14 Foods You Didn't Know You Could Grill

Thanks to the Maillard reaction, food transforms on the grill into toasty, caramelized perfection. Though if you've been limiting yourself to the classic grilled recipes like burgers and dogs, you're missing out. From sweet confections, cheese, and crispy vegetables, this list of little-known foods you can grill will fire up your imagination.

  • 01 of 15

    Pineapple

    Grilled Pineapple

     

    simarik/Getty Images

    Cookouts in the summer coincide perfectly with a sweet treat like grilled pineapple. This recipe is simple and flavorful, making it easy to scale if you’re hosting a big party. Pair it with shaved coconut or a scoop of cinnamon ice cream if you’re looking to spruce it up.

  • 02 of 15

    Potato Chips

    Grilled Potato Chips
    Grilled Potato Chips. Lisa Marie Thompson/Getty Images

    Potatoes are such a wonderfully versatile food and this recipe for grilled potato chips gives them a toasty twist. Just be sure to slice them to the right thickness, as there’s a fine line between grilled potatoes and grilled potato chips. For dips, aioli is a faithful standby but you can also try on a tangy remoulade for size.

  • 03 of 15

    Mussels

    Grilled Mussels

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

    Mussels are a fun dish to make because as they cook, their delicate shells open up, telling you it’s time to pull them off the heat. You can place them directly on the grates like this recipe for grilled mussels calls for or cook them in a broth using indirect heat.

  • 04 of 15

    Cabbage

    grilled cabbage
    Grilled Cabbage. Photo © Molly Watson

    That’s right, grilled cabbage. It takes on a surprisingly enticing aroma and the charred edges deepen its flavor. Though of course, a plate of cabbage isn’t complete on its own. Make it a cup for Chinese chicken salad or serve it as a part of a vegetable medley spread with dipping sauces.

    Continue to 5 of 15 below.
  • 05 of 15

    Yaki Mochi

    Yaki Mochi (Grilled Japanese Rice Cake)

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made from glutinous rice and in short, it’s delicious. This grilled yaki mochi includes both a sweet red bean paste and a sweetened soy sauce for dipping, but mochi recipes come in many colors, flavors, and presentations

  • 06 of 15

    Okra

    Grilled Okra

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

    Due to its unctuous quality, okra is a love or hate vegetable for many, but grilled
    okra
    is another story. That’s because it becomes gooey when cooked low and slow but stays intact when cooked at high temperatures. Okra is also naturally bite-sized, so it’s perfect as an appetizer served with aioli.

  • 07 of 15

    Halloumi Cheese

    Grilled Halloumi with Aubergine,Pepper,Garlic and Rocket salad
    vanillaechoes / Getty Images

    If you don’t know Halloumi, it’s the perfect time to get acquainted. That’s because it’s a wonderful cheese for grilling since its mild taste and thick texture make it a great candidate for grilling. It’s traditionally served with a slice of watermelon but it also combines well with tomato or other fresh toppings.

  • 08 of 15

    Watermelon

    Grilled watermelon

    If you’ve ever tried watermelon and feta salad, you know that this fruit is surprisingly versatile. This quick recipe for grilled watermelon can be enjoyed as is, with a drizzle of honey, or with more complex pairings like pickled onions and goat cheese.

    Continue to 9 of 15 below.
  • 09 of 15

    Acorn Squash

    Sweet Grilled Acorn Squash

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

    Cooking on the grill can be done directly, right on the grills, or indirectly, in an appropriate pot or pan. This grilled acorn squash uses the latter method, where it turns both tender and crisp. Using acorn squash means you can eat the skin too, but there are many squash varieties you can substitute which would cook up just as tasty.

  • 10 of 15

    Cauliflower Steaks

    Grilled Cauliflower Steaks with Fresh Herb Sauce

    Laurel Randolph / The Spruce Eats

    Grilled cauliflower steaks are a great way to have fun with vegetarian and vegan cooking. This recipe uses a combination of warming spices and cooling herbs like mint to come together as a delicious entrée. That said, ladling a chimichurri or rubbing them down with zaatar and ghee would also be delicious variations. 

  • 11 of 15

    Fig and Arugula Pizza

    Grilled Fig and Arugula Pizza
    Grilled Fig and Arugula Pizza. Thecrimsonmonkey/Gettyimages

    Grilled fig and arugula pizza is delicious, sophisticated, and simple to make. Just ensure you use pizza dough or another high gluten dough that can withstand the heat of the grill. For a fully Mediterranean spread, pair it with red or white wine and whip up a dessert of Marcona almonds drizzled in honey.

  • 12 of 15

    Caesar Salad

    Grilled Caesar Salad

    The Spruce / Anita Schecter 

    You’ll want to serve this grilled Caesar salad fresh, since the crispy leaves may start to wilt rather quickly after they’ve been exposed to the heat. If you’re wondering about creative ways to present this recipe, try topping the salad with parmesan crisps and a grilled lemon wedge.

    Continue to 13 of 15 below.
  • 13 of 15

    Apple Pie

    Grilled apple pie
    George Wesley & Bonita Dannells/Flickr

    With this grilled apple pie recipe, you can readily go from entrée to dessert. You can use a cookie sheet to cook the pie over indirect heat or use a cast iron skillet, which allows you to take it from grill to table in one fell swoop. That said, if you go for this option, you’ll want to remove your pie from the grill a bit early since cast iron retains heat for long periods of time. 

  • 14 of 15

    Beets

    Grilled Beets

    The Spruce 

    Beets have an earthy, sweet flavor that can be dressed in a number of delicious ways. These grilled beets are sliced thin and can be piled high for a beautiful, simple presentation. Crumble goat cheese and candied pecans over top for an aromatic appetizer or place them into a green salad for a subtle touch of color and flavor

  • 15 of 15

    Polenta

    Grilled polenta triangles cooking on a ridged grill pan
    Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images

    Polenta is Italy’s answer to grits and can be served creamy or thickened and sliced into cakes. This grilled polenta is a variation on the latter, and once toasted and ready, can be accompanied by mushroom gravy or ricotta cheese.