Grilling is our family’s all-time favorite way to cook meats and vegetables. Creating homemade marinades for vegetables adds a whole new flavor profile to the vegetables, and often, I can get my kids to eat veggies if they are grilled. I am sharing four easy gluten free vegetable marinades that our family loves.

Vegetables on skewers cooking on a grill.

When the weather starts to warm up in the spring, Mr. Fearless Dining starts to clean and prep our grill. Mr. Fearless Dining associates the mouthwatering aromas of searing meat with summer. I hate to say it, but he often overlooks the healthiest part of a meal in his menu planning: the veggies!

Flame-kissed with a hint of smoky flavor, grilled vegetables can become the best part of the grilling experience. I think it is time to convince Mr. Fearless Dining to try grilling vegetables with these delicious gluten free vegetable marinades!

These gluten free vegetable marinades will make your grilled vegetables spectacular!

Tools You Need to Grill Vegetables:

Grilling vegetables is definitely a science. If you get the wrong tools,  you can lose many vegetables to the grill’s bottom! Tools we like to use for veggies include:

  • Grill basket – This safely holds your vegetables so they get cooked nicely by the flames, but the holes are small so the food won’t fall out.
  • This grill basket with a handle lets you flip it over so vegetables cook on both sides. This is great for asparagus and zucchini!
  • Grill tools –  This set includes tongs, a spatula, skewers, and many other handy grilling items.
  • Basting brushes – Basting brushes are a great way to layer on flavor as your vegetables are cooking!
Vegetables in a grill basket cooking on the grill.

What is better, a grill basket or skewers for grilling vegetables?

A grill basket and skewers serve different purposes in grilling. A grill basket is nice because it protects the vegetables from getting burned. You can also dump the vegetables into the grill basket and stir them easily so they cook uniformly.

Skewers are good because they cook flavors into each other. Onion slices can help add flavor to the vegetables they are next to on the skewer. Skewers are also easier to serve. If you use skewers, make sure to soak the wooden skewers in water for 15-30 minutes so they don’t burn!

Why do you marinate vegetables?

Marinating vegetables is like making magic happen! Marinating allows the flavor to penetrate through the vegetables, adding flavor and softening the texture.

Most vegetables cook evenly and are less likely to stick to the grill if they are marinated first. A basic marinade is made of three main components:

  • an oil
  • an acid
  • a seasoning blend
Pouring olive oil into a glass bowl.

What oil is best for a vegetable marinade?

Although any oil can be used as a marinade base, high-quality olive oil, canola oil, or avocado oil is better from a health standpoint.

Note: if you cook the veggies over high heat, you will want to use coconut oil or avocado oil. Olive oil is best at medium to low cooking temperatures. A small amount of oil is necessary to prevent the vegetables from sticking to the grill.

How to build the perfect gluten free vegetable marinade:

The marinade must contain an acidic component such as lemon, lime juice, or vinegar. You can also use an “enzymatic-based” flavor blend made from foods such as pineapple or papaya juice. Depending on individual preferences (hello, picky kids!), you can use spices and herbs mixed with these to flavor your vegetables.

Since there are many possible combinations, every dish can boast its own marinade.

Do different vegetables marinate differently on the grill?

A marinade slowly draws some of the water away from vegetables. Therefore, veggies with less natural water seem to work particularly well when they are going to soak for a longer length of time.

For example, artichokes, asparagus, zucchini, onions, peppers, mushrooms, and cauliflower can be marinated for a lot longer than vegetables with higher water content, like tomatoes.

๐Ÿ”‘ Sandi says: Vegetables with high water content, such as tomatoes and zucchini, need to be marinated separately or added shortly before use to prevent the marinade from diluting.

a close up of fresh cilantro

Is it better to use fresh or dried herbs in a marinade?

I would say whether you use fresh or dried herbs really depends on a few factors. The time of year, what fresh herbs you have on hand, etc. Dried herbs have more concentrated flavors, whereas fresh herbs need in larger quantities for the flavor.

Here are three more delicious marinade recipes to try. I can’t wait to hear which you like best!

Dijon Marinade:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper to taste

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Pour into a sealable bag and add your vegetables. Seal the bag and shake it to coat the vegetables.

Suggested vegetables for this marinade are:

  • hearts of palm or artichoke
  • carrot slices
  • zucchini
  • whole, small tomatoes

Asian Marinade:

  • 1/4 c. soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger (or 1/4 teaspoon dried ground)
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 scallions, minced

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Pour into a sealable bag and add your vegetables. Seal the bag and shake to coat the vegetables.

Suggested vegetables for this Asian marinade include:

  • mushrooms
  • zucchini
  • bok choy
  • broccoli
vegetables coated in pesto on skewers cooking on the grill

Pesto Marinade:

If you love fresh garlic and basil flavors, why not use that homemade or store-bought pesto as a marinade? If you are nut-free, try my nut-free pesto recipe. You can also puree fresh basil leaves, olive oil, and garlic cloves into a basil garlic sauce to marinate with.

Mix these together for a savory, sweeter blend of spices, and let the vegetables soak for one hour or even overnight. Note you can store this marinade in the refrigerator for a week.

Meals to Serve With Grilled Vegetables:

Love This Recipe?

If you made and enjoyed this recipe, I would be incredibly grateful if you could leave a comment below. This will help others know this recipe is delicious. Thank you!

Vegetables on skewers cooking on a grill.

Spicy Citrus Marinade

Sandi Gaertner
A delicious spicy citrus marinade for vegetables
5 from 2 votes
dairy free allergen icon
an egg free allergen icon
gluten free allergy icon
nut free allergen icon
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Gluten Free Sauces and Marinades
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 26 kcal


  • ยฝ teaspoon hot Chile pepper minced
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds ground


  • Add all ingredients into a bowl and whisk to blend.
  • Pour the marinade into a Ziplock bag.
  • Add the vegetables and seal the bag.
  • Shake to coat the vegetables.
  • Marinate 15-60 minutes.


  1. This marinade is great for zucchini, carrots, cauliflower, and artichokes.
  2. The marinade can be made ahead and it will keep fresh for up to 4 days in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.


Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn’t test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.


Serving: 1gCalories: 26kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 68mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 72IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 5mgIron: 1mg
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Nutrition Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.

5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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  1. Great ways to add different flavors to vegetables! I love the basic recipe and the variations sound wonderful too!