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6 amazing vegan BBQ ideas + how to eat vegan at a BBQ

by tamarajune
Published: Last Updated on

With summer right around the corner, we are heading straight into the BBQ season. 

While this is an exciting time for many, it may be a bit more stressful for vegans. 😩

For once, there is always the question of what to eat at a BBQ as a vegan.

What plant foods can you put on the grill? How can you make them taste good?

Do you need to rely on processed foods? What if you are invited to a BBQ but are the only vegan?🤷🏻‍♀️

Secondly, if you are hosting or are invited to a BBQ that both vegans and non-vegans attend, it can be (but not necessarily always is) a bit tricky when these two worlds.

But no need to despair. 

With the tips in this post, you’ll be sure to have a blast at all BBQs you are attending or hosting this year (and in the future) without feeling awkward or left out.🙌🏻

Moreover, you’ll discover 6 amazing vegan BBQ ideas that you can make or bring to a BBQ.

These recipes are such a fantastic and tasty prove that being vegan isn’t restrictive.

On the contrary, even omnivores might start drooling. 😉

How to be a great vegan BBQ host 

Vegetables such as mushrooms, tomatoes, and bell peppers on a grill as an example of a vegan BBQ ideas

If you are hosting a BBQ, you have a lot of control over what food is served. So, you can make sure there is an array of delicious vegan food available.

However, also keep your guests in mind as the BBQ should be a pleasurable and fun experience for all. 

If all your guests are vegan or open to the entire menu being vegan (you want to communicate that openly), you hit the jackpot.

In that case, you can jump ahead to the 6 vegan BBQ ideas and start planning your menu. 

However, most of us don’t have a circle of entirely vegan friends and family.

This can make hosting a bit tricky as a vegan because you have to cater to people with various dietary choices.

As a hostess, you have the opportunity to veganize a lot of the dishes offered. For example, you can veganize all the sides, salads, soups, and desserts. 

When it comes to the main BBQ meals, you have to decide how comfortable you are with handling and preparing meat. 

If that is not a big deal to you, you are good to go and can start planning your menu. 

If you can’t envision yourself doing so, then you need to enlist some help. Ask one of the guests or a friend or neighbor if they would be willing to help you out. 

In addition, some of your guests may offer to bring some food. Always be grateful for the help and accept it, even if it’s not vegan. 

Summary: If you are hosting a BBQ, you can make sure there is an array of delicious vegan food available. However, also keep your guests in mind as the BBQ should be a pleasurable and fun experience for all. Don’t be afraid to ask friends, family, or guests for assistance if you are offering meat options but aren’t comfortable handling them yourself.

How to be a great vegan guest at a BBQ

Vegetable skewers on a BBQ grill as an example of vegan BBQ ideas

If you are a guest at a non-vegan BBQ, you should inform the host that you are vegan, if they don’t already know. 

Next, offer to bring a vegan dish to share.

Don’t assume, expect, or imply that the host will or should provide a vegan meal for you. Always offer to bring something for yourself as well as others. 

If your host insists that they cook a vegan dish, offer your help.  

Arriving at a BBQ unprepared may make the host and other guests feel guilty or uncomfortable.

It’s not going to shine a positive light on you or veganism (“veganism is so limiting”).

However, it always depends on how you handle the situation. If necessary, you can put together a meal for yourself, from side dishes like salad and fries. 

Moreover, bringing vegan dishes to a BBQ is an excellent opportunity to showcase how delicious vegan meals can taste.

Moreover, it exemplifies that being vegan doesn’t restrict you from taking part in fun activities and get-togethers.

Summary: If you are a guest at a vegan BBQ don’t assume, expect, or imply that the host will or should provide a vegan meal for you. Always inform the host of your dietary choices beforehand and offer to bring a vegan dish to share. However, if you are in a pinch, you can always make a meal for yourself out of side dishes.

Dealing with critics

Though it always depends on the individuals at an event, there may be some conflict whenever vegans and non-vegans meet. 

To learn how to deal with people criticizing your dietary choices in a compassionate and kind manner, check out this article on how to handle criticism for being vegan.

Okay, now let’s get to the good stuff:

6 amazing vegan BBQ ideas

Vegetable skewers on a BBQ grill

Offering these delicious foods at your BBQ or bringing them to one will stun all the guests. Or you can simply treat yourself to some incredible meal.

Side dishes: 

The great thing about sides is that you can easily veganize most of them. 

Here are some of the recipes I like to make or bring that always enjoy great popularity:

  • Potato salad: What’s a BBQ without potato salad? This vegan Vegan Potato Salad recipe is super yummy and tastes like the real deal.
  • Pasta salad is easy to make, super delicious, and always finished to the last bite. Here’s a recipe I really like:
  • Grilled potatoes are always a hit- everyone wants them, trust me. I could live off of these  Grilled Baby Potatoes with Rosemary all year round.
  • Grilled corn: If you haven’t put corn on the grill yet, you’ve been missing out – it’s a game-changer. I love to enjoy it as is, maybe with some salt 🙊. But if I want to get fancy, this Grilled Corn on the Cob with Creamy Avocado Dill Dressing Recipe is my go-to. 
  • Alcohol is often a significant part of a BBQ, whether you want to participate or not is totally up to you. But if you’re going to stay alcohol-free or need a delicious non-alcoholic beverage to switch things up, this alcohol-free Beet, Citrus, and Ginger Sangria Mocktail is terrific. 

Main dishes:

I know with all these fantastic options for sides, you may not even need a main BBQ dish.

But trust me, you don’t want to miss out on all the goodness that is to come.

Skewers and Kebabs 

Skewers and kebabs can be veganized easily, no recipe required. Just add lots of veggies, and instead of meat, choose tofu or tempeh.

But if you want to up your game, here are some delicious recipes to try. 

Vegan ribs

Want to impress all the meat-eaters at the BBQ? Make vegan rips. They are easy to make and oh so good. Who said being vegan is limiting?

Here are some recipes I think you’ll enjoy:

Grilled tofu

Tofu is likely one of the most popular foods vegans put on the grill and that for a good reason. Tofu tastes incredible grilled.

If you flavor tofu with various marinades and vinaigrettes, you can elevate it even more.

Give one of these fabulous recipes a try: 

Grillable burgers 

For a long time, I only put processed vegan burgers from the store on the grill. I thought the homemade ones would fall apart.

Oh, was I wrong and have I been missing out. 

While you can’t put all vegan burger recipes on the grill, here are some amazing ones that are suitable for grilling. 

Vegan steak

Who said being vegan and eating steak don’t go together?

Everything is possible on a vegan diet, no processed foods required. I swear these Smoky Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Cilantro & Lime look like the real deal.

Plus, this Grilled Jamaican Jerk Eggplant cuts it pretty closely, and so do these Portobello Mushroom Steaks (vegan).

Grilled Pizza 

Okay, I admit I would’ve never thought of putting pizza on a grill, so this was a game-changer.

And can you, just for a second, imagine how amazing grilled pizza tastes. 😍

Yup, you’re in for a treat. So, if you haven’t put pizza on a BBQ yet, you need to heat up your grill now and do so. 

Here is a basic grillable pizza dough recipe. 

Or, try this amazing Grilled BBQ Lentil Pizza with Pineapple.

Summary: Vegan BBQ ideas you need to try this summer!

Infographic summarizing the vegan BBQ ideas  discussed in the post

What is your favorite vegan food to put on the BBQ?

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