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6 Grilled Veggie Masterpieces To Steal the Cookout Spotlight

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Don’t get me wrong, I love throwing hot dogs, seafood, burgers, and steaks on the grill, but you know what I crave the most during a cookout? Grilled veggies.

I’m not just saying that to convince you to eat your vegetables. I’m saying it because it’s true. Unlike the different meats and seafood, I don’t feel bloated after eating grilled veggies. 

Plus, I can have a whole plate without feeling like I’m eating too much.

So, if you’ve never grilled veggies before, or better yet, if you’ve never made tasty grilled veggies before, don’t stress.

I have a couple of tricks up my sleeve that are sure to be the highlight of your next backyard BBQ. 

1. Tomato Gnocchi Kebabs

Sure, gnocchi is traditionally served as pasta with some sauce, but have you ever had gnocchi that’s smoky, brown, and straight off the grill? 

If you haven’t, then this tomato gnocchi kebab — complete with salsa verde from scratch — is the best place to start. 

That said, you’ll need one pack of fresh gnocchi (which you can buy at any store), two pints of cherry tomatoes, two red onions (cut into pieces), two tablespoons of olive oil, and — of course — salt and pepper.

Those are just for the kebabs.

Now, to make the salsa verde from scratch, you’ll need a quarter cup of parsley, basil, and olive oil, two tablespoons of capers, a tablespoon of lemon juice, two anchovy fillets, a clove of garlic, and salt.

The first thing you want to do is to make your salsa verde. 

To do this, grab your food processor (or blender) and add in your parsley, basil, olive oil, capers, lemon juice, garlic, and anchovies. 

Blend everything until they turn into a smooth paste, then season with your salt before letting it chill in the fridge for a hot minute.

While your salsa is resting, make your kebabs by tossing your gnocchi, tomatoes, and onions in a bowl with some oil, salt, and pepper.

Be sure to coat everything in seasoning before threading them onto your skewers. 

If you’re using wooden skewers, here’s a pro tip: soak them in a shallow pan with water for 10 minutes or so to prevent burning on the grill.

Once your kebabs are ready, grill them for seven to eight minutes, flipping halfway through until you have blistered tomatoes and browned gnocchis. 

Transfer your skewers to a serving platter and drizzle them with your homemade salsa verde.

If you don’t have time to make your salsa from scratch, I completely understand. Just substitute it with pesto sauce or lemon juice with fresh basil. These will help add some more zing to your dish!

2. Campfire Potatoes

Gone are the days when the only delicious dishes you can make with potatoes are chips and fries. Thanks to some creative folks out there, we now have a lot of potato dishes to enjoy.

One of which is this campfire potato. Originally, you make this easy recipe over a campfire (hence the name), but a grill will work just as well if you can’t make a fire in your backyard.

For this recipe, you’ll need two pounds of quartered mini Yukon gold potatoes (which are my favorite kind of potatoes), two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and a teaspoon of garlic powder and dried oregano.

Those will be the base of your campfire potatoes. For your toppings, you can add whatever you like, but I like to use two cups of mozzarella, a cup of Parmesan, a garnish of parsley, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.

Now that your ingredients are ready, fire up your grill and cut four large foil pieces which should be about 10” long. Spray the insides with nonstick cooking spray and set them aside for a while. 

Then, grab a large bowl and season your potatoes with olive oil, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper. Divide your potatoes between the foil pieces, then fold the edges to seal the veggies inside.

Place your foil packets on the grill and cook them for 10 minutes. Turn them around and cook the other side for another 10 minutes. 

By the time your potatoes are nice and warm, take them off the grill, open the seals, and top them with your cheeses. 

Place them back on the heat with the seal open, and let the cheese melt for about three to five minutes.

This next step is completely optional, but you can sprinkle your potatoes with parsley and red pepper flakes before serving. If not, you can choose other toppings like bacon bits or more cheese!

3. Grilled Cabbage Steaks

Ok, I know this sounds a little suspicious, but hear me out: cabbage is already a star side dish in any backyard cookout, so why can’t it be a main course?

This might not be a mainstream approach to grilling cabbage, but you have to admit — it has a lot of potential. 

Cabbage is hearty, filling, and works great on the grill. Plus, with the right marinade or sauce, it can taste quite delicious too! 

It checks out every box of what a main dish should be, so let’s give it a try, shall we?

To make this dish, you’ll need one large cabbage head (cut into half-inch rounds), olive oil, salt, pepper, and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. 

For the toppings, you’ll need about four or five slices of cooked bacon, crumbled blue cheese (or feta), scallions, and a side of ranch dressing. 

Begin by brushing both sides of your cabbage steaks with a mixture of oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Then, place them on the grill to cook for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Take them off the grill and top them with your bacon, blue cheese, and scallions. Drizzle some olive oil on top and you’ve got yourself grilled cabbage steaks! How easy is that?

