The Best Vegan BBQ Ideas

The Best Vegan BBQ Ideas

Published by Temi on 10th Jun 2023

Grilling Corn

Are you a vegan enthusiast who enjoys the idea of BBQ but feels it's solely reserved for meat eaters? Well fire up the grill and get ready to embark on a sizzling journey of flavors and creativity that is 100 percent meat-free as we explore the world of vegan BBQ.

With the rise of plant-based diets, innovations surrounding vegan recipes pop up each day, and outdoor cooking isn't left out. Vegan BBQ offers a tempting array of delicious and satisfying dishes that are sure to tingle your tastebuds with flavor you've never experienced before. It's a whole new realm of grilling possibilities regarding vegan dishes. So get your tongs, ignite the coals, and let's dive into a world of vibrant flavors and plant-powered BBQ brilliance that will make your summer barbecues a blast.

Vegan BBQ Grilling Techniques

Now let's go through the possible ways you can create vegan bbq, technique is very paramount when considering grilling vegan food items, with the wrong technique you could easily burn your food. We'll take you through the possible grilling techniques for vegan dishes.

They are:

  • Direct Heat Grilling
  • Indirect Heat Grilling
  • Smoking
  • Skewering
  • Grilling with a Grill Basket

Direct Heat Grilling

Direct grill heat

Direct heat grilling is a method of making vegan barbeque (and barbeque in general) that is very common and involves placing food directly over the heat source. It is great for quick-cooking vegetables like asparagus, zucchini, and corn on the cob. When using this method, it is important to preheat the grill and lightly oil the veggies to prevent them from sticking. Keep your eyes on the food items, as they cook quickly and may require frequent turning.

Indirect Heat Grilling

Indirect grill heat

Indirect grilling involves placing the food away from or above the heat source, this creates a gentle and even cooking environment. This method is mainly used for larger or thick food items that require longer cooking times, such as whole cauliflower, potatoes, or veggie roasts. The heat circulates evenly around the food, resulting in a more tender and evenly cooked final product. Ensure to keep the grill covered to maintain a consistent temperature.


Smoking Vegetables

Smoking is a technique that can be used in vegan recipes that infuses food with a delicious smoky flavor. While originally associated with meats, smoking can also be used to enhance the taste of proteins like tofu or tempeh. Soak wood chips in water, then add them to the charcoal or gas grill to create smoke. Place the food on the grill and cook it slowly, allowing it to absorb the smoky flavors


Skewering Vegetables

Skewering is a grilling tech that allows you to create grilled veggie skewers. Chunks of vegetables, tofu, or seitan are threaded onto skewers and grilled over the heat. The skewers should be rotated occasionally to ensure even cooking. This method is great for creating bite-sized pieces that can be easily turned and grilled to perfection.

How to make Vegan BBQ

Before you head on to make delicious vegan bbq recipes, there are a some essential tips you need to know when making Vegan BBQ. They are

Choose the Right Ingredients

When grilling, you want to ideally use food items that are suitable for this cooking method. Vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, corn on the cob, asparagus, and onions are great items for grilling. You can also use vegan proteins such as tofu, tempeh, and seitan, or vegan burgers and sausages.

Clean and Preheat your Grill

Cleaning the grill

You wouldn't want your food coming out with sticky chunks from the last time you grilled, ensure that your grill grates are clean to prevent by scrubbing the grates with a grill brush or crumpled aluminum foil to remove debris. The next step is to preheat the grill to the desired temperature for the specific ingredients you'll be grilling.

Oil the Grill Grates

Oiling your grill grates ensures that your food doesn't stick to it during the process of cooking. Lightly oil the grill grates using a brush, and coat the grates with a high smoke point oil like vegetable, canola, or grapeseed oil.

