The Complete Guide to Vegan Grilling

The ultimate guide to vegan grilling for all your summer cookouts and barbecues!

This post is packed with tips and tricks for how to grill vegetables, fruits, and vegan proteins, along with recommended grilling tools and lots of fresh ideas for plant-based grilling.

Whether you want to learn how to grill tofu without it sticking to the grill or how to take your grilled vegetables to the next level, this post has you covered!

There’s this (mis)conception that grilling season is just for meat eaters and that vegans have to survive on just fruit and burger buns with ketchup and lettuce. But, with a few tips under your belt and some creative inspiration, every vegan can host and enjoy a successful and extremely tasty grilling season. 

I’ve rounded up 9 delicious yet easy plant-based foods you can grill this summer, along with vegan grilling tips and tricks, so everyone can enjoy barbecue season to the max! And you can find so many affordable plant-based foods that are perfect for the grill at your local ALDI, from vegan proteins to fresh veggies to pre-cut fruit. 

Thank you to ALDI for sponsoring this post! And thank you, readers, for supporting the brands who help make my work possible. 

spread of vegan grilled food on a brown surface

How to grill vegan proteins 

When it comes to vegan grilling, the protein situation is usually the hardest because the options at a barbecue are typically animal-based. Luckily, in 2021, there have never been more options for plant-based meats and fun recipes to try. I’m going to highlight just a few here to get your creative juices flowing.  

How to grill tofu 

1. Use extra-firm tofu. It’s the only variety that can really stand up to the grill and retain its texture. I love using ALDI Earth Grown Organic Extra Firm Tofu (it works great on the grill), and with these tips, you’ll get tofu that’s perfectly crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. 

2. Press the tofu for 15 minutes to release the excess water. More flavor and less likely to stick to the grill.

3. Don’t cut the tofu slabs too thinly, or they’ll fall apart or fall through the grill grates. You want about 8 to 11 slabs, crosswise, per 14-ounce block of tofu.

slabs of organic tofu on a wooden cutting board

4. Preheat the grill for at least 10 minutes on high heat. Once hot, scrape down the grates with a heavy duty grill brush. 

5. Then, season the grill by rubbing an oil-blotted paper towel across the grates (use tongs to hold the towel). Cover the grill for 30 to 40 seconds, then repeat this process 3 times (more or on recommended tools and cleaning in the “general tips” and “tools” sections below). I learned this tip from Serious Eats and helps prevent the tofu from sticking to the grates.

6. Marinate the tofu for more flavor, but it doesn’t need too much time. As little as 15 minutes, or up to 1 hour. 

7. As for marinades, you can keep it simple and use your favorite BBQ sauce, sweet and sour sauce, or peanut sauce. Or, try my delightful Citrus-Chipotle Grilled Tofu recipe below. If using another sauce/marinade, marinate one block of tofu in about 1/3 cup sauce, and reserve 1/4 cup sauce for brushing at the end.

tofu marinating in citrus sauce in a white bowl

8. As soon as you add the tofu, reduce the heat directly below the tofu to low. Grill for 8 to 10 minutes, carefully flip and grill for another 7 to 10 minutes.

9. Brush reserved marinade on the tofu after grilling for maximal flavor. 

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citrus-cilantro grilled tofu slabs on a white plate

How to grill frozen veggie burgers  

If you want to keep things really simple and fast (so you can spend more time hanging out with your friends in the sunshine!), try grilling some frozen veggie burgers. 

ALDI has a robust selection of vegan burgers from Earth Grown, including traditional veggie burgers, black bean burgers, and my favorite one to grill, the Earth Grown Flame Grilled Soy Protein Burger–it already has nice grill marks in case you mess yours up ;). And you don’t even need to defrost them so it’s super quick. 

