Most grillers groan when they hear the words “I’m a Vegetarian” at their Barbecue… but the truth is there are options you haven’t thought of that can make vegetarian food more exciting for everyone! Join us for the best vegetarian BBQ ideas online!
You’re not the only one that hates having a vegetarian at your BBQ – trust us. The few vegetarians we know actually hate being invited and try to make excuses to avoid BBQ’s altogether. Why?
The jokes they have to endure about what they are going to eat, the guilt of putting your host to extra effort and, perhaps worst of all, the parade of bland and awful food that is presented alongside the words: ‘Well we didn’t know what to make for you…’
We are on a mission to change all of this! The vegetarian at your BBQ is one of your toughest guests – but if you are up to the challenge you can make sure they not only leave satisfied but will return time and time again.
But it’s not as hard as it looks, and you can even BBQ for vegans. That however is a different story…
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Vegetarian BBQ Tips and Tricks
When it comes to cooking vegetarian style our chef recommends buying additional butter. Vegetables taste best smothered in butter and, provided your guest isn’t a vegan, butter and salt are the two most vital ingredients to take your veggies from bland to brilliant.
We also recommend that you try not to rely too heavily on grains such as rice or couscous; they are filling but very bland.
Vegetarian BBQ Essential Ingredients
There are certain ingredients you can buy that will make the meal much more interesting for your vegetarian than your average BBQ might be. As a double bonus some of these your other guests will also love.
- Get some Halloumi cheese; a cheese that keeps its shape when grilling and squeaks against the teeth when you bite into it (BBC Good Food). This makes an interesting texture/flavor combination.
- Corn on the cob is an absolute must. Grill it until it is golden brown and baste it intermittently with butter. Remember to sprinkle it with one part pepper to 5 parts salt before serving.
- Polenta (The Guardian) and Tofu (Healthline) are two ingredients which might also go down well – but they lack for flavor. Try grilling them diced, placed in a frying pan and simmered in buttery onions and mushrooms.
- Large mushrooms also make an interesting replacement protein – but not everyone likes them.
As for sides your salad bar is where you can entertain the most. So don’t just stick lettuce, tomato, cucumber and onion in a bowl and expect any of your guests to be impressed.
Put out chips, some dried nuts (pine for sprinkling on salads, Hazel for a less expensive option, Walnut for seasonal effect) a mixed salad with a choice of dressings, cooked tomatoes and peppers, a variety of slaws, a bread basket, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Where you have a plate of cold meats for the guests keep a separate plate of interesting cheeses or cold quiche for your vegetarian.
With all of that out of the way; let’s look out a few recipes that will make your vegetarian happy this BBQ season.
Vegetarian BBQ Recipes!
Let’s start with something easy: a potato salad recipe from our very own chef.
- For a gathering of five people take seven medium sized potatoes and cook them until soft.
- While they are cooling finely dice an onion into as small cubes as you can get it. A professional tip here is to remove the top of the onion, cut the onion in half and remove the skin. Don’t take off the bottom of the onion. This allows you something to grip while you chop and minimizes waste.
- Once diced cut the cooled potatoes into squares (to do this quickly use tinned potatoes), add both into a bowl with two large spoonfuls of mayonnaise.
- Mix, then add salt to taste. It will take more salt than you might expect but you need to add it gradually just in case you over-salt.
Award Winning Coleslaw
Coleslaw tastes about three times better when you make it yourself. It’s very simple and depends on thin slicing for success. The thinner the slices, the better the slaw.
- Start with one onion, half a cabbage and 2 carrots.
- Finely slice the cabbage and the onion using as sharp a knife as possible. Cabbage is a hard veg to slice and for thinner cuts you may want to swap out to a serrated tomato knife.
- Once the onion and cabbage are sliced put them in a large bowl then grate the two carrots in.
- Next add three to four spoonfuls of mayonnaise and season with salt and a little pepper. If you have sliced it properly it will taste far better than anything store-bought.
Let’s Talk Protein Substitutes
The absolute easiest recipe you can make for a vegetarian at your BBQ is kebabs. You already have chunks of onion and pepper cut for your meat kebabs, so all you really need is your cubes of tofu, polenta or halloumi.
Halloumi kebabs are actually so tasty that your other guests will snap them up, so be sure to make sure the veggie gets first pick!
Kebab ideas can incorporate whole or halved mushrooms, onion chunks, potato cubes (smoked potato is AMAZING, parboil them first), pineapple chunks, cheese chunks, tofu, polenta, any color of pepper, mange tout for crunch, sun dried tomato (raw), and literally any other soft veg you can think of. If it isn’t soft then boil it halfway before you put it on the skewer.
As a final touch coat your whole veg kebab in butter while it cooks, then sprinkle with your salt/pepper mix before serving.
There are not a lot of vegetarians out there who actually enjoy vegetarian burgers. They are usually flavorless.
Try a quorn burger for the best imitation of meat without a horrid texture. The best vegetarian burger you can buy will actually rely on cheese to bind the ingredients, and might include a mix of small diced veg bound in cheese and coated in breadcrumbs… not unlike a mozzarella stick.
Unfortunately these can’t be tossed on the BBQ without making a huge mess, so we found another veggie burger recipe for you instead!
This recipe focuses on beans as its main source of energy. You can use haricot, butter beans, or any other pre-cooked, soft bean. They will usually be preserved in water so get rid of it and make sure they are as dry as possible.
- Once dried mash up your beans with a potato masher. If you want to opt for a purely smooth paste you can then press it through a sieve – but it all depends on how much you love your vegetarian.
- Next, mix in some healthy ingredients. This can mean any vegetables you have in the kitchen diced finely; but we would start with a half onion, a little grated carrot and some diced mushrooms.
- Mix this all together into a thick paste and use it as your burger base. Remember to season it well.
- You can pack veggie burgers into your burger patty maker just like you can raw meat. Then place them in the fridge to set. If you don’t have a patty shaper that’s fine, you can hand pat them. Just be sure to get them in the fridge to set for at least an hour before cooking. Moisture is key here; if there is too much moisture in the mix the burger will fall apart.
- As an especially nice touch roll the burgers in crushed nuts before you leave them to set. This will add a crisped outer edge and a wealth of nutrition.
The Humble Potato
Everyone loves a baked potato but when you cook them on the BBQ they develop a smoky taste that is just unachievable anywhere else.
- If you haven’t already tried this yet, all you need to do is wrap your potato in tin foil and drop it in amid the coals. You don’t have to, you can grill it like you do everything else, but potatoes have quite a long cooking time and this gets them surrounded by the heat and cooking fast. Just be sure to move them around a little to stop them burning.
- Fish it out of there after twenty minutes and it should be soft and falling apart when you open it.
- Add some butter and show your vegetarian to the cheese board.
You will soon develop a reputation as the BBQ master – even to those who don’t indulge in meat. Here are a few more BBQ potato recipes courtesy of EpiCurious.
We have all sorts of BBQ Grill tips, tricks, hints, knowledge and guidance for you should you need it. Please bookmark our page and return if you have any grill-based questions, or just get in touch with your best vegetarian BBQ recipes. Who knows…maybe it will make it onto our list!