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Perfect Vegan BBQ- Tips and Recipes

Having a vegan BBQ, attending someone else's BBQ as a vegan or having vegan friends at your BBQ? Then this is the article for you. Practical BBQ tips and easy but delicious recipes.

Corn grilling on a BBQ, both foil covered and naked corn cobs.

Summer Grilling

Summer is the perfect time to invite friends and family to share a BBQ. 

It's a really relaxed way of a meal with friend without you slogging away for hours and spending most of the evening in the kitchen. You can prepare most of the BBQ food and side dishes the night before or even a couple of days before, then just chill out with your guests and grill together.

You don't have to have a big garden to have a BBQ either, just a patio would do. If you don't have any garden space you could head to the beach or a local park (do check out their regulations first).

A summer meadow with long grasses and white wild flowers


Hosting a Vegan BBQ

Hosting a vegan BBQ yourself is easy. 

No need to worry about meaty burgers getting near your veggie burgers and everyone can eat vegan. 

Just go easy on yourself and prepare a selection of shop bought and homemade food. Or why not encourage everyone to bring a side dish and a few beers or wine, then you can concentrate on the grilling burgers and vegetables?

Attending a BBQ as a Vegan

I would speak to your hosts first to let them know you are vegan, but you might also want to take along a portable or disposable BBQ to grill on. If you do this, you know your food won't be contaminated with meaty juices and you will take pressure of your host. 

You might also want to take along a few burgers and a side dish. If you take your own, then nobody gets stressed.

Have Vegan Guests at your BBQ

If you are pretty clueless about vegan dining or are not sure what to serve, don't panic. It's actually quite simple. Most supermarket have good vegan burgers, which are great for grilling. They grill better from frozen, but skip the breaded burgers as the coating will burn.

When buying buns or rolls for the burgers, do check the ingredients as some contain milk, you need to avoid those.

You can also grill some vegetables on skewers with falafel, which is also available in supermarkets, if you aren't feeling brave enough to tussle with tofu.

If you have some basic salads, like salsa and green salads, then your vegan friends will be delighted. You can also scroll down to my family tested barbecue recipes.

MOST IMPORTANT:  your vegan guest will not want their vegan burgers grilled alongside meat. If you don't have a separate BBQ you can use for their food, then why not pick up a disposable BBQ?


BBQ coals glowing red

Tips for the Perfect BBQ

  1. Prepare ahead. Make your sauces, marinades and dressings the day before. You can also prepare pasta salad and potato salad the day before. Fresh green salads are best prepared on the day of the BBQ.
  2. Give yourself plenty of time to light the BBQ and time for the coals to burn until they are white, glowing and ready for cooking. You will need to do this half an hour before grilling.
  3. Don't try to speed it up! NEVER try to speed it up. This is when most BBQ accidents happen and who wants the flavour of lighter fluid or other accelerant tainting the flavour of their food.
  4. While the BBQ is heating marinade anything you are adding a coating to.
  5. While the BBQ is heating soak wooden BBQ skewers in water so they don't burn during cooking.
  6. Make sure you have long tongs at the ready. That BBQ will get hot!
  7. Buy a big bag of ice from the supermarket and fill a bucket or basin with ice, then add bottles of beer, wine, water and juice for your guests so it will be ice cold and ready to drink.
  8. Make sure you have plenty of napkins for your guests. Baby wipes are good to have on hand for sticky hands too.
  9. Use paper plates and bamboo cutlery to save on the washing up. These are kinder to the planet than plastic.
  10. Set up a serving station or buffet so guests can serve themselves. You may find some of them are keen to help with the grilling too and if a guest offers to help, why not? No need to do all the work yourself.

BBQ vegetables. 4 photos in a square grid. A rainbow vegetable skewer, corn on the grill, grilled red peppers and courgette, and potatoes on skewers

BBQ Vegetables

Vegetables taste wonderful on the BBQ. They take on that smoky taste, but their own flavours shine through too.

If they are big enough whack them straight onto the grill, if not a mesh tray or grill basket stop vegetable falling into the flames. Grilling them on skewers is a good option too.

Mediterranean vegetables (like red and green peppers, courgette/zucchini, red onion and aubergine/eggplant) can be cut into even size pieces, added to skewers, brushed with a marinade (you can also marinade the vegetables ahead), then grilled on the BBQ.

boy eating corn on the cob

Corn on the cob is fabulous on the BBQ, with or without a dressing. If you are wondering to cook it naked or in foil, head over to my post The Best BBQ Grilled Corn (foil or no foil) to see my experiments and what we thought was best, along with tips.

Parboil baby new potatoes for 10-12 minutes, then add them to the skewers and brush with oil. Grill them, turning them as they cook, for the most delicious little BBQ roast potatoes.

A row of asparagus can be pronged on a couple of skewers, then grilled with a little oil. Camilla over at Fab Food 4 All shows you how in her post How to BBQ Asparagus.

