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Vegetarian Options for Grilling

Now that we have figured out chicken, burgers, and shrimp on our very neat grill (at least imho), I am wondering about vegetarian options. We've done the vegetable skewer thing, corn and potatoes but what about more main dish options? Pretty much open to anything, including fish but really want to step back from the meat and poultry.



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  1. Well, as a vegetarian I do consider a vegetable skewer, with a grain, to be a main dish and I always appreciate a well done (lots of variety) veg kabob. A couple of other ideas:
    If you're doing burgers/brats/dogs, grill some portobello caps for the veg*ns.
    Grilled pizzas are wonderful.

    I know lots of folks who love grilled fish, so obviously that's a good choice for many. Fish is not vegetarian though, so it would not be a good option for your veghead friends.

    1. a hard cheese such as Haloumi could be grilled. maybe paneer as well but i haven't tried that. portabello mushrooms. my favs are (buttery) fish, mussels or clams en papillote. or whole fish, say mackerel, but then not en papillote.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Pata_Negra

        I took a class a few months ago on Indian style vegetarian grills. We did paneer in a minty sauce. It worked out very well. We also did baby potatoes in a tandoori marinade. The marinade hardened into a crispy flavor coating around the potatoes. It was great. We also did mushrooms and some other things.

        1. re: luckyfatima

          lucyfatima how did you do the potatoes? Sound so delicious!

      2. Grilled polenta. Good topped with all sorts of things. We often do grilled veggies, not usually skewered. Eggplant slices and squash slices. Love grilled baby bok choy and I like grilled tofu. Second pizza and quesodillas sandwiches. Another good category are things made in a pan that benefit from the grill flavor like paella...

        I'm not a vegetarian, but i do like just about everything grilled!

        1 Reply
        1. re: jsaimd

          I forgot about polenta! That is wonderful grilled.

          I also like grilled romaine for a salad.

        2. Grilled tofu and veggie kabobs are great. You have many options for marinating. Grilled portabellos are also delicious.

          1. I love grilled zuchini and eggplant with some balsamic reduction over the top, mmmm

            1. Things to consider for main dishes:

              Pizza - 'nuff said.

              Portabella mushrooms (serve alone drizzled with some olive oil, or make a "burger" out of it)

              Acorn squash or pumpkins (pair with a quinoa or barley salad and you have a hearty main dish)

              Breads or panini -- sandwiches or chop up the bread and make a hearty bread salad a la Panzanella

              1. This is time-consuming but worth it. Thinly cut an eggplant and par-grill the slices. Mix up quinoa with crumbled goat cheese, onions, olives - whatever sounds good to you. Use several slices of eggplant to make a "packet" that is stuffed with the quinoa mixture and then grill the packet.

                1. Get a grill basket (like a skillet or wok with a lot of holes in it) and use it to do hearty leafy greens on the grill. This is a several-times-a-week dish for us. We toss the greens with olive oil, lemon juice, s&p, and herbs/spices, then throw it in the basket placed over a medium-heat area of the grill. Toss greens with tongs frequently to make sure all pieces get contact with the hot metal of the basket. One tip that's worked well for us: separate the leaves from the ribs so you can pull the leaves out of the basket first, as they take less time to cook. Overall, the whole grilling process is like 5-10 min, depending on how hot the grill is and how delicate your greens.

                  We particularly like this method on swiss chard and kale. I've also done a shortened grill period on more tender greens like mizuna or adult arugula. I tend towards several of the Penzeys spice blends for tossing on the greens pre-grill, especially Northwoods, Tuscan Sunset, Turkish blend, Green Goddess blend, and Greek Seasoning.

                  After the greens come off the grill, you can use this as the whole dish, or toss the grilled greens with other things (like for an antipasta salad, etc).

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: litchick

                    I picked up a grill basket earlier in the summer for grilling veggies, and it was well worth the price. Mine looks more like a fryer basket and has a long wooden handle where you snap on the lid. I haven't grilled as much this summer as I would've liked to because I moved, but one of the last great meals I grilled was pork tenderloins and peppers, onions, and zucchini, both with a fajita marinade. The veggies were good enough that they could've served as a main dish, and they likely will next time I cook for vegetarian friends.

                  2. bell peppers
                    Portabella mushrooms

                    1. I got a skillet years ago from Brookstone which has lots of 1/4 inch holes in it. I cut up summer squash, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, and sometimes zuchinni or mushrooms, and marinate in Italian dressing. Cook directly on the grill over coals. Vegetables get some char in places which is good. Great served over rice or as a side dish or even main dish.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: steakman55

                        These ideas all sound delicious - thank you so much! I am looking forward to trying them...

                        Just a question though? The tofu doesn't stick to the grates? And what about polenta? Do you oil it first? (I am a gril novice!)

                        Actually and one more question...how would I do a pizza on the grill?


                        1. re: lovessushi

                          I spray anything that goes on the grill with Pam. Or you can brush it with olive oil.

                          1. re: lovessushi

                            i was thinking pizza when i saw the heading. we frequently choose pizza when grilling for vegetarian friends. cooking it over lump charcoal results in a wood-fired oven taste. good fun, too, because it can be participatory. some weeks ago there was a long run here on grilled pizza. my preference is to heat a pizza stone in the cooker and to proceed as if using a very hot oven. others cook a thin crust on the grill, flip it, dress it, and cook some more.

                          2. Eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, potatoes...