Aubergine, chickpea & feta salad with sumac dressing

How to create an amazing vegetarian barbecue

Vegetarians needn't feel left out come barbecue season - there are loads of ways to enjoy tasty meat alternatives

By Grace Allen, 24 May 2017
How to create an amazing vegetarian barbecue

Rather than worrying about undercooked chicken or overcooked sausages, make vegetables and veggie options the star of the show next time you get out the barbecue. A flavoursome alternative to boiling or steaming, vegetables like peppers, tomatoes, aubergines and courgettes are delicious cooked this way - and, accompanied by charred halloumi, filling pulses and hearty salads they make for a deceptively simple al fresco feast. 

We've rounded up a few different ways you can enjoy a veggie barbecue this year, where meat won't be missed.


Possibly the easiest veggie BBQ option. The kebab. You could pop anything on a skewer and have an amazing charred flavour, but we especially love these Moroccan style vegetable kebabs made with hearty aubergine and peppers, or these halloumi kebabs with ribboned courgette and fruity baby tomatoes.

Find good meat substitutes

If you're forgoing meat you will want to find a suitable replacement - something that cooks well on a grill. Halloumi may be the answer - with a satisfying texture, the moreishly salty squeaky cheese makes an excellent burger. If you're not a cheese fan however, you may want to try handmade bean burgers instead, or up the ante healthwise with a beetroot and quinoa burger.

Pulled vegetables

You don't have to slow cook a fatty joint of meat to jump on the 'pulled' food trend. Did you know you can make delicious pulled vegetables?

Mushrooms absorb flavour amazingly well. These pulled mushroom hotdogs are made by cooking mushrooms with Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, vinegar, sugar, chipotle paste, paprika and cumin to give them a fantastic deep flavour. They're then served on delicious charred buns.

And these pulled carrot burgers are a genius way of serving carrots. They're made using spiralised carrot and combined with smoky, spicy flavours. The perfect veggie BBQ alternative.

Embrace the salad 

Delicious, wholesome and filling - don't underestimate the simple salad. Adding crumbled feta and chickpeas to this aubergine dish transforms it from a basic side dish to a lavish centrepiece.

Sliced courgettes lightly charred on the barbecue make a tasty dish, especially when sprinkled with fresh herbs as in this recipe. A classic bulgur wheat tabbouleh is a great accompaniment for grilled halloumi, but if you want to avoid carbs you could make a cauliflower version

Bring the pickles

A favourite part of any barbecue has to be the accoutrements - the pickles, relishes, sauces and chutneys. Liven up a veggie burger with a good dollop of piccalilli


Take a dip

A few trusty dips will make everything go further at a barbecue - easy to make in large quantities, it's worth having a few bowls of houmous or this beetroot dip hanging around, with a basket of torn up pitta breads. This houmous is blended with chickpeas and adorned with griddled crudités and this houmous uses peanut butter instead of tahini for a sweeter, nuttier flavour. 

Barbecue a pizza

If you've invested in a swanky barbecue with a hood, get optimum value out of it by using it as a pizza oven. This courgette pizza bianco would work well, but have fun throwing on different toppings.

Marinade delicious vegetables 

Our resident food expert Cate Dixon advises that you should "try and use veg that absorbs flavour really well so you can use a marinade and also enjoy the smokey flavours of the BBQ. Aubergine, courgettes and cauliflower are all good for this. Cut them in half lengthways, drizzle with little oil or marinade of your choice ".

"Aubergine goes particularly well with Asian flavours. Try combining miso dressing with sesame seeds, ginger and a bit of lime juice. Cauliflower can take spicier flavours like chilli flakes, cumin, sumac, lemon and olive oil. Whereas the more delicate courgette goes nicely with a classic honey and mustard marinade." 

Keen to bust out the barbecue? Make sure you stock up on what you need in your local Asda or online.