HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


I just got a charcoal grill and I'm veg... now what?

I live in Mexico, which explains why I'm doing a grill post out-of-season. My fiance eats meat, so I let him do his carne asada and arracherra.

But I'm looking for great, easy-to-assemble veg ideas outside the usual marinate-and-roast deal. We do quesadillas, strips of lightly oiled peppers, thin-sliced potato and onion in butter... but I wanted to know if anyone had a killer idea for sprucing up the usual stuff before I go nuts from quesadilla over-consumption.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Hi hope you're having fun with your grill. I love to grill and although I'm not a vegetarian I love grilled vegetables and fruits. One of my favorites is grilled eggplant. All I do is to cut the eggplant thick slices, toss with salt, pepper, lemon juice, garlic and oil, then grill til it's slightly charred and soft. Another favorite is grilled peaches. All I do is brush them with a little oil and grill. I usually make a whipped cream to go with it, I flavor the cream slighlty with vanilla. Ice cream is also good with it. There are a lot of possibilities for veggies on the grill and if you'd like more ideas I can reply with some more. Happy grilling

    1. Pizza i'm assuming would be too close to the quesadilla sort?? Eggplant and zucchini are good on the grill, as are portobella mushrooms. something i tried once this summer was par-baking baking potatoes, "smashing" them flat with the heel of my hand and brushing them with oil, lemon, maybe a bit of rosemary or what not, and grilling them til crisp. I've also roasted beets on the grill, as well as corn on the cob or asparagus. Skewers of cheese, alternating with tomato and what not, are also good. Would veggie tamales work on the grill??

      1. Do you eat fish? Great on the grill. And as others have posted, vegetables: squash, peppers, eggplant, zuchinni, potatoes, corn. I usually toss mine w/ a bit of oil, garlic, fresh herbs and salt and pepper before either stringing them onto skewers or placing them straight on the grill.

          1. Halumi might be fun to try on a grill. I also seem to remember Ming Tsai doing some sort of huitlacoche taco concoction thing on a grill.

            In the vein of sweets, though, grilled pineapple with smokey cayenne or vanilla ice-cream with a just breath of cinnamon is one of my favourites. I've tossed bananas on grills before, too, and that was great.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Ali

              mm, grilled pineapple. I completely forgot about this - I've eaten it, but never done it myself, and it's a great idea!

            2. honey-soy-sesame marinated tofu "slabs" (about 1.5 x 4 x .5 inches) on the grill are heavenly, can also add red pepper flakes to that for a kick

              red peppers slathered with honey and grilled are amazing. put them on pesto pizza. sounds weird, tastes great

              have you tried grilling fruit? Grilled pineapple is excellent.

              grilled eggplant with cilantro peanut sauce

              1. all great ideas - we grill almost every night in the summer because it's one of the easiest ways to cook for both of us (I'm veg, he's not).

                kabobs are super easy - meat and veggies for him, veggies and tofu for me.

                hot peppers with a little bit of provolone (or cheese of choice) tucked inside

                peppers stuffed with rice or couscous/feta and a veggie mixture (meal for you; side for him)

                marinate zuchini, eggplant, red onion, shrooms, tomato in balsamic/olive oil/garlic mixture and grill. Layer biggest to smallest (so usually topping with rounds of zuke) with a few sprinkles of parm or mozz between the layers. Serve over angelhair with favorite sauce

                fruits to serve over ice cream

                grilled vegetable pizza (I usually put them on the za and then cook that in the oven; however, you could cook the whole thing on the grill)

                salad greens topped with grilled veggies (and choice of meat for him)

                1. grilled asparagus is one of the most delicious things in the world. When we had a grill my spouse would grill meat for himself and sliced eggplant, tomatoes, and asparagus for me. Just a little evoo and s&p and you're good to go.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: nc213

                    I'll second that. I grill asparagus through the whole season.Drizzle a bit of olive oil on it and slap it on the grill and you're good to go.

                  2. Grill some avocados! Tasty treat.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: danhole

                      I just bought some.. how would you prep avocados for the grill? I've never tried that, but it sounds intriguing, and I'm an avo-fanatic. (happy to eat 'em plain with a spoon.)

                      1. re: linzertart

                        Look at this link:


                        I love avocados, and this site has some great recipes on it. I know you will enjoy exploring it.

