12 Meatless Mains Perfect for Grilling Out this Summer + 3 Sides!

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What’s on the vegan menu this Summer?!

You know how it is. The sun comes out and it suddenly just seems like the perfect time to dust off the BBQ. And with so many excuses to BBQ, what better time to get a little inventive with your cookout skills? But be warned: if you’re a little too handy with your burger flipping you may find yourself being appointed as the official family BBQ’er. Think you can handle it? Of course you can, because we’ve found twelve fabulous recipes to really wow your guests.

Barbecues, picnics and even family gatherings tend to focus heavily around meat and even dairy. Well, they don’t have to rely so heavily on meat. In fact, you can have a delicious and enjoyable cookout without any meat at all. Show your family and friends that they can still enjoy their favorite BBQ foods, just in a healthier and cruelty-free way. A vegan menu packed full of color and flavor. And there’s still burgers, hot dogs and ribs on the menu . . .

So now pull on a sun dress, slide on your flip-flops and get the lemonade on ice. When summer is here there’s only one thing to do . . . get that grill sizzling!

1. Vegan Hot Dogs with Grilled Pineapple & Sriracha Mayo

It’s pretty easy to make vegan friendly hot dogs. You can just buy a packet of vegan sausages, grab some buns and let people get wild with their toppings. In this recipe, the grilled pineapple makes these even better!

Get the recipe here.

2. Vegan BBQ Ribs with Spicy Traditional BBQ Sauce

I don’t think I’d be forgiven if I didn’t serve up ribs at a cookout. Well, little does my family know that the ribs they’ll be chowing down on this year are made from seitan, a wheat-based meat substitute. And you won’t even have to trick your relatives into trying these as they look pretty meaty, right? They’re sticky, they’re chewy and they’re going to literally fly off the grill, I’m telling you.

Get the recipe here.

3. Sticky Chili Cauliflower Wings

A popular dish that we’re used to seeing at a BBQ is chicken wings. Well we can still enjoy chicken wings, but without actually eating chicken. Cauliflower has been underestimated for some time, but it’s finally getting the recognition it deserves. Once baked it becomes meaty in it’s texture, making it a perfect meat-substitute. And the dressing? Sticky chili! Oh, yes! Sticky hands are back!

Get the recipe here.

4. Grilled Portobello Mushroom Steaks with Balsamic

Mushrooms have a firm texture when grilled, so they make a great meat replacement. The best part about making these is how quick they are; simply apply the marinade and pop them on the grill. You can serve these as a side dish or use them as a burger substitute.

Get the recipe here.

5. BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches with Avocado Slaw

People tend to go wild for pulled pork. Well, pulled pork they shall have. However, this pulled pork is made from shredded jackfruit, but it’s so convincing you’ll have a hard time trying to persuade anyone otherwise. It’s wonderful and tender and you could serve up a big batch for people to spoon onto their plate. Or have these sandwiches ready-made. The crunchy avocado slaw tops the BBQ ‘pulled pork’ perfectly.

Get the recipe here.

6. Beetroot Plant Burgers

What’s a cookout without a burger? So why not surprise your guests with these colorful beet burgers? They look so wonderful and vibrant encased in a burger bun, and are really healthy and filling due to their blend of plant-based goodies, including lentils, mushrooms and cashews.

Get the recipe here.

7. Grilled Vegetable & Tofu Kebabs

Kebabs are so easy; you just skewer them early on in the day and pop them into the fridge until they’re ready to be thrown on the grill. And even then you can just leave them to grill nicely. The best part? You won’t have to worry over whether or not the meat is cooked as the ‘meaty’ chunks in these kebabs is tofu! They work nicely with the BBQ marinade and grilled veggies.

Get the recipe here.

8. Carrot Hot Dog Recipe

Yes, you read that right – CARROT hot dogs! Let’s face it, there’s not much meat in traditional meat-based hot dogs, just a whole heap of junk you don’t really want to be ingesting. Carrot dogs are healthier and a lot cheaper to make than conventional dogs. And once grilled they even resemble meat hot dogs, so people will willingly eat them and then you can surprise them by announcing they’re carrot dogs.