  1. Preheat the grill to medium for at least 10 minutes. Once hot, scrape down the grates with a heavy duty grill brush. 
  2. Season the grill (see tips above in the tofu section). 
  3. Brush the frozen burger patties with oil to prevent sticking. 
  4. Grill the patties, allowing them to sear on one side before flipping, about 3 minutes. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. 
  5. Add them to burger buns and spread with a flavorful sauce like Vegan Aioli, Vegan Ranch, or Vegan BBQ Sauce. Pile on your favorite burger toppings and enjoy! 
grilled vegan veggie burgers with burger buns, tomato, lettuce, and infused water

How to grill vegetables 

Grilling vegetables, similar to roasting them, draws out the natural sugars found in vegetables. Once caramelized and browned, they’re sweeter and more flavorful, which is a great way to get veggie skeptics to eat more veggies. 

Plus, that subtle smoky char from the grill makes them feel a bit heartier and more substantial. And of course, they’re versatile. Serve them as a side dish, as a topping for pizzas or sandwiches, turn them into a salad, toss them into pastas or grain bowls, or layer into tacos. 

grilled portobello mushroom on burger patty with grilled corn

How to grill corn  

Is it even summer if you don’t have grilled corn on the cob at least once?? Corn season is truly a magical season, so I try to grill corn as often as possible. 

Here’s one way I like to prepare grilled corn: simple but so tasty. 

  1. Preheat the grill for 10 minutes over high or medium-high heat. 
  2. Take husked ears of corn and add them to the grill. 
  3. Cook for 10-15 minutes, turning every 3 minutes or so, until charred in some spots. 
  4. Prior to grilling, I like to brush the corn with some Simply Nature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and season with salt and pepper, but you can also grill it naked.   
  5. Once the corn is done, rub with a bit of olive oil and a generous sprinkling of Tajin, aka chili/lime seasoning. 
grilled corn with chili-lime seasoning on a green plate

How to grill portobello mushrooms 

Looking for a meaty but wholesome alternative to a burger patty? Try grilling whole portobello mushrooms. I love how hearty and chewy they are, but of course they’re so wholesome and good for you. 

Slice off the stem and quickly marinate the whole mushroom caps. Grill the shrooms (cap side down) on a preheated grill (medium-high heat) for 4 minutes on each side. To get those fun crosshatched marks, rotate the mushrooms by 90º at the 2 minute mark. Finally, brush any reserved marinade on top before serving. 

Since mushrooms are quite watery, it really helps to weigh down the shrooms while they grill (a cast iron skillet works the best). This helps expel moisture and flattens the mushrooms in almost half, making them denser and meatier. It also helps them absorb the marinade flavors more effectively. 

You can find my grilled portobello recipe below! 

meaty grilled portobello mushroom burger with lettuce, tomato, and onion

How to grill romaine lettuce 

While I like romaine lettuce in standard cold salads, I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite salad green. But, grilled romaine lettuce? That’s a whole different game! 

The lettuce retains its crisp and crunch but packs in a smoky char that’s just so fun. It makes lettuce feel hearty and bold in a way that lettuce rarely does. 

romaine hearts sliced in half on platter

It’s also really simple. Just cut romaine hearts in half lengthwise, and brush with oil and season with salt. Grill, cut-side down, on a preheated grill (medium to medium-high heat) for 3 to 6 minutes, turning occasionally, until nicely charred. That’s it! 

You can find my grilled romaine salad with creamy cashew dressing below. 

grilled romaine salad with creamy cashew dressing on pickled cabbage

How to grill vegetable kebabs 

My personal preference is to grill one vegetable at a time, as it gives you the opportunity to highlight that vegetable and focus on making it taste the best. That said, many people enjoy mixed veggie kebabs during grilling season because they’re colorful, cute, and a fun way to get your veggies in. So here are some tips for grilling vegetable kebabs. 

As for veggie variety, the most common veggies used for kebabs are bell peppers, onions (I prefer red), zucchini and summer squash, button or cremini mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes, all of which you can find at your local ALDI store. 

