Texas has always been one of the best places to experience an authentic American-style barbecue but is often associated with meat. Applying the same cooking style to plant-based options can produce equally (and in our opinion more) delicious meals that are guaranteed to satisfy any meat-lovers craving.
Having a plant-based barbecue is easier than you might think. Check out these mouth-watering barbecue ideas and tips for having the best plant-based bbq!
Your favorite meaty barbecue classics – only plant-based
You don’t need to come up with any fancy recipes or spend a whole day prepping food for your plant-based barbecue. You can quickly char up your favorite classic barbecue staples, only their plant-based versions. Burgers and hotdogs are always crowdpleasers. They are easy, require no prep work, and can be jazzed up or down based on people’s preferences.
If you’re hosting a backyard barbecue where you know there will be kids, then some plain ol’ burgers or hotdogs on a bun will do the trick. But for the adults, you can get a bit creative and make some mouth-watering, messy burgers loaded with toppings and flavors.
Grill up some roasted red peppers and onions to throw on the burgers and spread on some homemade guacamole. Top with some Bacony Bits too for some extra crunchy, smokey goodness. You can purchase premade plant-based patties from most supermarkets, or if you’re feeling ambitious, you can try making patties yourself. Check out these chickpea patties or black bean burgers, which require basic ingredients and are not too hard to prepare. One tip, make sure that you don’t choose anything breaded since it will burn on the grill almost immediately.
Buy Bacony Bits Online
BBQ tofu and vegetable skewers
Even a non-vegan barbecue isn’t complete without some charred vegetable skewers. Make them the main event by stacking on some chunky, colorful veggies and tofu cubes to bulk them up. When choosing what to put on your skewers, make sure to choose sturdy vegetables that won’t fall apart on the stick. Some good options are yellow squash, mushrooms, red onion, bell pepper, zucchini, and potatoes. You could even add some fruit to the mix, like pineapple or plantain. The more color you can stack on, the better!
The key to making delicious BBQ skewers is in the marinade. Marinating your skewers for a few hours before grilling will allow them to absorb the flavors fully. When you throw them on the barbecue, the marinade will caramelize and crisp up on the surface. Talk about yummy!
You can go with a basic marinade, like classic barbecue sauce, or something more exotic like a peanut ginger marinade. Some other marinade ideas include:
- Creamy curry
- Lemon and herb
- Red wine
- Honey mustard
- Sesame teriyaki
Portobello mushroom steaks
Mushrooms already have a meaty texture to them and, with the right seasonings, can make an excellent replacement for steaks or grilled chicken. Try to find the thickest portobello caps that you can and marinate them for about 20-30 minutes before grilling. Ensure that you don’t clean your mushrooms with water before marinading, as they will soak up a lot of liquid and become soggy. Instead, use a dry brush or paper towel to give them a quick wipe.
For the marinade, you’ll need some balsamic vinegar, tamari or soy sauce, oil of choice, garlic and onion powder, liquid smoke, and vegan steak sauce. You can, of course, marinade them in anything that you like, but the above combination will give them a rich, smoky flavor.
Serve the portobello steaks alongside some grilled asparagus and mini potatoes for a full plant-based spread.
Don't forget the sides!
At a barbecue, everyone likes to mix and mingle, nibbling on things as they go. That’s why side dishes are one of the most important elements of a successful plant-based barbecue. No one will go hungry if you serve these tasty plant-based sides.
Vegan potato salad with bacony bits
Potato salad is another staple that makes a great side for your plant-based barbecue. Potato salad usually has eggs and dairy, but it doesn’t need to. Instead of using mayonnaise, you can simply swap it for a vegan mayo of your choice. Our favorite potato salad dressing includes a mix of white wine vinegar, vegan mayo, Dijon mustard, olive oil, and chives. Add in some plant-based bacony bits for that meaty flavor and crispy texture, plus some capers for a bit of tang.
Grilled corn on the cob
Another crowdpleaser and one of the easiest dishes to prep is grilled corn on the cob. When you barbecue corn on the cob, it gets a beautiful, charred exterior that is slightly crispy, with a juicy interior. Cut the cobs into thirds and brush with vegan butter or margarine of your choice. Then sprinkle on some salt, pepper, and a little bit of chili powder to give it a kick.
Chipotle fiesta salad
A crispy, fresh salad is a must-have at any barbecue. Skip the bland, basic garden salad and take it up a notch with a Mexican-inspired chipotle fiesta salad. This salad has got crunch, it’s got flavor, it’s got zest, and it’s got meat. Well, kind of. What really makes this salad a hit is the It’s Jerky Y’all Prickly Pear Chipotle. The flavor explosion of the plant-based jerky with the creamy dressing and crunchy romaine round out the experience.
Check out the full Chipotle Fiesta Salad recipe here.
Get ready for a plant-based BBQ!
One thing to remember is that no matter what you throw on the grill, it’s going to taste good. Whether you have hours to spend on preparation or just want something you can throw together in a flash, you can still please all your family and friends with plant-based options. So, get that BBQ fired up and enjoy the delicious plant-based food!