This grilled vegetable salad is the very definition of summer. It’s healthy, filling, fresh, and the perfect side dish for any barbecue or cookout.
To me, summer cooking is all about two things: grilling, and fresh produce. There are so many fruits and veggies that are ripe during the summer, and they’re the perfect food on a sunny day. And it goes without saying that grilling is an all-time great summer activity. That’s why this grilled vegetable salad is one of my go-to recipes during the summer. It combines everything I love about summer veggies and grilling.
This salad is a combination of grilled vegetables like squash, asparagus, and mushrooms, and fresh ingredients like greens and avocado. A rich and tangy balsamic tahini dressing goes so well with the vegetables, and a crumble of feta cheese adds a burst of saltiness. Whatever you’ve got on the grill this summer, this salad will complement it beautifully!
What You’ll Need
Here’s everything you need for making this grilled summer salad. Check out the recipe card at the bottom of the page to see the specific quantities for all the ingredients.
For the Salad:
- Mushrooms – Portobello mushrooms are best for grilling because of their size and meaty flavor.
- Onion – I like to use a red onion for this recipe, but you can use a yellow onion if you prefer.
- Summer squash
- Olive oil
- Pepper – For best results, use freshly-ground black pepper.
- Feta cheese – You can use vegan feta cheese if you want.
- Greens – I like to use a mixture of greens, but you can just use one variety, like spinach or kale if you prefer.
For the Dressing:
- Balsamic vinegar
- Dijon mustard
- Lemon juice – It’s important to use freshly-squeezed lemon juice.
- Maple syrup – Be sure to use 100% pure maple syrup. You can also use honey instead.
- Garlic powder
How to Make Grilled Vegetable Salad
Here’s how to make this 20-minute summer salad. It has complex flavors, but it’s easy to make!
- Heat the grill. Turn your grill on to medium.
- Prep the veggies. Get the vegetables prepped for the grill. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and the ends from the asparagus. Cut the squash, zucchini, and onion into rounds. Place them all on a baking sheet.
- Season. Drizzle some olive oil over the vegetables, then season them with salt and pepper.
- Grill. Put your veggies on the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes. Then remove the asparagus, and flip the other vegetables. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Make the dressing. Combine all the salad dressing ingredients in a bowl, and whisk until smooth. If the dressing is too thick, add a little bit of water until it’s the right consistency.
- Assemble. Place the greens in a salad bowl. Cut the grilled veggies into bite-sized pieces, and place them on top of the greens. Add crumbled feta and cubes of avocado on top, then drizzle the dressing over the salad. Now you’re ready to serve!
Tips for Success
After making this salad a few times, I’ve figured out a few tips for getting the best results. Here are some of my favorite tricks and tips.
- Make even cuts. It’s really important to be consistent with your knife when making this recipe. You want the pieces of each vegetable to be cut to similar sizes so that they’ll cook at the same speed. If you have some 2-inch rounds of zucchini cooking next to some 1-inch rounds, some pieces will be overcooked and some will be undercooked.
- Adjust the seasonings. There are a lot of awesome and strong flavors in this summer salad. I recommend tasting the dressing after you make it, and adjusting the seasoning as needed. Then, after you’ve assembled the salad, take a bite and see if it needs more salt or pepper.
- Make it ahead of time. If you have the time, try making this salad a few hours ahead of time and keeping it in the fridge. If the ingredients have some time to sit together, the grilled veggies will absorb so much flavor from the sweet and tart dressing. Plus, it makes it that much easier if you're prepping for a party or a big meal!
- Add more veggies. This is just a base recipe. If you have other vegetables you want to add, go for it!
This hearty veggie salad goes well with pretty much any meal. But I think it’s best when served alongside some other grilled foods on a hot summer day. Here are some meals I love to eat with this healthy salad.
- Balsamic Grilled Tofu
- Grilled Pineapple & Tofu Kebabs
- Grilled Pork Chops
- Grilled Chicken & Avocado Panini
How to Store Leftovers
This healthy salad will last in the fridge for up to 5 days. Make sure to store it in an airtight container, or tightly wrap the salad bowl with plastic wrap.
Can I Freeze This Summer Salad?
I do not recommend freezing this salad. The texture of the fresh veggies will get a little weird if you freeze and then defrost the salad. However, you can freeze the grilled veggies by themselves in an airtight container for up to 3 months, and you can freeze the tahini dressing in an airtight jar for up to 4 months.
More Easy and Healthy Salad Recipes
It’s no secret that I love salads! Especially when they’re quick, easy, and packed full of nutrients. Here are a few more of my favorite recipes.
- Curried Lentil Salad
- Warm Detox Farro Salad with Kale
- Roasted Brussels Sprout Quinoa Salad
- Vegan Cobb Salad
- Pear and Arugula Salad
Grilled Vegetable Salad
for the salad:
- 3 portobello mushrooms
- 1 small onion
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 medium summer squash
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 2 tablepsoons olive oil
- Sprinkle of salt and pepper
- 1 avocado
- 1/2 cup feta (vegan optional)
- 6 cups greens
- Start by grilling the vegetables. Turn on your grill to medium heat.
- Remove the stems from the mushrooms and place on a baking sheet or plate. Cut off the ends of the onion and slice it into 1/4" thick slices. Add to the baking sheet.
- Cut off the ends of the squash and zucchini and cut into 1" rounds. Place them on the baking sheet.
- Trim the ends off of the asparagus and add them to the baking sheet. .
- Drizzle all the vegetables with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place the veggies directly on the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove the asparagus, and flip the rest of the vegetables. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from the grill and allow to cool while you prep everything else.
- Whisk together all the salad dressing ingredients until smooth and creamy. If the dressing is too thick, then add a splash or two of water.
- When ready to serve, cut the veggies into bite-size pieces. Add the greens into a large salad bowl and top with grilled veggies. Crumble some feta on top, cube the avocado, and add it. Drizzle with dressing and enjoy!
- You can add any other veggies that are good on the grill to this recipe.
- If you make the salad a few hours in advance, the flavors will become more intense.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.