You can also try chili peppers, such as poblano, shishito, or jalapeno peppers (if they’re large enough and you like it spicy!). I’ve also seen some folks cut corn on the cob into rings and thread those on. You can do as many veggies as you like, or stick to just one or two veggies (think eggplant and red onions, or lots of mushrooms). 

Try to cut your vegetables in relatively uniform sizes. For peppers, cut them into squares; onions, wedges; zucchini/summer squash or eggplant, half moons; button mushrooms and cherry tomatoes, leave them whole. Don’t slice veggies too thinly, or they’ll turn to mush and/or get stuck in the grill grates. 

vegan grilled vegetable skewers with fresh herbs

When it comes to skewers, wooden skewers need to be soaked in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent burning on the grill. If using stainless steel, look for varieties that are thinner, as the thick ones are a bit too much for delicate veggies like zucchini and tomatoes. 

Think about cook time. Onions typically take the longest to cook, so cut them smaller relative to other veggies. And try to skewer veggies that cook the quickest in the middle, not at the ends (I made this mistake with cherry tomatoes and lost some of them to the grill grates, oops!). If I were to make skewers in the future, I wouldn’t include cherry tomatoes on the same skewer as onions, as their cooking times are quite different. 

Don’t forget the marinade! Before skewering the veggies, give them a quick marination. Even just 15 minutes at room temperature is sufficient, or you can marinate in the fridge for a few hours. 

You can keep things simple with an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing with salt/pepper and dried herbs, or get fancy and try some other flavors, like a chimichurri or a salsa verde. Whatever marinade you use, be sure it has a bit of oil in it to prevent the veggies from sticking to the grill and from drying you. 

You can find my simple vegetable kebab recipe below. 

vegan grilled vegetable skewers with fresh herbs

How to grill fruits  

Summer seasonal fruits don’t need much to make them appetizing. Their juicy sweetness speaks for itself (hi, watermelon on a hot summer day!). But, if you want to try something new or bring a unique dimension to fruits, grilling them is a great option. At ALDI, you can choose from fresh whole fruits like mango, watermelon and pineapple, or buy them pre-cut to save a little time. 

white plate with pineapple spears and mango slices

How to grill stone fruit 

I usually buy an excess of peaches and nectarines in the summer, so I love grilling some of them for a change (though I never really tire of eating them raw!). Grilling (and hence caramelizing) stone fruit enhances their aromas and intensifies their sweetness, so while it feels quite different to the raw version, it’s just as tasty. 

  1. Be sure to use ripe but not overripe or soft stone fruit. Unripe stone fruits will likely burn before softening; very soft fruit will turn to mush. 
  2. Cut the fruit in half, twisting apart and remove the pit. Be sure to coat the flesh with a bit of oil to prevent sticking and to encourage caramelization. 
  3. According to Cook’s Illustrated, the best way to grill stone fruit is to grill them over medium-high or high heat for 5 minutes; then, transfer to a metal baking pan, cut-side up, and cover. Steam for 15 minutes to help them cook and fully soften. This avoids having to flip the fruit, as well as undercooking the inside.

How to grill pineapple

Cutting a pineapple can be tricky, which is why I love relying on the pre-cut pineapple spears at ALDI. They’re pre-cut into the perfect width for grilling–not too thin or thick. If you’re using a whole pineapple, you’ll want to peel it and cut into wedges, or even rings. 

I like to brush the pineapple with brown sugar-cinnamon mixture for extra sweet goodness, and then cook on a preheated grill (medium-high heat) for 2-3 minutes per side. You can find the recipe for caramelized grilled pineapple below. 

How to grill mango 

Grilling mango is pretty similar to grilling pineapple, and again, you can find pre-cut mango wedges at ALDI. These are perfect for keeping fuss-free barbecues because they minimize the time spent in the kitchen so you can maximize the amount of fun outside! 

