health.
  • Flavour Profile: Earthy and slightly sweet, with a robust texture that softens and sweetens when grilled.
  • Preparation Tips: Peel and cut the vegetables into thick sticks or chunks to ensure they cook evenly and maintain their shape on the grill. After grilling, the vegetables are tender and lightly caramelized, enhancing their natural sweetness.
  • Serving Suggestions: Season with rosemary and garlic for a rustic flavour, or mash after grilling for a smoky version of mashed potatoes.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Swede pairs well with hearty meats like lamb or beef and complements rich, creamy sauces. Favourite grilled vegetables often include swede for their unique and hearty taste.

Butternut Squash

roasted butternut squash

Tip: Parboil the slices before grilling to soften them slightly for best results. Grill over medium heat (about 175°C to 200°C) for 6-8 minutes on each side until golden and tender. When grilled, butternut squash becomes incredibly sweet and slightly smoky, perfect for a side dish or a base for salads. Its firm texture allows it to hold up well on the grill.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Butternut squash is a powerhouse of vitamins A and C, essential for immune health and skin vitality. It’s also a good source of fibre and potassium.
  • Flavour Profile: Naturally sweet with a nutty undertone, the squash caramelizes beautifully when grilled, enhancing its rich flavour.
  • Preparation Tips: Peel and slice into 1cm (1/2 inch) thick rounds or cubes for even cooking.
  • Serving Suggestions: Sprinkle the vegetables with cinnamon and nutmeg for a sweet touch, or toss with olive oil and sage for a savoury side dish.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Grilled vegetables are a delicious and nutritious addition to any meal, and they pair well with spices like cinnamon or herbs like thyme. They also complement both pork and poultry.

Taro

Raw Cut Taro

Tip: Taro should be boiled or steamed until partially cooked, then grill over medium heat (about 175°C to 200°C) for 7-10 minutes on each side until crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. When grilled, taro has a crispy exterior and a creamy interior. Its subtly sweet flavour makes it a unique addition to any BBQ, especially when seasoned with herbs and spices.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Taro is a starchy root vegetable that is a great source of fibre, vitamins B6 and C, and magnesium. It’s beneficial for digestion and blood sugar stability.
  • Flavour Profile: Has a mildly sweet and nutty taste that becomes more pronounced when grilled, similar to a sweet potato but with a denser texture.
  • Preparation Tips: Peel the taro and slice it into thick rounds to prevent it from breaking apart during cooking.
  • Serving Suggestions: For a tropical twist, serve with a sprinkle of sea salt or dip in a coconut cream sauce.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Taro’s richness makes it an excellent companion to grilled seafood or chicken, enhancing dishes’ unique flavour. Vegetables on the grill, like taro, add a delightful texture to your BBQ spread.

Beetroot

Roasted Beatroot

Tip: Trim beetroots, leaving 2.5cm (1 inch) of stems, rub with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat (204-218°C), either wrapped in foil or directly on the grates. Grill for 45-60 minutes for small beets (around 100g), 70-80 minutes for medium beets (around 200g), and 90 minutes for large beets (around 300g). Beetroot turns tender and richly sweet when grilled, making it fantastic for adding a splash of colour and earthy flavour to your BBQ dishes. It’s too hot for long cooking, but grilling provides a great option. It pairs well with tangy dressings and goat cheese.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Beetroot is loaded with fibre, folate, and manganese and is known for improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure.
  • Flavour Profile: Earthy and sweet, beetroot’s flavours deepen and sweeten further when grilled, providing a hearty, robust addition to any meal.
  • Preparation Tips: Trim the tops and scrub clean, but leave the skin on while grilling to retain nutrients and moisture.
  • Serving Suggestions: Slice grilled beets for a salad with goat cheese and walnuts, or serve as a side with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Balsamic grilled beetroot offers a delightful sweet and tangy flavour. Cut the veggies in even sizes for best results.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Their natural sweetness contrasts well with tangy or salty flavours, such as feta or blue cheese, making them versatile for pairing with various dishes.

