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.
If you are new to gluten free living, you can check out all of my guide to gluten free living for easy tips and tricks to help you navigate gluten free cooking, baking, and dining out in restaurants.
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 in his menu planning, he often overlooks the healthiest part of a meal; 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 of your vegetables to the bottom of the grill! 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 allows you to 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!
Why do we marinade vegetables?
Most vegetables cook evenly and are less likely to stick if marinated first. A marinade is made of three main components:
- an oil
- an acid
- a seasoning blend
Marinating vegetables gives added flavors to vegetables.
What oil is best for a vegetable marinade?
*Note, if you will be cooking the veggies over high heat, you will want to use coconut oil or avocado oil. A small amount of oil is necessary to prevent the vegetables from sticking to the grill.
Building the perfect gluten free vegetable marinade:
The marinade must also contain an acidic component such as lemon or lime juice, or a vinegar. You can also use an enzymatic flavor blend made from foods such as pineapple or papaya juice. Depending on individual preferences (hello picky kids!), you can use spices and herbs are mixed with these to flavor your vegetables.
Since there are so many possible combinations, every dish can boast its own marinade.
Do different vegetables marinate differently on the grill?
A marinade will naturally draw the water from vegetables. Therefore, those veggies with less natural water seem to work particularly well when the veggies 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.
*TIP: Vegetables with high water content, such as tomatoes and zucchini, need to marinate separately or be added shortly before use to prevent a dilution of the marinade.
Is it better to use fresh or dried herbs in a marinade?
I would say it really depends on a few factors. The time of year, what fresh herbs you have on-hand, etc. Dried herbs have more concentrated flavors where fresh herbs you need in larger quantities for the flavor.
Delicious main dish grilled recipes to serve with marinated vegetables:
- Grilled Pork Chops with Olallieberry Sauce
- Easy Grilled Coho Salmon
- Grilled Pork Tenderloin
- Simple Grilled Steak with Basil Garlic Sauce
For a savory, sweeter blend of spices, mix these together and let the vegetables soak one hour to overnight. Note, you can store this marinade in the refrigerator for a week.
(Here are all of the marinade ingredients ready to whisk and add to vegetables!)
Easy Vegetable 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
- Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk to blend.
- Place your vegetables in a ziplock bag and pour the marinade over the vegetables.
- Allow to marinate for at least one hour.
- hearts of palm or artichoke
- carrot slices
- whole, small tomatoes
Here are a few more homemade marinades for vegetables that you may want to try:
Spicy Citrus Marinade
- 1/2 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.