It’s best to use mango that is ripe but not overly ripe, as it will stick to the grates and/or fall apart. Preheat the grill to medium-high and after seasoning your grill (see the “general tips” section below for how to do this), add the mango wedges. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until they smell caramelized and grill marks form. Use a thin metal spatula to scrape carefully under the mango to release it and flip. 

To take grilled mango over the top and bring those spicy-salty flavors that surprisingly enhance the sweetness of the mango, I finish it with Tajin seasoning. 

char grilled mango with chili-lime seasoning

General tips for vegan grilling  

Season your grill! Seasoning your grill makes it easier to clean, prevents food from sticking, makes your food taste better, and prevents rust. Basically, it’s a must! 

The easiest way to season your grill is with some oiled paper towels (or clean dish towels if you don’t mind them getting real dirty). I usually pour some of the cooking oil in a bowl and blot the towels in the oil. Using tongs, I apply the oiled towel to the grill grates. Then, I close the grill for 30 to 40 seconds until smoking. For items that are more prone to sticking (think tofu or fruit), I repeat the oiling process three times. 

It’s easiest to clean your grill when it’s still hot. I typically do this in between grilling certain items to prevent sticking, as well at the end of the grilling session.  

You’ll need somewhere to rest your spatula and tongs, and somewhere to put food as it comes off the grill. Keep a couple baking sheets, casserole pans, or large plates on hand to store utensils and cooked food. 

Finally, while the grill should do a lot of work for you, don’t forget some easy side dishes you can prep in advance. Some ideas include this Herbed Potato Salad, Watermelon and Cucumber Salad, or Charred Corn Salad with White Beans

Cooking oil. I like to keep a bottle of Simply Nature 100% Avocado Oil near the grill for oiling the grates. And depending on what I’m making, I’ll also have a bottle of Simply Nature Extra Virgin Olive Oil at the ready. 

A heavy duty grill brush. Grills don’t require much to keep clean, but a heavy duty grill brush is needed to scrape down all the char and gunk that sticks to the grate. 

Stainless steel tongs. Useful for flipping all kinds of foods, from tofu to lettuce to fruit. 

A wide stainless steel spatula. Also useful for flipping lots of food. I often use it in conjunction with the tongs to flip delicate items. I have a slotted offset spatula that’s often used for fish, but it works great for all kinds of plant-based foods too :) 

Oven mitts. Flipping food over a hot grill can get, well, hot. I like to keep oven mitts on hand. 

Skewers. Thin metal skewers are great for veggies (the thicker ones are a bit too strong for delicate veggies). If using wooden skewers, make sure to soak them for 30 minutes to prevent them from burning on the grill. 

Grill basket. Not an essential tool, but something to consider if you’re grilling veggies that might fall through the grates, or if you’d like to minimize the amount of oil in your cooking or the amount of time you spend flipping veggies. 

Whether you’re vegan or not, I hope this post inspired you to really enjoy grilling season. For the best prices on lots of fun and fresh summer food, be sure to visit your local ALDI and then put that grill to good use! 

Citrus-Chipotle Grilled Tofu

5 from 30 votes
Tofu gets quick-marinated in an herby, citrus marinade reminiscent of Mojo sauce but with smoky notes, then grilled to perfection. The tofu doesn't stick and it turns out perfectly chewy and crispy!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Carribean-Inspired
Diet Vegan
Serving size: 3 to 4


  • 1 14- ounce block Earth Grown Organic Extra Firm Tofu
  • 3/4 cup (9g) cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
  • 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • cup (80 mL) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) Simply Nature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon organic cane sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
  • Lots of black pepper
  • Simply Nature 100% Avocado Oil


