The most amazing grilled vegetables are charred on the BBQ or roasted in the oven, then marinated in a lovely lemony herb garlic dressing. Unlike meat, it’s better to marinate vegetables AFTER cooking because they absorb flavour so much more effectively when they’re hot. Tastes like homemade antipasto!
Marinated Grilled Vegetables (BBQ or oven!)
I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about a vegetable recipe!!
I mean, we’ve all done basic grilled vegetables. You might’ve even tried your hand tossing vegetables in a basic marinade before barbecuing them.
But have you ever tossed grilled vegetables in a marinade AFTER grilling them?? They suck up flavour in a way that raw vegetables never will, and they taste like homemade antipasto vegetables. All the flavour with a gallon less oil!
The best part about these grilled vegetables is that they’re even better the next day..… and the next!
Best vegetables for grilling
Almost every vegetable other than leafy greens are wonderful for grilling. But here are my favourites – a variety of colour, textures, shapes and flavour. Plus these are vegetables that are easy to handle on the grill.
Grilled Vegetables TIP: Cut ’em BIG!
There’s no need to fuss with grilling baskets or skewering (I only skewer when it’s intentional like Thai Chicken Satay Skewers, Beef Kabobs!). Just cut the vegetable into big pieces so you don’t end up turning hundreds of tiny individual pieces.
BONUS: larger pieces = grill for longer = better charred bits = better flavour!
Marinade for Grilled Vegetables
Really, it’s just a dressing but I feel like it sounds a bit fancier to say we’re marinating the vegetables. So a marinade it is!
The ingredients in the marinade are literally just like any standard salad dressing except there’s less oil to vinegar (lemon).
The vegetables themselves are tossed in olive oil before grilling and it retains the juiciness from the oil quite well after grilling. So you don’t need as much oil for the marinade.
Don’t marinate grilled vegetables BEFORE cooking. Marinate them AFTER – veggies absorb flavour so much better when they’re hot.
My big tip in this recipe that makes all the difference for the BEST GRILLED VEGGIES of your life is to marinade them AFTER cooking, not before.
Hot, cooked vegetables absorb flavour so much better than raw vegetables! In fact, marinating raw vegetables is not really that effective at all. While some vegetables, like mushrooms and eggplants, will absorb oil and vinegars, they do not absorb flavour very well (like garlic, herbs) and they sweat when in contact with salt, making them less juicy and floppy – not ideal for BBQing!
But other vegetables like capsicums/bell peppers and zucchini, there’s really no benefit to marinating them when raw.
Oven instead? Stove?
100% YES! In fact, this recipe is pretty much my regular end-of-week fridge clean out recipe and I usually roast rather than grill the vegetables, simply for convenience.
You could even cook it on the stove – just takes a lot of batches!
But there’s no denying it – the extra flavour you get from the char and the grease of a BBQ makes it tastier!
How to serve Grilled Vegetables
The beauty of this recipe is the sheer versatility. (Second only to, of course, the utter deliciousness!) Serve it as:
- part of an antipasto platter or on a cheeseboard (cut larger pieces smaller)
- with a side of grilled garlic bread (it’s Amazing with a capital A!)
- as lunch or main with toasted bread with a smear of avocado or ricotta (pictured below) (try this simple homemade crusty artisan bread, or this no yeast Irish Soda Bread or no yeast sandwich bread)
- pile it over a simple piece of grilled chicken (try one of these marinades), steak or pork – like a salsa!
- grilled vegetable pasta salad – use the natural juices and excess Dressing that pools at the bottom of the bowl as the pasta salad dressing! Recipe here;
- grilled vegetable salad – toss through baby spinach leaves or rocket/arugula; or
- stuff in an omelette.
More things to BBQ!
Here in Australia, the climate is so mild we pretty much cook on the BBQ all through the year. Here’s a little view preview of some of my favourite recipes!
And here are links to all the grilling recipes featured in the video above:
And if that’s not enough for you, have a browse through my entire BBQ Collection filled with all my favourite foods to cook up on the grill! – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Marinated Grilled Vegetables (BBQ or oven)
Vegetables (Note 1):
- 2 red capsicum/bell peppers
- 2 yellow capsicum/bell peppers
- 2 red onions
- 1 eggplant , halved lengthwise, then 1.25cm/ 0.5″ thick semi circles
- 2 zucchini , 0.7cm / 1/3″ thick slices on diagonal
- 2 bunches asparagus , ends trimmed
- 200g/ 7oz button mushrooms
- 1/4 cup (65ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp each salt and pepper
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 1/4 cup parsley , roughly chopped (or chives)
Grilled Vegetable Marinade (Dressing):
- 1/3 cup (85ml) lemon juice
- 1/3 cup (85ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp white sugar
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
- 1/2 tsp each dried basil, parsley, oregano, thyme (Note 2)
- 1/2 – 1 tsp chilli flakes (adjust spice to taste, Note 3)
Place ingredients in a jar and shake well. Set aside 10 minutes+.
Cutting Vegetables (see video):
Keep pieces large for easy handling on the BBQ (so you don’t have to turn hundreds of pieces!) and so they don’t fall through the grills.
Capsicum/bell peppers – cut the “walls” off, then cut each each on the diagonal into fairly large pieces.
Onion (Note 4) – keep the root end (hairy end!) in tact. Peel, cut in half, then cut into wedges through the root end.
Brush BBQ grills lightly with oil, then preheat to high. Or oven 250°C/480°F.
Place vegetables in a very large bowl or use a big tray. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic. Toss with hands (there is no better way!).
Place on BBQ and cook until tender crisp with charred edges – cook times below. Then remove into large bowl.
Asparagus, zucchini – grill 2 min each side. (Oven – 10 min, no flipping)
Capsicum, mushroom, onion – grill 3 min each side (oven 15 min, flip at 10 min)
Eggplant – grill 4 min each side. Jab in middle to ensure soft but not soggy! (oven 18 min)
While vegetables are still hot, drizzle over Dressing and toss.
Set aside 10 minutes+ before serving, sprinkled with parsley. See in post for serving ideas.
1. Vegetables – feel free to switch up as desired. See in post for ideas of other vegetables. Also note, it looks like a huge volume uncooked but it shrinks by about 30% once cooked!
2. Herbs – you want 2 tsp in total, just sub / double up on what you have. Or use a Mixed Herbs or Italian Herbs.
3. Chilli Flakes – aka red pepper flakes. I use 1 tsp because I like the buzz of heat!
4. Onion cutting – the idea here is to keep the wedges in tact so it’s easy to handle on the BBQ. If it sounds all too difficult, just cut your onion into quarters and that will be fine!
5. Storage – Great fresh, even better on Day 2! I’ve kept this for 5 days and it still tasted great, I added a squeeze of fresh lemon. Best served at room temperature.
6. Nutrition per serving, assuming 8 serves.
Originally published June 2019. Updated June 2020 for minor housekeeping matters – no change to recipe!
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