Summer barbecues are all about succulent steaks, burgers, and sausages – right? No more! This summer, why not try it without them? And no need to worry – you certainly won’t go hungry. Even the most committed meat-eaters will savour these barbecued vegetarian treats.
Whether you are trying to eat something a little bit lighter, cut down on how much meat you eat, or simply feel like trying something different, a barbecue is a great opportunity to try out some tasty new ideas. Take inspiration from some vegetarian dishes that will make your time with the family at the barbecue even more enjoyable. They’re very easy to make, and you can get the ingredients at any local supermarket.
Vegetarian versions of meat dishes
If you simply can’t imagine a barbecue without a proper burger, sausage, or steak, you might be surprised to learn that you can enjoy the same sort of feast even without meat. It’s really not hard to find vegetarian – or even vegan – versions of your favourites. What’s more, these ready-to-cook delicacies such as soy burgers or vegetarian sausages are totally hassle-free: simply stick them on the barbecue and serve.
These days, you can find a huge range of your standard veggie burgers or sausages in any supermarket, as well as a massive variety of new products that look and taste exactly like meat (even some with ‘blood’!) If, however, you want to avoid processed food, your best bet is to stick to raw ingredients. All you have to do is flavour them well (perhaps in a homemade marinade) and the basis of your feast is taken care of.
Grilled vegetables as the main dish or a side dish
Vegetables taste absolutely fantastic when cooked on a barbecue. Drizzle with a little oil, season with your favourite spices or fresh herbs, or leave them to marinate overnight. Aubergine, courgette, tomatoes, peppers, different types of mushrooms and corn on the cob all work really well. You can serve them as a warm side dish, or turn them into the main course itself! We suggest trying out these great ideas:
- Vegetable skewers – cut the vegetables into large chunks, perhaps add some tofu, marinate (try a marinade of soy sauce, chilli, and honey), stick them on a skewer, and barbecue for a few minutes on all sides.
- Stuffed mushrooms – scoop out the caps of the mushrooms and fill them with blue cheese. Barbecue until the cheese melts.
- Stuffed peppers – halve the peppers, scoop out the seeds, and fill with a mixture of cheese, garlic, cream cheese, and fresh herbs. Season with salt and pepper, and grill!
- Garlic potatoes – wash the potatoes thoroughly, but don’t peel. Use a knife to make a few cuts in the potatoes and fill each with a slice of garlic, fresh herbs, and grated cheese. Wrap in tin foil and barbecue for about half an hour.
Barbecued cheese is an absolute must
Cheese is always a winner and an absolute must for your summer barbecue. Remember, however, that not all cheeses cook well. The ultimate is Camembert: baked in the box, studded with garlic and rosemary. Pure luxury. Blue cheeses are good too, all you have to do is drizzle them with oil, perhaps season with a blend of barbecue spices, and wrap them in tin foil. Halloumi also tastes greatly barbecued – try skewers of halloumi, tomatoes, red peppers and onion, seasoned with smoked paprika and garlic powder.
There are also cheese alternatives for vegans or those suffering from lactose intolerance that can grill well. Or, you could try barbecuing some smoked firm tofu – we recommend marinating in advance to enhance the flavour.