  • Drain the tofu. Slice the tofu crosswise into ⅓-inch slabs, about 8 to 11 slices per block. Arrange on a paper towel-lined cutting board and add a few paper towels on top. Weight with a heavy cookbook or cast-iron skillet. Press for 15 minutes to remove excess water.
  • Make the marinade: To a blender or food processor, add the cilantro, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, garlic, orange zest, orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, sugar, cumin, salt, and black pepper to taste. Blend until relatively smooth. Season to taste with more salt and pepper needed. Reserve 4 tablespoons of the marinade.
  • Transfer tofu slabs to a shallow dish or pan and pour the rest of the marinade on top, using a pastry brush to evenly coat the tofu. Allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes at room temperature, or up to 1 hour in the fridge.
  • Prepare the grill. Preheat a gas grill (between medium and medium-high) with the lid on for at least 10 minutes to get the grates really hot. Scrub down with a heavy-duty grill brush to remove any gunk or drippings.
    Set a small bowl with a few tablespoons of oil near the grill and oil up a wad of paper towels in the oil. Use a set of tongs to rub the preheated grill grates with the oil-soaked towels. Let the oil smoke for 40 seconds or so, then rub with oil again. Repeat three to four times total to build up a good layer of seasoning.
  • Immediately before or as soon as you add the tofu, turn the burners directly under the tofu to low heat and close the lid. Grill the tofu for 8 to 10 minutes, until nice grill marks form. Using a pair of tongs and/or a thin metal spatula, carefully flip each tofu slab and grill for another 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Once the tofu is grilled, brush it with the reserved marinade.

Calories: 288kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Sodium: 459mg | Potassium: 353mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 846IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 3mg

Grilled Romaine Salad with Creamy Cashew Dressing

5 from 26 votes
Grilling romaine lettuce introduces a smoky char that makes lettuce feel robust and hearty. It gets paired with an easy, creamy cashew dressing for a side dish that's guaranteed to impress all summer long.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Diet Vegan
Serving size: 6


  • 3 romaine hearts (the center leaves of the romaine)
  • Simply Nature 100% Avocado Oil (or Simply Nature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • ¼ to ½ cup pickled red onions (see below), pickled cabbage, or ¼ cup thinly sliced raw red onion

Creamy Cashew Dressing

  • 1/2 cup (65-70g) Simple Nature Organic Raw Cashews
  • 1/4 cup (56 mL) Simply Nature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) water, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 cup (6g) fresh cilantro or parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt + more to taste
  • 1/2 of a large lemon, juiced + more to taste

Quick Pickled Onions (Optional)

  • 1 medium red onion, sliced as thinly as you can
  • 3/4 cup (180 mL) water
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)


  • Soak the cashews overnight in cool water, or cover them with water in a saucepan and boil for 15 minutes. Drain.
  • Make the dressing. Add the soaked and drained cashews to a high-powered blender or food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and blend for a few minutes, scraping down the sides as you go, until the dressing is thick and creamy. If too thick, add a spoon or two of water. Season to taste with more salt and pepper or lemon juice as needed.
  • Make the pickled onions (optional). Bring the water to a gentle boil. Place the onion slices in a large mason jar. Mix together the hot water, vinegar, maple syrup, salt, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine until the syrup is dissolved. Pour the pickling liquid over the sliced onions in the jar.
    Allow to cool to room temperature, at least 30 minutes. You can serve now, but I prefer to refrigerate them for a more developed flavor.
  • Grill the romaine. Preheat the grill (medium to medium-high) with the lid on. Season the grill as needed.
    Note: If using a grill pan, heat it to high.
  • If using whole romaine lettuce heads instead of romaine hearts, remove a few of the outer layers and save for another salad or use. Rinse and dry the lettuce. Cut each romaine heart in half, lengthwise, leaving the core intact.
  • Drizzle each side of the romaine hearts with some of the avocado oil and rub it into the nooks and crannies. Sprinkle with some kosher salt to season.
  • Place the romaine, cut-side down, on the grill. Cook for 3 to 6 minutes, turning occasionally, until the leaves are nicely charred and grill marks form.
    If the grilled lettuce seems to start sweating water, transfer it to a colander or wire rack for a minute or two to allow excess moisture to drip off.
  • Arrange grilled romaine on a platter, cut-side up. Scatter pickled onions on top and drizzle with the dressing.

