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10 Unexpected Ways to Cook Vegetables

Try these creative recipes starring your favorite varieties of fresh produce.

We’re all about adding more vegetables to our routines. But when you’re sautéing zucchini or steaming carrots over and over again, it’s easy to get into a rut. You need inspiration — and we’re here to help. These flavorful and colorful recipes showcase your favorite vegetables in fun, unexpected ways. Ready to shop? Visit our Produce department to stock up on fresh veggies. Need help finding something? Ask one of our Produce team members. We’re here to guide you to a delicious, wholesome meal, no matter the time of year.

Grilled Mexican Street Corn

Much like the elotes served by street vendors in Mexico, these ears of sweet corn are charred on a grill and then rubbed with a creamy mixture of cotija cheese, serrano peppers and fresh cilantro. Cut the kernels off the cob for a take on esquites, which are basically just a less messy version.

Get the recipe: Grilled Mexican Street Corn

Roasted Carrots with Harissa and Yogurt

Roasting carrots brings out deep caramelized flavor and adds subtle sweetness. This recipe — featuring rainbow carrots with thick Greek yogurt, spicy harissa and a sprinkle of sesame seeds — is the perfect one to test the technique.

Get the recipe: Roasted Carrots with Harissa and Yogurt

Grilled Zucchini with Kalamata Vinaigrette

Introduce zucchini to your grill — and it’s the only way you’ll ever want to cook it. Grill the slices long enough to mark each side to add charred flavor. This recipe, which gets drizzled with briny, flavorful Kalamata vinaigrette, is perfect for backyard gatherings. You can also grill the zucchini ahead of time and serve it at room temperature.

Get the recipe: Grilled Zucchini with Kalamata Vinaigrette

Blistered Green Beans with Shishito Peppers and Hen-of-the-Woods Mushrooms

Instead of blanching green beans, sear them in a blazing-hot skillet to add color and flavor. Here, we kick up charred haricots verts with earthy hen of the woods mushrooms and sometimes-spicy shishito peppers, then finish them with miso dressing and crispy shallots.

Get the recipe: Blistered Green Beans with Shishito Peppers and Hen-of-the-Woods Mushrooms

Oven-Roasted Kale

This simple oven-roasted kale produces golden-crisp greens that are perfect as a snack or as an accompaniment to dinner alongside a protein. Toasted sesame seeds and garlic add extra pizzaz, but even just olive oil and salt will have you seeing kale in a new light.

Get the recipe: Oven-Roasted Kale

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

Slicing whole cauliflower into smaller “steaks” and roasting until crispy makes for a simple yet elegant main dish. Dress them up with chimichurri sauce and serve over a bed of risotto or couscous for a delicious, vegetable-forward meal.

Get the recipe: Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

Homemade Veggie Chips and Dip

Elevate game day, movie night or a picnic with this light and bright take on classic chips and dip. Thinly sliced root veggies and squash are baked to crispy perfection, then paired with a creamy green pea dip for a snack that’s loaded with color and flavor.

Get the recipe: Homemade Veggie Chips and Dip

Involtini with Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli

Ribbons of winter veggies envelope vegan ricotta, roasted broccoli and roasted cauliflower in this take on classic Italian involtini. Use carrots, the broccoli stalk and cauliflower core for the wrapping, but you could also substitute strips of butternut squash, zucchini and even parsnips.

Get the recipe: Involtini with Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli

Garden Vegetable Terrine

A terrine is the perfect way to showcase the season’s freshest produce in an unexpected yet elegant way. Our bright and colorful version uses tomatoes, squash, bell peppers, carrots and eggplant — but nearly any veggie is game. Try serving on grilled garlic toast topped with crumbled goat cheese.

Get the recipe: Garden Vegetable Terrine

Eggplant Bacon

Eggplant isn’t just for grilling or roasting — it also makes a delicious, plant-based version of bacon. (And it’s just as versatile as the meaty original!) Serve it with eggs, put it on a sandwich or add it to a pasta dish. Its smoky flavor and crispy texture complement just about anything.

Get the recipe: Eggplant Bacon

Explore More

10 Veggies to Grill This Summer
Your Guide to Vegan Grilling
How to Build a Vegan Grocery List
Guide to Vegetables