30 Terrific Vegan BBQ Recipes

Whether you’re attending your first vegan BBQ or you’re an experienced grill-master, here are 30 of the best grilling recipes from around the plant-based internet.

Featuring drinks, appetizers, sides, main dishes and desserts, this round-up has you covered with American classics and tons of global inspiration.

And in case you get overwhelmed by choice, I’ve included my personal favorite vegan grilling recipes.

There’s a perception that vegans can’t have fun at BBQs, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

In fact, there are so many delicious vegan BBQ recipes that will have you itching to fire up the grill this summer. And I’m sharing 30 of the best vegan grilling ideas from around the plant-based internet, including several of my own.

This post has everything you’d want, from appetizers like mango avocado salsa that will get your mouth watering, to classic side dishes made vegan like potato salad, to main dishes like grilled tofu and veggie burgers, and even fabulous desserts like vegan brown butter peach cobbler.

Table of Contents:
1. My ideal BBQ Menu
2. Drinks
3. Appetizers
4. Salads & Sides
5. Main Dishes
6. Desserts

citrus-cilantro grilled tofu slabs on a white plate

My Ideal BBQ Menu

There are so many fantastic vegan BBQ recipes on this list, but if I had to choose my ideal menu, this is what it would look like:

To drink, I would most likely have a bottle of white wine or rosé. But for those don’t drink, I’d also include some blackberry lemonade.

Because some guests are already hungry when they arrive, I like to prep some dips ahead of time. Homemade hummus is a fantastic option – it’s way better than the store bought stuff and my recipe makes a big batch.

I like to have a carb-y side like pasta salad, and something meaty for the main course like these tofu skewers.

And for dessert, brown butter peach cobbler is always a crowdpleaser. But if I’m busy, I might throw together an easy fruit salad, or maybe some pineapple skewers, if I’m short on time.

Drinks

Quality beverages are an essential part of a good vegan BBQ. While you could always serve beer, wine, or soda, I recommend making a big batch of one of these drinks. Trust me, your guests will thank you.

Healthy Blackberry Basil Lemonade

My refreshing Blackberry Basil Lemonade is so unique you’ll never want to make classic lemonade again. Made with just 5 ingredients, it’s easy to make, refined sugar-free, and guaranteed to cool you down during the summer.
Check out this recipe
Healthy Blackberry Basil Lemonade

Hibiscus Elderberry Ginger Tea

This hibiscus elderberry ginger tea by Jenné of Sweet Potato Soul is as good for you as it is delicious, and that’s a whole lot! There’s nothing more refreshing for summer.
Check out this recipe

Spicy Watermelon Mocktails

These Spicy Watermelon Mocktails by Lisa, aka The Viet Vegan, are the perfect drink for the underage folks, the designated drivers, or the people who just don’t want to drink. They're tasty and fun and the ultimate refreshing BBQ Drink!
Check out this recipe

Appetizers

It can take a little while for a grill to preheat, so it pays to have some snacks for your guests to nibble on in the meantime. Most of these appetizers can be made ahead.

And I also have a separate round-up of terrific vegan dips if you’re looking to put together more of a mezze platter for your guests.

Easy Mango Avocado Salsa

Made with juicy mangos and creamy avocado, my Mango Avocado Salsa is sweet yet tangy, refreshing yet a little spicy, and perfect for summer grilling season and barbecues.
Check out this recipe

Vegan Elote (Mexican Street Corn)

This vegan Elote (Mexican Street Corn) by Rachel of Health my Lifestyle is so flavorful! You are going to love this grilled corn topped with vegan parmesan and vegan sour cream. It's easy to make and perfect for grilling season and is ready in less than 30 minutes!
Check out this recipe

Amazing Homemade Hummus

My homemade hummus is incredibly creamy, smooth, and fluffy and packed with a rich, nutty, and lemony flavor. Plus, you'll learn all the tips and tricks for making incredible hummus at home so you'll never want to buy store-bought hummus again!
Check out this recipe

