How Long You Should Be Marinating Veggies

Whether you're a vegetarian or you simply enjoy veggies as a side to your main course, a good marinade is essential to ensuring they come out flavorful. No matter how much of a veggie lover you are, a bland, unseasoned piece of broccoli doesn't sound ideal. So when you're starting up the grill and prepping your protein, don't be afraid to throw your favorite vegetables in the marinade — just be careful how long you leave them there.

Veggies come in all shapes, colors, textures, and sizes. While their variety allows you to create an endless range of vegetable-based sides and dishes, it also can create complications due to cooking time when you're preparing them. Just like when you're cooking vegetables that are harder or softer than one another (via Food Network), you'll want to be careful to plan the timing of when certain vegetables are added to the marinade and for how long to avoid a mushy, uneven disaster (via Eat This Not That).

Timing your veggies

Along with cutting your vegetables in similar sizes so they cook evenly and taste how they should, timing your vegetable marinade is important (via Eat This Not That). By dividing up your vegetables between softer and harder varieties, you won't end up with soggy, overcooked bits. Some examples of soft vegetables include mushrooms, zucchini, and broccoli. Beyond Meat says these are the best to marinate because they're great at absorbing flavor. But to keep them from turning to mush, don't add them to the marinade until the last 10 minutes.

You also have hardier vegetables, like carrots, asparagus, and bell peppers, which can stand marinades for a longer period of time without going mushy. These should be put into the marinade before the softer vegetables to give them more time to soften and get a texture that will be even to any soft vegetables you might be using. According to Eat This Not That, hardier vegetables can be put into the marinade for up to 30 minutes, but not any longer. You want to be careful not to overdo it, or they could end up overdone. Beyond Meat also recommends slicing them thinly to create more surface area for the vegetables to absorb the flavors. So set your timers, and get those marinated veggies on the grill because the summer cookouts are far from over.