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Anyone who likes to cook outside on the grill will tell you that one of the best things about it is that char-grilled taste you end up with. There’s nothing quite like it. And with summertime here, you are probably spending more time backyard cooking. But, meats are not the only options you have when it comes to deciding exactly what you are going to be grilling. 

With more grilling happening and more and more people looking to eat a little healthier these days, you may be searching for how to grill healthy options as well. So, if you are looking for new, fun, and/or unusual foods to grill that you can add to the rotation, there are actually quite a few foods that you may not know could easily be grilled to perfection. 

In this article, we’ve put together just a sample of delicious and healthy foods you didn't know you can grill today:


Romaine Lettuce

Who doesn’t love a good salad during the summer? For a twist on your traditional salad to serve before the meal or even as a quick meal by itself, grilling romaine lettuce makes for an awesome light and crunchy option.

Just cut a head of romaine lettuce lengthwise in half and brush it with olive oil. Place it face down on your grill and cook it over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Drizzle it with your favorite dressing and top it with shredded parmesan cheese, chopped bacon, and tomatoes or you can even chop it and mix it with other grilled fruits (see below) or veggies of choice.

Cabbage and endive both also do well on the grill if you want to have a couple of other leaf vegetables to add to the romaine for a great salad.


how to grill healthy | healthy foods you can grill | grilled romaine
Source: Simply Recipes



It’s hard to just mention one particular fruit when there are so many that hold up well on the grill and end up with a deliciously sweet and smoky flavor. Watermelon, pineapple, peach, mango, bananas, pear, and grapefruit are just a few examples of fruits that can be grilled.

Depending on the fruit (like pineapple or peach), you can either slice them into 1-inch thick round slices, slice them in half, or skewer them. You can even cut a variety of fruits into chunks and do a fruit kebab.  

Make sure to lightly brush the surface of the fruit that will be touching the grates with oil. Then grill over medium-high heat to midway between crisp and tender. It won’t take long!

Bonus tip: Try grilling mango seasoned with Tajin for a delicious sweet and spicy treat.



You may have had artichokes steamed, which are delicious, but grilling them adds a delicious smoky dimension to the flavor profile. If you want extra-tender results go for baby artichokes if you can find them.

Start by halving the artichokes and scooping out the prickly choke. Then just brush them lightly with extra-virgin olive oil season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Grill them over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until they’re lightly charred and tender.



For a more “unusual” option of healthy foods you didn't know you can grill, if you like fried calamari, you have to try it grilled. The best place to get fresh (or recently frozen) squid is at your local seafood market. You may be able to find it in the seafood department at your grocery store as well. Make sure the squid has been cleaned before you bring it home. 

Cut the tubes (body) of the squid into half-inch rings and leave the tentacles whole and toss everything in olive oil. Then slide the pieces onto skewers and cook on the hottest part of the grill, turning once or twice, until just cooked through for a tender and delicious result. They will usually only take 2 to 4 minutes to cook.


unusual foods to grill | healthy foods you can grill | grilled calamari
Source: Foreman Grill Recipes



If you are looking for a quick and easy healthy snack you can grill and serve before a meal you should try olives. Grilling olives enhances their natural flavors, making them even more delicious. Look for jarred “Colossal” or “Queen Sized” pitted olives, like Sicilian or Spanish olives for example. You can even do stuffed olives as well.

Make sure to lightly coat them with oil before they go on the grill and you can season simply with black pepper and sea salt. Then grill them on a skewer over medium-high heat only until heated through and showing grill marks.



Avocado is much more than just a guacamole ingredient. It actually does really well on the grill and can make for a great, healthy appetizer. The best avocados for the grill are going to be newly ripe ones that are not super soft. 

Slice the avocados in half lengthwise and remove the pit. Then brush the halves lightly with olive oil, season with salt and even paprika or chili powder, and grill over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes. They are delicious on their own or topped with fresh pico de gallo.


Sweet Potato (Wedges)

Grilled sweet potato wedges make for a tasty and easy side to go with any meal or even as an appetizer. You may never go back to oven-cooked or fried once you try them grilled. 

Just cut a sweet potato into wedges and grill them over medium-high heat until you see grill marks. You can even try them with yogurt and/or honey for a sweet yet healthier side. 

foods you didn't know you can grill | healthy foods you can grill | grilled sweet potato
Source: Good Life Eats


Angel Food Cake

You are probably wondering why we put cake on a list of healthy options. But, if you are looking for a fun and different option for a delicious dessert on the grill, angel food cake is much lower in calories and sugar compared to other options. 

Plus, you probably didn’t know that grilling this classic summer favorite can add delicious complexity to the flavor profile. Just slice it into 1 to 1 ½ inch slices and toast it to a light golden brown until on each side.


Mix Up Your Grilled Food Selection With Healthy Options Today

So as you can see, there are quite a few options when it comes to healthy foods you can grill that you may not have known, from snacks to desserts and everything in between. You can enjoy that delicious grilled taste on much more than just cuts of meat. Of course, many of the healthier options will be vegetables and fruits. 

(Check out our article on tips for grilling vegetables and fruits to ensure you end up with the best result.)

Like with any time you are going to be grilling, just make sure you are prepared before you start and have everything you need on hand. Doing so will ensure you end up with a delicious final result no matter what you are cooking.

Have you recently grilled any of the items we covered above? Do you know of other options in usual foods to grill that we didn’t cover? Let us know below in the comment section. We want to hear from you!


To up your backyard cooking game and learn step-by-step from the pros how to cook a variety of delicious things, check out our Championship Backyard Cooking Classes here at BBQ Champs Academy today!

