Mastering the Art of Grilling Artichokes: Tips and Tricks

Elevate your grill game this summer with grilled artichokes

By Charlotte Linde, publisher of Macaroni KID EATS and Macaroni KID Cedar Rapids May 10, 2024

Alright, let's talk artichokes! I love artichokes and have them on hand all the time for a light meal or side dish. While this prickly vegetable may seem intimidating at first glance, it is surprisingly easy to make. 

Normally, I just steam mine whole, but this year, I’ve begun experimenting with grilling artichokes, and they are absolutely delicious! 

At Macaroni KID, we skip the fluff and get straight to the good stuff. No need to scroll through pages of unnecessary content — our recipes are easy to find. Now let's get cooking!

So, fire up those grills and get ready to enjoy a beautifully charred artichoke treat this summer with friends and family. 

Selecting the perfect artichoke
When choosing an artichoke look for one that is firm, heavy for its size, and has tightly packed bracts (leaves that surround a flower). You also want to look for vibrant and green artichokes with minimal browning.

Grilled Artichokes

This process has three steps, but don't let that intimidate you — each is very simple.

Charlotte Linde | Macaroni KID

1. Prepare your artichokes

Before throwing your artichokes on the grill, a bit of prep work is needed. It's simple, I promise! Start by trimming the top inch off the artichoke with a knife, and then use kitchen shears to snip off the sharp tips of each of the outer bracts. Leave the stem — you don't want to waste that! The stem is just as tasty as the hearts.

2. Steam your artichokes

Place your artichokes in a steamer, top side down, and cover with a lid. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan, but not touch your artichokes.

Steam on your stovetop for about 40 minutes — just until tender, or until a bract pulls away easily. The exact time will depend on the size of your artichokes. You could stop here and eat now… but we're going to elevate the flavor even more!

Charlotte Linde | Macaroni KID

3. Grill your artichokes

Now, it's time to grill those artichokes to perfection! Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. When grilling, I remove the “choke” ahead of time. The choke is the hairy center that you do NOT want to eat. Ick. It's called a choke for a reason. Throw that sucker out. Sometimes I even take it a step further and do a quick rinse, because you do not want one of those hairs to get stuck in your throat.

Slice the artichoke in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out that fuzzy choke in the center.  

Brush with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place the artichokes cut-side down on the grill and cook for about 4-6 minutes, or until they develop a nice char. 

Charlotte Linde | Macaroni KID

Recipe: Simple Lemon Garlic Aioli

Artichokes are most often served simply, with melted butter for dipping, but if you're in the mood for something a little more fancy, this is the ticket. 

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp grated parmesan
Salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and serve with the artichokes for dipping.

Other dipping options: Melted butter, marinara, lemon herb mayo, or balsamic glaze.

Now it's time to eat these prickly veggies! Here's the scoop.

Start by pulling off the outer bracts one by one. Dip the base of each into melted butter or lemon garlic aioli, then give it a gentle scrape through your teeth to remove the soft, pulpy part. You can discard the remainder into a clean bowl.

Once you've made your way through all the bracts, it's time to get to the heart of the matter. See what I did there? This is the best part — the bottom, or heart, of the artichoke. Slice it into bite-sized pieces and dip away to your heart's content. Trust me, you won't want to miss out on this deliciousness — and don’t forget to eat the insides of those stems too! 

Bonus: Getting creative with flavors

While grilled artichokes are delicious on their own, they are versatile enough that they can be enjoyed in many different ways. Try brushing the artichokes with garlic butter or sprinkling them with your favorite herbs and spices before grilling. Or try broiling: Sometimes I top my artichoke with butter, minced garlic, and parmesan cheese and throw it under the broiler for a few minutes after steaming. YUM!

From the simple to the fancy, there are so many ways to make artichoke a standout dish for your family this summer. I hope they "heart-ily" approve!

Charlotte Linde is the publisher of Macaroni KID EATS and the publisher of Macaroni KID Cedar Rapids, Iowa.