Mastering the Art of Grilling Kohlrabi: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide

Ever found yourself staring at a kohlrabi in the grocery store, wondering how you could possibly incorporate this alien-looking vegetable into your next meal? Well, you’re not alone. Kohlrabi, a member of the cabbage family, often leaves home cooks scratching their heads.

Key Takeaways

  • Kohlrabi, a versatile and nutrient-rich vegetable from the cabbage family, can indeed be grilled, offering a uniquely flavored dish to your table.
  • Preparing kohlrabi for grilling involves careful cleaning and cutting. Thick slices or cubed pieces are preferred based on the desired texture and grilling time.
  • Seasoning enhances the natural, mildly sweet taste of kohlrabi. The choice of spices and herbs can range from simple salt and pepper to a mix of garlic, thyme, and lemon juice, depending on personal preference.
  • Mastering the grilling process of kohlrabi involves pre-heating the grill, generous application of oil, managing grilling time based on kohlrabi’s thickness, frequent flipping, and midway seasoning.
  • Avoid common mistakes like high-heat grilling, overcrowding the grill, under- or over-cooking, and late seasoning to achieve best results.
  • Grilled kohlrabi pairs excellently with various proteins like seafood, meats, and vegetarian options. It also integrates well into salads and side dishes, exhibiting its versatility.
  • Grilled kohlrabi can be served as simple steaks seasoned with sea salt and pepper or can take a gourmet form with herb marinades. Both methods enhance its delicate taste and nutritional profile.

Understanding Kohlrabi: An Overview

When it comes to unfamiliar delicacies in the kitchen, kohlrabi indeed tops the charts. Most of us often find ourselves stumped, questioning how this odd-looking creature of the cabbage family adds flair to culinary arts. Thankfully, with an introspective glance and some clarity on its lineage and benefits, the proverbial fog lifts.

What Is Kohlrabi?

If you’re wondering about the origin of this fascinating culinary element, you’re not alone. Kohlrabi is a part of the brassica species, better known to many as the cabbage family. The name ‘kohlrabi’ emanates from German dialect, with ‘kohl’ indicating cabbage and ‘rabi’ implying turnip. This vegetable’s globular shape gives it a striking resemblance to the latter. Centered around its bulky, peculiar form, edible stalks sprout, manifesting a paradoxical union–odd yet appetizing. What’s more, Kohlrabi isn’t just a green variety. White and purple siblings also add to this color palette in nature’s lap, broadening your kitchen’s canvas.

Nutritional Benefits of Kohlrabi

Nutritionally, kohlrabi deserves your attention. This powerhouse of nutrients flaunts an array of essential vitamins and minerals. A closer look at its nutrient content reveals it’s a particularly strong source of Vitamin C (62% of the RDA), a potent antioxidant that supports immune health. Additionally, kohlrabi’s got significant amounts of dietary fiber, assisting in digestion, and high water content, aiding hydration.

Making its way through the ranks, kohlrabi proves to be rich in potassium, a mineral responsible for maintaining heart function and controlling blood pressure levels. And let’s not overlook the role of magnesium and calcium in strengthening bones. And lastly, it’s light on the calorie count, coming in at an impressive 36 calories per cup. So, for all those looking into adding a nutritious and low-calorie component to their diets, kohlrabi brings this package in full swing.

Preparing Kohlrabi for the Grill

Engage in a deeper acquaintance with kohlrabi, a brassica species vegetable, brimming with nutrients like Vitamin C, fiber, potassium, magnesium, calcium and, surprisingly, low in calories. Transition this turnip-like vegetable from an ignored ingredient in your pantry to a tasty grilled dish on your table.

Cleaning and Cutting Techniques

Revive sanity in your kitchen with some simple cleaning and cutting techniques catered specifically to the kohlrabi’s unique structure. Start by removing the hardy, alien-like tentacles with a sharp knife. Continue with peeling off the tough outer skin, not forgetting the knobby sections. Reveal the pale inner flesh, familiar to radishes yet significantly sweeter and juicier.

Slicing method echoes a lot in how your grilled kohlrabi will turn out. Favor thick slices, approximately half an inch thick if you’re aiming for a tender inside yet crisped up exterior. The alternative, cubing the kohlrabi into bite-size pieces, allows for a quicker grilling time yet provides lesser of the delightful, mouth-watering interplay between the charred outside and juicy inside.