Season and Marinate

Just like you would season and marinate meat, doing this to your vegetables can enhance their flavors. Sprinkle your vegetables or proteins with salt, pepper, and any other desired herbs or spices. For marinating, prepare a marinade using ingredients like soy sauce, citrus juices, garlic, herbs, and spices. Let your foods marinate for at least 30 minutes or longer to infuse them with delightful flavors

How to make a Marinade

  • Choose a Base: Start by selecting a base for your marinade. You can use bases like soy sauce, tamari, coconut milk, vegetable broth, citrus juice, or plant-based yogurt.
  • Add Acidity: Incorporate acidity to tenderize the vegan items and add give them a tangy hint. Ingredients like vinegar, citrus juice, or even vegan-friendly wine are ideal acids you can use.
  • Enhance with Aromatics: Garlic, ginger, onions, shallots, or herbs add depth and complexity to your marinade. Adding these aromatics by chopping or mincing them release their flavors into your dishes.
  • Introduce Flavors: Implement various flavorings to your marinade. Consider ingredients like soy sauce, tamari, miso paste, mustard, maple syrup, agave nectar, molasses, liquid smoke, hot sauce, herbs, spices, or even nutritional yeast for a cheesy umami kick for a desired taste preference.
  • Incorporate Oils: A small amount of oil in your marinade can add richness and help prevent your items from sticking. Olive oil, sesame oil, and coconut oil are great oils to add to your marinade
  • Balance with Sweetness and Saltiness: You might have to balance your marinade with something sweet or salt depending on its taste. Consider adding a touch of sweetness with ingredients like maple syrup, agave nectar, or brown sugar. You can also adjust the saltiness of your marinade by using soy sauce, tamari, or adding a pinch of salt to taste.
  • Mix and Marinate: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl or sealable container and whisk or shake well to ensure they are thoroughly blended. Add your vegan food items to the marinade, ensuring that they are evenly coated. Refrigerate and let them marinate for at least 30 minutes, overnight marinating is preferable as it often yields the best results.

Keep a Watchful Eye

Stay attentive to your ingredients while they're on the grill. Grilling times can vary depending on the ingredients and heat levels. Avoid overcooking or burning by flipping and adjusting the position of the ingredients as needed.

Baste or Glaze

During the grilling process, you can baste your foods with sauces or glazes to add moisture and additional layers of flavor. Brush on your desired marinade, barbecue sauce, or homemade glazes to create a luscious coating. Apply the basting mixture towards the end of cooking to avoid burning. Here's a great recipe for making bbq sauce.

How to make a great Barbecue sauce

BBQ Sauce

Making a great BBQ sauce for vegan items is a delightful way to add bold and tangy flavors to your grilled plant-based dishes. Here's a simple recipe to help you create a delicious vegan barbecue sauce, you'll need:


  1. In a bowl, combine the ketchup, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup or agave nectar, soy sauce or tamari, and Dijon mustard. Whisk together until well combined.
  2. Add the smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and cayenne pepper (if using). Stir well to incorporate all the spices into the sauce.
  3. Taste the sauce and adjust the flavors to your preference. You can add more sweetness, tanginess, or spiciness as desired. Feel free to experiment and make it your own.
  4. Once the sauce is well mixed and the flavors are balanced, it's ready to be used. You can use it immediately or let it sit for a few hours to allow the flavors to meld together.

Or if you can't go through the hassle of creating a bbq sauce or don't have the ingredients you can try our great-tasting BBQ sauce.

Vegan BBQ Ideas

Now it's time to delve into the possibilities of the tasty vegan bbq recipes you can create. Here we'll take you through our favorite vegan bbq recipes that are sure to water mouths

Grilled Watermelon Salad

Grilled Watermelon Salad

Here's a surprising one that will have you raising your eyebrow a bit but flavour is assured, the sweet and refreshing taste of watermelon is greatly enhanced when it's grilled providing an amazing combination of a sweet and smoky taste.


  • Watermelon slices (about 1-inch thick)
  • Mixed greens
  • Vegan feta cheese or toasted almonds (optional)
  • Glaze
  • Fresh mint leaves


  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  • Lightly brush the watermelon slices with oil to prevent sticking.
  • Grill the watermelon slices for about 2-3 minutes per side until grill marks appear.
  • Remove the watermelon from the grill and let it cool for a few minutes.
  • Cut the grilled watermelon into bite-sized pieces.
  • Arrange the arugula or mixed greens on a platter or individual plates.
  • Top with the grilled watermelon pieces.
  • Crumble vegan feta cheese or sprinkle toasted almonds on top (optional).
  • Drizzle with your glaze.
  • Garnish with fresh mint leaves

Grilled Irish Potatoes

Grilling potatoes is also a great side that can be implemented with a vegan protein in a dish.


