Recipes Summer

25 Sizzling Vegan Barbecue Ideas

Who says vegans can’t have fun at BBQs? Everyone will want to try these vegan barbecue ideas!

By Lora O’Brien

Some of my fondest memories of summer are of family and friends coming together for a good, old-fashioned garden barbie. There’s something about great food, warm evenings and fantastic company that just seems to be the pinnacle of a perfect summer’s night.

But if you’re vegan or have recently ditched the meat, you’re probably not too keen on the summer BBQ scene – if the smell of searing flesh doesn’t put you off, nasty, pre-packaged, chemical ridden ‘vegan burgers’ slapped on the grill will.

Well, don’t sweat it this year, because BBQs don’t have to center around meaty dishes, real or fake. There are lots of ways to enjoy a delicious summer BBQ – from savoury salads to scrummy desserts and vegan burgers to smoky, grilled veggies. In fact, there are so many delish vegan barbeque ideas, even the most devoted carnivore will be happy to indulge in non-meaty dishes.

Now, fire up the grill, pop open a bottle of white wine, and let’s make this summer awesome with these great vegan barbecue ideas!

25 Sizzling Vegan Barbecue Ideas

1. Balsamic Roasted New Potatoes with Asparagus

Is there any veggie that feels more summery than asparagus? I think we all adore it simply because its growing season is so short – you really do appreciate something when you know it won’t be around long! Here, the delicate veg makes the perfect partner to tender new potatoes.

Get the recipe here.

2. Asian Style Coleslaw

For me a BBQ isn’t a real shindig until I see a bowl of coleslaw. But unlike the creamy store-bought containers we usually opt for, pack full of calorific mayonnaise and god only knows what else, why not add a little something special  to your slaw this summer? This one is packed full of crunchy veg and then seasoned with a tangy miso and ginger based dressing.

Get the recipe here.

3. Herbed Red Potato Salad

As with coleslaw, the dressing for potato salad usually consists of mayonnaise – why? Why? There’s really no need, as this recipe that features Dijon mustard and herbs on the spuds, proves beyond a doubt. Oh, plus with the lack of mayo in this vegan potato salad, you’re far less likely to get food poisoning, no matter how long this is out in the heat!

Get the recipe here.

4. Caramelized Onion Hummus

Who doesn’t love a dip at a BBQ? Vegan barbecue ideas just have to include a bunch of dips, and for me,  something magical happens when I smear tortilla chips with sauces and dips, like this caramelized onion hummus. Everything around me just kind of fades away as I enjoy the tangy, creamy, and INSANELY good flavours!

Get the recipe here.

5. Beetroot & Tahini Dip

This mixture of beetroot, tahini and garlic is topped with crunchy nuts and yogurt, but just sub in a vegan version to make this dish 100% cruelty-free. It goes beautifully with crudites, tortilla chips, toasted wholemeal pitta triangles – anything, really!

Get the recipe here.

6. Vegan Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Vegan barbecue ideas usually include a cold macaroni salad. Ho hum, right? But when you realise that mac ‘n’ cheese is just as good warm as it is hot, that salad can be replaced by the M&C, no problem! It’s all about maintaining the heat – you can actually put this in tin foil and wrap it up to heat on the grill, or enjoy it warm instead of hot, as I do.

Get the recipe here.

7. Middle Eastern Cauliflower Rice Salad

Rice salads are pretty popular at any vegan barbeque, but the truth is, they’re often left uneaten because they can be damn boring. The Lazy Cat Kitchen knows this full well, and turned the entire rice salad concept upside down by making cauliflower the ‘rice’ and infusing it with Arabic flavours. Game. Changer!

Get the recipe here.

8. Harissa & Mint Grilled Corn

Of all the vegan barbecue ideas, this may be the simplest, but there are so many ways to dress it up. For example, this harissa and mint concoction has North African flavour that’s guaranteed to take your tastebuds to another dimension! Not sure where to buy harissa spices? You can easily get them online here.

Get the recipe here.

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9. Quinoa Kale Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

I swear, if I go to another BBQ where the vegan ‘meal’ is simply some zucchini and potatoes slapped on the same grill that meat has been on, I may just lose my sh*t. Especially when so many other incredible possibilities exist. I mean, just look at these sweet potatoes! They’ve got protein (quinoa) and greens and tons of flavour. All it takes is a bit of creativity, right?

Get the recipe here.

10. Chipotle Lime Fries

Just when I thought fries couldn’t get any better, I find this recipe! Seriously, who wouldn’t devour a plate of these chipotle and lime fries? Make a large batch and serve them to your guests and  I guarantee they’ll be gone in minutes (The fries. Not the guests.)

Get the recipe here.

vegan barbecue ideas

11. Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

It seems cauliflower is having its moment in the sun. I’m seeing in everything from pizza crusts to tacos, and of course, they also make the perfect ‘chicken’ wings! If you really coat them well before baking them, they have a deliciously spicy ‘skin’.