Seasoning Ideas for Grilled Kohlrabi

Transform your kohlrabi’s flavor profile with a selection of seasonings. Here, minimalism aids in uncovering the kohlrabi’s unique earthy, mildly sweet taste. Start with the ever reliable salt-pepper duo, splash a drizzle of olive oil, then you’re good for a straightforward grilling.

Want to step it up? Mix a spoonful of crushed garlic, a few finely chopped sprigs of fresh thyme and a trickle of lemon juice to enhance the grill’s caramelizing effect. Paprika and a pinch of cayenne pepper can easily shift your kohlrabi into a spicier path. With seasonings, your creativity is the limit. Mimic the kohlrabi’s flexibility, combined with your palate’s preferences and each grilling session becomes an exciting culinary experiment.

The Grilling Process: Can You Grill Kohlrabi?

After preparing your kohlrabi and selecting your preferred seasonings, you’re ready to move onto the grilling process. Yes, you can indeed grill kohlrabi!

Best Practices for Grilling Kohlrabi

Getting the best results when grilling kohlrabi involves mastering your heat, managing time, and implementing proper seasoning techniques.

  1. Pre-heat your grill: Starting with a well-heated grill guarantees even cooking. Stick to medium-high heat (around 400 degrees Fahrenheit) for optimal results.
  2. Apply oil generously: Brush your kohlrabi slices or cubes with oil to maintain moisture during grilling. Olive oil tends to work well due to its high smoke point.
  3. Manage grilling time: The thickness of your kohlrabi determines your grilling time. Expect 3-4 minutes per side for cubes, while thick slices can take up to 5-6 minutes per side.
  4. Flip frequently: Prevent burning by flipping your kohlrabi slices or cubes often, using a spatula or grilling tongs.
  5. Season midway: Applying your seasoning halfway through grilling helps to infuse the flavors more deeply without burning the seasonings.

Common Mistakes When Grilling Kohlrabi

Though grilling kohlrabi is relatively straightforward, avoiding these common pitfalls can make all the difference in your final results.

  1. High-heat grilling: Grilling kohlrabi at overly high temperatures can result in a burnt exterior and undercooked interior.
  2. Overcrowding the grill: Placing too many pieces on the grill at once can lead to uneven cooking and potentially charred kohlrabi.
  3. Under- or over-cooking: Raw kohlrabi can be quite tough, while overcooked kohlrabi becomes mushy. Aim for a soft, yet firm texture.
  4. Delayed seasoning: Adding seasonings at the end of grilling, or not at all, can leave kohlrabi tasting bland.

Grilling kohlrabi can be a unique culinary experience. By following these best practices and avoiding common mistakes, you can create a flavorful, nutritious side dish or meal component that’ll delightfully surprise your palate.

Serving Suggestions for Grilled Kohlrabi

After mastering the art of grilling kohlrabi, the next step revolves around serving it optimally to elevate its flavors further. Remember, kohlrabi plays well with a wide range of dishes, providing a flavorful, crunchy, and nutritious addition to your meal.

Pairing with Proteins

Grilled kohlrabi finds its companionship most authentically with a myriad of proteins, considering its sweet flavor juxtaposed against their savory profiles. For instance, consider seafood, such as grilled salmon, shrimps, or mussels—they make a fitting pair due to their light, fresh taste. In contrast, grilled chicken, pork, or beef, given their robust flavors, counterbalance the sweetness of kohlrabi wonderfully. As a vegetarian option, tofu or tempeh, marinated with tamari sauce and seared, stand out as excellent alternatives.

ProteinWhy it Works
Seafood (Salmon, Shrimps, Mussels)Light and fresh taste
Meats (Chicken, Pork, Beef)Robust and savory flavors
Vegetarian (Tofu, Tempeh)Protein-rich with tamari sauce marinade

Integrating into Salads and Sides

Kohlrabi, with its crunchy texture and slightly sweet taste, integrates perfectly into various salads and side dishes. An idea worth trying is a grilled kohlrabi, avocado, and spinach salad dressed in a tangy vinaigrette. This dish sings a song of balance between the creaminess of avocado, the freshness of spinach, and the crunchiness of kohlrabi.

Also, consider trying grilled kohlrabi slices as finger food — just sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and a squeeze of lemon juice.

