The 16 Best and Most Delicious Vegan BBQ Recipes Out There + Tips and Essentials
Summer is here, and that can only mean one thing, BBQs! Vegans are often left feeling left out and excluded from BBQs, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Vegans should stand proud during a BBQ and draw on some of these delicious recipes that will wow friends and family.
Last year, I attended a BBQ with twenty non-vegans, and I was anxious about what I would cook, and my friends would react to my veganism. I had not seen many of them for a long time, and they had never been around me as a vegan.
I decided to go into the situation armed with some great recipes, and I managed to surprise all of them. Vegan BBQing is not only easy, but it can be fun and delicious. The idea that meat must be the start of the show is simply a myth.
16 Best and Most Delicious Vegan BBQ Recipes
By the end of the BBQ, I had helped twenty of my close friends realize that vegans can BBQ and do not have to miss out on the fun experience.
This year, don’t shy away from any BBQ invitations. Instead, take note of the awesome recipes below and eat some delicious vegan BBQ food with your friends and loved ones.
1. Vegan Cheesy Jalapeno Burgers
What is a BBQ without burgers? Burgers are usually the highlight of most BBQ’s, and this one is perfect for those after that BBQ tastes with an added bit of spice. Jalapenos are one of my favorite foods, so this is a clear choice for me every time.
The burger itself is a bean burger using black beans. Bean burgers are a great choice for BBQ’s because if you get the patty just right, it will grill well and stay together. The rice and oats help keep the burgers form. There is nothing worse than watching a vegan burger crumble and disappear through the grill cracks and into the coals.
The recipe also includes a smoky onion jam, which is to die for. You will need some liquid smoke to make it work, a staple product for any vegan cupboard.
2. Crispy BBQ Potatoes
Not everything on a BBQ has to be meat-focused. Sometimes a good potato can steal the show. These crispy BBQ potatoes are a crowd pleaser and add something special to your plate. They’re packed full of summer flavors, and they take on that BBQ smokiness perfectly.
When I made these crispy potatoes for friends, they disappeared way before any of the burgers or meat they cooked. Nobody can resist a great-tasting potato! The recipe calls for brown sugar, which really helps to create a sticky BBQ texture.
3. Grilled Tofu and Pineapple Kebabs
Kebabs are vegan’s best friend when it comes to BBQing. You can literally stick any veggie on a stick and grill it up. Adding tofu is the icing on the cake, it offers that meaty alternative so you can recreate a traditional-like kebab.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to include the pineapple. I know some people hate the idea of mixing fruit with savory foods, and that’s cool. Kebabs are versatile, and you have a lot of freedom with your choice of veg.
Personally, I like to make a Chinese marinade for my tofu, and mushrooms are a must. A BBQ does beautiful things to mushrooms.
4. Jackfruit Quesadillas
If you can get your hands on some young jackfruit, then recommend you to give it a go on your BBQ. If you haven’t discovered the miracle food that is jackfruit, you’re in for a treat. Once cooked, it replicates the texture of chicken or fish to create a great meat alternative.
This recipe uses jackfruit as a chicken alternative to creating these delicious quesadillas. If you can get some vegan cheese that melts well, make sure you include it. A quesadilla cooks really well on a BBQ, it goes perfectly crispy and allows the cheese to become stringy inside.
5. Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls
Ok, so you won’t need a BBQ for these. The rolls are a raw and fresh dish packed full of summer flavor. Despite not needing to be grilled, these rolls are a great dish at a BBQ. I like to use them as a starter for everyone.
You can make a tangy peanut dip to go with them to make them a family favorite in no time. They’re also incredibly simple to put together, and they’re healthy. You can get creative with the veggies you use, but I recommend sticking to the recipe for that traditional Vietnamese vibe.
6. Grilled Avocados Stuffed with Chickpeas
Did you know you can grill avocados? Neither did I until last year! These grilled avos are delicious, and once grilled, they take on a unique smoky avo flavor that’s worth trying out. Most people enjoy avos nowadays, so I find that this recipe is popular among most people.