BBQ Vegetable Recipes

BBQ Pizza Stuffed Mushrooms presented on a slate board

BBQ Pizza Stuffed Mushrooms

Large mushrooms like portabello mushrooms can be brushed with oil, seasoned and whacked straight on the BBQ, but I implore you don't miss out on these pizza stuffed mushrooms topped with vegan mozzarella (vegan cream cheese works well too). They are divine and the sauce they are filled with is mouthwateringly good.

Rainbow Grilled Tandoori Tofu Skewers on a white platter, with plates of fresh spinach and pitta bread

Grilled Tandoori Tofu Skewers

No self-respecting vegan would pass up the opportunity to grill some tofu and these rainbow skewers are rather special. Click on the link for tips on preparing the tofu and for the marinade. 

A great BBQ tofu tip is to freeze the tofu first for a chewy tofu, crisp at the edges. No amount of pressing or squeezing will give you the same texture as freezing it does. Don't ask me why, but I m sure Google could answer that question. 

Oh and cut it into cubes before freezing for best results, then let it defrost enough to skewer.

pin it for later

The Perfect Vegan BBQ. A complete guide to vegan BBQs from recipes to tips. Vegan burgers, vegan salads, BBQ vegetables and BBQ drinks and cocktails #BBQrecipes #veganBBQ #veganBBQrecipes #veganbarbecue #vegangrilling


Everyone loves a burger or sausages on a barbecue and I am one of them. Personally I love them really well done, but I'll leave the cooking up to you.

Shop bought burgers are a mixed bag when it comes to grilling. Some are great and some just don't work. Generally bean burgers and soya based burgers work best, but never grill burgers that have a breadcrumb coating as that will just burn and be nasty. It's a bit of trial and error, but I find frozen burgers are most reliable.

Home made burgers are also better cooked from frozen and if you are not sure, grill them in a grill basket or on grilling mesh. 

Scroll down for my favourite homemade vegan burgers.

Vegan BBQ Burger & Sausages Recipes

Spicy Bean Burger stacked in a burger bun with relish, salad and avocado

10 Minute Spicy Bean Burgers

These tasty bean burgers are whipped up in one bowl in you guessed it, 10 minutes. They are super quick to make and real crowd pleasers. They have a better change on the BBQ if you make them into patties, then freeze them before grilling. Brush them with oil and add them  to the grill or a grill basket.

Instant Haggis, Tatties & Neep Burger stacked high in a bun with salad.

Instant Haggis, Tatties & Neep Burgers

Talk about quick, these burgers are almost instant and if you pop over to the recipe you will see why. This one is for my UK readers who will be able to pick up the ingredients in the supermarket or order them online.

So many people have made these and came back to me to say how much they love them.

Once again, they are better grilled from frozen or in on a grilling mesh.

A Smoky Red Pepper and Cheese Bean Burger in a bun with pesto, slices of tomato and a slice of melted cheese

Smoky Red Pepper and Cheese Bean Burgers

These are a personal favourite of mine and double cheese too. I like a coconut based cheese like Violife cheddar that melts superbly, but I am sure you have your own favourite vegan cheese. 

I added vegan cheese to the burger mixture and a slice of it before serving, letting it have time to melt. When your burger is almost cooked on the BBQ add a slice of cheese and leave it to melt.

Yes, you guessed it, best to freeze these first or use a well sprayed (with oil) mesh tray.

Homemade Puy Lentil and Mushroom Sausage on a hot dog roll with mustard and ketchup being held by a man

Homemade Puy Lentil and Mushroom Sausages

Now these definitely benefit from cooking on a well-oiled mesh tray on the BBQ. Sausages are just the right shape to slip between the grill into the flames. Unless you make whoppers of course.

These are tasty, tasty, tasty! Great on a hot dog bun with all the toppings. Me? I love mustard and ketchup.

Vegan hot dogs don't do well on the BBQ. If you want to grill sausages, make these homemade ones or a frozen supermarket sausage like the basic Linda McCartney Veggie sausages.

Tandoori marinade spices in a bowl

Vegan BBQ Sauces and Marinades

Sauces and marinades elevate BBQ food. Sure you could buy them, but it's nice to have a couple of good recipes to try when you have time.

Homemade Tandoori Marinade in a white bowl with dark blue rim.

Homemade Tandoori Marinade

This simple marinade is great on vegetable skewers, especially on a tofu skewer, but it can also be brushed onto potatoes before they are grilled. 

Also try my Spiced Peanut Butter Marinade (the main recipe is vegetarian in this post, but the marinade is vegan and bloomin' lush!).

Easy Homemade Chipotle Ketchup in a small blue and white dipping bowl

Easy Homemade Chipotle Ketchup

In the past I would always say why bother making ketchup when shop bought is so good, but I was creating some BBQ recipes and decided I wanted to try a ketchup with a bit more oomph, so I decided to make my own and add some spices. 

Boy it's good. My husband loves this and it's gone in a flash. Easy to make too! Great on burgers and sausages.

Red Pepper Sweet Chilli Sauce in a glass jar with a large red bell pepper in the bckground

Red Pepper Sweet Chilli Sauce

Homemade chilli sauce is the best! This one has added red pepper which add something different to the flavour, in a good way. 

It's good on burgers, but it's also great drizzled across cooked vegetable, tofu or falafel skewers just before serving.

