Smoked Veggies: Memorial Day Cook Out Recipes

In Sides by sarawalkenbach4 Comments

We are a few weeks away from the Official Summer Kick Off Party! What brings friends and family together? Food and camaraderie. You will love these Memorial Day Cookout Recipes featuring smoked veggies: Spicy Smoked Sweet Potato Salad and Smoked Veggie Kabobs. Fire up your smoker (or grill) and let’s get to it.

Veggies aren’t something one thinks about when firing up the smoker. It doesn’t take long to get that smoke permeated through the veggie. When you have your smoker going, consider making these 2 recipes to go with the smoked meats! They will only need about 15 minutes of smoke. Veggies are a good thing to throw on at the end.

If you like this side dish, you’ll love my Spinach Salad with Easy Pesto Dressing.

Smokin’ without a Smoker

You don’t need to have a smoker to create these recipes with smoked veggies. If you don’t have one, but still want that smoke flavor, check out this snake technique using a kettle grill.

Charcoal is shingled along side of kettle grill. SMoking wood chips are on top of the charcoal. Ashy lit charcoal briquettes are placed on top of the wood chips to create smoke.
Don’t have a smoker? No problem, use this snake method on your charcoal grill.
  1. In a kettle grill, remove top rack. Around the edge on one side, line up the briquettes in a double row (making a snake shape along the kettle).
  2. On the other side of the grill, make a small pile of briquettes (8 or so). Put some lighter fluid of the pile of briquettes, and light them.
  3. While the pile of briquettes is starting to burn, take your wood chips and put them on top of your briquette snake.
  4. The pile of briquettes will become ashy white in about 10-20 minutes. Once they are white-ish, using tongs, move them to one end of the snake. So the snake starts to smoke.
  5. Fill an aluminum pan (8×8 is a good size) with water and place in the middle of the bottom rack of the grill. This will help keep your food items moist.
  6. Put the top rack back on your grill. Place the items that you are smoking in the middle of the rack (above the pan of water).
  7. Put the lid on and watch the smoke slowly billow out of the vent holes.

Healthier Spicy Smoked Sweet Potato Salad

Cubed sweet potatoes with a dressing of greek yogurt and adobo sauce. This potato salad has green onions and bacon mixed in as well.
This potato salad is sweet, smokey and has a kick! It’s a must for your next get together.

This recipe is a unique twist on potato salad. I’ve been making it for several years now, and people always rave. The original recipe is by Kelsey Nixon. I have just lightened it up a bit, swapping out the mayo for Greek yogurt, and switching the brown sugar to maple syrup. I also added a little orange to brighten it up a bit.

You can make this recipe spicier by adding more adobo sauce or chopping up the smoked chipotles and mixing those in too. However, I will warn you. Chipotles in adobo are FIRE. Add a little and taste as you go.

If you like this potato salad recipe, you’ll love Lemon Dill Potato Salad.

Spicy Smoked Sweet Potato Steps

There are a few steps to make this salad. The perfect time to make it is when you already have your smoker going for other items, like the Smoked Veggie Kabobs below. The sweet potatoes don’t need much smoke, maybe 10-15 minutes.

  1. Peel and cut sweet potatoes into 1 to 1-1/2″ cubes, boil until not quite done (they will finish cooking on the smoker), drain.
  2. Mix together Smoker seasoning for Potatoes. Sprinkle over potatoes and mix until coated.
  3. Put the tators in a grill basket, aluminum pan, or make an aluminum foil bowl out of a few pieces of foil.
  4. Place on smoker for 10-15 minutes.
  5. While the sweet potatoes are smoking, make the dressing.
  6. Once sweet potatoes are off the smoker and rested 5 minutes or so, mix the dressing and potatoes together.
  7. Mix in bacon. Enjoy!

This potato salad recipe is good warm or cold. Be ready to share this recipe. Your friends will love it.

If you are looking for another side for your summer cook out, you will love this Berry Avocado Almond Salad.

thyme branch

Keep reading after this recipe for my Smoked Veggie Kabobs with Horseradish Dipping Sauce.

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Sweet, spicy, and smoked. This potato salad is different than any you have tried.

