Ribs, hamburgers, sausages. For the longest time, barbecues have been associated with meat, meat aaaand meat, often leaving very little place for greens and/or plant-based alternatives. That’s a pity if you ask us, because there are so many delicious options to explore within the world of vegetarian barbecue. So, whether you’re vegetarian, cooking for someone who is, or simply looking to introduce more veggies to your barbecue dinner parties, we’ve gathered some inspiration and recipes for making a delicious meat-free barbecue dinner.
Let’s start with the obvious ones! Most vegetables completely change flavour when grilled, and luckily the options are many. Try grilling some slices of eggplant, zucchini, red pepper or entire spring onions. Drizzle with a good olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Grilled corn is also a classic. But have you tried serving them Mexican style with a bit of butter, crumbled white cheese and chilli flakes? YUM. Oh, and don’t miss out on some of the more unconventional options such as thin slices of sweet potatoes - crispy on the outside, while soft and mushy on the inside. Or try grilling half avocados, served with a drizzle of creamy cheese sauce (like the one used here), or simply topped with crumbled cheese.
Regardless of your choice, grilled veggies may very well make out the main part of your meal. Serve them on a big platter with a nice dipping sauce like here. It makes a beautiful serving, which tastes just as good as it looks!
Grilled fruits are not just for desserts, they are actually a great way to add flavour and sweetness to savoury dishes as well. Try serving slices of grilled nectarines or peaches on a bed of arugula/spinach and top with white cheese cubes or mozzarella bites. Grilled pineapple is also a must-try as in this exotic salad with grilled pineapple, mango, chilli and cheese cubes salad.
If you’re thinking that fruit and veggies alone won’t fill you up, there are luckily also plenty of protein-rich and filling alternatives for vegetarian barbecues. Tempeh and tofu are well-known meat substitutes, but have you tried grilling cheese? Plenty of cheeses are suited for just that, and most of them get a nice crisp outside, while soft or chewy on the inside. Try a slice of grilled halloumi or marinated paneer as the patty in your burger, or how about using marinated cubes of paneer as the main protein on your BBQ skewers? With a yoghurt-based marinade, these skewers send your taste buds towards the origins of the paneer with its tikka-masala type of flavours.
Find more inspiration for BBQ side dishes here.