Vegan Barbecue – Top 10 Recipes

Happy 4th of July! There’s nothing quite as American as a good old fashioned barbecue, so let’s kick off the weekend with some of the best vegan barbecue recipes around. These meatless dishes are all easy to grill, and are tasty enough to please your non-vegan friends as well. Let’s barbecue! 


1. Vegan Barbecue Tempeh

barbecue tempeh


  • 1 8 oz package tempeh 
  • pepper
  • olive oil spray
  • ketchup – 1/2 cup
  • agave syrup – 2 tbsp
  • soy sauce – 2 tbsp
  • garlic cloves, minced – 2 tbsp


This vegan barbecue sauce cooks itself over the grill – so it’s super easy to prepare. But if you want a shortcut, feel free to use premade barbecue sauce as well. Just check the ingredients to be sure it’s vegan! 

Combine ketchup, agave syrup, soy sauce, and garlic in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Cut the tempeh into cubes – about 1 inch square. Thread the tempeh onto skewers. Place the tempeh skewers on a flat surface. (On top of some aluminum foil to cut down on the mess!) Brush 1/2 the BBQ sauce over the tempeh skewers. Allow to marinate for 15 minutes.

Heat the grill to medium-high heat. Place the tempeh skewers gently on the grill. Cook for approximately 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until cooked through and slightly charred. Brush with remaining barbecue sauce.

Serve hot.

2. Grilled Zucchini Kebabs with Vegan Zucchini Dip




  • 2 round zucchini (10 ounces each), each cut into six 1/3-inch-thick rounds
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 zucchini (3/4 pound), chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


Push one 8-inch bamboo skewer horizontally through 2 zucchini slices; keeping another skewer parallel, push it through the slices to secure them. Repeat with the remaining slices to form 6 kebabs. Brush with the olive oil and transfer to a large dish. Sprinkle with the garlic and parsley, season with salt and white pepper and let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Light a grill.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the zucchini, garlic and onion and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, transfer to a platter and refrigerate until chilled, about 20 minutes. Scrape the mixture into a blender, add the basil and the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and blend until smooth. Scrape into a bowl. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Scrape the garlic off the kebabs and grill over a hot fire for about 2 minutes per side, or until lightly charred and just tender. Serve the kebabs with the dip.

3. Barbecue Buffalo Tofu Sandwich

barbecue buffalo tofu


  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 16-ounces tofu, pressed and drained, and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 4 hoagie rolls 
  • Cilantro, 1/4 cup, chopped
  • Sliced Veggies for topping – carrots, cucumber, tomato (optional)


In a medium saucepan, heat the broth, hot sauce and butter over medium-high heat. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the tofu slices and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside, letting the tofu marinate.

With a slotted spoon, remove the tofu from the marinade. Set the marinade aside. Grill the tofu for 3-5 minutes, brushing with the marinade. Flip tofu and grill for additional 3 minutes, brushing on more marinade as it cooks.

Toast the hoagie rolls in a toaster oven, if desired.

Serve the barbecue tofu on the hoagie roll, with the toppings of your choice.

4. Seitan Short Ribs in Spicy Barbecue Chili Sauce


Seitan is a rich source of protein, derived from wheat. It’s a popular meat substitute due to its rich texture and filling quality. It sounds a bit intimidating, but it’s surprisingly easy to make. I love this recipe for braised seitan “short ribs” from thevword. 

5. Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Cilantro & Lime

Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Cilantro & Lime


  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, scrubbed well and sliced lengthwise 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Approx. 3 tablespoons vegan  BBQ Dry Rub Mix
  • A couple of limes, halved
  • A handful of cilantro, chopped


This is a really simple vegan barbecue recipe – that is always a crowd pleaser!

Preheat your grill to medium-high (direct heat).Brush the sliced sweet potatoes with olive oil and rub with about 1 teaspoon of spice mix per side.Lay potatoes on the grill and cook until grill lines form, 5-6 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side until cooked through and tender, about 5-6 more minutes. Remove from the grill and lay on a platter. Squeeze lime juice over the top and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve immediately.


6. Vegan Barbecue Hot Dog Bar

Vegan Hot Dogs


  • 4 vegan hot dogs (such as Smart Dogs)
  • 4 whole or sprouted grain hot dog buns
  • 1 medium organic tomato, diced
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1 cup organic sauerkraut
  • 4 whole pickles, ‘new’ is best
  • 1 bottle mustard
  • 1/4 cup spicy pepperoncini peppers
  • black pepper
  • salt
  • olive oil


This is the simplest recipe on the list. Heck, maybe it doesn’t even qualify as a recipe so much as a fun vegan barbecue idea!