Vegan Potato Skins

These Vegan Potato Skins by Eat Figs not Pigs are the perfect appetizer for all your summer BBQ needs! They're crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and topped with crunchy vegan bacon bits, tangy vegan sour cream and green onions for a pop of freshness. They're guaranteed to impress even the biggest of vegan skeptics!
Check out this recipe

Grilled BBQ Watermelon Skewers

These Grilled BBQ Watermelon Skewers by Lucy and Lentils transform the flavor of sweet watermelon usually eaten as a snack. The marinade creates a delicious umami packed flavour which works perfectly with the watermelon when grilled on a high heat. Ideal for skewers when paired with corn on the cob and peppers to have at a BBQ.
Check out this recipe

Salads & Sides

Sides can sometime be the best part of a BBQ, and these are no exception. As with the appetizers, most of these can be made ahead.

The Best Vegan Potato Salad You’ll Ever Eat

Just as creamy as classic potato salad but so much better for you and more flavorful! My mayo-free vegan potato salad features perfectly tender potatoes coated in a creamy, tangy dressing that’s packed with fun flavors and takes just 30 minutes. Perfect side dish for BBQs, potlucks, and picnics. 
Check out this recipe

Peach Panzanella Salad

This peach panzanella salad is a delicious bread salad featuring summer's finest produce: juicy peaches, velvety heirloom tomatoes, and fresh basil. My recipe requires just 7 ingredients and it's a foolproof side dish for picnics and potlucks, but the gourmet flavors are guaranteed to impress your guests.
Check out this recipe

Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad

A great addition to your summer menu, my Lemon Orzo Pasta salad is gourmet but simple to make. Featuring orzo, three types of lemon, spiced chickpeas, chewy sundried tomatoes, buttery pine nuts, and a basil gremolata, it has all the best of summer flavors and textures.
Check out this recipe

Sweet and Spicy Smashed Cucumber Salad

My Sweet and Spicy Smashed Cucumber Salad is an easy, healthy, and light side dish that takes cucumbers from bland to fabulous. Slightly sweet and spicy, garlicky, and fresh, it’s surprisingly addictive yet very healthy (vegan, Paleo, and refined sugar-free).
Check out this recipe

Instant Pot Pearl Couscous and Lentil Salad

My Instant Pot Pearl Couscous and Lentil Salad is an easy dump-and-go Instant Pot recipe that’s a light, healthy vegan recipe perfect for summer. Featuring French green lentils, pearl couscous, and a zingy vinaigrette with lots of fresh herbs.
Check out this recipe

Easy Grilled Vegetable Skewers

My Rainbow Veggie Skewers are a classic and fun idea for vegan grilling all summer long. Choose just two or a handful of veggies, quickly marinate them, and pop them on the grill until beautifully charred.
Note: This recipe can be found on the 4th recipe card of the linked blog post.
Check out this recipe
vegan grilled vegetable skewers with fresh herbs

Grilled Romaine Salad with Creamy Cashew Dressing

Grilling romaine lettuce introduces a smoky char that makes lettuce feel robust and hearty. My recipe pairs the grilled romaine with an easy, creamy cashew dressing for a side dish that's guaranteed to impress all summer long.
Note: This recipe can be found on the second recipe card of the linked blog post.
Check out this recipe
grilled romaine salad with creamy cashew dressing on pickled cabbage

Grilled Corn Salad

With just 10 ingredients and less than 30 minutes, my Grilled Corn Salad is a foolproof side dish or light lunch for summer. Despite being so easy, it's packed with flavor, a little heat, and is guaranteed to impress. Perfect for summer barbecues and picnics!
Check out this recipe

Vegan Pasta Salad

My vegan pasta salad is guaranteed to impress this summer! Pasta is coated in a creamy and dreamy roasted red pepper sauce and topped with a herby bread crumb topping for extra fresh flavor for an exquisite, grown-up pasta salad.
Check out this recipe
vegan roasted red pepper pasta salad in a speckled white bowl, garnished with basil.

Main Dishes

When it comes to a BBQ, main dishes are the stars of the show. Many of these recipes can be made on the grill or on the stovetop.