4. Balsamic Grilled Mushrooms

Out of all the veggies at a cookout, I think mushrooms don’t get enough credit. Based on my experience, they’re always on the sidelines, waiting for people to scoop some of them on their plates.

But not anymore. With this balsamic grilled mushrooms recipe, mushrooms will be the real MVPs and they will get the recognition they deserve. Mark my words!

So, if you want to try this for your next backyard BBQ, you’ll need these ingredients:

A quarter cup of balsamic vinegar, two tablespoons of soy sauce (regular or low sodium), two minced garlic cloves, some black pepper, fresh parsley for garnish, and a pound of sliced cremini mushrooms.

Once you have everything you need, get a large bowl and whisk together your balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and pepper. Toss in your mushrooms and let them marinate for 20 minutes. 

At the same time, pre-soak your wooden skewers so they don’t burn. 

After 20 minutes, cook your mushrooms on the grill for about three minutes before flipping them around and doing the same to the other side. Then, garnish with your chopped parsley, and you’re done!

When you serve this dish, don’t be surprised if the skewers disappear in minutes. It seems to happen all the time when I prepare this recipe at home. 

5. Grilled Peppers With Cheese Stuffing

There’s just something so satisfying (and addicting) about eating bell peppers with cheese. You’ve got a bit of crunch from the pepper and some gooeyness from the cheese which to me, is just a perfect match.

If you want to give this dish a go, you’ll need a cup each of ricotta cheese and cream cheese (at room temperature), half a cup of grated Parmesan, and four Cubanelle (or Anaheim) and baby bell peppers.

Personally, I prefer Cubanelle over Anaheim peppers because they have a hint of sweetness that combats the slight bitterness of this veggie.

Now that you have your ingredients, start by blending your cheeses in a bowl and seasoning them with salt. Set your cheese to the side, while you prepare your peppers.

So, grab your big and small bell peppers and remove the stems. Use a small knife to take the membranes and the seeds out. Then, fill each one with your cheese mixture before putting the stems back on.

Brush some olive oil around your veggies before grilling them over moderate heat. Turn them around every now and then until you have melted cheese has melted and blistered peppers.

While this dish is good as it is, you can take it up a notch, and here’s how: You can cook some ground beef and stuff it inside along with your cheese mixture.

Doing that will take this recipe to a whole other level, trust me. 

6. Grilled Corn Salad With Coconut-Peanut Sauce

To me, sweet grilled corn slathered with salted butter is already quite good. But I think we can do so much better. 

Corn in itself is quite fun to experiment with in the kitchen because you can have it in so many ways — from the classic corn on the cob style to corn salads and soups. 

So, for this recipe, let’s make a grilled corn salad topped with curry leaves, toasted coconut, and crunchy peanuts.

To get started, you’ll need four medium ears of corn, two tablespoons of melted butter, two teaspoons of kosher salt, and half a cup of thinly sliced scallions. 

You’ll also need two tablespoons of butter, a tablespoon of chopped ginger and minced garlic, a cup of unsweetened flaked coconuts, and 30 fresh curry leaves for your topping.

If you want to make your sauce extra tasty, you’ll need some more ingredients, like the zest of three limes, a teaspoon of ground cumin, and a cup of roasted peanuts.

Before doing anything to the corn, let’s make the coconut-peanut sauce first.

Heat your butter in a pan for about a minute. Once it’s completely melted, add your chopped ginger and garlic. Stir the mixture until it becomes fragrant. 

When the smell of garlic, ginger, and butter permeates the air, put your flaked coconuts in until they turn brown. This should only take about two to three minutes.

By then, you can toss in your curry leaves, mustard seeds, lime zest, cumin, and peanuts. Keep stirring until everything is well combined. 

Here’s the thing: the mustard seeds and curry leaves may splatter and pop when exposed to heat. So, it’s best to have a lid or splatter screen on standby so you can protect yourself when that happens.

When the room starts to smell like a coconut-peanut haven, take your mixture off the heat and set it aside for a while. 

In the meantime, prepare your corn.

Brush your corn with your melted butter and sprinkle them with salt. Then place them on your grates. Be sure to oil your grill beforehand to keep the kernels from sticking to them. 

Now, cook for around 15 minutes, making sure to turn the corn constantly. Once you see nice grill marks all around them, transfer them to a plate to cool down.

When they’re cool enough to touch (which should be in about five minutes), slice the kernels off the cobs. You can place your kernels in a bowl and pour your coconut-peanut sauce all over. 

In my opinion, this dish is a complete upgrade from the typical corn-on-the-cob treatment. And while it does take extra time and effort to prepare, the taste of this dish makes it all worth it!

Experience a Showstopping Grilled Veggie Fest!

As you can see, grilled veggies have a lot to offer. Besides being just a simple side dish, they can take on the spotlight and be the star of the show. 

With the right flavor pairings, you’re sure to make a grilled veggie dish that everyone will love.

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