It’s the bank holiday, the sun’s out and summer is nearly here – it must be BBQ time. If you’re vegetarian or vegan it can be easy to feel left out of the barbecue fun, but don’t let your diet choices stand between you and delicious food. Here are our favourite recipes for meat-free, alfresco dining…
As a vegetarian, being invited to a barbecue elicits both cheer and fear. On the one hand: yay! Friends! Sunshine! Prosecco! On the other: what the hell am I going to be given to eat? This paranoia might sound bratty, but it’s not unfounded. Having been a vegetarian my entire life, I’ve been to more barbecues than I can count where the only veggie option on the table is a packet of limp bread rolls (which someone always helpfully suggests you can “fill with ketchup”).
To be fair to carnivores, the prospect of having to cater for those picky, picky vegetarians can seem equally daunting – particularly at barbecues, which have traditionally been associated with meat, meat and, um, more meat.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are plenty of amazing vegetarian and vegan recipes that are perfectly suited to barbecues – and we’ve rounded up 10 of the best right here.
Grilled avocado with chickpeas and tahini
Never barbequed an avocado? You’re missing out. This Mediterranean-inspired dish features everyone’s favourite vegetable stuffed with a fresh mix of cucumber, tomato and crispy grilled chickpeas, topped with a drizzle of tahini and lemon juice.
Halloumi burgers with sticky chilli drizzle
Because no vegetarian BBQ would be complete without a bit of halloumi. In this recipe from Craftberry Bush, the salty Greek cheese is dipped in semolina and deep fried, before being slapped into a bun with salad and a spicy-sweet sauce.
Tandoori tofu skewers
Sanjana, the British cook behind food site K.O Rasoi, serves up vegetarian dishes inspired by her Indian and East African roots. These spicy, smoky skewers were created as a side for vegan tikka masala, but they’d make a perfect main event for veggies at a BBQ.
BBQ onion steaks with honey-mustard sauce
Onions rarely get to take centre stage at mealtimes: generally speaking, they’re the support act, rather than the headliner. But they take a starring role in this Epicurious recipe, cut into big, thick slices and given a sweet BBQ glaze.
Mexican street corn (elotes) with thyme and honey
Thyme & Honey have devised a zhooshed-up version of that old BBQ staple, corn on the cob. We’re talking chilli mayo dressing, crumbled queso fresco cheese, zesty lime, chopped coriander and a dusting of chilli powder. You’re welcome.
BBQ baked beans with smashed sweet potatoes
God bless Jamie Oliver: he knows how to deliver for the vegetarians among us. This hearty Southern-style dish is two fingers up to any carnivores who say a meat-free dish can’t fill you up.
Vegetable kebabs with satay sauce
Simple vegetable skewers are many people’s default option for a veggie BBQ dish, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you fancy mixing things up a bit, try this recipe from Cilantro and Citronella, which includes a delicious coconut-peanut sauce.
Cauliflower BBQ wings
OK, there’s no escaping it: meat-eaters will howl with laughter at the words “cauliflower BBQ wings”. Rise above it, smug in the knowledge that this cumin- and chilli-infused alternative to chicken is seriously delicious - and a million times healthier.
Tomato and red onion flatbreads
These flatbreads are inexplicably filed in Sainsburys’ Christmas food section, but don’t be put off. They’re perfect for a hot summer’s day, and super-quick to make - great if you’ve got lots of guests.
Healthy sweet potato skins
Potatoes wrapped in foil and cooked in the hot coals of a barbecue always taste better than the version baked in the oven (or, heaven forfend, the microwave). Once they’re soft and squidgy, Pinch of Yum recommends loading them with cheese, spinach and chick peas, before sticking them back under the grill to heat through.