Collard Greens

Grilling Collard Greens

Tip: Wash and trim collard greens, removing tough stems. Season with olive oil or bacon fat, salt, and pepper. Grill at 135-190°C either directly on grates for 5 minutes per side or in a foil packet for 10-12 minutes, turning occasionally, until tender. Collard greens can be quickly charred on the BBQ, giving them a crispy, smoky edge while retaining their robust, leafy heartiness. They are excellent as a side or chopped into other dishes.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Collard greens are Packed with vitamins A, K, and C, plus minerals like calcium and manganese. They support bone health and immune function.
  • Flavour Profile: Earthy and slightly bitter, with a meaty texture that becomes smokier and more tender when grilled.
  • Preparation Tips: Rinse leaves thoroughly, trim off the thick stems, and cut into large, manageable pieces.
  • Serving Suggestions: Toss with a vinaigrette or top with a squeeze of lemon juice and some chopped garlic for added flavour.
  • Pairing Recommendations: These robust greens pair well with fatty meats like pork or smoked sausages, balancing the richness with their hearty texture.

Broccoli

grilled broccoli

Tip: Wash and trim broccoli into florets, then toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grill at around 190-204°C for 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally, until tender and charred. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice or sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. When grilled, broccoli florets become wonderfully crisp and intensely flavorful. They pick up a nice smoky flavour with just a squeeze of lemon or some grated Parmesan.

  • Nutritional Benefits: High in fibre, vitamin C, and compounds linked to improved immune health and anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Flavour Profile: Its naturally sharp and slightly bitter taste becomes nutty and crisp when grilled, which is perfect for those who love this recipe.
  • Preparation Tips: Cut the florets into large ones with some stems attached to ensure they don’t fall through the grill grates.
  • Serving Suggestions: Sprinkle the vegetables with Parmesan cheese right off the grill or drizzle with a lemony tahini dressing.
  • Pairing Recommendations: This dish works beautifully with beef or lamb, adding a fresh, crunchy contrast to these richer meats.

Bok Choy

bok choy flat lay

Tip: Slice the bok choy in half and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grill at 175-190°C for 3-4 minutes per side until tender and slightly charred. Bok choy grills quickly, with its leaves turning slightly crisp and stalks remaining crunchy. It’s a fresh, fast side dish that goes well with Asian-inspired BBQ dishes.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Offers a wealth of nutrients, including vitamins A and C and calcium, supporting eye health and strong bones.
  • Flavour Profile: Mild and slightly peppery, with crisp leaves and a tender stalk that grills quickly and retains juiciness.
  • Preparation Tips: Split the bok choy in half lengthwise to keep the leaves intact and expose more surface area for grilling.
  • Serving Suggestions: Drizzle with soy sauce and a touch of sesame oil for an Asian-inspired side.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Excellent with fish or shrimp, complementing these lighter proteins without overpowering them.

Spinach

spinish leaves in a bowl

Tip: Toss spinach with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grill at 175°C using a grill basket for 2-3 minutes, turning occasionally until wilted and lightly charred. Spinach wilts fast on the grill, and its delicate leaves taste smoky. It’s perfect for a quick, healthy addition to any BBQ meal.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Spinach is rich in iron, vitamins A, C, and K, and antioxidants, which are great for skin, hair, and bone health.
  • Flavour Profile: Delicate and mildly earthy, easily enhanced with simple grilled seasonings.
  • Preparation Tips: Use mature spinach leaves for grilling as they hold up better than baby spinach. Clump them together to prevent them from falling through the grill.
  • Serving Suggestions: Serve warm with crumbled feta or mixed into a warm pasta salad.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Spinach’s versatility makes it a great side for fish and poultry, blending well with creamy or tart dressings.

Kohlrabi

kohlrabi against white background

Tip: Peel and slice kohlrabi into rounds, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and grill at 190°C for 4-5 minutes per side until tender and caramelized. When grilled, kohlrabi slices develop a sweet, mild flavour and a crisp, tender texture. This lesser-known veggie can surprise your guests with its versatility.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Rich in fibre and vitamin C, kohlrabi helps digestion and boosts the immune system.
  • Flavour Profile: It is slightly sweet and peppery, similar to a mild turnip, and its texture softens nicely when grilled.
  • Preparation Tips: Peel the tough outer skin and slice it into thick batons or rounds for easy handling on the grill.
  • Suggestions: Sprinkle with sea salt and serve with a creamy dip or chopped in a fresh vegetable salad.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Its mild flavour pairs well with spicier meats, such as grilled chorizo or seasoned chicken.