In this recipe, you stuff the avos with chickpeas that are given a slightly spicy flavor. The drizzle of tahini at the end completes the dish. I highly recommend mixing a few tablespoons of organic tahini with lots of lemon juice, a clove of garlic, and a pinch of salt. This creates a rich tangy sauce that goes really well with the grilled avo.
7. Grilled Cauliflower Tacos
Cauliflower is excellent for grilling because it’s hard, and it takes on flavor really well. This is why most vegan fried chicken wing recipes use cauliflower. This is another fresh and tangy Mexican-inspired dish that will have people salivating.
I recommend using a good hot sauce, preferably one infused with fruit like mango or pineapple. This helps elevate the tacos to the next level. If you like a lot of spice, don’t be afraid to throw in some jalapenos.
8. Grilled Zucchini Fries
If you have never tried zucchini fries, then you should definitely give this recipe a go. Zucchini is a healthy and delicious alternative to potatoes. The method is incredibly simple, you just need to slice your zucchinis up, drizzle with olive oil, and splash on a lot of lemon juice.
Often when I grill zucchinis like this, they almost taste like grilled fish. That might just be me, though! Give this simple vegan BBQ recipe a go and let me know in the comments about your experience.
9. Vegan BBQ Sausages
This isn’t a recipe, I thought it might be useful to give you a list of the best vegan sausages you can buy for a BBQ. These sausages won’t crumble into dust when they hit the grill, they can stand on their own two feet and cook really well. Add them to a hot dog bun or just eat straight from the fork, your choice.
- The Beyond Sausage
- Field Roast Sausages
- Tofurkey Italian Sausage
- Linda McCartney Sausages
- Light Life Foods Smart Sausage
10. Classic Vegan Cheeseburger
Before I went vegan, my BBQ staple was a classic cheeseburger. Now I’m vegan, I’ve had to find a recipe that can mimic this best and find a cheese worthy of a burger. This burger patty holds well on the grill, and when combined with good vegan cheese, it’s delicious.
The burger is soy-free, which I like because too many vegan burgers are made with soy, and we all know too much soy isn’t great for the body. The patty is made up of black beans, rice, and potato, which makes it grill-worthy.
11. Jackfruit Ribs
If you’re looking to impress some people this summer, these jackfruit ribs will do the job. Jackfruit is so versatile and can replicate the texture of meat very well. The recipe can be challenging to put together on your first attempt, but it’s well worth it.
This recipe is for BBQ style vegan ribs, but you can play around with the flavors. In the past, I have made a teriyaki version, which was very tasty. I recommend grilling these towards the end of the fire. If the grill is too hot, it might turn to ash.
12. Tempeh Loaded Sweet Potatoes
Tempeh is rapidly becoming my new favorite food. Once you learn to cook properly by steaming to take out the bitter taste, you will realize how delicious tempeh can be with the right marinades.
This recipe is a mix of marinated tempeh and veggies stuffed inside a big sweet potato and grilled on the BBQ. The sweet potato becomes crispy and sticky, which goes really well with the texture of tempeh.
13. Marinated Tofu Skewers
Tofu is one of my favorite foods for a BBQ. Because it is versatile and able to take on so many different flavors, you can replicate many of your favorite non-vegan BBQ foods. These marinated tofu skewers are really simple to make and BBQ.
You can also get creative with the marinade. Feel free to experiment and try out different flavors, I tend to go South-East Asian with my flavors, but you can also go American with a rich smoky BBQ marinade. Just make sure to use a Tofu press to help it really absorb the marinade.
14. Grilled Eggplant
This is one of my favorite vegan BBQ side dishes. It’s so simple and so tasty! All you need is a couple of eggplants sliced into circles. Drizzle with oil and add chopped garlic, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper. Add straight to the grill and flip a few times.
Once the slices of eggplant become charred, and the skin goes black, you’re in for one hell of a tasty treat. Not everyone likes eggplant, but for those that do, you will probably make this recipe every time the BBQ gets fired up this summer.
