There’s a perception that vegans can’t have fun at BBQs, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
In fact, there are so many delicious vegan BBQ recipes that will have you itching to fire up the grill this summer. And I’m sharing 30 of the best vegan grilling ideas from around the plant-based internet, including several of my own.
This post has everything you’d want, from appetizers like mango avocado salsa that will get your mouth watering, to classic side dishes made vegan like potato salad, to main dishes like grilled tofu and veggie burgers, and even fabulous desserts like vegan brown butter peach cobbler.
There are so many fantastic vegan BBQ recipes on this list, but if I had to choose my ideal menu, this is what it would look like:
To drink, I would most likely have a bottle of white wine or rosé. But for those don’t drink, I’d also include some blackberry lemonade.
Because some guests are already hungry when they arrive, I like to prep some dips ahead of time. Homemade hummus is a fantastic option – it’s way better than the store bought stuff and my recipe makes a big batch.
And for dessert, brown butter peach cobbler is always a crowdpleaser. But if I’m busy, I might throw together an easy fruit salad, or maybe some pineapple skewers, if I’m short on time.
Quality beverages are an essential part of a good vegan BBQ. While you could always serve beer, wine, or soda, I recommend making a big batch of one of these drinks. Trust me, your guests will thank you.
My refreshing Blackberry Basil Lemonade is so unique you’ll never want to make classic lemonade again. Made with just 5 ingredients, it’s easy to make, refined sugar-free, and guaranteed to cool you down during the summer.
These Spicy Watermelon Mocktails by Lisa, aka The Viet Vegan, are the perfect drink for the underage folks, the designated drivers, or the people who just don’t want to drink. They’re tasty and fun and the ultimate refreshing BBQ Drink!
It can take a little while for a grill to preheat, so it pays to have some snacks for your guests to nibble on in the meantime. Most of these appetizers can be made ahead.
And I also have a separate round-up of terrific vegan dips if you’re looking to put together more of a mezze platter for your guests.
This vegan Elote (Mexican Street Corn) by Rachel of Health my Lifestyle is so flavorful! You are going to love this grilled corn topped with vegan parmesan and vegan sour cream. It’s easy to make and perfect for grilling season and is ready in less than 30 minutes!
My homemade hummus is incredibly creamy, smooth, and fluffy and packed with a rich, nutty, and lemony flavor. Plus, you’ll learn all the tips and tricks for making incredible hummus at home so you’ll never want to buy store-bought hummus again!
These Vegan Potato Skins by Eat Figs not Pigs are the perfect appetizer for all your summer BBQ needs! They’re crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and topped with crunchy vegan bacon bits, tangy vegan sour cream and green onions for a pop of freshness. They’re guaranteed to impress even the biggest of vegan skeptics!
These Grilled BBQ Watermelon Skewers by Lucy and Lentils transform the flavor of sweet watermelon usually eaten as a snack. The marinade creates a delicious umami packed flavour which works perfectly with the watermelon when grilled on a high heat. Ideal for skewers when paired with corn on the cob and peppers to have at a BBQ.
Salads & Sides
Sides can sometime be the best part of a BBQ, and these are no exception. As with the appetizers, most of these can be made ahead.
Just as creamy as classic potato salad but so much better for you and more flavorful! My mayo-free vegan potato salad features perfectly tender potatoes coated in a creamy, tangy dressing that’s packed with fun flavors and takes just 30 minutes. Perfect side dish for BBQs, potlucks, and picnics.
This peach panzanella salad is a delicious bread salad featuring summer’s finest produce: juicy peaches, velvety heirloom tomatoes, and fresh basil. My recipe requires just 7 ingredients and it’s a foolproof side dish for picnics and potlucks, but the gourmet flavors are guaranteed to impress your guests.
A great addition to your summer menu, my Lemon Orzo Pasta salad is gourmet but simple to make. Featuring orzo, three types of lemon, spiced chickpeas, chewy sundried tomatoes, buttery pine nuts, and a basil gremolata, it has all the best of summer flavors and textures.
My Sweet and Spicy Smashed Cucumber Salad is an easy, healthy, and light side dish that takes cucumbers from bland to fabulous. Slightly sweet and spicy, garlicky, and fresh, it’s surprisingly addictive yet very healthy (vegan, Paleo, and refined sugar-free).
With just 10 ingredients and less than 30 minutes, my Grilled Corn Salad is a foolproof side dish or light lunch for summer. Despite being so easy, it’s packed with flavor, a little heat, and is guaranteed to impress. Perfect for summer barbecues and picnics!
