5 Grilled Meatless Masterpieces For Summer Munching

by Molly Hembree, MS, RD, LD

Last Updated: August 13, 2020

While this summer looks a little different than previous, it’s time to take advantage of summer flavors and socially distant activities. Now is the perfect time to get outdoors and fire up the grill for some delicately blackened fare to properly indulge in all that summer has to offer.

Grilling typically makes us think of meat, but there are countless other ways to enjoy the flavors that charcoal, electric, wood or gas grills impart on summertime favorites. Check out 5 other meatless foods that deserve a spot on the grill.
  1. DIY Burgers
    There are plenty of meatless burger options that deliver on savory and satisfying. Most non-meat burger patties are also low in saturated fat. Be careful when layering on the cheese and try picking low-fat cheese or a non dairy cheese option, or steering clear of cheese altogether. Try throwing together your own burger by making the bulk of the patty with something like pureed or pressed black beans, tofu, or meat substitute. Use a “flax egg” (one tablespoon ground flaxseed with two and a half tablespoons water) and breadcrumbs to keep the mix from getting too sticky. Some of our favorite homemade burger patties are this 5-Ingredient Vegan Quinoa-Black Bean Burger or Sweet Potato and Quinoa Veggie Burger cooked on the grill. If you really want to save time, here’s a shortcut recipe for burgers with mango chutney and cucumber using Simple Truth Emerge Plant-Based Patties.
  2. Corn on the Cob
    Nothing feels more like summer than a good grilled corn on the cob. They are a sought-after fun food at fairs and carnivals and appear in so many Instagram-worthy summer food posts. What’s better than peeling back the husk to unveil the warm steamy cob and that buttery smell? Try kicking it up a notch with some bold takes like Spicy Mexican Corn on the Cob or Ranch Seasoned Corn on the Cob.
  3. Shish Kabobs
    Shish kabobs are the perfect way to arrange all of your favorite vegetables for even grilling and to increase overall fiber intake. The best part about kabobs is the easy clean up! Take several bamboo skewers and add alternating vegetables like eggplant, baby portabella mushroom, zucchini, bell pepper, and onion to make a row of vegetables that can be put right on the grill. You can marinade these vegetables ahead of time in a simple low calorie dressing like Walden Farms Italian Dressing.
  4. Banana Split
    The grill is not just limited to main courses! Try making dessert as a group activity, by having each member of the family grab their own banana and a piece of aluminum foil big enough to cover it. Slice the banana once lengthwise and gently smash while on the foil. Try stuffing the “banana split” with sprinkles, marshmallows, chocolate chips, maraschino cherries, graham cracker pieces, and/or peanuts. Close the foil around the stuffed banana and place on the grill for 5 minutes.
  5. Pineapple
    This tropical fruit does something magical (besides providing a hefty 20% daily value vitamin C per serving) on the grill. Use a grill grate to caramelize the pineapple right on the grill lines. This gives a great sweetness and subtle smokiness and a beautiful grilled aesthetic. Try using canned sliced pineapple rings to create the perfect addition to a Hawaiian-style rice, added atop a burger, or mixed into a salsa with tomato, jalapeno, onion, cilantro.

This summer, as we are all adjusting to this “new” normal, try out some new meatless options for the grill!

Disclaimer: This information is educational only and not providing healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.


Molly Hembree, MS, RD, LD

Molly Hembree, MS, RD, LD

Molly can help you simplify eating, all while building excitement around good food and freeing up time for all the things that really matter in your life. With a knack for food labeling and regulations, weight management, food intolerances, and plant-based eating, Molly is ready to help you make sense of food again. When not on the clock, Molly can be found hip-hop dancing, cuddling up with her two mischievous cats, playing trombone, or honing in on her food photography skills.