13 Vegetarian Grilling Recipes Your Meat-Free Friends Will Love

Because there are so many things to grill other than burgers and dogs.


Jennifer Causey

American cookouts often revolve around meat like hamburgers and hot dogs, and there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, but we’re big proponents of bringing vegetables into the mix. Whether you’re a vegetarian, have vegetarian friends, or just want to host a more colorful, varied backyard barbecue, we have ideas for you. Grilling can elevate all sorts of foods, from fruits and vegetables to pizza dough and cheese, giving them a nice char and smoky, caramelized flavor. Keep reading for 13 vegetarian grilling recipes to get you inspired for your next cookout (or any old dinner!). 

01 of 13

Grilled Cauliflower Steaks With Romesco and Manchego

Grilled Cauliflower Steaks With Romesco and Manchego Recipe
Victor Protasio

Cauliflower steaks are not and will never be the same as regular steaks, but that doesn’t mean they’re not delicious. In this recipe, the cauliflower steaks get cooked on the grill until charred on the outside and fork-tender, then dressed up with a Spanish-inspired romesco and arugula salad.

02 of 13

Grilled Eggplant and Smoked Mozzarella Melts

Grilled Eggplant and Smoked Mozzarella Melts
Charles Masters

Grilled bread with gooey, melted smoked mozzarella is the perfect base for eggplant (also grilled), tomato, and fresh basil. These open-faced sandwiches taste like a Caprese salad with a smoky, earthy twist.

03 of 13

Grilled Mediterranean Salad

Grilled Mediterranean Salad Recipe
Jennifer Causey

This pasta salad is bright, punchy, and best served at room temperature, which means you can make it in advance. All of the main ingredients—zucchini, bell peppers, red onion, and halloumi—get cooked on the grill, then tossed with cooked pasta and dressed.

04 of 13

Buttery Grilled Corn

Brown Sugar-Glazed Pork and Grilled Corn
Christopher Baker

Corn is a cookout classic, but have you ever tried grilling it? The grill caramelizes the corn and brings out its inherent sweetness. Keep it on the cob, or take it off, tossing it with butter and scallions before serving.

05 of 13

Mexican Grilled Corn With Cilantro

Mexican Grilled Corn With Cilantro
Sang An

This recipe is inspired by Mexico, where grilled corn is a street food staple. Fresh cilantro and lime juice elevate the sweet corn, along with salt and pepper to taste.

06 of 13

Grilled Halloumi Salad

Grilled Halloumi Salad
Greg DuPree

Grilled halloumi has a satisfyingly chewy texture and tangy, savory flavor, which makes it a great vegetarian substitute for meat. In this salad, the rich halloumi is balanced with crunchy lettuce and vegetables, and dressed with a lemony vinaigrette.

07 of 13

Grilled Chicken and Pepper Salad

Grilled Chicken and Pepper Salad Recipe
Caitlin Bensel

Yes, this recipe includes chicken, but feel free to leave it out; without chicken, it’s still completely satisfying thanks to charred vegetables, toasty pitas, and a garlicky yogurt sauce. If you’re missing a centerpiece, grilled halloumi would be a delicious replacement for the chicken.

08 of 13

Grilled Asparagus and Hot Honey Flatbreads

Grilled Asparagus and Hot Honey Flatbreads
Greg DuPree

These springy grilled pizzas couldn’t be easier to prepare, thanks to pre-made flatbreads, which only need to be grilled for about a minute per side. You can top the flatbreads with anything, but we love the combination of lemony ricotta, grilled asparagus, and hot honey.

09 of 13

Grilled-Eggplant Salad

Grilled-Eggplant Salad
Andre Baranowski

The secret to this recipe is the sauce, which includes fresh ginger, crushed red pepper flakes, and soy sauce. Visually, the eggplant, romaine, and tomatoes make for a beautiful, colorful trio.

10 of 13

Grilled Pizza Margherita

Grilled Pizza
Greg DuPree

Most of us aren’t blessed with a wood-fired pizza oven at home, but luckily, grilling has a similar effect, quickly cooking the pizza and giving it a smoky char. For guidance, we have an explainer on all things grilling pizza, and a classic recipe suggestion—pizza Margherita with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and fresh basil.

11 of 13

Grilled Skirt Steak With Squash Ratatouille

Grilled Skirt Steak With Squash Ratatouille
Greg DuPree

We’re sharing this recipe not for the steak, but for the ratatouille. The veggie-filled side combines yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, and onion—all cooked on the grill. Dress the veggies with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and parsley, and they’re good to go.

12 of 13

Rigatoni With Grilled Peppers and Onions

Rigatoni With Grilled Peppers and Onions
Marcus Nilsson

Grill some sliced red onions and bell peppers, then toss them with just-cooked rigatoni, bringing it all together with a splash of pasta water and Parmesan. For a green component, wilt some spinach into the pasta, and sprinkle with fresh basil before serving.

13 of 13

Grilled Potatoes

Grilled Potatoes Are the Perfect Summer Side—but There's One Key Step Everyone Misses When

You know about boiling and roasting, but have you ever tried grilling potatoes? The key is to partially boil them in advance, then finish them up on the grill for a crispy, smoky finish.

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