Calories: 166kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 240mg | Potassium: 230mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 5012IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg

Quick and Easy Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burgers

5 from 25 votes
A wholesome but surprisingly meaty mushroom burger that's ready in less than 30 minutes! Press down on the portobello mushrooms while grilling to extract water and make these vegan "burgers" meatier!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Diet Vegan
Serving size: 2


  • 2 large portobello mushroom caps
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Simply Nature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon organic brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • A pinch or two of cayenne pepper
  • Black pepper
  • Simply Nature 100% Avocado Oil
  • 2 L’oven Fresh Golden Sesame Hamburger Buns

Burger Toppings

  • lettuce leaves sliced tomatoes, sliced red onion or pickled onions, sliced avocado, pickles
  • sliced tomatoes and red onion
  • Pickles, pickled onions, or pickled jalapeños
  • Sliced avocado

Burger Condiments

  • Simply Nature Organic Ketchup Dijon, yellow, or spicy brown
  • Mustard of choice: Dijon, yellow, or spicy brown


  • Remove the mushroom stems and brush the caps with a damp towel to remove any dirt. Place the mushrooms in a shallow baking dish.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the vinegar, oil, soy sauce, sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne. Season with a bit of salt and lots of black pepper.
  • Drizzle the marinade over the mushrooms and use your hands or a pastry brush to coat the mushrooms on both sides. Allow to marinate at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes.
  • Preheat the grill over medium-high with the lid on for at least 10 minutes to get the grates really hot. Scrub down with a heavy-duty grill brush to remove any gunk or drippings.
  • Set a small bowl with a few tablespoons of oil near the grill and oil up a wad of paper towels in the oil. Use a set of tongs to rub the preheated grill grates with the oil-soaked towels. Let the oil smoke for 40 seconds or so, then rub with oil again. Repeat twice.
  • Remove the portobello caps from the marinade, reserving excess marinade for the end. Add to the grill, cap side down, and weigh them down with a cast iron skillet (this helps expel excess moisture, making them meatier and denser).
    Grill for 4 minutes, then using oven mitts, remove the skillet. Flip the mushrooms and weigh down again, and grill for another 4 minutes, until deeply golden brown. Take the mushrooms off the grill and brush them with the reserved marinade.
    Tip: to get crosshatch grill marks, rotate the mushrooms by 45-90º after 2 minutes on each side.
  • To assemble a burger, layer your desired condiments to a bottom bun, top with a grilled mushroom, layer with desired burger toppings, and finish with the top bun.

Calories: 287kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 723mg | Potassium: 411mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 2mg

Easy Grilled Vegetable Skewers

5 from 20 votes
Rainbow veggie skewers are a classic and fun idea for vegan grilling all summer long. Choose just two or a handful of veggies, quickly marinate them, and pop them on the grill until beautifully charred.
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Diet Vegan
Serving size: 8 to 10


  • 8 to 10 cups fresh vegetables cut into bite-sized pieces (such as bell peppers, red onions, zucchini, summer squash, mushrooms, eggplant, or poblano peppers)*
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup (56 mL) Simply Nature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed with a press or finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • A pinch or two of cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and black pepper


  • If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes while you prep the vegetables and marinade; dry before using.
  • Prep your veggies. Cut peppers bite-sized squares; onions into small wedges; zucchini, squash, or eggplant into ½-inch half moons; remove stems from mushrooms and leave whole. Transfer all veggies to a shallow baking dish.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, soy sauce, mustard, maple syrup, onion powder, oregano, cayenne, and a few pinches of salt and pepper.
    Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables and toss to coat. Allow to marinate for 15 minutes to 1 hour at room temperature, or refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.
  • Preheat the grill over medium for 10 minutes with the lid on. Lightly oil the grill.
  • Thread the veggies onto stainless steel skewers or soaked wooden skewers. Reserve excess marinade.
  • Add the skewers to the hot grill and cover the grill. Grill for 3 to 5 minutes, then turn the skewers. Continue grilling and occasionally baste with reserved vinaigrette, until tender and nicely charred in spots, a total of 10 to 15 minutes.
    Brush grilled kebabs with reserved vinaigrette.