Get the recipe here.

9. Baked bbq tofu

This is the tofu recipe to entice even those tofu haters among us. Tofu can be bland, it can even taste a little . . . odd. Well, not if you don’t make it right. So this recipe is going to turn your aversion of tofu into one of love, and if you’re already aboard the tofu fan wagon, then you’ll love making this recipe over summer.

Get the recipe here.

10. Buffalo Oyster Mushrooms

Fancy presenting your guests with some fried chicken? Well, probably not because not only is it harmful to animals it’s also pretty gross. Remember that man who bit into his chicken fillet to discover it was actually a mouse? Just sayin’. Well, now you can serve them some of that fried chicken—just reinvented using mushrooms and a lot healthier ingredients. Serve with pickles and a little sriracha and you’ve got little baskets of cookout perfection.

Get the recipe here.

11. Vegan Greek-Style Roast ‘Lamb’

I don’t know, I was never really one for lamb, but some people really dig it at a BBQ. This lamb dish is traditionally made with slow-baked on the bone lamb that has been marinated in garlic and lemon juice. This vegan version is made with the same method and has the same wonderful Greek elements, but is meat-free!

Get the recipe here.

12. Vegan Shrimp

Not everybody is a fan of meat, some tend to like fishier types of food. So why not cater to those people by adding a vegan fish recipe onto the menu? These vegan shrimp bites are made from king oyster mushroom stems and look just like fried scampi. Keep them warm on the BBQ or display on a platter with an array of dipping sauces. I guarantee you’ll get one person telling you to put a shrimp on the barbie! You’re welcome.

Get the recipe here.

Did somebody say sides?

So, now that your main dishes are sorted, what about those sides? Everyone loves to have a selection of delicious looking food at a BBQ. I mean, we say we’re there for the company but really we’re there to fill up our plate, too. So if you’re hosting or even taking along some food to a gathering this summer why not use this as a way to showcase how great simple dishes like corn can taste? People think of vegetables as healthy and deathly boring, so show them that there’s fun ways to dress them up.

1. Grilled Cilantro, Lime & Paprika Corn

People tend to think that if you’re vegan you eat a lot of vegetables, and it’s true – you do! Plant based foods are wonderful for the body and you can eat them in abundance! But many of us think of vegetables as being bland. Well, that’s where you need to try new recipes to bring them to life, like this corn on the cob recipe. Grilled corn is seriously next level goodness, and when it’s marinated with lime juice and paprika it becomes more than just bland corn; it becomes an exciting and yummy dish guests can ooh and ahh over.

Get the recipe here.

2. Easy Vegan Potato Salad

Can you even call it a BBQ if there’s no potato salad? I mean, what kind of monster are you if you choose to not serve up a bowl of creamy, delicious potato goodness? But forget that artery-clogging mess you usually buy from the store. Make your own and control exactly what goes into it. Vegan mayonnaise allows you maintain the creaminess of traditional potato salad, but by adding dill, red onion, peas and chunks of pepper you create a healthier and more interesting potato salad that people will go back to for second helpings. Maybe even thirds . . . best make two batches.

Get the recipe here.

3. Grilled Avocado with Spicy Tomato Salsa

Avocados are great. Guacamole is great. But why not try something new? Grilled avocado is delicious; plus, that little dip in the avo is just asking to be stuffed. Why not scoop some spicy tomato salsa into them and serve these as a side dish? Or people could even scoop their jackfruit pulled pork into these (above). Whoever said too much avocado was a bad thing? Nobody, that’s who.

Get the recipe here.

 

Lora O'Brien

Lora O'Brien

Lora is a virulent wellness enthusiast. She freelances from the UK where you can find her writing about all things healthy foodie and natural beauty. Fun fact? She reads and watches more DVDs than the average human.
Lora O'Brien

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