Artichokes

grilled half artichokes

Tip: Trim and halve artichokes, steam for 20 minutes, then toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grill at 204°C for 5-7 minutes per side until charred and tender. Artichokes grilled become tender inside with crispy, smoky tips. They are a luxurious and delicious treat, perfect for dipping in melted butter or aioli.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Artichokes are rich in fibre, vitamin C, and vitamin K. They also contain cynarin, which can help digestion and liver health.
  • Flavour Profile: Nutty and slightly sweet, with a tender texture that becomes beautifully charred and crispy on the tips when grilled.
  • Preparation Tips: Trim the tips, cut them in half, and remove the fuzzy centre known as the “choke” before grilling.
  • Serving Suggestions: Dip grilled leaves in a lemon butter sauce or garlic aioli for a delightful treat.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Pairs well with seafood, especially grilled fish and shrimp, complementing their delicate flavours.

Gai Lan (Chinese Broccoli)

gai lan roasting over a grill

Tip: Blanch briefly in boiling water. Toss gai lan with olive oil, salt, and soy sauce. Grill at 190°C for 4-5 minutes per side until tender and charred. When grilled, Chinese broccoli has a slightly bitter, robust flavour that complements its crunchy stems and leafy tops. It’s excellent for those looking for a hearty green alternative in a BBQ setting.

  • Nutritional Benefits: High in vitamins A, C, and K, gai lan is great for immune health and maintaining strong bones.
  • Flavour Profile: Similar to regular broccoli but with a slightly more bitter and earthy taste, it becomes milder and sweeter when grilled.
  • Preparation Tips: Trim the ends and split the thicker stalks so they cook evenly.
  • Serving Suggestions: For an Asian touch, serve with a drizzle of oyster sauce or sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
  • Pairing Recommendations: This vegetable goes well with robust meats like beef or duck, offering a crunchy texture and vibrant green colour.

Cauliflower

cauliflower grilled on plate

Tip: Cut cauliflower into thick slices, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and grill at 190°C for 5-6 minutes per side until tender and charred. Cauliflower steaks or florets take well to grilling, becoming nutty and tender. They’re a fantastic vegetarian main or versatile side, beautifully absorbing flavours from spices and marinades.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Contains vitamins C and K, fibre, and antioxidants that support anti-inflammatory and detox processes in the body.
  • Flavour Profile: Mild and nutty, able to absorb flavours well, cauliflower becomes irresistibly crispy and golden when grilled.
  • Preparation Tips: Cut into large florets or steaks to ensure they hold together on the grill. Begin by preparing them on a clean surface.
  • Suggestions: Toss with Parmesan cheese and herbs, or spice it up with curry powder for a flavorful side.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Its versatility lets it pair well with various spices and herbs, making it perfect for mild and strong flavours.

Parsnips

grilled parsnips side by side

Tip: Peel and slice parsnips into rounds, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and grill at 190°C for 5-6 minutes per side until tender and caramelized. With their sweet, earthy flavour, they become wonderfully caramelized and tender when grilled. They’re a robust alternative to potatoes and pair well with various meats and other veggies.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Rich in fibre, vitamins C and K, and folate, parsnips support digestive health and reduce inflammation.
  • Flavour Profile: Sweet and slightly spicy, similar to carrots but with a nuttier and earthier depth that enhances when caramelized on the grill.
  • Preparation Tips: Peel and cut into sticks or rounds to ensure even cooking and maximum surface area for caramelization.
  • Suggestions: Sprinkle with fresh herbs like thyme or toss with a mustard vinaigrette for a tasty finish.
  • Pairing Recommendations: This wine is excellent with roasted or grilled meats, especially pork and chicken, whose sweetness complements the savoury flavours.

Leeks

lots of leeks in a tray

Tip: Trim and halve leeks lengthwise, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and grill at 190°C for 4-5 minutes per side until tender and lightly charred. When grilled, leeks soften beautifully and gain a sweet, onion-like flavour subtler than raw leeks. They make a fantastic aromatic addition to any grilled dish.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Leeks are a good source of vitamins A, C, and K, and they help support cardiovascular health.
  • Flavour Profile: Offers a milder, sweeter version of onions with a delicate texture that crisps beautifully when grilled.
  • Preparation Tips: Slice in half lengthwise, keeping the root end intact, and rinse well to remove any dirt trapped between the layers.
  • Suggestions: Serve as a bed for grilled fish or chop and include in a grilled vegetable salad.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Leeks enhance the flavour of seafood and poultry, providing a sweet, oniony base that complements these lighter proteins.

