Now that summer’s in full swing, there are plenty more opportunities to enjoy delicious barbecue food while relaxing in the sun. The focus of a barbecue is traditionally meat, so if you’re vegetarian or vegan – or you’re hosting friends who are – it can sometimes be tricky to think of tasty meat-free BBQ recipes. But the good news is that there are dozens of mouthwatering BBQ recipes that are entirely plant-based!

So, whether you’re a fan of mock meats or you prefer to keep things vegetable-based, here are 10 of the best vegan BBQ recipes to try this summer.

1. Seitan burger

Seitan burger

If you’ve never made seitan before, a BBQ is the perfect opportunity…

Seitan is a mock meat that’s made from wheat gluten – and while it’s rocketed in popularity recently, it’s been eaten in Asia since the sixth century. High in protein and iron, seitan is the most realistic mock meat. Plus, when cooked right it’s juicy, tender, chewy and flavoursome.

Making seitan can require quite a few steps and ingredients, but it’s easy to make, and once you’ve got the hang of it there’s a good chance you’ll be making it all the time! Because they’re sturdy and juicy, seitan burgers hold up well on the grill, so they’re perfect for barbecues. It’s best to make your burgers ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to grill.

Why not try these seitan burgers by It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken?

2. Veggie kebabs

Veggie kebabs

Vegetable kebabs are a summer staple, and if you’re veggie or vegan they’re a must-have for your next BBQ.

Even if you’re planning on cooking up lots of vegan burgers and sausages, it’s always nice to have lots of colourful vegetables to nibble on – and aside from tasting even better when they’re charred on a grill, veggie kebabs are packed with nutrients.

Making veggie kebabs couldn’t be easier (just chop up your veg and thread the chunks onto a skewer), but there are many ways to elevate this simple dish. You might want to glaze your veg for extra flavour or add some tofu chunks to your skewers for a protein boost. Just remember to marinate your tofu first!

If you’re ready to get started, you could try these grilled BBQ tofu kebabs by Vanilla & Bean, which contain tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, courgette, and chewy tofu chunks.

3. Smoky miso grilled aubergine

Smoky miso grilled aubergine

For those who love grilled veg but don’t fancy veggie kebabs (or would rather make something a bit different), miso-glazed aubergine is also tasty.

If you’ve ever tried the Japanese dish of Nasu Dengaku, you’ll know that miso and aubergine go beautifully together – and because you can cook this on the grill as well in the oven, it’s perfect for BBQs!

Even though this recipe is simple to make, the flavours and textures are wonderfully complex: the flesh of the aubergine is silky and melting, the skin is irresistibly charred and crisp, and the sweet yet salty sauce is incredibly moreish. You can make the miso sauce in advance and then glaze the aubergines and barbecue them on the day.

You might want to try this barbecue miso aubergine recipe from Tesco Real Food.

4. Tofu satay skewers

Tofu satay skewers

If you like eating skewers at a barbecue but fancy something a bit different, why not make tofu satay skewers?

Though these skewers are really easy to make, they’re absolute jam-packed with flavour. The satay sauce is made from peanut butter, Thai red curry paste, coconut milk, maple syrup and soy sauce, so it’s a great way to inject some Asian flavours into a classic BBQ.

To make these tasty skewers, simply chop your tofu into chunks, then mix your sauce ingredients together and heat until it’s thickened. Coat your tofu with the sauce and leave to marinate for at least half an hour before placing it onto skewers. Then just grill on a BBQ and enjoy this heavenly Thai-inspired finger food!

This tofu satay skewer recipe from A Cupful of Kale is delicious and definitely worth a try.

5. Potato salad

Potato salad

Salads are a must at a BBQ, and potato salad is an outdoor classic. While salads tend to be vegan, potato salad is often an exception, as aside from the dressing, which usually contains mayonnaise or sour cream, eggs and anchovies are often added. Luckily, there are many ways to veganise this dish!

One of the easiest ways to make vegan potato salad is to simply swap the mayonnaise for vegan mayo – but there are also lots of more unusual recipes that are sure to delight vegans and omnivores alike. Bon Appetit has an excellent range of potato salad recipes – from crispy potato salad with chilli, celery and peanuts to potato salad with mustard sauce and watercress.

Or, if you fancy making a classic creamy potato salad, try this vegan recipe by BBC Good Food.

6. Smoky black bean burgers

Smoky black bean burgers

While many vegans enjoy eating mock-meat products (few vegans stop eating meat because they don’t like the taste!), others prefer to avoid foods that taste or feel like meat. If that’s the case, you might want to make some bean burgers for your BBQ. Healthy, protein-packed, and wholesome, bean burgers are especially flavoursome when grilled.