*Read the “How to grill vegetable kebabs” section for tips on which veggies to use and combine and how to chop them. 

Calories: 103kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 228mg | Potassium: 345mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 4671IU | Vitamin C: 193mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg

Cinnamon-Sugar Grilled Pineapple

5 from 20 votes
All you need are four ingredients to make this grilled summer pineapple. It's buttery, spiced, and delightfully sweet.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
18 minutes
Cuisine: American
Diet Vegan
Serving size: 4 to 6


  • 1 pound (454g) pineapple spears
  • 2 ½ tablespoons Simply Nature 100% Avocado Oil
  • 3 tablespoons organic brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • Preheat the grill over medium-high heat for 10 minutes with the lid on. Lightly oil the grill.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the avocado oil, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Using a pastry brush, brush the mixture on both sides of each pineapple spear.
  • Add the pineapple spears to the hot grill in a single layer. Cook for 2-4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and tender. If you have reserved brown sugar mixture, you can brush it on at the end.

Calories: 113kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 91mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 44IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg

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5 from 30 votes (12 ratings without comment)

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34 comments on The Complete Guide to Vegan Grilling

  1. Teresa

    5 stars
    We made the chipotle grilled tofu today and it was exceptional! The marinade was phenomenal and we agreed this will be in the regular rotation this summer. Thank you!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We’re so happy that the tofu turned out well for you, Teresa. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment and for trying out the recipe!

      I’m looking forward to trying out this recipe on my new grill this summer as well :)

  2. Stacy

    5 stars
    Nisha, thank you so much for this excellent blog post!
    You truly go above and beyond – your recipes are tried and true, and never disappoint!
    We attended a BBQ yesterday and I made your hummus and your grilled vegetable skewers. Everyone loved both the hummus and the marinade!
    This isn’t the first time I have made your recipes for a crowd, and I always get compliments, from the shepherds pie to the lentil curry Props to you and your creativity.
    Thanks for all that you do!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Aw, thank you for such a lovely review, Stacy! It makes us happy to provide all the recipes :)

  3. Meagan

    We made the grilled portobello mushrooms tonight. Another hit!!! Easy and delicious! I didn’t use the cast iron skillet to press it and it still cooked well. Thanks for this great dish! Looking forward to a summer of these!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Meagan, we’re thrilled to hear you enjoyed this recipe! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating alongside your review? Star ratings are big help to readers who are thinking of making the recipe. Thanks!

  4. Meagan

    5 stars
    The citrus-chipotle grilled tofu is phenomenal! We are already thinking of all the things we can use the marinade on! The grill prep was exceptional – the tofu did not stick at all! Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome, Meagan. Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to review!

  5. Clinton

    5 stars
    This is an awesome website with robust grilling ideas for meatless eating.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We’re so glad you’ve found value in the website, Clinton!

  6. Robin

    Cannot wait to try these. Thank you for your skill, tips and recepies.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hope you enjoy the recipes, Robin! You are very welcome!

  7. Theresa

    5 stars
    I tried the marinated tofu and the creamy cashew dip along with some mango on the grill. Everyone loved the tofu and the cashew dip, the mango kept falling through the grill though :D As a vegan beginner, your recipes are so easy and cookable! I am pretty surprised that I get all the ingredients from the markets, as I live in Germany (maybe its because you buy from Aldi a lot).

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing, Theresa!

  8. Laura

    5 stars
    Loved the citrus-chipotle grilled tofu! We ate it on a bed of greens – simply superb! A great combination of sweet and spice. Thank you!