Grilled Tofu Skewers

My simple but delicious grilled tofu skewers are a must-make if you enjoy grilling. With these tips, you'll have perfectly grilled tofu: chewy, charred, and crispy. Paired with flavorful sauces, they're too good to pass up.
Check out this recipe
Grilled Tofu Skewers on a plate, covered in creamy white sauce, pesto, and with cilantro.

Vegan BBQ Sauce

This vegan BBQ sauce is perfectly sweet yet tangy, smoky, and a little spicy. It's simple to make and tastes just like your favorite bottled BBQ sauce. It's the perfect condiment for all of your grilling needs, and it's ready in just 10 minutes!
Check out this recipe

Grilled Vegan Stuffed Poblano Peppers

These Grilled Vegan Stuffed Poblano Peppers by Larisha of Make it Dairy Free are a delicious spin on traditional stuffed peppers and a bit spicier. They can also be oven baked!
Check out this recipe

Vegan Chicken Drumsticks

Here's a recipe for Vegan Drumsticks made with seitan and rice paper by Lisa of Okonomi Kitchen. Meaty on the inside, chewy and crispy on the outside, these chicken ‘drumsticks’ are the perfect appetizer or fun weekend meal!
Check out this recipe

Vegan Chana Masala Burger with Mint Chutney Mayo

This Chana Masala Burger Patty sandwiched between a whole wheat bun with greens, tomatoes and onions with a green chutney mayo is both vibrant and delicious! This recipe by Vaishali of Holy Cow! Vegan is the perfect patty to slap on the grill at a summer BBQ.
Check out this recipe

Ridiculously Good Mexican Hot Dogs

Summer barbecues call for these Mexican Hot Dogs by Dora's Table that you can make in less than 30 min. Vegan sausage is topped with pico de gallo, mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, pickled jalapeño peppers, and vegan bacon. Served on a warm toasted bun.
Check out this recipe

Instant Pot Jamaican Jerk Jackfruit Tacos

In my recipe, the jackfruit is spicy (thanks to the habanero pepper and cayenne pepper) and smoky (thanks to the liquid smoke), so it needs a cooling balance. That’s where the mango avocado salsa comes in! It’s so refreshing and cooling and creamy, making it the perfect complement to the jackfruit.
Check out this recipe
Instant Pot Jamaican Jerk Jackfruit Tacos

Grillable Veggie Burgers

Learn how to make these simple and delicious grillable veggie burgers for all of your cookouts this summer from Jasmine of Sweet Simple Vegan! Made with beans, veggies, and a zesty seasoning blend, this hearty burger will be a hit with just about everyone.
Check out this recipe

Citrus-Chipotle Grilled Tofu

In my recipe, tofu gets quick-marinated in an herby, citrus marinade reminiscent of Mojo sauce but with smoky notes, then grilled to perfection. The tofu doesn't stick and it turns out perfectly chewy and crispy!
Note: This recipe can be found in the 1st recipe card of the linked blog post.
Check out this recipe
A plate of food with broccoli, with Tofu

Desserts

No BBQ is complete without a great dessert. While fresh fruit is always a good option, if you want to throw a memorable BBQ, make one of these dishes. Your guests will be talking about your hosting skills all summer long.

Cinnamon-Sugar Grilled Pineapple

All you need are four ingredients to make my grilled summer pineapple. It's buttery, spiced, and delightfully sweet!
Check out this recipe
grilled pineapple spears on lavendar plate

Coconut Rum Cream Pie

Light, fluffy and deliciously creamy, this Coconut Rum Cream Pie by Murielle Banackissa features coconut in every single one of its elements: from crust to filling, whipped topping and even garnish. It is perfect on a hot summer day or when you are craving tropical flavors.
Check out this recipe

Vegan Piña Colada Cheesecake Bars

Enjoy a tropical vacation in your mouth with my Vegan Piña Colada Cheesecake Bars! The crust is made with macadamia nuts, coconut and gingersnaps, and the cheesecake filling is sweet yet a little tart, creamy and decadent but 100% vegan.
Check out this recipe

No Bake Lemon Bars

These No Bake Lemon Bars by Rachel of Bakerita are incredibly smooth and creamy with a bright and tart lemon flavor and an almond flour crust. These healthier lemon bars are gluten-free, paleo and vegan. They come together quickly and easily in a blender.
Check out this recipe
Stack of lemon bars on a wooden cutting board.

