Nothing signals summer like the sizzle of the grill and we vegans (and vegetarians) are stepping up our BBQ game with tantalizing mains, sides, and appetizers that will entice even the most dedicated meat eaters and omnivores.
Don’t worry if you don’t have an outdoor grill or are living in a small space; we’ve found that alternatives like the Ninja Foodi Grill easily create the same seared taste while functioning indoors like other kitchen appliances. But we also recognize that indoor grills are pricey, so a grill pan or cast-iron pan, which are generally inexpensive, will do the trick just as well.
Whether you’re cooking in your condo or spending summer in your backyard, we’ve got everything you need to make delicious memories. Check out our roundup of vegan BBQ-inspired recipes from some top culinary creators below.
Japanese pasta salad with kabocha
One of our favourite YouTubers, Lauren Toyota of Hot For Food, created this Japanese pasta salad as the perfect side dish, but we love it so much we’d eat it as a main!
Lauren’s use of flavourful kobocha squash is inspired by her Japanese background and combines corn, red onion, kale, and seaweed as well as her own creamy miso dressing.
Mesquite BBQ pulled mushroom sandwich
We’re huge fans of food blogger Shakayla Houston’s vegetarian take on the classic pulled pork sandwich. Her creation, featured on her site Sweet Greens Vegan, uses meaty oyster mushrooms in place of pork, and a mix of mesquite flavouring and BBQ sauce to give her sandwich a plant-powered punch.
Grilled sweet potato with chile lime tahini sauce
Grilled sweet potato is one of our faves, so we were super excited when we came across Laura Wright from The First Mess’ creative take on this tasty root veggie.
We love that Laura shares where the ingredients from her recipes come from, such as the Philippine origins of adobo sauce, one of the ingredients in this recipe.
Mango watercress salad and plantain mango kebabs
Award winning blogger and vegan chef Nzingah Oniwosan from Yes Baby I Like It Raw celebrates her Haitian roots with this refreshing recipe.
The sweet mango complements the ripe grilled plantain, while the watercress is more than a pretty bed of greens — often considered a superfood, this Haitian staple is full of vitamins and nutrients.
Grilled cauliflower steaks with Greek salsa
We used the Ninja Foodi Grill to make this tasty BBQ main, but as we said above, you can also use a pan. Thick cauliflower steaks are marinated in high oleic oil (we used an avocado coconut blend to avoid smoking), and then tossed them on the grill for less than 20 minutes.
Waste not want not, this recipe makes use of the leftover cauliflower as toppings for the accompanying salad.
Vegan cheeseburger pasta salad
Um, you had us at vegan cheeseburger, and trust us, this BBQ hybrid recipe from Hot For Food does not disappoint!
Combining classic cheeseburger ingredients like homemade Thousand Island dressing, dill pickles, and vegan cheese, this spectacular side dish mixes plant-based ground round and pasta shells for a veganized twist on a classic taste.
Black bean and corn burgers
These scrumptious black bean and corn burgers from Food52 are sure to tempt your meat-eating friends over to the plant-based side of the grill.
Flavourful spices like cumin, paprika, and chili combine with onion and garlic, black beans, and corn to form hearty patties, perfect for grilling.
Pomegranate BBQ sauce
The perfect sauce for seasoning summer BBQ mains, this simple recipe from Vitamix combines antioxidant-rich pomegranate juice with chipotle, lime juice, ketchup (we chose this natural version) and other tasty seasonings for a tantalizing marinade perfect for portobello caps, tempeh, and tofu.
A good guacamole is often the star of a summer feast. This delicious side will excite your guests at your next outdoor BBQ party (if it’s safe, that is), particularly if it’s made with Joy McCarthy’s The Everything Guacamole recipe from her blog Joyous Health.
Packed with nutritional powerhouses like hemp hearts and of course those fibre-filled avocados, Joy adds cilantro, tomatoes, and garlic to amp up her guac with fresh flavour to create an unforgettable and easy-to-make summer dish.
- 4 ripe avocados, de-seeded
- 1/4 of a large red onion, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 3 tbsp hemp hearts
- 1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Juice from 2-3 limes
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Pinch sea salt
- In a large bowl, place avocados and mash with a fork.
- Stir in red onion, tomatoes, hemp hearts, garlic and lime juice.
- Mix in cilantro just before serving and a pinch of sea salt.
Serve with fresh cut up veggies, plantain chips or tortilla chips.