                        1. re: danhole

                          Thanks! That sounds delicious. It will make an appearance on my grill tomorrow night!

                    2. Grilled corn on the cob!


                      Roast some garlic for use now or later!

                      Garlic bread! bruschetta !

                      1. Grilled tomatoes are awesome, and grilled tomatillos too :) for an interesting smoky salsa verde, if you're not sick of that.

                        Grilled bread with any kind of grilled (or not) goodies stacked on top.

                        Grilled eggplant - as stated above. In Forever Summer, Nigella serves this with feta and fresh mint, I believe, rolling the eggplant up around the cheese and herbs. Thin slices.

                        Grilled potato salad. Parboil the potatoes, then slice and grill them to finish up. Serve with a homemade vinaigrette (blue cheese vinaigrette is what I do, with shallots) and serve over greens or plain. YUM.

                        Grilled lettuces! I love this... really changes the flavor of lettuce, deepens and changes into something that can be a really tasty, and sophisticated side. Just serve with a little salt, pepper, olive oil. The small lettuces (endive, radicchio) are excellent for this.

                        Grilled strawberries, served with a tart balsamic reduction and vanilla ice cream.

                        Check out some of Bobby Flay's recipes on Food Network for lots of grilling ideas.

                        1. I roast my red peppers on the grill.

                          I always cook corn on the grill (remove outer husks and silks, grill w/ inner husk for protection, moisture, flavor)

                          As everyone said, grilled pineapple is fab, and makes great salsa.

                          Salad: various grilled veggies (eggplant, pepper, squash, onion) toss with baby spinach and a cooked grain like bulgar or wheat berries.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: danna

                            Israeli couscous or quinoa would be delicious in this kind of salad, too.

                            I looked up the Nigella Grilled Eggplant, very pretty and great to serve to guests too -- Cut the eggplant thinly, lengthwise and grill. For two large eggplants, filling would be 9 ounces feta (or queso campesino would be great!), 1 large red chili, finely chopped, large bunch fresh mint, finely chopped, juice of a lemon, and some black pepper. Mix all of the filling ingredients well. Put some of the filling on one end of each grilled slice of eggplant and roll up.

                          2. Our favorite is grilled polenta! make the polenta, cool it, cut it into triangles, brush with olive oil and grill. It is fantastic with a grilled veggie "ratatouillie" I second much of what others have said - veggies, tofu, corn, etc. You can grill already steamed tamales. You can smoke veggies - we smoked a bunch of tomatoes last season. Low and slow with a good wood and the result was nice. Almost all summer we grill and a good part of the winter! You can use the grill like an oven and it will give a smokey flavor to things, such a lasagna, pizza, enchiladas, etc. Grill cake, cobblers...mmmm...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: jsaimd

                              I love to grill polenta, turn it over, top with a tepanade & a little goat cheese, cover the grill & cook until the cheese melts a bit. Great as an appetizer.

                            2. One of my favorites is grilled eggplant. Thinly sliced topped with olive oil; once tender remove and top with diced tomatos, herbs and feta cheese. Vidallia onions work well on the grill as well. I usually take large thick slices and microwave them for a bit first; add some olive oil and heat thru. When done, top with balsamic vinegar.

                              1. You might try one of Chowhound's very own recipes

                                Stuffed Poblanos with Black Beans and Cheese

                                I usually make these under the broiler, but I have done them on the grill as well and they were even better. I usually add some chopped jalapeno to the filling. I also usually make them with meat, but they would be good with some chopped mushroom as well.

                                1. Grilling is NEVER out of season, and I used to live in Minnesota. Grilling is awesome for vegetables. You can grill bread too. Cooked, or dough.

                                  You can grill fruit too! Grill pineapple slices and serve with ice cream. Stone fruits are great too. Peaches, mango, etc. After grilling I sprinkle with Turbinado sugar.

                                  1. To all of the wonderful suggestions I woulld add watermelon--mmmm!

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: SeaSide Tomato

                                      Now that is interesting - grilled watermelon. How would one do that?

                                      1. re: danhole

                                        just slice about 1 in - 1 1/2 inch thick and grill like a steak. very tasty!

                                    2. You can also do grilled pizzas or grilled mediterranean flatbreads of all kinds. Also bruschetta.