BBQ Salads

It's always good to have a few bowls of salad for guests to help themselves to, which they can enjoy with their grilled goodies.

Think green salad, pasta salad, grain salad, potato salad and coleslaw.

Creamy Vegan Potato Salad with lots of fresh herbs in a white bowl

Creamy Vegan Potato Salad

This rather stylish potato salad is fresh with herbs and cucumber. The dressing is quite light, but creamy. For a thicker dressing, use a good quality vegan mayo. We personally like Hellmans Vegan Mayonnaise.

Summer Greek Pasta Salad in a white bowl

Summer Greek Pasta Salad

With all the flavours of Greece and a zingy dressing, this pasta salad is one of the best. It's fuss-free, elegant and ever so tasty. 

I've made this with little dollops of coconut based cream cheese (see above) and also with a vegan Greek style cheese. Both were good so I will leave you to decide.

My tip for the best pasta salad is to cook the pasta until al dente, then pour into a colander to drain and rinse under cold water until the pasta is cool. This results in glossy firm pasta and not the claggy mess it is so easy to end up with.

Close up of Classic Homemade Salsa in a white bowl with blue rim

Classic Homemade Salsa

There is absolutely no comparison between fresh salsa and shop bought, they are two completely different beasts. Homemade salsa is so fresh, with all those wonderful ripe flavours.

The other benefit is you can add as little or as much chilli as you like or not at all.

Pink Stands of Pickled Onions being lifted out a glass jar with a fork

10 Minute Pickled Onions

These glorious pink onions are made in just 10 minutes, but can be made the night before your BBQ for even more flavour.

They are fantastic with hot dogs, as a topping for burgers and they really give a salad a zing! 

Make sure you save this recipe to try!

Jug and glass of iced water with fresh strawberries on pink plate on grass

BBQ Drinks

Now before I talk about BBQ drinks did you read my drinks tip at the top of this post? No? Then scroll back up to the BBQ Tips

Basically cater for your guests. Make sure there is plenty of soft drinks for children, those driving or if your guests just don't want anything alcoholic.

I always think a jug of Pimms is good at a BBQ (there is a Pimms recipe below, well a twist on one), but I invariably have wine and beer as well as soft drinks.

Below are a few cocktail recipes if you would like to try something different and a non-alcoholic Strawberry and Watermelon Iced Smoothie.

Close up of a Watermelon and Strawberry Iced Smoothie in a glass, from above, topped with fresh mint

Watermelon and Strawberry Iced Smoothie


So cooling and refreshing, this iced smoothie is summer in a glass. Totally perfect for a BBQ. Everyone will love it. Make a big jug of it and fill it with lots more ice.

You could also add some gin or vodka to this to make a rather superb fruity cocktail.

Scottish Raspberry & Mint Cider Cooler in a tall beer glass with fresh raspberries and lots of ice

Scottish Raspberry & Mint Cider Cooler

(alcoholic or non-alcoholic)

This is another refreshing drink. I made it with Cider from here in the UK, which is alcoholic, but I know elsewhere cider is non-alcoholic. Your decision. Cider or sparkling apple juice, either will be divine.

Cornish Cup Punch in a large jug with lots of orange wedges and ice, similar to Pimms

Cornish Cup Punch


Cornish cup is similar to Pimms. It's a dry gin with botanicals and chai tea made into a summer fruity punch that can be made up in a large jug and shared around. You could substitute Cornish Cup with Pimms in this recipe.

Just watch your guests eyes light up as you pass this around.

Purple Stag Cocktail in a short glass with fresh blackberries

Purple Stag Cocktail


A fruity cocktail made with fresh blackberries, blackcurrant jam and J├Ągermeister. Drink up! Slurp!


I hope you enjoyed my ultimate guide to a vegan BBQ and will try some of the tips and recipes. 

Have a wonderful summer!

also check out my recipe index - Vegan BBQ Ideas & Recipes


  1. Love the tips - it just doesn't seem that hard to do a vegan bbq these days - my main challenge is making sure that the burgers hold together - I think the ones I made with masa harina were the best I ever made for holding together but lots don't. I must remember your tip on pasta salads (not my area of expertise) and those pickled onions.

    As someone who rarely takes an alcoholic drink these days - I would say that when you say to have soft drinks for the non-drinkers this should include some that aren't sickly sweet. Sweet drinks do not quench thirst on a hot day but I love kombucha. Thankfully we are getting better at non-alcoholic drinks but so many gatherings still only have alcohol or really sweet as the options.

    1. Try freezing the burgers first Johanna or grill them on mesh or a basket. I think you will like the onions and always, always use my pasta tips for pasta tips or you will end up with overcooked claggy pasta.

      You are right re cold drinks. Some water with lots of ice some mint and fresh fruit is always good or homemade lemonade so you can control the sweetness.

  2. What a useful article Jacquline. I am going to try those onions and a couple of the salads. Jill

    1. I hope you enjoy them Jill and thanks for always taking the time to leave a comment, it is much appreciated.

  3. I love the sound of those potato skewers, what a great idea! Those pizza mushrooms look brilliant too.


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