Grilled Artichokes Recipe

Grilled Artichokes on a platter with lemon wedges

The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 50 mins
Total: 70 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 3 to 4 artichokes
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
226 Calories
11g Fat
36g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 226
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 234mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 12g 44%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 116mg 580%
Calcium 76mg 6%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 668mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Grilling is one of the very finest ways to cook artichokes. The tender hearts and leaves pick up a smokiness on the grill that perfectly complements the artichoke's nutty flavor.

Grilled artichokes are a fantastic addition to spring cookouts since that's the best time of year to find the freshest artichokes at most markets in the U.S. But you might be lucky enough to find fresh artichokes during the summer and fall as well—if you do, grab them for grilling. You won't regret it.

Tips for Prepping and Grilling Artichokes Like a Pro

  • Start with quality artichokes: Select the freshest artichokes you can find. Look for tight heads and stems that are not dried out.
  • Wash and trim the artichokes: Before grilling, wash and trim the artichokes, removing the base, crown, and their prickly leaf tips so nobody gets stabbed eating them.
  • Keep them from browning: As you trim, rub the cut areas with a lemon wedge to keep the artichokes from browning.
  • Steam the artichokes: After trimming, you need to steam the artichokes because they're grilled for such a short time. Starting by steaming before briefly grilling the artichokes keeps them from drying out and burning on the grill.
  • Halve the artichokes: After steaming, slice each artichoke in half to expose the leaves and hearts.
  • Remove the hairy choke: You'll also want to scoop out the inedible choke (the furry, prickly part near the heart).
  • Season the artichokes: Keep things simple and let the artichokes' nutty flavor shine through by seasoning them lightly with oil, salt, and pepper, garlic, and paprika. Our recipe calls for a garlic-infused oil, but you can also use unflavored oil and simply add some garlic powder to the mix or use garlic salt in place of the regular salt.
  • Grill over high heat: Grilling over direct heat ensures that the artichokes get the most smoke flavor and become perfectly tender. But keep them away from the flames so you don't burn the tender inner leaves.
  • How to Make Ahead: You can steam artichokes a day before grilling. Let them cool, then cover and refrigerate. Bring them to room temperature while preheating the grill.

How to Eat Grilled Artichokes

Eating artichokes is a bit of an adventure, and they're enjoyable either warm or cold. The leaves have a soft, edible flesh at the base; dip this in sauce and scrape it off with your teeth (discard the rest). Beneath the cavity where you removed the choke is the heart, and that's the best part. You can also use a knife to cut out the tender middle of the stem to eat.

What to Serve with Grilled Artichokes

Artichokes are an outstanding accompaniment for grilled lamb, chicken, fish, or seafood. A vegetarian meal can also include grilled avocados, eggplants, or potatoes with a bold main like tandoori paneer tikka kebabs.

And, if you can't resist dipping artichoke leaves in sauce, try honey mustard, aioli, melted garlic butter, store-bought or homemade mayo, or rémoulade. Use any leftover hearts to make a smoky artichoke dip.

"I love artichokes so much that I buy them any time I see them. Usually, I steam them, so when I tested this recipe, I was very curious to see how they'd taste steamed and then grilled. One word: Delicious." —Diana Andrews

Grilled Artichokes/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 large fresh artichokes

  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons garlic-infused olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika, optional

  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, optional

Steps to Make It

Trim the Artichokes

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Use a sturdy medium or large knife to cut off the stem close to the base of the artichoke.

    Trimming a Fresh Artichoke

    The Spruce Eats / Preethi Venkatram

  3. Use kitchen scissors to cut off the thorny tops of each leaf.

    De-Thorning an Artichoke

    The Spruce Eats / Preethi Venkatram

  4. Use a knife to cut off the top (crown) of the artichoke.

    Cutting Crown of Artichoke

    The Spruce Eats / Preethi Venkatram

  5. Pull off and discard the small, tough, dark green, outer leaves. As you work, rub the cut side of a lemon wedge on each cut area of the artichoke to keep it from browning.

    Pulling Leaves From an Artichoke

    The Spruce Eats / Preethi Venkatram

Steam the Artichokes

  1. Bring about 1/2 inch of water to a boil in a pan deep and wide enough to hold the artichoke standing up in a single layer.

    pot with water

    The Spruce Eats / Preethi Venkatram

  2. Add a teaspoon of salt (the artichoke will just be sitting in the water, not submerged).

    water in a pot, teaspoon with salt

    The Spruce Eats / Preethi Venkatram

  3. Set the prepared, trimmed artichokes in the salted boiling water, cover the pan, reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer, and cook for 20 minutes.

    artichokes in a pot with water

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

  4. After 20 minutes, check for doneness by pulling a leaf from close to the center of the thistle. If the leaf comes out easily, the artichokes are done; if there is resistance, continue cooking, checking for doneness every 5 minutes. Depending on artichoke size, this can take up to a total of 40 minutes. When they are tender, drain the artichokes.

    steamed artichokes in a pot

    The Spruce Eats / Preethi Venkatram

Grill the Artichokes

  1. Clean the grill grates. Prepare a medium (350 F to 375 F) gas or charcoal grill fire, or heat until you can hold a hand over the heat for 4 seconds.

  2. Pat the artichokes dry and cut them in half lengthwise.

  3. Use a spoon or melon baller to scoop out the fuzzy inedible choke, being sure not to remove the heart.

  4. Place the steamed artichoke halves cut side up on a tray or sheet pan. Brush with the garlic olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and paprika, if using.

    Artichokes with olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika on a baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  5. Place the artichokes cut side down onto the hot grill. Cover and grill until there are grill marks on the artichokes, about 8 to 10 minutes.

    Artichokes halves on a grill

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  6. Let cool slightly before serving, sprinkling them with extra salt and lemon juice, if desired.

    Grilled Artichokes on a platter with lemon wedges

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

How to Store

To store grilled artichokes, let them cool completely then cover and refrigerate for up to two days.


Recipe Variations

  • If you don't have garlic olive oil on hand, use regular olive oil, grapeseed oil, or avocado oil. Switch from regular salt to garlic salt to bring back that garlic flavor.
  • While steaming the artichokes, add herbs to the steamer water for a little extra flavor. Bay leaf and a few sprigs of fresh parsley or thyme are ideal pairings for artichokes; use all or any combination that you have on hand.
  • You can grill frozen or brined artichoke hearts to impart a smoky flavor. Since they're small, it's best to place them in a grill pan and treat them like roasted artichoke hearts, cooking for 25 to 35 minutes.
  • For frozen whole artichokes, thaw, oil, season, and grill them like fresh artichokes. If they're small, a grill pan may be necessary.