Follow instructions on package to cook the hot dogs – it will vary by brand. To get that nice black-charred look, heat the vegan hot dogs directly on gas grill for a few minutes before serving.

Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan, over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 5-6 minutes, until soft and slightly caramelized. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve the hot dogs on the buns, with all the toppings (onions, tomatoes, pickles, mustard, pepporncini peppers) available buffet style. Everyone will have fun building their own vegan hot dog creation.

7. Vegan Portobello Sliders       

vegan barbecue portobello sliders


  •     4 portobello mushroom caps
  •     buns of your choice
  •     fixings of your choice: (sprouts, onion, tomato avocado, blue cheese, etc)

For the sauce:

  •     1 teaspoon olive oil
  •     ¼ onion, grated
  •     1 clove of garlic, minced
  •     ¾ cup ketchup
  •     2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  •     2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  •     2 tablespoons maple syrup
  •     1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  •     ½ to 1 teaspoon sriracha or hot sauce
  •     salt and pepper, to taste



Make the sauce. In a small saucepan, heat oil. Add onion and garlic. Stir until translucent. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. If the mixure is not already bubbling, increase heat. As soon as it bubbles, reduce to a simmer. Let it reduce and thicken (5-10 minutes), stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking – sweetness, spice level, salt, etc.

Depending on the size of your portobello mushrooms, either trim to fit the size of your slider bun, or cut into strips. (To make slider-sized burgers and not waste mushroom scraps, I made some of both – cut squares like the one pictured, and made others with mushroom strips).

Liberally brush both sides of the mushrooms with the sauce and let them marinade for at least 15 minutes, up to 30. Heat broiler or grill, cook mushrooms, flipping halfway through, 3-5 minutes on each side. When mushrooms are done cooking, brush with more sauce and serve with whatever fixings you like.


8. Grilled Avocado with Roasted Tomatoes

Grilled Avocado with Roasted Tomatoes


  • 3 avocados
  • 3 limes, cut in wedges
  • 1-1/2 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 Serrano or jalapeno peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil + more for avocados
  • Himalayan salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • black beans (optional)


Prepare the grill on medium-high. Set the oven to 450ºF.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add tomatoes to a bowl along with the garlic cloves and corn. If using fresh corn, slice it from the cob and add to a bowl. Chop onion and add to bowl. Remove stems, membranes, and seeds from 2 of the peppers. Chop and add to the bowl. For more heat, leave the seeds and membranes in the peppers. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the bowl, salt and pepper, then mix well to coat all the vegetables. Turn vegetables onto parchment paper. Place in oven and roast until lightly browned, turning once or twice during cooking.

In the meantime, slice the avocados in half lengthwise. Coat each half of the flesh side of the avocado, with a little olive oil.  Place the avocados, flesh side down on the grill and grill until warmed through and slightly charred.  Turn grilled avocados over and fill the center with the roasted vegetable mixture. Top with chopped cilantro and sliced peppers. Squeeze with fresh lime juice and serve with extra wedges of lime on the side.


9. Grilled Miso Glazed Japanese Eggplant

grilled eggplant


  • 6 Japanese eggplants, cut into 1/4″ rounds
  • olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds 

For the miso glaze:

  • ¼ cup white miso 
  • 2 tbsp Mirin
  • 1 tbsp Sake (optional)
  • 2 tbsp agave syrup


Preheat grill to medium. Combine the ingredients for the miso glaze, and whisk until smooth. 

Brush the eggplant slices on both sides with a bit of olive oil. Arrange the eggplant on the grill and cook for approximately 5 minutes until lightly browned. Brush with 1/4 of the miso glaze. 

Flip, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Brush another 1/4 of the miso glaze onto the eggplants.

Remove from grill and toss with the remaining glaze. Serve topped with the shallots and sesame seeds.

10. Barbecued Vegan “Chicken”

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. Just-Like-Honey or agave nectar
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 serrano chile or jalapeo pepper, minced
  • 1 chipotle chile, in adobo
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp. cilantro, minced
  • 1 lb. vegan “chicken” or seitan

Preheat the grill. In a food processor or blender, pure lime juice, “honey,” garlic, serrano chile or jalapeo pepper, chipotle chili, pepper, and cornstarch.Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized sauce pan and boil until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in the cilantro. Brush the “chicken” lightly with the glaze. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, turning once. Just before removing the “chicken” from the grill, baste with the remaining glaze.Remove from the grill and serve.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend celebrating – and enjoy some vegan barbecue!