Six vegetarian barbecue recipes that even meat eaters will want to try

Six vegetarian barbecue recipes that even meat eaters will want to try

A barbecue doesn’t have to be a meat feast. Try these veggie ideas to tempt even the most committed of carnivores…

A barbecue doesn’t have to be a meat feast. Try these veggie ideas to tempt even the most committed of carnivores…

Barbecues have long been synonymous with burgers and bangers. After all, the smell of meat sizzling on the grill is one of the signature scents of summer. But, as more and more people are turning to vegetarian and vegan diets, you may find yourself struggling to cater for any veggie guests during barbecue season.

The good news is that the increasing popularity of meat-free diets has been accompanied by a similar increase in vegetarian choices and ideas – no longer do vegetarians have to make do with sad sausage substitutes. Even better, everything is easily accessible, so you should be able to stock up on everything you need for a veggie barbecue at your local supermarket.

And why not give it a go yourself? Research has shown that foregoing meat for even one day a week has a beneficial impact on the environment, and can be good for your health too, so it’s worth trying these ideas even if you eat meat the rest of the time. It’s a great way of upping your veggie intake too.

Not convinced? Take a look at the tasty-sounding offerings below that will make even meat-eating mouths water.

Pulled jackfruit burger

Native to Asia, jackfruit tastes sweet when it’s ripe and raw. However, when young and not yet ripe, it’s much like tofu and simply takes on the flavours it’s cooked with. Once cooked, it can also be shredded so it has a consistency similar to pulled pork.

To cook, drain and rinse a can of young jackfruit and chop it into chunks – buy the kind that’s sold in water or brine, not in syrup! Fry an onion and some garlic, add the jackfruit, 250ml of water and your choice of sauce (barbecue and jerk work well), and cook for 20 minutes.

Use a masher or large fork to break up the fruit so it has a pulled consistency and cook for a further 20 minutes, adding more water if needed. Serve with salad in warm buns fresh off the grill.

Tandoori tofu kebabs

Tofu is a great meat alternative for kebabs, and one of the main benefits is that it doesn’t need to marinate as long as meat does – so it’s ideal if you wake up to sunshine and decide on an impromptu barbecue.

Simply marinade chunks of extra-firm tofu in tandoori paste for half an hour. You could save time with a shop-bought version, or create your own using yoghurt, garam masala, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic and ginger.

Chop red onion and red peppers into chunks, and thread onto skewers along with the marinated tofu. Grill the kebabs on the barbecue for about five minutes per side, brushing occasionally with extra marinade, and serve with salad.

Grilled avocado with salsa

It’s not just for guacamole and hipster toast! Avocado also tastes awesome barbecued. Squeeze a lime, then add a clove of garlic and a tablespoon of olive oil to the juice. Brush this mixture onto halved avocadoes, and grill for five minutes, flesh side down.

Make salsa by mixing together finely chopped fresh tomatoes, red onion, garlic, a small chilli and some coriander. Add salt and pepper, some olive oil and a squeeze of lime. Serve with the warm avocado.

Elotes – Mexican BBQ corn

A street food staple in Mexico, it’s the toppings that really elevate classically grilled corn.

Brush your barbecue with vegetable oil and grill your husked ears of corn until charred, about 10 minutes.

While they cook, mix 50ml each of mayonnaise and sour cream and add chilli powder, cayenne pepper, minced garlic and chopped coriander. Finally, crumble in 100g of cheese – feta or parmesan work well.

Once the corn is cooked, put it in a bowl and pour over the mayo mixture. Alternatively, serve the topping ingredients in separate bowls so that your guests can adjust their toppings to taste. Finish with a squeeze of lime – and supply lots of napkins!

Griddled courgette salad

Courgettes work really well when barbecued. Thinly slice courgettes lengthwise, brush with oil and grill for a few minutes until charred. Arrange on a plate, taking care not to pile them on top of each other as this can make them go limp and soggy.

Tear up a handful of mint leaves and scatter over the courgettes, then add some crumbled feta cheese. Mix up a dressing with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and chilli and pour over, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

Aubergine and halloumi parcels

These are so moreish that even hardened meat eaters will struggle to resist. Thinly slice the aubergines lengthwise, then rub them with a mix of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. You can add some chilli too if you’d prefer a hint of spice – either fresh, powdered or a sauce.

Cut thin slices of halloumi and put on the barbecue along with the aubergines. Once cooked, place a slice of halloumi in the middle of a slice of aubergine, top with a mint leaf and then bring the aubergine sides over to create a parcel, securing with a cocktail stick. Delicious!

Added bonus

Another great thing about cooking veggies over meat is the easier clean-up, as there’s less grease and sticky dribbles of fat to worry about. So simply soak your grills in Fairy Washing Up Liquid and run plates through the dishwasher with Fairy Ultra Power Dishwasher Tablets, and everything will be sparkling clean in no time.

Do you have any fab vegetarian barbecue dishes? We’d love for you to share them in the comments section below.

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