4 Tips to Take your Vegan BBQ to the Next Level by Romy London
About the author: Romy is the vegan recipe creator and food photographer behind Romy London UK - from vegan comfort foods, sweet treats, roast dinners and vegan BBQ recipes, her creations are all about flavour with zero animal products! Since going vegan overnight in 2014, Romy discovered her passion for getting creative in the kitchen and has since been sharing her tasty recipes on her blog www.romylondonuk.com and on the Netflix show 'Crazy Delicious'.
BBQ's were a firm summer tradition when I grew up and I still vividly remember those numerous family meals in the garden, with a plethora of mouth-watering feasts that came straight from the grill and onto the table.
My BBQ's have changes slightly since my childhood, the most dramatic change probably being that they are vegan now!
To celebrate (vegan) BBQ season with you I'm sharing 4 tips on how you can take your vegan BBQ party to the next level today!
Suprise your guests with a salad bar
Salad bars have always been the most exciting part for me at a buffet - they are simply fantastic to serve everyone's tastebuds with plenty of options for whatever your heart desires. So why not surprise your guests with a delicious salad bar, filled with all the exciting vegan goodness to add to a salad bowl?
Here are a few ideas of what you can serve up as part of your salad bar:
- different types of lettuce: we're talking gem lettuce, rocket, watercress - whatever your heart (or your guest's) desires!
- fresh tomatoes: both chopped and sliced, cherry tomatoes are great too for an extra sweet addition to the bar!
- beans & lentils
- sweetcorn: a classic and wonderful addition to each salad bar
- cucumber: for the perfect bite!
- pickles: pickles are a must to add another layer of delicious flavours! Think of pickled onions, crunchy gherkins or fiery jalapenos.
- vegan cheese: I'm all about the texture and flavour variety when it comes to salads. Vegan halloumi and greek-style cubes are my favourites to add.
- Quorn Vegan Chicken Free Slices: simply cut them up into small chunks, ready to be sprinkled onto a tasty, colourful salad!
- olives & antipasti
- homemade garlic and herb croutons: a fantastic way to bring some stale bread to life again! Check out this vegan croutons recipe for an extra crunch.
And whilst we're already creating a fabulous salad bar, why not up your game with some delicious and exciting salad dressings? Gone are the days of boring vinaigrettes and they're making space for something fresh! A Caesar dressing is an oldie, but goldie however and definitely here to stay, if you ask me. It's the perfect addition to the salad bar for those guests that love to see something familiar on the table.
If you're looking for a bit of a twist on a classic Caesar-style salad dressing, then check out this creamy Avocado Caesar dressing!
Looking for something a little more special? Then give fruity and zesty Strawberry Balsamic Dressing a try. Sounds interesting? Then just keep reading for the recipe!
Strawberry Balsamic Dressing Recipe
- 150g fresh strawberries
- 2 tbsp balsamic glaze
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Simply blitz everything up in a blender or food processor until smooth, then transfer to a serving jug!
Create out-of-the-box vegan BBQ recipes
When putting together a vegan BBQ, out-of-the-box recipes are what makes it all truly exciting. There are plenty of ways to get creative on the barbecue - besides grilling veggies and adding a few ready-made vegan sausages - so let me give you some delicious inspiration of things you can try for your next grilling endeavour!
Did you know you can make pizza on your BBQ? Yes, you heard that right! Pizza is simply glorious made on the BBQ and takes on a whole new level of smoky flavour when prepared over charcoal. In order to grill your pizza, all you need is either a BBQ proof pizza stone or a non-stick perforated tray to place your pizza onto.
Whilst you're at it - let's top the pizza with an extra load of Quorn Vegan Pepperoni Slices, simply delish!
Grilling sweet and savoury flavour combinations has been one of my go-to's for quite some time now and besides more-ish marinades, fruit is a great way to add some sweetness to your BBQ.
If you're up for this flavour excursion, then I can only recommend giving Grilled Mango Salsa a go! Mango becomes wonderfully soft and sweet on the grill and it's simply delicious as a salsa and in combination with savoury feasts in a taco & co.
Watermelon is a great addition to the barbecue also! Can't believe it? Well, don't knock it until you've tried it. Watermelon becomes something completely different from what you know when it's heated on the BBQ! Its texture changes entirely, it becomes soft and flexible, releases its water and takes on flavours from marinades and Co. just beautifully.