When it comes to a BBQ, main dishes are the stars of the show. Many of these recipes can be made on the grill or on the stovetop.
This vegan BBQ sauce is perfectly sweet yet tangy, smoky, and a little spicy. It’s simple to make and tastes just like your favorite bottled BBQ sauce. It’s the perfect condiment for all of your grilling needs, and it’s ready in just 10 minutes!
Here’s a recipe for Vegan Drumsticks made with seitan and rice paper by Lisa of Okonomi Kitchen. Meaty on the inside, chewy and crispy on the outside, these chicken ‘drumsticks’ are the perfect appetizer or fun weekend meal!
Summer barbecues call for these Mexican Hot Dogs by Dora’s Table that you can make in less than 30 min. Vegan sausage is topped with pico de gallo, mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, pickled jalapeño peppers, and vegan bacon. Served on a warm toasted bun.
In my recipe, the jackfruit is spicy (thanks to the habanero pepper and cayenne pepper) and smoky (thanks to the liquid smoke), so it needs a cooling balance. That’s where the mango avocado salsa comes in! It’s so refreshing and cooling and creamy, making it the perfect complement to the jackfruit.
Learn how to make these simple and delicious grillable veggie burgers for all of your cookouts this summer from Jasmine of Sweet Simple Vegan! Made with beans, veggies, and a zesty seasoning blend, this hearty burger will be a hit with just about everyone.
No BBQ is complete without a great dessert. While fresh fruit is always a good option, if you want to throw a memorable BBQ, make one of these dishes. Your guests will be talking about your hosting skills all summer long.
Light, fluffy and deliciously creamy, this Coconut Rum Cream Pie by Murielle Banackissa features coconut in every single one of its elements: from crust to filling, whipped topping and even garnish. It is perfect on a hot summer day or when you are craving tropical flavors.
Enjoy a tropical vacation in your mouth with my Vegan Piña Colada Cheesecake Bars! The crust is made with macadamia nuts, coconut and gingersnaps, and the cheesecake filling is sweet yet a little tart, creamy and decadent but 100% vegan.
These No Bake Lemon Bars by Rachel of Bakerita are incredibly smooth and creamy with a bright and tart lemon flavor and an almond flour crust. These healthier lemon bars are gluten-free, paleo and vegan. They come together quickly and easily in a blender.
Made with fresh strawberries and a 2-ingredient coconut whipped cream, my Vegan Strawberries and Cream Sheet Cake is light yet indulgent and so flavorful. Made in a sheet pan so it’s an easy, fuss-free dessert that’ll please the whole family!
My delicious twist on the classic Southern peach cobbler. Peaches and blueberries get swirled with vegan brown butter and cobbler, making for a cake that’s sticky and caramelized on the outside yet fluffy and tender on the inside. It’s truly the best vegan peach cobbler!
And as a bonus, here’s the vegan BBQ recipe I bring to every omnivore BBQ. It’s easy to make ahead and so delicious.
This vegan BBQ tempeh is the BEST way to enjoy tempeh. The tempeh gets pan-fried until golden and crispy and then coated in a sweet but tangy and smoky BBQ sauce. And it takes just 20 minutes!
Cook the tempeh
Heat a 12-inch nonstick frying pan over medium heat with 1 ½ tablespoons of the oil. Once the oil is shimmering (it will take a few minutes), arrange the tempeh slices in a single layer. Cook for 3 ½ to 4 ½ minutes, until nicely golden brown on the bottom side. Brush the top side of each tempeh piece with the remaining oil or spray with cooking spray (I used avocado oil spray), then flip each piece and cook on the second side for 2 ½ to 4 more minutes until seared on the other side. Transfer to the paper towels.Turn the heat off and allow the pan to cool down for a few minutes.
Make the BBQ sauce. (I’ve included a link to my own vegan BBQ sauce in the notes section. But any vegan bbq sauce should work here).
Return the frying pan to medium-low heat and pour in the BBQ Sauce. Allow the sauce to cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until gently simmering, stirring with a silicone spatula. If the pan is too hot, the sauce will rapidly simmer, so lower the heat a touch. Add the tempeh back to the pan, and coat the tempeh in the sauce for a minute or two until very saucy. Enjoy!
Okay, that’s it for my favorite vegan BBQ recipes. If you made any of these, be sure to let me know in the comments. Happy grilling!