DishWhy it Works
Grilled Kohlrabi, Avocado, and Spinach SaladBalance of creaminess, freshness, and crunchiness
Grilled Kohlrabi Slices with Sea Salt and Lemon JuiceSimple, flavorful finger food

Remember, versatility is grilled kohlrabi’s strength. Enjoy experimenting with various combinations, discovering your own unique pairings, and savor this exquisite vegetable’s nutritious profile and delicate taste.

Grilled Kohlrabi Recipe Ideas

Building on the previous sections, let’s dive deeper and explore some delicious and nutritious grilled kohlrabi recipes. Please note, these recipes leverage the grilling techniques and seasoning ideas we discussed earlier.

Simple Grilled Kohlrabi Steaks

Begin your adventure into grilled kohlrabi recipes with something simple yet tasty. Simple Grilled Kohlrabi Steaks allow the vegetable’s natural sweetness to shine. Follow these steps:

  1. Coat kohlrabi slices in olive oil: This helps prevent sticking and enhances flavor.
  2. Season with sea salt and pepper: These classic seasonings highlight kohlrabi’s natural sweetness.
  3. Preheat your grill: Recall, high heat gives kohlrabi a crispy exterior.
  4. Grill each side for about 5 minutes: Check tenderness with a fork.

Serving suggestion: Serve these kohlrabi steaks as a side with your favorite seasoned and grilled protein. Add a lemon wedge for guests to squeeze over their steaks, accentuating the kohlrabi’s natural flavors.

Gourmet Kohlrabi with Herb Marinades

Looking for a gourmet twist? Kohlrabi lends itself well to various marinades, enabling a flavorful upgrade to your grilled kohlrabi.

  1. Create a marinade: Mix olive oil, lemon juice, finely chopped fresh herbs (like thyme, rosemary, and oregano), minced garlic, salt, and pepper.
  2. Marinade your kohlrabi: Allow slices to soak in the marinade for at least one hour.
  3. Preheat your grill: Remember, consistent, high heat is vital for the perfect texture.
  4. Grill marinated kohlrabi: Grill each side for about 5 minutes or until golden brown.

Serving suggestion: These marinated kohlrabi slices dripped with golden BBQ sauce promise a burst of flavor. They make a fine accompaniment to grilled fish or chicken, or even a robust salad mix.


So, can you grill kohlrabi? Absolutely – and you should! It’s a unique, nutrient-rich vegetable that’s perfect for grilling. You’ve learned how to prep it, from cleaning to slicing, and discovered the best grilling techniques for perfect results every time. You’ve seen how seasoning can enhance its flavor and been given a variety of serving suggestions that pair well with proteins or as part of a salad. You’ve even been introduced to exciting new recipes to try. Now it’s your turn to fire up the grill and get creative. Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or a beginner, grilling kohlrabi is a fun, tasty way to expand your culinary horizons. So go ahead, give it a try – your taste buds will thank you!

Mastering the art of grilling kohlrabi involves following a step-by-step guide to achieve the best results. The Spruce Eats suggests slicing the kohlrabi into thick rounds and marinating them in olive oil, salt, and pepper before grilling. Additionally, Bon Appétit recommends grilling the kohlrabi over medium-high heat for about 4-5 minutes per side until tender and caramelized, enhancing its natural sweetness.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is kohlrabi?

Kohlrabi is a unique type of vegetable that belongs to the cabbage family. It’s nutrient-rich, low in calories, and has a sweet and juicy inner flesh that’s perfect for grilling.

How can kohlrabi be prepared for grilling?

Preparing kohlrabi for grilling involves cleaning and cutting it to reveal its sweet and juicy inner flesh. You can slice it thick for a tender inside and crispy exterior or cube it for quicker grilling.

What are some seasoning ideas for grilled kohlrabi?

Seasonings like olive oil, sea salt, pepper, herbs, and lemon juice can enhance the flavor of grilled kohlrabi. Season midway during the grilling process to prevent burning or under-cooking.

How can grilled kohlrabi be served?

Grilled kohlrabi pairs well with proteins like seafood, meats, and vegetarian alternatives. It can also be integrated into salads or served as a side. Recipes such as grilled kohlrabi, avocado and spinach salad or grilled kohlrabi slices with sea salt and lemon juice offer unique ways to enjoy this versatile vegetable.

Are there any special recipes for grilled kohlrabi?

Yes, the article mentions various recipes such as Simple Grilled Kohlrabi Steaks and Gourmet Kohlrabi with Herb Marinades. These recipes aim to showcase different flavor profiles and serving suggestions to elevate your culinary experience with kohlrabi.