Grilled Hawaii Pineapple Recipe
- 1 medium-size pineapple
- 1 pack Quorn Vegan Smoky Ham Free Slices
- 1 pack dairy-free vegan cheeze (pick one that melts wonderfully, cheddar-style preferred!)
- To prepare the pineapple for this recipe, remove the stem and slice the entire pineapple into 3/4-inch discs. Use a small, round cookie cutter or simply a sharp knife to carefully remove the tough middle piece of each disc and cut off the pineapple peel around each disc without losing too much of the pineapple flesh.
- Fire up your BBQ and once your coals are glowing and ready to roll, top each pineapple slice with a slice of the Quorn Vegan Smoky Ham Free Slices and finish off with a slice of vegan cheese on top.
- You can place the Hawaii pineapple slices straight onto the griddle of your BBQ, but I personally love using a reusable non-stick BBQ tray on top of the grill to prevent the pineapple from sticking. Grill the pineapple with the BBQ lid closed for 12-15 minutes over direct heat or until the pineapple is lightly charred and the cheese on top melty.
Serve up exciting drinks for your BBQ
Whether alcoholic or non-alcoholic - I think we can all agree that our BBQ drinks game can do with an upgrade. With deliciously simple, but fancy drinks trending on TikTok in recent weeks, it's only fitting to list some refreshing options for you to try here as well!
Personally, I love crafting drinks from fresh fruit and herbs - not only for the health benefits of using fresh ingredients but also for the ultimate boost of flavour in each sip. Two of my recent favourites are this refreshing Strawberry & Basil Tonic and this creamy Mango and Passionfruit Colada. They are both super easy to make, using mostly fresh ingredients, and simply taste fantastic on a hot summer day (but really any weather, we're in the UK after all).
Find both simple recipes to make these delicious vegan drinks for your next barbecue party below.
Strawberry and Basil Tonic
Ingredients (makes 2):
- 2 large strawberries
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2-3 tsp maple syrup
- Juice of 1 lemon + lemon slices for decoration (optional)
- 8-10 leaves of fresh basil (+ more for decor, optional)
- Ice cubes
- 400 ml tonic water
- Divide the fresh basil leaves between both glasses and use a mortar to firmly grind them into the bottom of each glass to release their full flavour.
- To a food processor or blender, add the strawberries, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and maple syrups and process until you get a smooth puree and divide it between both drinks.
- Add 2-3 tbsp of small ice cubes to each glass, then top off with tonic water and decorate with lemon juice and fresh basil leaves.
Mango and Passionfruit Colada
Ingredients (makes 2):
- 60g mango
- 2 passionfruits
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 400 ml tin full-fat coconut milk
- Place half the mango and half of one passionfruit into a blender or food processor (you can also use a stick blender) and process until you get a smooth puree. Divide puree between 2 tall glasses.
- Place the rest of the mango and another passionfruit half into the processor alongside the maple syrup and coconut milk and blend for 1 minute or until well combined.
- Add 2-3 tbsp of small ice cubes to the tall glasses, then pour in the coconut mixture and finish off with the rest of the passionfruit placed on top.
Move Dessert onto the BBQ
If you haven't tried to make dessert on the BBQ yet, then you're truly in for a treat! When hosting a BBQ, this one's a natural - after all, with the BBQ already lit, it's a no-brainer and a worthy big finale for your barbie.
Besides pizza and Co, dessert definitely belongs onto the barbecue as well, so let me convince you with some delicious vegan grilled crumble nectarines!
Grilled Crumble Nectarines Recipe
- 3 nectarines, cut in halves and stones removed
- 60g rolled oats
- 1 Medjool date
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- Pinch of salt
- Heat up your BBQ and place the nectarines onto the grid face down. Grill them for 4-5 minutes or until you get some nice lines on them.
- In the meantime transfer the oats, date, cinnamon, maple syrup and a pinch of salt to a food processor and pulse until the date is broken down and the crumble sticky.
- Flip your nectarines and add the oat crumble on top, then grill the nectarines for 4-5 more minutes, preferably with the lid on until the crumble is golden and lightly crunchy on the corners.
- Serve your grilled crumble nectarines with a dollop of your favourite non-dairy ice cream!