  9. Desiree

    5 stars
    The pineapple was a hit! My friend wasn’t sure if he grabbed ripe pineapple but either way they turned out great! Grilling adds a wonderful smoky savouriness to the recipe that you couldn’t get from pan cooking alone.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      I agree, Desiree! Glad you loved the recipe :)

  10. Kit

    5 stars
    Your Citrus Chipotle Tofu recipe is fantastic. It’s a restaurant quality sauce that we’d like on so many things. We poured the extra sauce all over the grilled tofu, rice and grilled veggies and it was excellent. Thanks for another great vegan recipe!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Yummy! Thanks for the nice review :)

  11. Annie L.

    Ok, I need to share this : we are NOT tofu fans, to say the least. But your grilled tofu recipe was intriguing, so I tried it tonight (modifying the marinade with stuff I had around), and my husband and I ate 3 slices each! We are still staring at each other in disbelief. Tofu is already on next week’s grocery list, and I plan to make vegetarian burgers next time! So, hats off to you, chef!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Yay, Annie! We are so glad to provide a recipe to convert you and your husband into tofu fans! Hopefully you can try some more of our tofu recipes over here on Rainbow Plant Life soon :)

  12. Megan

    5 stars
    We made the portobello mushroom burgers for 4th of July and they were delicious! Your recipes are so flavorful. Looking forward to making more of these grilling recipes this summer!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Great, Megan! So happy the portobello burgers worked out for you and thanks for trying it :)

  13. LInda m sanicki

    5 stars
    I am in love w all ur recipes & ur presentation!!!!!😍

    Keep em coming,

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks, Linda! We sure will keep all the yummy recipes coming :)

  14. Brooke Varney

    5 stars
    Just made the grilled romaine salad to have with dinner and we LOVED it. This was super easy to make and grilling the romaine gave it an almost umami flavor. We ran out of cashews and couldn’t make the dressing so I ended up using some store bought cashew yogurt as the base and added in the other dressing ingredients except for water and oil to make a yogurt sauce and it was still delicious. Thanks for another great recipe Nisha! Can’t wait to try the others on this list.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing, Brooke! We are so happy you enjoyed the grilled romaine!

  15. Carol

    Love all your recipes but, being on a WFPB – whole food plant based diet, oil is not on the menu, so have to modify many of your recipes. Would love to have more of your delicious ideas without oil, if you are so inclined at some point.
    The reason I’m writing is to suggest that you also give a temperature for grilling, as most BBQs have a thermometer. I have a Napoleon and, if I preheated it on high for 10 minutes, it would be up around 700F. I know this because I did it when it was new and I wasn’t used to how quickly it heated up! Very scary!!
    Absolutely LOVE your site and your delicious recipes. Making your red lentil curry today, for the umpteenth time, even though it’s the end of June!

    1. MaryEllen

      I agree with carol. I am so appreciative of all your wonderful content but have to modify most recipes to eliminate oil. Thank you for sharing

    2. Amy Quinn

      Agree. I don’t cook with oil and I modify. Such good recipes on this site.

    3. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Carol, we aren’t sure what kind of grill you have, but Nisha has a standard gas grill and there’s no way she can omit oil. Otherwise, everything sticks to the grates and becomes pretty inedible. If, on the other hand, you’ve got a nonstick grill pan, you can probably just use some cooking spray. Hope that helped!

  16. Rod

    5 stars
    fyi, the flat skewers, are available in either wood or stainless steel, or two pronged stainless steel, are preferred as food will not spin around on them.

  17. Brian

    Hi Nisha.
    I just read through this rapidly. Looks delicious and I will go back through the suggested recipes more slowly and try them out later (very rainy here today). But it occurred to me in reading through that there is an additional way of grilling veggies. We have one of those metal baskets with holes in them that we use on the bbq; ours is square, but I think you can buy round ones as well—like a holey wok. They’re great for chopped up vegetables (e.g. asparagus, red onions, zucchini, etc).

    Anyway, thanks very much for this guide.

    Regards, Brian.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Interesting, Brian! Thanks for the tip :)

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