Healthier Spicy Smoked Sweet Potato Salad

Kelsey Nixon (original), Sara Walkenbach (healthy addition)
Sweet, Spicy, and Smoked! This potato salad uses sweet potatoes and chipotles in adobo for a twist on the classic.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 269 kcal


  • 1 Smoker or Kettle Grill or whatever you use to smoke meats
  • Charcoal Hickory
  • Wood Chips Hickory, Apple, or Cherry


  • 2 lbs Sweet Potatoes peeled, cut into 1" cubes
  • 4 slices Bacon, nitrate-free cooked crispy and chopped

Sweet Potato Smoker Seasoning

  • 2 tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp Garlic Salt
  • 1 tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp Pepper fresh ground
  • 1 tsp Chipotle Chili Powder or regular chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin


  • 2 cups Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/3 cup Cilantro chopped
  • 2 tsp Adobo Sauce from can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo
  • 2 tbsp Whole Grain Mustard
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper fresh ground
  • 1 Green Onion thinly sliced
  • 1 Cutie Orange- zested & juiced optional


  • Start the smoker. No smoker- read above on how to smoke in your kettle grill using the Snake Method.
  • Boil a large pot of water on the stove top. Once boiling, add cubed sweet potatoes. Boil until half way cooked, 5-10 minutes. The potatoes will continue to cook on the smoker.
  • While potatoes are boiling, mix together potato smoker seasoning. Once the potatoes are half way done, take off the stove top, drain, and sprinkle with seasoning.
  • Put sweet potatoes in a pan to put on the smoker. This could be a grill basket, aluminum pan, or if you don’t have either: make a bowl out of aluminum foil. Place on smoker. Smoke for 10-15 minutes.
  • While potatoes are smoking, make the dressing. In a small bowl, mix all dressing ingredients together.
  • Let the sweet potatoes cool for 5-10 minutes. Then add the dressing, mixing carefully so you don’t mash the potatoes. When ready to serve, mix in chopped bacon. Enjoy!


Like it hot? Add more adobo. You can also chop up some of the chipotles from the can in adobo. This is fire! Add a little at a time and taste as you go.
This potato salad can be served warm or cold.
Wait to mix in bacon until ready to serve.
Will keep in air tight container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.


Calories: 269kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 12gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 1523mgPotassium: 770mgFiber: 6gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 22848IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 151mgIron: 2mg
Keyword cook out sides, smoked potato salad, smoked veggies, sweet and spicy potato salad
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Smoked Veggie Kabobs with Horseradish Dipping Sauce

skewers threaded with zucchini, summer squash, mushrooms, cauliflower, and broccoli. Seasoned with a sprinkle of salt and thyme with a bowl of horseradish creamy dip.
Make these at your next cookout. It’s the perfect smokey side with a refreshing zippy dip.

Mama always says to eat your veggies. It’s not hard when they are a bit smokey and have a zippy sauce for dipping. These can also be made in a grill basket, if you don’t want to mess with skewers. They will take about 15 minutes either way to smoke the veg.

Veggies Fit For Smoking

There are so many veggies that hold up to the smoke. Here are few that will work:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Mushrooms
  • Zucchini
  • Summer Squash
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Potatoes (partially boiled)
  • Beets (partially boiled)
  • Radishes
  • Green Beans (in a basket, partially boiled)
  • Brussels Sprouts (partially boiled)
  • Peppers

I used the first 5 veggies on our kabobs. They all cooked evenly. The mushrooms were my fave. Next time we have steaks I will be making all mushroom skewers…stay tuned.

It’s this easy to make these kabobs:

  1. Soak your skewers (if using wooden ones).
  2. Skewer your veg.
  3. Drizzle or spray with olive oil, brush the oil around the veggies.
  4. Season & Smoke.
  5. While they are on the smoker, make your dip.

Season it Up

You can use any type of seasoning you like on these. There are so many different kinds of seasoning blends. Use your favorite. My favorite is garlic salt and thyme. Here are some other good combos for smoked veggies:

  • Lemon Pepper & Garlic Salt
  • BBQ Seasoning
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Thyme, Salt, & Pepper
  • Herbs de Provence
  • Tajin (chili & lime seasoning)

Dip Those Smoked Veggies

This dip is a great accompaniment to these smoked veggie kabobs. It’s Greek yogurt based, so you get an extra bit of protein when enjoying your veggies, without the fat. The horseradish gives it a great zip. This dip would also be good with some feta or blue cheese mixed in.

Add more veg to your diet with this quick and easy side dish. This could also be a main course for all the vegetarians out there. It only takes about 15 minutes to get these veggies smoked and cooked. These smoked veggie skewers would go great with this Thai Chicken with Peanut Sauce recipe.

A light char on summer squash, mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, and cauliflower seasoned and smoked on skewers.
Colorful veggies skewered and smoked to perfection.

