Bring up grilling, and the default food, aromas and recipes that likely come to mind are meat. Often relegated to playing second fiddle to meat as a side, grilled vegetables are great, too, and can handle the spotlight as a main.

But everything we love about grilled meats — namely, the overall transformation in color, flavor and aroma — can also apply to their plant-based counterparts. So, why not give them the star treatment they deserve? These five recipes from our archives are a great place to start.

Grilled Vegetable Stacks, above. The ingredients of a classic ratatouille are deconstructed, grilled and artfully stacked in this elegant presentation. The vegetables can be grilled up to a week in advance. Serve with garlicky grilled bread, and even some goat cheese to turn this into a main course (or just eat two stacks!).



(Jennifer Chase for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Charred Carrot Dogs. One of our most controversial recipes to date, this vegan riff on a cookout staple is satisfying, especially if you dress one as you would a traditional hot dog.



(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Grilled Vegetable Po’ BoysMarinated, grilled vegetables that won’t wilt into oblivion take the place of the meat and fried seafood in this spin on the New Orleans staple. You can make the roasted garlic spread and grill the vegetables in advance.



(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Grilled Baby Beets With Mustard Sauce. Grilled beets? Good. Grilled beets with grilled slabs of salty, chewy halloumi? Better. The cheese takes this meatless main to the next level — one that won’t leave you hungry. The best part: All the elements can be made ahead.



(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Grilled King Oyster Mushroom and Poblano Sandwich. Can you ever have too many sandwiches? Not in my book. King oyster mushrooms can hold up to the heat of the grill, but if you can’t find them, feel free to swap in portobellos or large shiitakes.

More from Voraciously:

Cleaning your grill now will help you get the most out of it this summer. Here’s how to do it.

A marinating meat primer: Simple answers to the tough questions

Skewered, marinated, meaty and sweet recipes for your next tailgate

Upgrade your cookout contribution from a boring six-pack to one of these crowd-pleasing recipes