veggie skewers and chimchurri

Vegan Barbecues Beat Meat for Good Health: Try These 9 Plant-Based Recipes to Thrill Your Grill

A recent report finds vegan BBQ fare is healthier than a meat feast. Tell us something we didn’t know!

However, now we have the proof. A recent study found vegan barbecue meals are significantly healthier than the conventional meat-based fare. Not only were calorie and fat content 43% lower, but plant-based patio-cooked food contained more fibre. Even better, vegan meals took half the time to get from grill to gut.

Unsurprisingly, as more and more of us are going plant-based and staycationing this summer, British food brands are getting on the BBQ scene. As well as Violife’s BBQ Cheese Packs, Sainsbury’s Shroomdogs are sizzling, and M&S are pulling out the big guns with its Plant Kitchen Chorizo Puppies. But, nothing beats the home-made touch.

So, as the sun comes out this summer, take out your tongs and try out some of these healthy and delicious griller thrillers.

1. Beetroot Burger

Vegan or not, a burger needs bags of bite and this beetroot beauty has it in spades. Juicy, succulent, hearty and healthy, top with melty vegan cheese for the full barbecue experience. Just remember to chill the patties for 30 minutes before cooking to prevent crumbling on the grill.

Get the recipe here.

2. Mediterranean Grilled Avocados with Chickpeas and Tahini

The holy trinity – avocados, chickpeas, and tahini – just got better. By putting them on a barbecue grill. Who knew that avocados get even smoother and more delicious when you heat them up? Stuffed with a fresh mixture of cucumber, tomato and crispy grilled chickpeas, then drizzled with tahini, this makes a high-fibre smoky barbecue hit.

Get the recipe here.

3. Grilled Veggie Skewers with Chimichurri Sauce

Simple skewers are elevated to super-spicy with the addition of the citrusy and colourful chimichurri sauce. These make a great side to a plant-based protein burger or steak. Pick and choose your favourite veg to char. We recommend a red pepper, red onion, and red chilli combo for added heat on a hot night.

Get the recipe here.

4. Creamy Vegan Queso

An essential at any outdoor event (or indoor too for that matter), as a dip for crudites or crisps, or a drizzle for nachos or burritos. This excellent recipe takes creamy loveliness to the next level by adding fresh garlic, dried spices and grated russet potatoes for a more complex queso flavour. It may take longer to create, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Creamy cheesy heaven.

Get the recipe here.

5. BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches with Avocado Slaw

So many of us fear the jackfruit. But why? Once you’ve tried this pulled pork-esque recipe, you’ll never look back. The texture of jackfruit is excellent at mimicking meat and absorbing flavour so this dish is perfect for non-vegan BBQ guests too. One thing to note, make sure you get young green jackfruit in water, not brine or syrup, and avoid ripe jackfruit at all costs if you don’t want a soggy sandwich.

Get the recipe here.

6. Sesame Cauliflower Wings

So we know we said you can’t have a barbecue without queso. Well, the same goes for wings. And these wings are wonderful. Crispy, and corn-coated, a sprinkling of sesame seeds adds a lovely crunch to these crowdpleasers. They may be doused in maple syrup, but they are much less fatty than trad chicken wings, making them a much healthier option.

Get the recipe here.

7. Sticky BBQ Ribs

Cola, cumin, and coconut sugar are all key to creating the delicious balance of sweet and spiciness of these seitan-based vegan “ribs”. Whilst they are a labour of love – you need to knead that seitan dough for at least 20 minutes! – you will love the results. Serve with charred tenderstem broccoli or a green salad.

Get the recipe here.

8. Umeboshi Tempeh and Pineapple Kebabs

You eat with your eyes and fortunately, these kebabs taste as good as they look. Super-easy to prepare, just be careful not to over-massage the tempeh when it’s marinading, else it will crumble. Also, if you can’t find umeboshi paste, buy umeboshi plums instead, remove the stones and mash.The contrast between the firm, flavoured tempeh and juicy, tangy pineapple is a perfect combination on a balmy, summer’s night.

Get the recipe here.

9. Teriyaki Grilled Aubergines

High in taste but low in calories, this sweet, sticky, smoky dish makes an excellent accompaniment to a vegan burger or burrito, or served with rice or quinoa, as a standalone main dish. Also, tastes great cold the day after the night before. The garnishes – ginger, red chilli, and spring onion – all add colour, flavour, and health-boosting properties.

Get the recipe here.

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