Equipment needed:

  • Smoker or Kettle Grill (see above Smokin’ Without a Smoker if using a kettle grill)
  • Charcoal / Wood Chips
  • Skewers (metal or wooden, if using wooden soak skewers in water for 30 minutes before hand so they don’t burn)

Ingredients for Kabobs:

  • Veggies (see list above, I used mushrooms, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, summer squash)
  • Olive Oil (sprayed on veggies or brushed on)
  • Your Favorite Seasoning for Veggies (I used garlic salt and thyme)

Ingredients for Horseradish Dip:

  • Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Zest & Juice from 1 Lemon
  • Horseradish
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Garlic Salt
  • Fresh Herbs: Dill, Thyme, Basil, etc

Not a horseradish fan, swap out this dip for an easy Pesto Dressing.

Making the Kabobs:

  1. Soak skewers if using wooden ones. Start smoker.
  2. Wash and cut up veggies into bigger chunks, making sure they are all relatively even in size.
  3. Slide the veggies on skewers, alternating so every skewer has a few of each.
  4. Brush or spray veggies on skewers with olive oil, and sprinkle with seasoning of choice.
  5. Place on smoker, smoke for 15 minutes or so.
  6. While veggies are smoking, make your dip by adding all dip ingredients together. The dip can be made ahead of time too.

Leftover Makeover: Smoked Veggies

You either welcome them or shun them. You gobble them up or they sit in your fridge for a week, just to be tossed out along with that soggy bag of cilantro that you used once.

Leftovers. What to do? There are certain leftovers that we have no problem heating up and enjoying again for the following day’s lunch, like chili, or pizza, or enchiladas. However, leftover veggies are not on my top list of want to eat the next day. You gotta switch it up. Recreate. Repurpose those smoked veggies like they are an old piece of furniture that need some love.

Get Creative

Here are few ideas when you have these smokey (and a little limp) veggies staring at you from the fridge.

  • Breakfast Bowl: Dice & heat up your leftover veggies with any leftover grains (such as quinoa). Top with a fried egg and a spoonful of your favorite salsa. I like to add a little cheese too like feta or goat cheese, and a sprinkle of tajin (a chili lime seasoning). The smokiness is so good with eggs.
  • Lunch Salad: Dice & heat up your leftover veggies with leftover steak, rotisserie chicken, or beans. Put on top of a bed of greens with your favorite dressing or the leftover horseradish dip. Throw on some olives or banana peppers for a bit of zing. Top with sunflower seeds for a bit of crunch.
  • Smokey Side Dish: Cook up some brown rice. In a skillet, heat up a small amount of olive oil. Cut up the leftover veggies and add to the pan along with some halved cherry tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in with rice and 1/2 cup of feta cheese.
thyme branch

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Smoked Veggie Kabobs are a delish side dish.

Smoked Veggie Kabobs with Horseradish Dipping Sauce

These Veggie Kabobs work as a side dish or as the main dish. Smoked and delicious with zingy horseradish dipping sauce.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 skewers
Calories 169 kcal


  • 6 Skewers wooden or reuseable
  • 1 Smoker or Kettle Grill see above section Smokin' without a Smoker
  • Charcoal Hickory, Apple, or Cherry
  • Wood Chips Hickory, Apple, or Cherry


  • 2 Zucchini cut in 1" thick circles
  • 2 Yellow Summer Squash cut in 1" circles
  • 1 carton Whole Mushrooms Portobello
  • 1/2 head Cauliflower cut into big florets
  • 1-2 crowns Broccoli cut into big florets
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil for spraying or brushing on Veggies
  • Your Favorite seasoning such as Lemon Pepper, Montreal Steak Seasoning, BBQ, Garlic Salt, etc.

Horseradish Dipping Sauce

  • 2 cups Plain Greek Yogurt 2%
  • 1 Lemon zest & juice
  • 1.5 tsp Horseradish
  • 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Herbs dill, thyme, basil, or a mix


  • Soak skewers, if using wooden ones. Start smoker. See above for instructions on turning your kettle grill into a smoker.
  • Prepare veggies, making sure they are relatively even in size.
  • Slide veggies on skewers, alternating so every skewer has a few of each veggies.
  • Brush or spray veggies on the skewer with olive oil. Sprinkle with desired seasoning.
  • Place skewers on smoker. Smoke for 10-15 minute or so.
  • While veggies are smoking, make the dip by mixing all dip ingredients together in a small bowl.
  • When veggies are cooked to desired tenderness, remove them from smoker. Serve with Horseradish dip.


Dip can be made a day in advance.
Don’t want to mess with skewers? Throw them in a grill basket to smoke.
These are also delicious just grilled.


Serving: 1skewerCalories: 169kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 10gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 267mgPotassium: 755mgFiber: 3gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 383IUVitamin C: 58mgCalcium: 114mgIron: 1mg
Keyword horseradish dipping sauce, smoked veggie kabob, smoked veggies
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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5 from 1 vote

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