When you think barbecue, do complicated preparations, too much meat and not healthy enough come to mind? Well, don’t be fooled because it is possible to prepare simple, delicious, vegetarian and healthy meals on the barbie. This vegetarian BBQ guide will help you choose the right veggies, show you the proper cooking techniques, great seasoning and delicious sides to ensure that your meatless barbecue is a hit!
Which veggies for the BBQ?
Choosing and preparing
Lots of veggies are perfect for the barbie, so choose according to your own tastes. Even frozen veggies work well on the grill. Read our Barbecue Veggie Rescue! article to learn more.
You can’t cook all veggies the same way when barbecuing. Depending on the kinds of veggies, preparation should vary. The way they’re cut will change the results. Here are a few tips for cutting veggies like a pro..
But not all veggies need to be cut. Some can be kept whole, then prepared after they’re cooked. That’s mainly the case with mushrooms, corn, asparagus and beans, the latter of which must be trimmed.
Most veggies are easy to prep for the barbie. Let’s start with the classics: peppers, tomatoes, onions, carrots, cauliflower. Cut peppers and onions in half or quarters. Keep cherry tomatoes whole and cut regular tomatoes in half. Cut carrots in half lengthwise or into rings and separate cauliflower into florets.
For squash and eggplants, it’s a little different. You can cut them lengthwise either in half or in quarters or you can cut them into round slices.
Leafy veggies can also be cooked on the barbecue. Endive and radicchio have to be cut in half, quarters or eighths lengthwise. Kale leaves must be removed and romaine lettuce can be prepared either way.
In the mood to try something different? Artichoke, leek and fennel are original options for the barbecue. They’re also easy to prepare. Slice artichoke and leeks in two lengthwise, making sure to separate artichoke leaves before cooking. For fennel, cut the in half after removing the stems.
Seasoning and marinades
After cutting the vegetables, you have two choices before cooking: marinating or seasoning them quickly. Like meat, you can put what you want in a marinade for vegetables, tofu or tempeh. Here’s a little formula to remember for your next vegetarian barbecue :
The acid ingredient could be vinegar or lemon juice. Salt can be replaced with soya sauce and marinating time is between 20 minutes and 12 hours. For good seasoning combos for your veggies, check out our herb and spice guide.
It’s easy to make your own marinades and sauces for the BBQ. Here are a few recipes for inspiration during grilling season :
Homemade barbecue sauce can also be used as a marinade for veggies and plant proteins! Try this recipe and feel free to marinate your favourite veggies, tofu, tempeh or cheese.
How to cook veggies on the BBQ?
There are many options available to you when it’s time to cook food on the barbecue: cooking directly on the grill, skewers, en papillote, in a wok, on a pan or on a plancha.
Directly on the grill
The least complicated technique is cooking directly on the barbecue grill. Not all food can be cooked this way, but many veggies and proteins do very well on the grill.
If veggies are chopped as described above, grilling them this way will not be a problem. Most veggies take between 5 and 10 minutes. Need inspiration? Check out these recipes :
There are lots of other techniques than cooking directly on the grill. Continue reading to discover them all.
Credits : Fraîchement pressé
Another really simple technique to prepare food for the barbecue is to make skewers. You can use metal or wood sticks. If you use wood, don’t forget to soak them beforehand so they don’t burn while cooking. You can also use the marinades mentioned above. Veggies that cook the best on skewers are bell peppers, cauliflower, carrots, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and zucchini. You can also make skewers with asparagus, beans and even Brussel sprouts!
Here are a few veggie skewer recipes:
Everything to know about papillote
Don’t want to complicate your life? Papillote is a good option for cooking veggies on the barbecue. Frozen veggies work really well cooked this way. For more information, consult our Guide for Cooking Frozen Vegetable on the BBQ or our Cooking tips and tricks.
The papillote technique is pretty simple and you can adapt it to your liking. Simply choose vegetables with similar cooking times, chop them properly, add your favourite marinade and seasoning before wrapping them in tinfoil. For a little variety, try these different papillote recipes :
Trends: Barbecue work and plancha
Papillote is a practical option that people love. However, new trends and techniques are on the rise. Now it’s possible to grill veggies with a grill basket or a BBQ wok. These barbecue accessories let you roast veggies and get a smoky flavour unlike steaming them en papillote. Most veggies take about 20 minutes in a BBQ wok. Frozen vegetables are ideal for this cooking technique and cook in 10 or 15 minutes. Baby potatoes are also delicious this way. Just boil them for 10 minutes, then cook them in the wok for another 10 minutes so they’ll be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Like a regular wok on the stove, there are many recipes for barbecue woks. Here are a few examples that will make you want to get one for yourself!