There are countless bean burger recipes online, but not all are created equal. When made poorly, bean burgers can be mushy, dry and bland – but get the right recipe and they’re thick, hearty, moist, and flavoursome – and they won’t fall apart on the grill. Packed into a toasted bun with salad, sauce and maybe some vegan cheese, they’re hard to resist!

Why not try these smoky black bean burgers by Minimalist Baker, which contain sweet potato, mushrooms, quinoa, and pecans (but still only has 10 ingredients in total)?

7. BBQ cauliflower wings

BBQ cauliflower wings

If you’re looking for some exciting vegan-friendly side dishes, look no further than BBQ cauliflower wings! Cauliflower is incredibly versatile, and making BBQ ‘wings’ is the ideal way to showcase how delicious this vegetable is. Crispy and crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside, and smothered in a tasty smoky sauce, these wings are seriously moreish.

Making BBQ cauliflower wings is easy: just cut the cauliflower into florets and dip them into a seasoned batter. Then, coat the cauliflower in breadcrumbs and bake in the oven. Once they’re crisp, smother them in BBQ sauce and bake for a further five minutes. You can make these ahead of time and just bake for the final five minutes when you’re ready to serve.

To make BBQ cauliflower wings, try this recipe from Jessica in the Kitchen.

8. Grilled portobello mushrooms

Grilled portobello mushrooms

If you love mushrooms and don’t fancy tucking into bean burgers or seitan burgers, why not grill up some portobello mushrooms on the BBQ?

Thanks to their meaty texture and umami flavour, these mushrooms are perfect for grilling – and as they cook, they release their tasty juices, which make them even more satisfying.

The key to perfect portobello mushrooms is the marinade, and by mixing balsamic vinegar, tamari, vegan Worcestershire sauce, fresh garlic, liquid smoke, onion, salt, and pepper you’re creating a sauce that’s deliciously deep. Once you’ve grilled the mushrooms until brown and tender, you can eat them by themselves or place them in a bun to make a simple yet satisfying burger!

To make grilled portobello mushrooms, check out this recipe by Vegan Huggs.

9. Elotes


Golden corn on the cob is the perfect BBQ side, and while there are many ways to enjoy corn, one of the most enticing is elotes.

Elotes are a popular Mexican street food that’s eaten all over the world, and they’re the ideal addition to any vegan BBQ. The corn is beautifully charred and smothered in a mouthwatering sauce that’s made from mayo, garlic, chilli, coriander, lime juice, and cheese.

Of course, cheese and mayo aren’t vegan, but you can easily veganise this dish; just swap mayo for vegan mayo, and either leave out the cheese or use a vegan sub. Mexican cotija cheese is traditionally used, and as it’s hard to find here, feta is often used instead. Luckily vegan feta is one of the best plant-based cheeses around (the Violife one is great!) so people may never know this dish is vegan!

To get started, why not try this recipe for vegan elotes by The Edgy Veg?

10. Grilled BBQ Pineapple

grilled bbq pineapple

If you have a sweet tooth, there’s good news. BBQs aren’t only great for bringing out the flavours of savoury food, but they’re also brilliant for improving sweet foods, too.

After you’ve tucked into as many vegan burgers and kebabs as you can, it’s time to use the BBQ to make one of the simplest yet most inviting summertime desserts: caramelised brown sugar and cinnamon grilled pineapple.

Making this delectable dessert is really simple, and though the mouthwatering sauce tastes divine, it only uses three ingredients: brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Just swap the butter for a vegan alternative (Flora works just as well!), heat it, mix with the sugar and cinnamon, and spread over your pineapple chunks. Then, grill until it’s gorgeously griddled.

To make grilled BBQ, you could try this recipe from The Recipe Critic.

Final thoughts…

Vegan BBQ food doesn’t have to be bland or boring: it can be an explosion of flavour and colours that will delight even the doubters! Whether you’re a committed vegan yourself or are looking to cater for vegan friends or family members, hopefully you’ve found some inspiration from the recipes above.

While some vegans enjoy tucking into mock-meat meals, others prefer to stick to veggie-based dishes, and there’s a good mix of both featured here. At a BBQ, sometimes it’s the simplest recipes that are the most sumptuous – whether that’s griddled pineapple or delicious, charred veggie skewers.

For more ideas on vegan BBQ dishes – including how to make the perfect vegan coleslaw – you might want to check out our article; 5 side dishes to go with your next barbecue.

To get tips on hosting the perfect BBQ, you might also want to read our articles; 8 sizzling barbecue recipe ideas and 10 top tips for planning an outdoor dinner party or picnic.