Get the recipe here.

vegan barbecue ideas

12. Smoky Grilled Sweet Potato Sliders with Cilantro & Lime

A successful BBQ is all about the side dishes, and when it’s a vegan BBQ, it’s best to have lots of tasty and filling dishes for your guests to try. And this one is both tasty and filling, and oh so easy to make! It’s all about the spices and that char-grilling, people.

Get the recipe here.

13. The Big Taco Salad

There’s always a bowl of salad at a BBQ, but let’s face it, it’s usually pretty dull and ends up kind of half-eaten. So why not make a salad people will actually enjoy eating, like this taco one? It’s a little bit like a deconstructed taco and features a tangy, refreshing cilantro cream dressing.

Get the recipe here.

14. Sriracha Tofu Kebabs

Turn up the heat on that tofu! It can be flavoured so easily, and Sriracha has such a strong, spicy taste that it’s perfect for giving tofu a new lease of life this summer. You could serve these up with a salad, or even a rice dish.

Get the recipe here.

15. The Vegan Gutbuster Sausage

Carnivores always seem to want sausages at BBQs, which is a mystery to me, since they’re literally made with slaughterhouse garbage. Who would want to eat that? Make your own vegan versions and prove to the carnies once and for all that veganism is the better path.  The base of these bad boys is beans, and they’re bursting with flavour from the garlic, sweet paprika, oregano, pepper flakes and parsley.

Get the recipe here.

16. Vegan Chorizo Sausages

I never knew it was even possible to make vegan chorizo, so I HAD to include this recipe! For those of you that have never tasted it, chorizo is a spicy Spanish sausage that uses the bodies of pigs to make it. Um, no thanks. Instead, try this firmly textured, beautifully spiced vegan barbeque staple that proves anything meat can do,veg can do better!

Get the recipe here.

17. Crispy Breaded Tofu

Hands up if you thought I’d snuck a chicken recipe in here after seeing this? Okay, well I was so convinced this was chicken and not tofu, I checked the recipe twice to be sure. You can reduce the calories in this recipe by skipping the bread crumb crust and just using the homemade BBQ sauce to cover the ‘steaks’, but personally, I love the crispness that comes with the crumb coating.

Get the recipe here.

18. Roasted Carrot Hot Dogs

One of my favourite comfort foods is a vegan hot dog loaded with onions and ketchup with a little yellow mustard. But most vegan ‘dogs are filled with crap – artificial ingredients, processed wheat, GMO soya, etc. So I was thrilled to find that you can make hot dogs from one of your five-a-days – carrots! They have the same texture as a hot dog, and once they’re smothered in condiments, you’ll barely notice these are carrots.

Get the recipe here.

19. Spicy Miso Portobello Burgers

Portobello mushrooms are often used in replacement of meat because of their meaty texture and perfect size for a vegan burger bun, but when grilled on a smoky BBQ and smothered in a spicy miso marinade, you’ll wonder why these burgers aren’t as ubiquitous as that nasty ass, not-really-vegan-friendly Impossible Burger.

Get the recipe here.

20. Jackfruit Pulled ‘Pork’ Burger

If you don’t happen to live in a tropical location such as Hawaii where Jackfruit is readily available, don’t worry. This recipe calls for tinned jackfruit, which can easily be sourced online here. The result is a meatily textured, slightly sweet sarnie that’s idea for summer fetes.

Get the recipe here.

21. Classic Tofu Burgers

Of all the vegan barbeque ideas, tofu is usually the least welcome option. It has a bad rep for being bland. And it is. Until you dress it up like a hamburger, and then it’s a charismatic superstar! Easy to make, too – when slapped on the grill, firm tofu never falls apart, and takes on that nice, smoky flavour.

Get the recipe here.

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22. Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Vegan barbeque ideas need desserts, too – and what’s better than ice cream? If you’re wondering how to make a vegan ice cream that’s even better than the dairy classic, in my humble opinion, you need to use coconut milk as the base. This recipe does, and I can tell you – it may not be a dieter’s best friend, but it is rich, thick and tasty as sin!

Get the recipe here.

vegan barbecue ideas

23. Grain Free Mixed Berry Crumble

Barbeques are all about sharing; slapping food on the grill that’s for everyone to dig into. They’re kinda democratic that way. So it’s nice to have a dessert you can also whip up and put on the grill in the pan, as it is, then plunk down in the centre of the picnic table for everyone to help themselves to. This one is deceptively healthy – it’s gluten free and full of summer berries. Yum!

Get the recipe here.

24. Coconut Milk Fudgesicles

These may look as chocolately and creamy as the classic ice-cream truck favourite- and they are! But these fudgesicles are 100% vegan friendly, using coconut milk as their base.

Get the recipe here.

Vegan Barbecue Ideas

25. Mini Berry Cheesecakes

Sweetened with the delicate flavor of pure maple syrup and loaded with juicy berries, these cute little desserts are going to be snapped up in minutes by guests at your vegan barbeque, guaranteed! You can use whatever fresh berries you have on hand, too.

Get the recipe here.

Main image: Veggie Jackfruit Nachos. Get the recipe here. See second image credit and more vegan barbecue ideas here.

Lora O'Brien

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