When it comes to barbecues, there is a large variety of foods that you can use for your next cookout. While steaks, ribs, hotdogs, and burgers are staples due to their versatility, there are also a large number of vegetarian options that you can try.
However, vegetarians and vegans alike might find it difficult to come up with diverse vegetarian BBQ ideas for dishes that you can make. The few that people do have are often not as delicious as many meat dishes are or might not evoke the same complexity of flavour that grilling is known for. This often leads to a distinct lack of vegetarian options at the grill, and as a result, many vegetarians sometimes feel left out at barbecue parties.
To help barbecue lovers find great non-meat dishes to help include their vegetarian friends and family, we’ve gathered some delicious veg barbeque ideas for your menu that even your meat-loving friends will want to try. And if you want to get a rub, a sauce, or even a brand new grill to try these recipes with, you can go through our catalogue for more ideas.
Chipotle tofu and pineapple skewers
Tofu is one of the most well-known and versatile vegetarian alternatives to meat available on the market. Though it’s often known to be rather bland and harder to flavour, knowing the right combination of marinades, rubs, and complimenting ingredients can turn a simple tofu dish into something delicious.
One such dish you can easily make on the barbecue is chipotle tofu and pineapple skewers. To make the marinade for this recipe, you’ll need to mix 3 finely diced guajillo chilis without the seeds and stems – or whichever other chilli you prefer – onions, vinegar, garlic, a chipotle chilli, oregano, and annatto paste. You can also add some sugar to make it a little less spicy. Press and drain out the excess water from the tofu, mix them into the marinade and let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes.
When preparing the skewers, alternate between pineapple chunks and the tofu and reserve any remaining marinade for later. Turn your grill on and let it preheat to medium before cooking your skewers for roughly 10 minutes or until the food’s lightly charred.
BBQ Tempeh sandwiches
Another great alternative to meat is tempeh. Also sometimes called tempe depending on where you get it from, this alternative is a large cake-shaped slab of fermented whole soybeans. In many circles, tempeh is often compared to tofu due to its similar main ingredient but is often a much healthier option. And, in addition to the higher fibre content in tempeh, its overall shape can often make it a great option for burgers.
Depending on the general shape of the tempeh, you can either dice it up into cubes, cut it into strips, or simply form round “patties” to season and cook later. For a sauce or marinade, mix either homemade or store-bought barbecue sauce with half a small onion and some garlic. If you’d like, cook the onions and garlic in a pan for a few minutes before adding your barbecue sauce.
When the sauce is prepared, fire up the grill and sear the tempeh for a few minutes on each side then apply the sauce. Then all that’s needed is to serve the tempeh on your choice of bun and toppings.
Grilled balsamic mushrooms
One of the best options for a dish that even meat lovers will love – other than tofu skewers and tempeh burgers – is grilled mushrooms. When properly seasoned and cooked, mushrooms can often be nearly indistinguishable from beef or chicken. And to make it delicious, all you need is a few ingredients and your barbecue.
To start, mix together balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, minced garlic, and ground black pepper. Add your sliced cremini mushrooms to the bowl and stir them all together before setting it aside to marinate. You’ll also want to soak your skewers and roughly chop some parsley for garnishing later.
Preheat your grill to medium high – or 375 degrees Fahrenheit – and thread your mushrooms onto your skewers. Put them onto your grill and let the mushrooms cook for two to three minutes per side before serving. Top with the parsley and add your remaining sauce then serve.
Grilled ranch potatoes
The great thing about these potatoes is the fact that you can make them purely vegetarian or add some ground beef or bacon to make a meat lover’s dream come true. Even if you don’t put meat on these ranch potatoes, the result is something that everyone at your table would love, vegetarian or not.
To start, cut roughly 2 pounds of red potatoes into chunks and add them to a bowl. Drizzle in some olive oil and toss the potatoes before adding in salt, pepper, and a packet of ranch mix. Stir it all together until the potatoes are coated.
Preheat your grill to medium while moving the potatoes to the center of a sheet of aluminium foil. Fold the sides into overlap and form a pocket then place the packet onto your grill. Grill it for 10 minutes with the seam side up before flipping and grilling for another 10 minutes. When serving, sprinkle some sharp cheddar cheese on top and add a little ranch dressing. You can also add some chives or parsley for garnish.
Vegetarian food doesn’t need to be flavourless. While many of the recipes don’t include meat, many seasonings can still be added to make them quite a great side that both meat lovers and vegetarians would love. Potatoes and mushrooms are often a great idea for these kinds of recipes since both are staples in North American cuisine regardless of whether or not you eat meat. As for tofu and tempeh, grilling them with complimentary flavours can make them quite a delicious meal!