  • Irish potatoes (choose small to medium-sized potatoes for quicker cooking)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • Optional: Garlic powder, paprika, or other desired seasonings


  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  • Wash and scrub the Irish potatoes to remove any dirt or debris. Leave the skin on for added texture and flavor.
  • Slice the potatoes into rounds or cut them into wedges, depending on your preference. Try to keep the pieces relatively uniform in size for even cooking. In a bowl, drizzle the potato slices or wedges with olive oil. Toss them gently to ensure they are evenly coated.
  • Season the potatoes with salt and pepper, along with any additional desired seasonings like garlic powder or paprika. Toss again to distribute the seasonings evenly.
  • Once the grill is preheated, lightly oil the grates to prevent sticking.
  • Place the seasoned potato slices or wedges directly on the grill grates, ensuring they are in a single layer and not too crowded. This allows them to cook evenly and develop a nice char.
  • Grill the potatoes for about 4-6 minutes per side, depending on their thickness, or until they are golden brown and fork-tender.
  • Flip them carefully using tongs to avoid breaking them.
  • Drizzle with your BBQ sauce and add as a side dish or eat as a standalone dish.

Grilled Fruit Skewers

Grilled fruit skewers are a delightful and healthy addition to any BBQ gathering. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to make them:


  • Assorted fruits of your choice ( pineapple, watermelon, strawberries, mangoes, etc.)
  • Wooden or metal skewers
  • Optional: maple syrup, honey, or a sprinkle of cinnamon for added sweetness and flavor


  • Wash and dry the fruits then peel, core, and cut larger fruits like pineapple and watermelon into bite-sized pieces. Cut the fruits into similar-sized pieces to ensure even cooking
  • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
  • Soak the wooden skewers in water.
  • Thread the fruits onto skewers leaving a little space between each piece to ensure even grilling.
  • Sweeten or flavor the fruit skewers with a thin layer of maple syrup, and honey, or sprinkle them with a touch of cinnamon for added sweetness and flavor.
  • Grill the fruit skewers and cook for approximately 2-3 minutes per side, or until grill marks appear and the fruits are slightly softened. Rotate the skewers to ensure even cooking.

Grilled Plantains

Grilled plantains make for a delicious and slightly sweet addition to your vegan BBQ spread. Here's a simple guide on how to make grilled plantains:


  • Ripe plantains
  • Olive oil or melted vegan butter
  • Cinnamon (optional)
  • Maple syrup or brown sugar (optional, for added sweetness)


  • Preheat your grill to medium heat.
  • Start by selecting ripe plantains. Look for ones that have yellow or slightly blackened skins. Ripe plantains will be sweeter and softer, making them perfect for grilling.
  • Using a sharp knife, slice off both ends of the plantains and make a lengthwise cut along the skin, being careful not to cut into the flesh. This will help you easily peel off the skin once the plantains are grilled.
  • Brush each side of the plantains with olive oil or melted vegan butter. This will prevent sticking and add a touch of richness to the grilled plantains.
  • If desired, sprinkle cinnamon over the oiled plantains for added flavor. You can also drizzle a little maple syrup or sprinkle some brown sugar on top for extra sweetness.
  • Place the plantains directly on the grill grates, making sure they are secure and won't fall through.
  • Grill the plantains for about 4-5 minutes per side, or until they are nicely caramelized and have grill marks. Flip them carefully using tongs.
  • Once the plantains are grilled to your desired level of caramelization, remove them from the grill and let them cool slightly.
  • Peel the grilled plantains by using the cut you made earlier to gently remove the skin. The flesh should be soft and easily separate from the skin.


In conclusion, vegan BBQ opens up a world of possibilities for those seeking to enjoy the smoky, flavorful experience of grilling while adhering to a plant-based lifestyle. With a bit of creativity and the right techniques, you can transform a wide array of vegan ingredients into mouthwatering grilled dishes that will satisfy vegans and non-vegans alike, here we've listed a few but the possibilities are endless. If you're looking for a place to get vegan ingredients and other fresh items why not try our online grocery store?