Grilling Season After Going Vegan

Vegan Grilling Ideas

Publish Date May 1, 2023 3 Minute Read

Summer fun, backyard fires and sunny weather abound. Picnic baskets and gingham tablecloths are making an appearance again. Perhaps this grilling season you’re trying a vegan lifestyle. Some items on the menu will look different, but the thrill of a barbecue won’t be compromised when you’re ready with flavorful plant-powered ingredients.

Classic foods that bring out smiles include some “naturally vegan” dishes such as corn on the cob, grilled fruits, baked potatoes and fresh salads. Corn on the cob already is already a great side dish, but add on fun fixings like chili lime, sriracha aioli (hot sauce + vegan mayo + garlic), arugula walnut pesto or “parmesan cheeze” (nutritional yeast + ground raw cashews), and it could be the highlight of your meal.

Throw some pears, watermelon and peaches on the barbeque to bring a smokey flavor to a food normally considered sweet. They will cook to perfection with those iconic grill marks, a summer barbecue classic. Level up baked potatoes by packing them with favorites like bacon-less bits, black beans, nondairy sour cream, chives or salsa. A side salad is usually a welcome addition to a cookout and can be a way to add crunch and color to a meal.

Vegan Versions of Grilling Favorites

Let’s review five popular foods to revamp for a successful vegan grilling season:

Kebabs - Protein, vegetables and fruits are alternated along bamboo skewers for this fun food presentation. There’s no need to default to animal proteins; instead try extra-firm tofu, tempeh, seitan, faux “chick’n” strips or mock sausage pieces. Pair your protein with squash, bell peppers, onions and pineapple, and punch it up with a trusted BBQ sauce.

Burgers - Savory Portobello mushroom caps, charred eggplant slices, cauliflower “steaks”, lentil patties or flame-grilled slider alternatives will have you forgetting all about meat. Try this Plant-based Mushroom Burger recipe for yourself! Popular toppings like ketchup, mustard, relish, lettuce and tomatoes are all naturally vegan.

Hot dogs - An easy solution is to switch to veggie dogs like Plant-Based Meatless Chorizo Sausage; however, chipotle jackfruit or a properly marinated carrot (yes, that’s a thing!) could be your new go-to for vegan hot dogs.

Deviled “Eggs” - Often a staple at summertime gatherings, deviled eggs seem to leave little room to veganize. Wrong! Try spooning out Roma tomatoes or Private Selection™ Petite Gold Potatoes rather than conventional eggs. Stuff the tomato or spud with a blend of garbanzo beans, Dijon mustard, nutritional yeast and vinegar, then top with ground paprika.

S’mores - These fun desserts have a few challenging components: gelatin in the marshmallows, milk in the chocolate and honey in the graham crackers. A new twist on this food idea is grilled banana boats. Grab a banana, slice lengthwise on only one side, lay it on the grill and stuff with dark chocolate chips, peanut butter, honey-free graham crackers and nondairy whipped cream.

Looking for more vegan recipes for your next barbecue? Give these a try:

Plant-based Grilled Tofu with Mango Salsa

Our homemade salsa recipe adds extra fresh flavor to this easy plant-based grilled tofu!

Fire Up the Grill

With a few simple changes, many of your grilling season favorites can be swapped for tasty and nutritious vegan alternatives. To learn more about eating plant-based, schedule a Telenutrition appointment to meet with one of our expert registered dietitians. Explore more plant-based recipes and fire up the grill!