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*Feature image from Traeger Grills

When it comes to grilling, those grill grates are not just reserved for meat and seafood. Grilled vegetables and grilled fruit can make great sides to go along with the meat you’re cooking up and enhance the flavors of your main dish.

But, cooking these things on the grill does take some special preparation and care to ensure they don’t end up unevenly cooked or charred to a crisp. 

If you are searching for “how to grill vegetables” or “how to grill fruit”, look no further. We went straight to the pros for answers and we’ve got everything you need to know. In this article, we’ll break down some insider tips on how to achieve deliciously grilled vegetables and fruit. Let’s take a look:


#1 - Grill Produce That Is Not Too Ripe & Is In Season Locally

In general, vegetables and fruit that are firmer and not overripe are going to hold up better on the grill and still get some great caramelization. The heat caramelizes sugars in fruit and vegetable and weakens the structure, so items that are delicate or very ripe will fall apart quickly.

When selecting your vegetables and fruit to grill, opt for what is currently in season locally versus items shipped in from a long way away. Local produce will be fresher and riper which means it will taste better and be easier to grill.


#2 - Make Even Cuts


how to grill vegetables | grilled vegetables | how to cut vegetables for grillingSource: Metemgee


When preparing your vegetables and fruit, make sure to cut the items as evenly as you can. It will make it much harder to grill things evenly if you have pieces of varying shapes, sizes, and thicknesses. For items you’re cutting, a 1/2-inch thickness at minimum works best for most types of vegetables and fruits.


#3 - The More Surface Area The Better

Make sure to cut each vegetable or fruit so that you get the biggest area possible to put in direct contact with the grill grates. The more direct contact there is, the better flavors you’ll get because there is more surface area that will be caramelized. Keep in mind, most fruits are fairly fragile so the larger you can cut the pieces the better they’ll hold up on the grill.

When cutting produce into multiple pieces, strips and rounds will always cook better and more evenly than in chunks.


#4 - Use Grill Baskets For Small Vegetables & Fruits


grill basket | how to grill vegetables | grilled vegetablesSource: Daily Herald


Grill baskets are an essential accessory and should be your best friend when trying to cooking small vegetables and fruits on the grill. Some items, like cherry tomatoes or berries, are great on the grill but could easily fall between the grill grates. Grill baskets will allow you to still cook these items easily and get some great smoke flavor and caramelization.


#5 - Pair Similar Items Together

A great grilled vegetable and fruit item is kebabs. When doing grilled kebabs, things will go much smoother if you pair similar items together. Grill softer vegetables, like tomatoes and mushrooms, together on the same skewers and firmer vegetables, like onions and peppers on the same skewers. Likewise, keep fruits together on the same skewers. Keeping similar items together will make it much easier to cook everything evenly.

Of course, you can do vegetables and fruits mixed on the same skewer, but be prepared to watch these closer and shift them away from the direct heat more frequently. 


#6- Always Opt For The Good Oil


grilling with olive oil | how to grill vegetables | grilled vegetablesSource: California Olive Ranch


Vegetables and fruit need oil to help prevent them from sticking to the grates and burning. When you’re ready to oil the pieces to go on the grill, opt for good oil will not only help them cook easier but can also enhance the flavor. Extra virgin olive oil will improve the flavor of virtually any vegetable you want to grill. For fruits, a neutral oil that holds up to high heat, like saffron oil, will work best and not compete with the fruit’s flavor.

Brush just enough oil on the items to coat each side thoroughly but not so much that the oil is dripping off. If that is the case, you can quickly end up with a grill flare-up.

The other advantage of using oil when grilling vegetables and fruit is that the oil will also help any spices and seasonings stick better. After you apply the oil, season the vegetables or fruit generously with your desired seasonings. (Insider tip: grilled mango with Tajin seasoning is outstanding!)


#7 - Keep An Eye On The Grill

When it comes to how to grill vegetables and fruit successfully, one of the most important things to remember is to not leave the grill for too long. As the items caramelize, they can go from seared perfectly to burnt very quickly if you’re not careful.

To prevent this from happening, grill your vegetables and fruit over indirect, medium-high heat. Also, make sure to turn them often and move them to cooler parts of the grill as needed. To achieve some great seared grill marks, place the pieces over the direct heat side of the grill for just a few minutes without moving them. (This is where a two-zone grill setup comes in handy) But, also keep an eye on the grill and check the items every couple of minutes.


#8 - Cook By Firmness & Not Time


how to grill fruit | grilled fruit | grilled pineappleSource: BakeSpace


Firmer and larger vegetables and fruit, for example, onions, fennel, pineapple, and melon, will take longer to grill. But, each type of produce will be different in how long it should be grilled. That is why it is so important to cook to the desired firmness versus strictly following a set cooking time.

It is usually good to cook firm vegetables and fruit to midway between crisp and tender. Of course, if you want them to be more tender you can grill the pieces for a few minutes longer. But it is very important to watch them to prevent them from starting to burn.

When cooking the larger, firmer pieces, you can close the grill lid for a few minutes at a time to help them cook. Just make sure to check for doneness every 5 minutes or so.


Master How To Grill Vegetables & Fruit To Help Finish Off Your BBQ Meal

As you can see, by following the tips above, you can cook some great grilled vegetables and fruit to help add some color and round out your meal. When it comes to how to grill vegetables and fruit, it’s all about preparation, timing, and keeping an eye on your grill. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try different types today!

Do you have a favorite fruit or vegetable to grill? Let us know! We want to hear all about it.

Want more insider info? Learn how to master your grill, as well as competition BBQ secrets, straight from the pros in the online grilling classes here at BBQ Champs Academy. Champion Grillmasters will show you, step-by-step, how to elevate your outdoor cooking game like never before. 

Check out the All-Access pass now for the full inside look with our Grillmasters and Pitmasters!

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