Daikon Radish

mixed daikon radish and seasoned

Tip: Peel and slice daikon into rounds, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and grill at 190°C for 4-5 minutes per side until tender and caramelized. When grilled, daikon radish has a sweet, slightly peppery taste and becomes wonderfully juicy. It’s a crisp, refreshing addition to the BBQ.

  • Nutritional Benefits: It is low in calories and vitamin C. Daikon radish is great for digestion and can help detoxify the body.
  • Flavour Profile: Crisp and mildly spicy when raw, it becomes sweet and tender with a subtle earthiness when grilled.
  • Preparation Tips: Peel and slice into thick discs or batons for grilling.
  • Cooking Methods & Tips: Grill over high heat until the edges are caramelized and the centre is tender, about 3-5 minutes per side.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Daikon’s mild flavour pairs well with bolder spices and sauces, making it versatile for Asian-inspired dishes and traditional BBQs.

Cabbage

grilled cabbage white Tip: Cut cabbage into wedges and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grill at 190°C for 5-6 minutes per side until tender and charred. Cabbage wedges grilled develop a smoky, sweet flavour that complements their crunchy texture. They’re a robust side that holds up well to hearty BBQ sauces and dressings.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Cabbage is rich in vitamins C and K and high in fibre, which helps with digestion and reduces inflammation overall.
  • Flavour Profile: Has a slightly sweet and peppery flavour that becomes mellow and almost nutty when grilled.
  • Preparation Tips: Slice into thick wedges, keeping the core intact to hold the leaves together.
  • Serving Suggestions: Drizzle with a balsamic glaze or sprinkle with caraway seeds for a classic flavour combination.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Cabbage pairs well with smoked meats and sausages, offering a crunchy texture and a slightly sweet counterbalance to the smoky flavours.

Green Beans

char grilled green long beans

Tip: Toss green beans with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grill at 190°C using a grill basket for 5-7 minutes, turning occasionally until tender and charred. Green beans char up quickly on the grill, turning tender and smoky. They’re a quick, delicious side that pairs wonderfully with almost any dish.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Green beans are a great source of fibre and vitamins A, C, and K and are known for supporting heart health and bone strength.
  • Flavour Profile: Crisp and grassy, with a fresh, snappy texture that softens slightly while retaining a bite when grilled.
  • Preparation Tips: Trim the ends and toss with oil and seasonings before grilling.
  • Serving Suggestions: Toss with lemon zest and almond slivers for a bright and crunchy side dish.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Works well with lighter proteins like chicken and fish or as a fresh addition to a hearty vegetarian plate.

Carrots

grilled baby carrots

Tip: Peel and slice carrots lengthwise, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and grill at 190°C for 5-6 minutes per side until tender and caramelized. When grilled, develop a deep, sweet flavour and a tender yet firm texture. They’re fantastic as a stand-alone side or sliced into a warm salad.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Carrots are high in beta-carotene, vitamins A and K, and fibre, which supports vision, digestive health, and immune function.
  • Flavour Profile: Sweet and earthy, with a hearty crunch that softens to a tender chewiness when grilled.
  • Preparation Tips: Peel and cut into sticks or diagonal slices to maximize surface area for grilling.
  • Serving Suggestions: Sprinkle with cumin and cinnamon for a warm, spicy note, or glaze with honey and a touch of ginger.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Carrots’ natural sweetness makes them a versatile side that pairs well with spicy and savoury dishes, enhancing flavours in grilled meats and other vegetables.

Anaheim Peppers

grilled anaheim peppers side by side

Tip: Toss Anaheim peppers with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then BBQ and cook them to enhance their natural smoky flavour. Grill at 190°C for 5-6 minutes per side until tender and charred. These peppers mellow on the grill, becoming slightly sweet with a mild heat. They’re great for stuffing or adding a subtle spice to any BBQ dish.

