8 Fruits and Vegetables for the Grill

Go beyond corn and peaches

Mark Bittman
Published in
4 min readJun 22, 2020


Photo: Fabio Bianchini/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Now is the time to expand the fruits and vegetables you toss on the flame.

Grilling is one of the best ways to cook fruit. Grilled or broiled fruit is great with a green salad, any cooked grain, and a variety of cheeses from fresh cheese, to a soft cheese like Brie, to hard one like Parmesan. Sweet grilled fruit can be served with ice cream, sorbet, granita, rice pudding, or custard, or next to cake and other drier desserts. Pair it with cream cheese or mascarpone to make a grilled fruit pizza.

Any citrus

Do not peel; cut in half along equator. Grill over a moderate fire, cut side up, until heated through, 5–10 minutes. Turn cut side down and brown 1–2 minutes; don’t leave too long or the juices will evaporate.

Banana or plantain

Use yellow bananas or ones with just a touch of green; use yellow plantains with a touch of black. Do not peel; cut off ends, slice in half lengthwise; brush cut side with oil or melted butter. Grill over a moderate fire, peel side down, until the peel starts to pull away from the flesh, 5–8 minutes. Turn cut side down and grill until browned, about 2 minutes.


Leave whole or cut in half; brush with oil or melted butter. Grill over a moderate fire until soft, turning once, 5–10 minutes total.


Peel, seed, and cut into wedges or 1½-inch cubes; skewer cubes; brush with oil. Grill Over a moderate fire, turning occasionally, until browned in spots, 3–5 minutes per side.

When you expose the surface of vegetables to intense heat, the outside will cook much faster than the insides. Ideally when grilling you get both browning — or charring — and tenderness, with the added bonus of a bit of smoky flavor. (Broiling, really, is nothing more than upside-down grilling.) This is the ultimate crisp-tender cooking method, ideal for “meaty” large pieces of sturdier vegetables.

Eggplant, onions, mushrooms, squash, corn on the cob, and potatoes are the most obvious candidates to grill or boil, though tomatoes, green beans, and asparagus work great, too. You can thread small pieces on skewers or use…



Mark Bittman

Has published 30 books, including How to Cook Everything and VB6: The Case for Part-Time Veganism. Newsletter at markbittman.com.