I’ve always loved grilled food. I’m not entirely sure why, but If I had to guess, I’d say that it’s because it takes me back to my childhood. I have fond memories of having neighborhood cookouts in the big communal courtyard behind our house when I was little. I remember having fun at my dad’s office’s annual company barbecue in the park, too.
When I decided to go vegetarian in the early 90s, I bought myself the world’s tiniest outdoor grill. I bought it at CVS and it was ridiculously cheap. I think it cost around $5.99, and I worked there, so I got an employee discount. It was about the size of a frying pan, and it consisted of a small, shallow base and a grated grill top. I bought a small bag of charcoal briquettes, which lasted me an entire summer. I would sit out on the porch of the home I shared with my mother, cooking up portobello mushrooms and corn on the cob.
When I got my own apartment, I didn’t have outdoor space, so my mom bought me an indoor electric grill. It wasn’t quite the same thing as my outdoor barbecue, but I still used it often. I later upgraded to a George Foreman-type grill, vegetables took too long to cook on it and it was a pain to clean, so I didn’t use it as frequently.
When Dennis and I bought out our house a few years ago, we were happy to find a small propane grill in the shed. It was pretty old, but it looked like it had only been used once. We scrubbed it down and then loaded it up with our favorite veggies.
I’ve had people ask me what kinds of foods vegans grill, which I find a little strange, because we often grilled potatoes and corn on the cob when I was little. But I guess most people think the grill is just for meat.
Of course, veggie burgers and tofu pups cook up really nicely on the grill, but I love to barbecue all manner of plant-based foods. I love to grill summer squash, eggplant, peppers, asparagus, mushrooms, tofu, and even lettuce. Yes, lettuce tastes great when cooked for a few minutes on the barbecue. Fruit caramelizes nicely when grilled, and it makes a great summertime dessert.
Summer is the perfect time to grill, because no one wants to stand in a hot kitchen too cook dinner, but I often break out the grill in spring and use it all the way through fall. It came in really handy last autumn when a thunderstorm knocked out electricity for the better part of a day and I couldn’t use my oven.
I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite vegan grilling recipes. Some are mine, some are from my favorite cookbooks, and some were created by my blogger friends. These dishes are great for the 4thof July, Labor Day, or any random summertime Saturday!
20+ Vegan Grilling Recipes
Grilled Pizza with Aquafaba from Fried Dandelions
Foil Wrapped Grilled Vegetables from Vegan in the Freezer
Buffalo Corn on the Cob with Vegan Blue Cheese from Cadry’s Kitchen
Grilled Fruit Satays with Pineapple-Coconut Peanut Sauce from The Nut Butter Cookbook by Robin Robertson
Grilled Banana Split with Chocolate Peanut Butter Sauce from Cadry’s Kitchen
Grilled Nectarines with Balsamic Basil Reduction from Fried Dandelions
If you’d like even more vegan grilling recipes, check out Grills Gone Vegan by Tamasin Noyes, VBQ: The Ultimate Vegan Barbecue by Nadine Horn and Jörg Mayer, and Grilling Vegan Style by John Schlimm. If you don’t have a grill but still love good vegan barbecue, take a look at Great Vegan BBQ without a Grill by Linda and Alex Meyer.
What are your favorite grilled dishes?