These grilled artichokes will become a spring and summer appetizer staple! Large, fresh artichokes are steamed, prepped, and marinated for 24 hours in a flavorful balsamic vinegar mixture filled with garlic and ginger.
The artichokes get grilled and basted with the excess marinade and take on a wonderful smoky flavor. Served with a garlic lemon aioli dipping sauce, these marinated artichokes will become your favorite recipe for grilling season.
While this chargrilled artichoke recipe takes some planning and prep time, the flavor the artichoke halves and artichoke hearts develop is unmatched. They're tangy, salty, slightly sweet, and smoky with all the background notes from the garlic and ginger. The artichokes stay juicy during the cooking and eating process, so you'll definitely want a napkin to catch those drips!
While most recipes are marinated artichoke hearts, these are more unique as you get to enjoy the entire artichoke, right down to the artichoke heart (which is the best part)! These are wonderful served next to a grilled protein like flank steak or as a standalone appetizer, and are perfect for an outdoor setting.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
Flavor packed - These tender artichokes are bursting with flavor. From the marinade to the smoky grilled flavor, to the lemon garlic dipping sauce, everything pairs perfectly together for a flavorful bite every time.
Shareable - Artichokes are the perfect appetizer or side to share. The leaves get pulled off individually and enjoyed, and because there are so many, this recipe can feed up to 16 people! It's a fun way to get everyone involved in a delicious appetizer.
Make ahead - This is a great recipe to prep ahead of time because marinated grilled artichokes need at least 24 hours to marinate and allow the flavors to develop. Then, on the day of, the only task is to add the artichokes to a hot grill for a few minutes until charbroiled.
- Fresh artichokes. Look for large artichokes with a nice green color and stems and leaves that aren't discolored or bruised.
- Lemon. Zest and lemon juice are used in the dipping sauce, and slices are used in the steaming liquid.
- Garlic. Whole garlic cloves are used in the steaming liquid, minced in the marinade, and grated in the aioli.
- Olive oil. Used as a base for the marinade. I prefer to use good quality, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil.
- Balsamic vinegar. The major component of the artichoke marinade, and provides the perfect tanginess to the end result.
- Soy sauce. This pairs nicely with the balsamic and helps season the artichokes with salt.
- Ginger. Fresh ginger is used for the most flavor. Ground ginger is not recommended.
- Salt and fresh cracked black pepper. A touch of salt is needed in the aioli, and fresh black pepper is added to the marinade.
See recipe card for full ingredients list and quantities.
Substitutions and Variations
- Use regular or light soy sauce, or even tamari in the marinade.
- Dip the artichoke leaves and hearts in melted lemon butter rather than garlic lemon aioli.
- Top the grilled artichokes with shaved parmesan cheese or parmesan flakes for extra flavor.
- Don't have a grill? Broil both sides of the artichokes on high until blistered and slightly blackened. Alternatively, use a grill pan on very high heat to create grill marks and a bit of char.
How to Make Artichokes on the Grill
Preparing artichokes for cooking takes a few steps. The tops, stems, and leaves need to be prepped prior to cooking. Following cook time, the centers also need to be prepped before marinating.
How to Prepare Artichokes
One: Remove most of the artichoke stem, leaving about 1 inch. Then, remove at least one inch from the top of the artichoke, cutting through all of the leaves.
Two: Using kitchen shears, cut the thorny tips off of all the leaves. Remove any small leaves from the base and stems, and use a vegetable peeler to remove the sides of the stem.
Three: Prepare a large pot of water with 1 inch of water. Add garlic cloves and lemon slices.
Four: Place a steamer basket in the water, then add the artichokes, stem side up. Steam until done.
Hot tip! If you don't have a steamer basket, you can boil the cut artichokes by adding them cut side down directly into the 1" of water.
Cleaning Artichoke Centers
Five: Once cooled, cut the artichoke in half using a serrated knife. Cut through the stem side first for best results.
Six: Remove the purple-tipped leaves from the center and discard.
Seven: Use a spoon to separate the fuzzy choke from the meaty heart and discard.
Eight: Whisk together all marinade ingredients in a bowl or measuring cup.
Marinating and Grilling
Nine: Place the artichoke halves in a gallon zip-top bag (4 per bag), then split the marinade between the bags. Marinate for 24 hours, flipping occasionally.
Ten: Add the marinated halves to a cookie sheet and reserve the marinade. Preheat the grill.
Eleven: While the grill heats, combine all ingredients for the garlic lemon aioli so the flavors can develop.
Twelve: Grill both sides of the artichokes over direct heat until very charred. Spoon on excess marinade in the cavity and in between the leaves of the cut sides for extra flavor. Serve on a platter.
How To Eat Grilled Artichokes
- Start on the outer bottom of the artichoke and remove a leaf, holding it from the top.
- Using either your top or bottom teeth, scrape the "meat" from the inner curved part of the leaf into your mouth starting ⅔ of the way up and moving the whole way to the bottom of each leaf. Discard the leaf.
- Continue pulling off and eating more leaves. Note that the closer the leaves get to the heart, the more tender the meat will become.