Vegan Strawberries and Cream Sheet Cake

Made with fresh strawberries and a 2-ingredient coconut whipped cream, my Vegan Strawberries and Cream Sheet Cake is light yet indulgent and so flavorful. Made in a sheet pan so it’s an easy, fuss-free dessert that’ll please the whole family!
Check out this recipe

Vegan Brown Butter Peach Cobbler

My delicious twist on the classic Southern peach cobbler. Peaches and blueberries get swirled with vegan brown butter and cobbler, making for a cake that’s sticky and caramelized on the outside yet fluffy and tender on the inside. It’s truly the best vegan peach cobbler!
Check out this recipe

And as a bonus, here’s the vegan BBQ recipe I bring to every omnivore BBQ. It’s easy to make ahead and so delicious.

BBQ Tempeh (and more Vegan BBQ Recipes!)

5 from 3 votes
This vegan BBQ tempeh is the BEST way to enjoy tempeh. The tempeh gets pan-fried until golden and crispy and then coated in a sweet but tangy and smoky BBQ sauce. And it takes just 20 minutes!
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Cuisine: American
Diet Vegan
Serving size: 3 to 4

Ingredients

  • 1 8-ounce block of tempeh
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil avocado oil, or other neutral-flavored oil for cooking
  • 1/2 cup Vegan BBQ Sauce*

Instructions

  • Slice the tempeh crosswise into ½-inch thick strips. Then, place each strip on its side and slice in half lengthwise to make it thinner.
    See the step-by-step photos in the blog for reference.
  • Optional – steam the tempeh. Place the tempeh pieces in a steamer basket fitted in a saucepan with a few inches of water. Bring the water to a boil, cover, and steam the tempeh for 10 minutes.
    Note: I typically steam tempeh to get rid of its characteristic bitter taste, but I find it unnecessary in this recipe, as the BBQ sauce is so bold in flavor.
  • Line a cutting board or plate with a few paper towels.

Cook the tempeh

  • Heat a 12-inch nonstick frying pan over medium heat with 1 ½ tablespoons of the oil. Once the oil is shimmering (it will take a few minutes), arrange the tempeh slices in a single layer.
    Cook for 3 ½ to 4 ½ minutes, until nicely golden brown on the bottom side.
    Brush the top side of each tempeh piece with the remaining oil or spray with cooking spray (I used avocado oil spray), then flip each piece and cook on the second side for 2 ½ to 4 more minutes until seared on the other side. Transfer to the paper towels.
    Turn the heat off and allow the pan to cool down for a few minutes.
  • Make the BBQ sauce.
    (I've included a link to my own vegan BBQ sauce in the notes section. But any vegan bbq sauce should work here).
  • Return the frying pan to medium-low heat and pour in the BBQ Sauce. Allow the sauce to cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until gently simmering, stirring with a silicone spatula. If the pan is too hot, the sauce will rapidly simmer, so lower the heat a touch.
    Add the tempeh back to the pan, and coat the tempeh in the sauce for a minute or two until very saucy. Enjoy!

Notes

* See here for my vegan bbq sauce recipe.

Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 312mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 2mg

Okay, that’s it for my favorite vegan BBQ recipes. If you made any of these, be sure to let me know in the comments. Happy grilling!

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4 comments on 30 Terrific Vegan BBQ Recipes

  1. Lisa @ TheVietVegan

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for including my watermelon mocktails, Nisha!! <3

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      You are very welcome, Lisa! :)

  2. Lisa

    5 stars
    Thanks so much for these ideas! I look forward to trying them as I love using my grill in summer. I even grill pizza on it! Your recipe ideas are fabulous !

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      You are so welcome, Lisa! Great to hear you’ve found value in the roundup :)

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