  • Nutritional Benefits: These peppers are a good source of vitamin C, B6, and fibre, helping boost immunity and promote digestive health.
  • Flavour Profile: Mildly spicy with a subtle sweetness that enhances their earthy tones when grilled.
  • Preparation Tips: Core and seed the peppers, then slice them into strips or keep them whole for stuffing.
  • Serving Suggestions: Stuff with a mix of cheeses and spices before grilling, or slice and add to tacos or salads for a vibrant kick.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Anaheim peppers complement various flavours, particularly Mexican and Southwestern dishes, offering a gentle heat that enhances rather than overpowers.

Fennel

fannel root grilled sliced

Tip: Trim and slice fennel bulbs, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and grill at 190°C for 4-5 minutes per side until tender and caramelized. Fennel bulbs transform on the grill, their licorice-like flavour mellowing and turning sweet. At the same time, the texture becomes crisp and tender. It’s an aromatic addition to any BBQ.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Fennel is rich in vitamin C, fibre, and potassium, essential for heart health, immunity, and digestion.
  • Flavour Profile: Anise-like and slightly sweet, grilling caramelizes its sugars and mellows its licorice notes, making it wonderfully aromatic.
  • Preparation Tips: Slice the bulb into thick wedges, keeping the core intact to hold the layers together.
  • Serving Suggestions: Drizzle with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon, or toss with parmesan shavings for a decadent touch. They also pair well with a light salad dressing.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Fennel’s unique flavour pairs well with seafood, particularly salmon and shrimp, enhancing the fish’s natural flavours with its sweet, herbal notes.

Brussels Sprouts

grilled brussel sprouts

Tip: Halve Brussels sprouts and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grill at 190°C using a grill basket for 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally, until tender and charred. Brussels sprouts caramelize at the edges on the grill, enhancing their natural sweetness and toning down their inherent bitterness. They make a tasty and nutritious side dish.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Brussels sprouts are high in fibre, vitamins C and K, and antioxidants, which contribute to improved digestive health, immune support, and reduced inflammation.
  • Flavour Profile: Earthy and slightly bitter, melling into a nutty sweetness when caramelized on the grill.
  • Preparation Tips: Trim the stems and remove any wilted outer leaves, then cut them in half to ensure even cooking.
  • Serving Suggestions: Toss with bacon bits and a drizzle of balsamic glaze for a savoury and slightly acidic finish.
  • Pairing Recommendations: These robust vegetables pair well with rich meats like steak or pork chops, balancing the meal’s crisp texture and deep flavours.

Garlic (whole bulbs)

whole garlic bulb on plate

Tip: Slice the tops of whole garlic bulbs, drizzle with olive oil, and wrap in foil. Grill at 190°C for 30-40 minutes until soft and caramelized, an excellent way to grill to bring out their natural sweetness. Whole bulbs of garlic transform on the grill, becoming sweet and mellow. Grilled garlic is creamy in texture, perfect for spreading on crusty bread or enhancing any sauce.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Garlic is renowned for its health benefits, including its ability to lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels, thanks to its high levels of allicin.
  • Flavour Profile: When grilled, garlic becomes sweet and mellow, losing much of its sharpness and gaining a creamy texture.
  • Preparation Tips: Slice the top of the bulb to expose the cloves, drizzle with olive oil, and wrap in foil.
  • Serving Suggestions: Spread the soft cloves on crusty bread or squeeze them into mashed potatoes or dips for a rich, smoky flavour.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Grilled garlic complements almost any grilled dish, from vegetables to various meats, enhancing flavours with its sweet, smoky notes.

Cassava (Yuca)

cassava cut showing

Tip: Peel and slice cassava into thick sticks, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and grill at 190°C for 10-12 minutes per side until tender and golden brown. Cassava, or yuca, has a starchy texture similar to potatoes. When grilled, it becomes beautifully golden with a slightly crispy exterior and a fluffy interior, making it a fantastic alternative to traditional BBQ sides.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Cassava is a good source of vitamin C, thiamine, and riboflavin. It’s also high in carbohydrates, making it a great energy booster.
  • Flavour Profile: Slightly nutty and sweet, cassava has a starchy texture that becomes crispy on the outside and tender on the inside when grilled.
  • Preparation Tips: Peel the thick outer skin and cut it into chunks or batons. For optimal flavour, use a hot grill.
  • Serving Suggestions: For a delightful contrast, serve with a dipping sauce like tangy garlic aioli or spicy tomato salsa.
  • Pairing Recommendations: The mild flavour of cassava pairs well with bold, spicy dishes, making it a perfect side for BBQ meats or fiery salsas.