Credits : Le coup de grâce
Grill baskets and barbecue woks are available in grocery stores, outdoor accessory stores and at some other stores. They cost between $10 and $30.
A technique long-used in Spain, the plancha has made its way here. In some regions in Europe and the US, this method is quickly replacing grill cooking. This new type of barbecue lets food cook on a cast iron, steel or stainless steel plate. As there is no contact with flames, you avoid burning food with this process. You get even heat distribution, durability of product life and easiness to clean which all make it a wise choice. In Canada, plancha-type barbecues are less popular, but you can find hybrids equipped with a grill and a plancha surface
It’s also possible to cook food a la plancha even if you don’t have this kind of barbecue. By putting a baking sheet or aluminum plate directly on your barbecue grill, you can get similar results. Here are a few examples of cooking veggies a la plancha with a regular barbecue :
To really understand the cooking techniques of en papillote, BBQ woks and a la plancha using frozen vegetables, watch our tutorial.
Meat substitutes: tofu, tempeh and much more!
Want to show your friends what a real veggie barbecue is or want to lower meat consumption? In addition to vegetables, tofu and tempeh work really well on the barbie. You can also make vegetarian sausages and burgers yourself.
Tofu cooks really well directly on the grill and it doesn’t take much more time that veggies. For a delicious crispiness, count 10 to 15 minutes, turning once. Here are a few recipes ideas :
Credits : Destination santé
You can also make tofu brochettes with delicious results.
Try one of these suggestions and see for yourself :
Prefer tempeh? This protein is as easy to prepare as tofu. See how with these recipes :
Veggie burgers are so popular it’s hard to say just how many recipes there are. You can even create your own! Vegetables, legumes, tofu, quinoa : the only limitation is your imagination! Need inspiration? Try these recipes on the barbecue :
Instead of buying already-made vegetarian sausages, why not try making them yourself? You’ll get a result made just for you and you’ll know exactly know what’s in them.
Recipe ideas that are original and easy
For those who love barbecuing, it’s always fun to try new recipes. A meatless barbecue is so much more than just veggie brochettes. Different vegetarian dishes and side dishes can perfectly be cooked on the barbie. Check out original concoctions that you can make to impress your friends and family!
Halloumi, what’s that? It’s a cheese in brine from the Island of Cyprus that’s made from sheep’s and goat’s milk. Semi-firm, it’s slightly salty and resistant to heat making it perfect for barbecues and salads. You can find it in most grocery stores. Try these recipes and see just how easy it is to cook halloumi :
Credits : Fraîchement pressé
It’s not just halloumi that can be grilled. Brie is another option. Melted brie in the oven is good, but if you’re like me and prefer not to use the oven during summer, we’ve got the right the solution for you. Here are a few baked brie recipes for the barbecue :
Credits : Taste Spotting
Love grilled cheese sandwiches, but didn’t know you could make them on the barbecue? Most melted cheese sandwich recipes can be made just as easily on the grill as in a pan. We suggest these recipes that are a little out of the ordinary :
Pizza on the barbecue? Yup, it’s definitely possible! Try these two recipes and you’ll see your barbecue in a different light!
When you’re in the mood for barbecue, you can do more than just make main dishes. It isn’t complicated to prepare appetizers and sides on the barbie to enjoy the summer weather. Read our article Rethink your Mixed Grills: Sides that are out of the ordinary for other original ideas for side dishes. Here are some options for sides that can be prepared quickly on the grill or in the kitchen.
For delicious bruschetta, try this recipe : Grilled Cherry Tomato Bruschetta
These dips are perfect with crackers, chips or bread :
Want to impress your guests? Try this Roasted Chickpeas recipe!
Credits : Pulse Canada
Credits : Cath cuisine
Summer means salad season is here. Refreshing and easy to prepare, they make good sides for barbecues. Make salads with grilled veggies for a welcome change.
Even without grilled veggies, other salads can be a great accompaniment for your grilled meals :
With Fruits and Vegetables
Salads make great salty-sweet combos. Try salad recipes with both fruits and veggies.
Here are just a few :
For a more filling salads, pasta or quinoa salads remain wise choices. There are a multitude of recipes at your fingertips.
Credits : Mamzelle Betterave
What would be a barbecue without the famous potatoes? There many ways to cook potatoes on the barbie. Try these recipes, you won’t be disappointed :
Desserts on the barbecue
Credits : Bob Le Chef
You want to finish your barbecue meal in style? Why not spoil yourself with a delicious grilled dessert? Desserts on the barbecue require little prep and are quick to make. Here are a few recipes to try this summer :
See all the options that you have for a vegetarian barbecue? Now you’ve got all the tools to make a veggie feast on the BBQ. Send us your comments and recipes.