- Once all leaves are removed, the heart and stem can be cut into pieces and enjoyed fully.
- Use a very sharp knife or serrated knife and kitchen shears to prepare the artichokes for steaming.
- Be sure the artichokes are fully steamed or boiled before removing them. They need to be fully cooked or else the meat on the leaves will be difficult to eat. To check this, remove a leaf (use tongs) towards the center of the artichoke. If it pulls out without effort, the artichoke is ready.
- Allow the steamed artichokes to cool until you can handle them prior to preparing and removing the inner purple leaves and fuzzy choke.
- Allow the artichokes to marinate for at least 24 hours, or up to three days before grilling. Two days is the sweet spot!
- Reserve the marinade and baste the cut halves of the artichokes (in the centers and in between the leaves) during the grilling process for extra flavor.
Large artichokes can take up to one hour to fully cook. If fully boiled and submerged in water, this can be reduced to closer to 30 minutes. Steaming will take at least an hour. It's always best to check for doneness by pulling out a leaf from the center.
A whole artichoke is cooked when a leaf towards the center of the artichoke can be pulled out easily with very little resistance. Once removed, eat the meat from the leaf. If it all scrapes off easily, the artichoke is ready.
These artichokes should be marinated for a full 24 hours, but can stand in the marinade for up to three days. I find that two days gives the absolute best flavor.
Store the grilled artichokes tightly covered in the fridge for two days. Reheat gently in the microwave, or back on a hot grill until slightly warmed. The artichokes should not be frozen.
More Summer Appetizers You'll Love
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Marinated Grilled Artichokes with Lemon Aioli
- Serrated knife
- Vegetable peeler
- kitchen shears
- Large pot
- steamer basket
- chefs knife
- large cutting board
- 2 gallon ziptop bags
- 4 large artichokes fresh and whole
- 1 lemon sliced
- 2 cloves garlic smashed
- ¾ cup balsamic vinegar 180ml
- ⅔ cup water 160ml
- ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce 120ml
- ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil 160ml
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh garlic minced
- ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
Lemon Garlic Aioli:
- ½ cup mayonnaise 113g
- 1 large garlic clove grated
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Prepping the artichokes for the marinade:
- Use a serrated knife to cut off the top inch of the artichoke and the bottom of the stem (leaving 1 inch of the stem on the artichoke) and remove any small leaves from the stem and base of the artichoke and use a vegetable peeler to peel the hard pieces from the stem. Then, use kitchen shears to cut the thorny tips off of all of the leaves. Rinse well.4 large artichokes
- In a large pot, add 1-2 inches of water, the smashed garlic cloves, and half of a sliced lemon. You want the bottom of the steamer basket just touching the water line.1 lemon, 2 cloves garlic
- Set a collapsible steamer basket in the pot and add the artichokes upside down (stems up). It's ok for them to be very snug. Bring the water to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cover with a lid.
- Start checking the artichokes for tenderness after about 30 minutes, but this can take up to one hour depending on how large the artichokes are. The artichokes are done when a leaf from the middle of the artichoke pulls out easily. Use tongs to pull out the middle leaf, test eating the meat to see if it's tender.
- Remove the steamer basket of cooked artichokes from the pot and set out to cool.
Marinating the artichokes:
- Using a serrated knife, cut each cooled artichoke in half lengthwise (through the stem). Pull out the purple-tipped leaves and the fuzzy choke (using a spoon) and discard.
- Whisk together the balsamic, water, soy sauce, olive oil, ginger, garlic, and black pepper.¾ cup balsamic vinegar, ⅔ cup water, ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce, ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- Add the prepared artichokes into two, gallon ziploc bags and cover with the ingredients for the marinade, splitting the liquid and garlic and ginger pieces evenly between the bags. Marinate for at least 24 hours, adding the bags to the fridge overnight and removing them in the morning. Flip the bags a few times during the marinating process.
Lemon Garlic Aioli:
- Grate a clove of garlic into the mayonnaise. Zest half a lemon, and juice half the lemon and add it into the mixture. Add a pinch of salt and fresh cracked black pepper, stir to combine. Allow the flavors to merry while you grill the artichokes.½ cup mayonnaise, 1 large garlic clove, 1 lemon, Salt and cracked black pepper
Grilling the artichokes:
- Remove artichokes from the bag onto a platter or cookie sheet, reserving the marinade.
- Grill the artichokes until leaves begin to char, turning and basting the cut sides of the artichokes with the marinade as you grill. Add the marinade to the cavity and in between the leaves of the cut side.
- Serve on a platter or cutting board with lemon garlic aioli.
- Enjoy the meat from the bottom of the leaves and the entire heart.
-Refer to the step-by-step photos in the blog post-write-up if you are unfamiliar with how to prepare an artichoke or how to remove the choke.
-Allow the artichokes to marinate for a full 24 hours for the best flavor. 48 hours is even better!
-When basting the cut sides during grilling, spoon the excess marinade into the leaves and the center.
-Set out a few bowls for people to discard their leaves once eaten.