15. Vegan Potato Salad
Last year I was at a BBQ (Braai) in South Africa when a woman brought out a big bowl of potato salad. I was so bummed I couldn’t take into it as it is mostly just mayonnaise. So I decided to find a vegan potato salad recipe that I could take to BBQs.
This recipe is straightforward and delicious. It’s the perfect side dish to your vegan burgers, vegan kebabs, or vegan sausages. If you enjoy potato salad, you will appreciate adding this recipe to your BBQ recipe arsenal.
16. Cauliflower BBQ Steak
That’s right, vegans can eat steak too! Cauliflower steaks have become really popular over the last few years, and this recipe does not disappoint. Yes, you may get mocked by the meat-eaters but who cares, cruelty-free steak is cool!
It’s actually impressive how much flavor you can get from a cauliflower steak. If you make these bad boys this year, feed them to your non-vegan friends and let me know what they thought. So far, I’ve had very few complaints from friends or family.
Top Vegan BBQ Tips
Hosting a vegan BBQ or being the only vegan at a regular BBQ can be tricky. Over a few years, I’ve developed a few tips for having a successful vegan BBQ.
Don’t Sweat It
First of all, don’t worry about it. Find some recipes you like, get prepared, and be confident with the food you’re making. Nine times out of ten, people will love the food you cook and be surprised that vegan BBQing can be so tasty.
Ignore the haters. You’re always going to have Uncle Bob making snide remarks or a friend who is unwilling to try a sausage because it’s made from plants. Don’t sweat it.
Buy Some Good Vegan Cheese
There is nothing worse than making a delicious vegan burger on the BBQ only to find the cheese you put on top tastes like sour rubber. Here are few brands that are worthy of a vegan burger:
- Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds
- Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet Cheddar
- Teese Cheddar Vegan Cheese
- Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
- Follow Your Heart Shredded Parmesan Alternative
- Treeline Treenut Cheese
If you have a better recommendation, please let me know in the comments.
Use Meat Alternatives
You don’t have to make your life hard with recipes. There are plenty of great vegan meat alternatives to choose from that cook entirely well on the BBQ. Here are the best:
- Gardein’s Beefless Burger
- Beyond Meat’s Beyond Sausages
- Boca Burger’s Spicy Chick’n Patty
- Gardein’s Beefless Tips
- Upton’s Classic Burger
- Field Roast’s Frankfurters
- Gardein’s Black Bean Burgers
- Tofurky’s Slow Roasted Chicken
If you’re hosting friends or family, I highly recommend using some of these products. You will be amazed at how much people love them. I’ve had many friends, and family members message me a few wells later to say they now buy vegan meat on the regular.
Get Creative with Vegetables
Vegetables are great on the grill. Try to get creative with the types of vegetables you use and try using a kebab stick to put them all together. You can try your hand at different marinades that complement them.
People like to turn their nose up at grilled veggies, but I have no idea why. They’re far tastier than any meat or vegan meat for that matter.
Avoid a Vegan Debate
It’s easy to get sucked into a debate about veganism when attending a non-vegan BBQ. Some people start off with a genuine interest in your lifestyle choice, but it can quickly go downhill if you’re not careful.
If the conversation arises, I simply ask if we can discuss the topic at another time. If you’re all drinking, what seems like a simple conversation can quickly become a heated argument.
It’s hard to resist taking the bait because you want to defend your position. But nothing is achieved by arguing at a friendly BBQ. Believe me.
Ignore Any Ridicule
I’ve attended a few BBQs now with people I don’t know and have been on the receiving end of ridicule or jokes. Vegans at BBQs can rub up on some people in the wrong way. They can get a bit defensive and mock you.
Just ignore them. If they’re persistent, I calmly respond with something humorous to disarm them and let them know I won’t be triggered.
Vegan BBQs can be a beautiful thing with a little bit of preparation and creativity. There are many fantastic food ideas for vegan BBQing, so give them all a try this year and find your favorite.
Vegans don’t and shouldn’t have to miss out on a family or friend’s BBQ. Unless you feel uncomfortable with people cooking meat around you, get your recipes prepared, and smash that BBQ this year with some tasty AF vegan food.