These are the ultra-easy grilled vegetables I make over and over all summer long. Keep these veggies on hand all summer and whenever you're cooking on the grill you've got a perfect side dish that's low-carb, gluten-free, South Beach Diet friendly, and can even be Paleo!
Grilling season has arrived, and I couldn't be happier about it! A few years ago I shared this uber-simple recipe for World's Easiest Grilled Vegetables, and this is the vegetable side dish I make over and over all summer long. This recipe is such a favorite that I decided the photos could really use an update, especially since grilling season has barely started and I've already made this a couple of times.
I think the choice of dressing for these easy grilled vegetables is pretty important. If you're a low-carb or South Beach dieter, you'll want to be sure to choose a dressing with not more than 2-3 grams of sugar per serving. That won't be hard to find, but be sure to use a dressing with oil as the first ingredient. I prefer dressing that's more oily than creamy for this; I like Newman's Own Original Recipe Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing the best of all the dressings I've tried, which is one reason it's always in my fridge.
If you're trying to eat plenty of vegetables I hope you'll enjoy this easy recipe for grilled vegetables as much as I have! And check the actual recipe below for other vegetables combinations you can cook using this method.
World's Easiest Grilled Vegetables was first posted in 2011 and featured for Phase One Fridays in 2012. The recipe was updated with better photos May 2016.
I cook my vegetables on the grill in a grilling pan with holes that sits on top of the grill grates. There are endless variations for vegetables you can cook in a pan like this, but most often I use this combination of zucchini, sweet onions, and red bell pepper. You want to cut the vegetables in same-size pieces, not quite 2 inches in size.
Here's the trick that takes grilled vegetables from okay to wow. Put the cut-up veggies into a small Zip-loc bag (or a plastic container with a snap-tight lid) and pour over just enough Italian salad dressing to coat the veggies, then let them marinate in the fridge for 4-6 hours (or longer) before you cook them. Be sure to drain the vegetables before you dump them into the grill pan or the oil in the dressing will flame up on the grill.
Have your grill pre-heated to medium-high before you start to cook the vegetables, with the grill pan sitting on the grill grates. Then put veggies into the hot pan and spread them around so as many as possible are touching the surface of the pan. Start to cook the veggies with the lid of the grill closed.
I give my veggies a stir about every 5 minutes, and cook them 15-20 minutes, depending on what type of vegetables I'm using.
And here's the original photo of this recipe from 2011, showing one of my favorite grill pans. This size is great if you're only grilling vegetables for a couple of people, but most often I cook my veggies on the well-used rectangular pan shown above.
(The amount shown in the photos is 3-4 servings of grilled vegetables; this method of grilling vegetables has been used by Kalyn for many years.)
2 medium zucchinis
1 large sweet onion (I used Vidalia onion)
1 large red bell pepper
(See below for other vegetable combinations. You need about 4 cups of cut-up vegetables.)
1/2 cup Italian Salad Dressing (I like Newman's Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing for this, be sure to use a dressing with oil as the first ingredient.)
pinch of dried herbs such as thyme, oregano, ground fennel, or dried basil (optional; I rarely add herbs)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to season vegetables after grilling
Cut ends off the zucchini, then cut in half lengthwise and cut into slices not quite 2 inches thick. Peel onion, cut off ends, cut in half, then break apart into individual layers and cut each one into same-size pieces. Cut red bell pepper in half, cut out seeds and stem, and cut into pieces the same size as the onion and zucchini.
Put the vegetables into Ziploc bag or plastic container with tight-fitting lid, choosing the smallest size you can to fit all the vegetables so they get well coated with the marinade. Pour in enough dressing to coat the vegetables, about 1/2 cup. Add dried herbs if desired, then close the bag or container and marinate in the fridge for 4-6 hours (or all day is fine if you're at work.)
When you're ready to cook vegetables, put the grill pan on the grill grate and preheat grill (and pan) to medium-high heat. (You can only hold your hand there for a few seconds at that heat.) Drain vegetables into a colander placed in the sink and let dressing drain off while you preheat the grill. (This is very important to prevent flare-ups when you add the vegetables to the grill pan.)
When grill and pan are hot, pour in the vegetables and spread them around so as many as possible are touching the surface of the pan. Cook with grill lid closed, stirring the vegetables every 5 minutes or so to insure that they get lightly browned on all sides. Cook about 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked but still slightly crisp and starting to char on the edges. (I don't mind if mine get a bit charred, but keep an eye on them if you'd like them less browned.) Serve hot, with salt and fresh ground pepper to season. (If you have some good balsamic vinegar, a drizzle of that is good on these too.)
Other Vegetable Combinations I like for Grilling:
--Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Sweet Onions
--Sugar Snap Peas, Red Bell Pepper, Sweet Onions
--Sugar Snap Peas, Par-boiled Carrots, Sweet Onion (boil the carrots for 2-3 minutes and drain before you marinate)
--Sweet Potato, Zucchini, Sweet Onion (marinate sweet potato separately and cook it about 5 minutes before adding other vegetables to the pan)
--Asparagus, Red Bell Pepper, Sweet Onion (cut asparagus into fairly short pieces, cut on the diagonal)
--Eggplant, Zucchini, Red Bell Pepper
--Eggplant, Red Bell Pepper, Sweet Onion
If you have leftover grilled vegetables, they're best reheated for a few minutes in a very hot frying pan.
South Beach Diet / Low-Carb Diet Suggestions:
These grilled vegetables are a wonderful side dish for the South Beach Diet or other low-carb eating plans. Look for a dressing not more than 2-3 grams of sugar per serving if you're making this for South Beach. If you use the combination of low-glycemic vegetables show in the photos, this would be approved for any phase of the diet. With approved salad dressing, this combination of grilled vegetables would also be Paleo.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn's Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I'm sharing there.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you're a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.
More Tasty Ideas with Grilled Vegetables:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Grilled Eggplant with Garlic-Cumin Vinaigrette, Feta, and Herbs from Kalyn's Kitchen
Grilled Vegetables with Piment d' Espelette Sauce from The Perfect Pantry
Grilled Asparagus with Parmesan from Kalyn's Kitchen
Grilled Summer Vegetable Salad from Cookin' Canuck
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)