June 10, 2024

How to Make Your BBQ Vegan and Vegetarian Friendly

As vegan and vegetarian diets grow in popularity due to their health, ethical, and environmental benefits, it's not too unlikely that friends and family will request plant-based options at your next BBQ. Fortunately, creating a diverse and satisfying menu is straightforward with the right ingredients and easy recipes. Keep reading to discover some nice, plant-based recipes for your upcoming BBQ, ensuring everyone leaves happy and well-fed!

Interested in importing or locating U.S. food and agricultural products?

contact us

In the United States, barbeque is not just a culinary technique – it’s a cultural institution. BBQ in the U.S. is synonymous with long summer days, community gatherings, and festive atmospheres. Typically, American BBQ has revolved around smoking and grilling a variety of meats, each region adding its own unique flavors through spices, sauces and special cooking techniques.

However, as more people embrace plant-based diets, the traditional barbeque scene is being creatively transformed to include vegan and vegetarian options. This shift is not just about adapting to dietary preferences, but about redefining what it means to enjoy a barbeque. Incorporating plant-based dishes allows everyone to partake in the joy of grilling and the communal spirit of a BBQ gathering. The smoky flavors, charred textures, and vibrant sides can all be achieved vegetarian and vegan friendly, proving that the essence of BBQ lies in the experience and the flavors, not just the meat.

In this spirit, here are some delightful recipes that showcase how vegan and vegetarian dishes can steal the show at any BBQ:

BBQ Sweet Potatoes with Spicy Chutney

Looking for a crowd-pleaser? Then it’s time to barbeque some American sweet potatoes! Known for their creamy texture and sweet flavor, this root vegetable get’s a nice, smokey touch and tenderness when thrown on the grill. To round up the dish, mix together a homemade spicy chutney – all you need is a blend of tomatoes, red onions, garlic, and some spices. There you have it! Naturally sweet, perfectly smokey, a little spicy and definitely yummy. 

BBQ Sweet Potato Wedges with Jerk Mayo

There’s more than one way to serve grilled potatoes. If you’re more of a BBQ sweet potato wedges. The U.S. sweet potatoes are marinated in a mixture of smoked paprika and olive oil, then grilled until they are beautifully caramelized, offering a delightful twist on classic grilled potatoes. They are served with a homemade jerk mayo, which combines vegan mayonnaise with jerk seasoning, fresh lime juice, and a hint of garlic. This combination delivers a creamy texture and a lively kick, making these wedges a must-have at any barbeque. It’s a simple dish with bold flavors, ideal for any summer BBQ.

Grilled Eggplant and Tomato Salad with Parsley-Parmesan Vinaigrette

Smoky grilled eggplant and fresh, juicy tomatoes form the base of this salad, tossed with a parsley-parmesan vinaigrette that brings a bright zest and nutty depth to the dish. The vinaigrette’s sharpness and the parmesan’s saltiness elegantly complement the natural flavors of the vegetables elevating this dish from simple to spectacular. This blend of flavors pairs exceptionally well with a glass of California Merlot or Chardonnay. The Merlot’s smooth, fruity notes or the Chardonnay’s crisp acidity enhance the smoky and herbal flavors of the salad, making for a sophisticated and balanced pairing.

Aubergine and Halloumi Skewers

Brought to you by California Prunes, these skewers, developed by Jo Travers, are a testament to how versatile vegetarian BBQ can be. Thick slices of aubergine and chunks of halloumi cheese are skewered and grilled until the cheese is beautifully caramelized and the aubergine is tender. The addition of prunes offers a sweet contrast that complements the savory flavors of the grill. Ideal for both vegetarians and carnivores at your next BBQ, they provide a delicious and satisfying alternative that enhances the variety of your grill menu.

Jackfruit Pear Tacos

Grill up some surprising veggie tacos featuring sweet and savory flavors! This recipe by Abby Langer uses jackfruit, a meaty substitute, and crisp U.S. Anjou pears for a unique and delicious filling. The caramelized onions add depth, while the tangy BBQ sauce balances the sweetness of the pears. Perfect for a vegetarian barbecue, these tacos are sure to be a hit!

These recipes demonstrate that a BBQ can be both inclusive and delicious without traditional meat. By incorporating these vegetarian and vegan options, you ensure that your barbeque is not only a feast for the senses, but also a welcoming place for all dietary preferences. Enjoy your BBQ and delight in the flavors that these dishes bring to the table!