Shallots

shallots grilled halved on platter

Tip: Peel and halve shallots, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and grill at 190°C for 6-8 minutes per side until tender and caramelized. Grilling shallots bring out their natural sweetness, toning the sharpness while enhancing their deep, rich flavour. This makes them one of the best-grilled vegetables you can prepare. They become tender and caramelized, ideal for accompanying other grilled dishes or as a topping.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Shallots are rich in antioxidants, particularly quercetin, which may help reduce inflammation and protect against chronic diseases.
  • Flavour Profile: Sweeter and milder than onions, shallots develop a rich, caramelized flavour when grilled.
  • Preparation Tips: Peel and slice in half if large; smaller shallots can be grilled whole.
  • Serving Suggestions: Chop grilled shallots and add them to vinaigrettes, sauces, or as a topping for steaks and burgers to enhance their flavour.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Their sweet, mild flavour makes them an excellent complement to vegetable dishes and richer meats like lamb or venison.

Turnips

grilled turnips silced

Tip: Peel and slice turnips into rounds and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grill at 190°C for 4-5 minutes per side until tender and caramelized. Turnips on the grill develop a sweet, earthy flavour that contrasts wonderfully with their naturally slightly bitter undertones. They become tender and are a great complement to richer meats.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Turnips are a good source of fibre, vitamin C, and manganese, which are important for digestion, skin health, and bone strength.
  • Flavour Profile: Earthy and slightly peppery, with a texture that softens beautifully while retaining a pleasant bite when grilled.
  • Preparation Tips: Peel and slice into thin wedges to maximize surface area for grilling.
  • Suggestions: Season with rosemary and garlic for a rustic side dish, or pair with a creamy dip like blue cheese for a rich contrast.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Their robust flavour and hearty texture make turnips suitable for pairing with strong-flavoured meats, such as beef or game.

Padron Peppers

Padron Peppers grilled

Tip: Toss Padron peppers with olive oil and salt. Grill at 190°C for 5-6 minutes, turning occasionally until blistered and charred. Padron peppers are a delightful surprise on the grill—most are mild, but the occasional pepper packs heat. Grilled until blistered, they make a tasty, smoky snack or side.

  • Nutritional Benefits: These small green peppers are low in calories and rich in vitamins C and A, promoting good skin health and immune function.
  • Flavour Profile: Typically mild, though one in ten may offer a surprising heat, Padron peppers are slightly nutty and become smoky when grilled.
  • Preparation Tips: Wash and dry thoroughly; there’s no need to remove the seeds.
  • Serving Suggestions: Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and serve immediately as a simple yet delicious appetizer.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Padron peppers’ dynamic flavour makes them a great match for creamy cheeses or a playful addition to cocktails.

Pumpkin

pan grilled pumpkin slices

Tip: Preheat your grill for indirect high heat to 200-220°C. Place the pumpkin halves (around 3cm thick) cut-side down directly on the grill grates, away from direct flames. For a smoky flavour, add wood chips or chunks to the grill. Grill for 35-40 minutes for tender slices. When grilled, pumpkin slices gain a rich, concentrated flavour with caramelized edges and a soft, tender texture. They’re a versatile BBQ addition, pairing well with sweet and savoury seasonings.

  • Nutritional Benefits: Pumpkin is packed with vitamins A and C, fibre, and potassium, which are essential for vision, skin health, and heart health.
  • Flavour Profile: Sweet and earthy, with a creamy texture that becomes even more pronounced when grilled.
  • Preparation Tips: Slice into 2.5cm (1-inch) thick wedges, leaving the skin on to hold them together during grilling.
  • Serving Suggestions: To enhance its natural sweetness, sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg, or serve alongside a hearty stew for added richness.
  • Pairing Recommendations: Pumpkin’s sweetness pairs beautifully with spices like ginger or allspice, and it complements savoury dishes such as roasted meats or creamy kinds of pasta.

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The original DadShop writer, owner, fun loving and tech guy. Great with computers, gadgets, quick on his feet and lover of novelty gifts. Ben writes for our wonderful blog occasionally just to pass time.