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What To Serve At A Vegan BBQ

What to Serve at a Vegan BBQ

Alternate title: What Should I Serve My Crazy Vegan Cousin at my BBQ Next Weekend? I’ve wanted to do a recipe roundup of all my favorite vegan BBQ items for those of you looking for some new ideas, but I got to thinking about how there are probably a lot of omnis out there who have a vegan friend or two and, (if they’re nice omnis) maybe they don’t want to just throw a Boca patty at them and be done with it. Maybe they want to put some thought into it. Maybe they really have no idea what a vegan would want to eat at a BBQ, but after reading this will be so inspired they’ll become vegan themselves! Ha ha πŸ™‚

Below I have a nice compilation of links (and one new recipe!) divided up into food categories, but first I want to share a couple thoughts that I have on planning a successful BBQ:

  1. Serve lots of appetizers! Your friends are going to be drinking and talking and they’re going to eat more apps than you think they will, so plan accordingly.
  2. Have lawn games! People like to play games while they’re drinking and talking, before the grill is fired up.
  3. Don’t overextend yourself! Decide how many guests you’re comfortable having, and draw the line there. If the hostess is stressed out, no one will have fun.
  4. Planning is everything! Make a spreadsheet- Figure out everything that needs to be done before the first guest arrives, and put yourself on a schedule. Also? Make sure everything is done before the first guest arrives. (See #3)
  5. Paper plates are lame! Visit your local thrift shops and buy yourself a whole mess of mismatched dinner and dessert plates. I’ve built a huge collection never paying more than $.50 each, so if one breaks I don’t stress about it at all. And the crazier the patterns, the better! They’re fun, a great conversation piece, sturdier than paper, and you’re not contributing to the landfill. Win-win-win-win!
  6. This is the most important: Invite guests that will love on your dogs!

Vegan BBQ

Cute, right? That little dude spent the whole afternoon loving on my dogs, and in return they taught him how to use their doggy door. Seriously, it was hilarious. If I had kids, I’d have them going in and out of the doggy door all the time, just for my own amusement πŸ™‚

But back to the food! Here are a few of my favorites.

What To Make For A Vegan BBQ: Some Ideas…





Serve any of those dishes and I’m pretty sure you’ll be a very popular hostess!

Need more ideas? Check out my posts on Grilling Vegan Style and my Labor Day Burger Round-Up!

Now let’s talk Tempeh Burgers, shall we?

I’ve been trying to create a veggie or bean burger with Asian flavors for the past month or so, but nothing was really working.  Chickpeas seemed wrong, black beans just seemed weird… What the heck was I going to make my burger with? Then, one day, I was on Slate.com and saw this article in the side bar. It seemed like the perfect starting point for my asian-style burger! I just wish I knew where they got their enormous chunk of tempeh that could be cut into burgers! My local store carries rectangle pieces that gave me leftovers -which were reincarnated as Curried Tempeh Salad.

Asian-Style Tempeh Burger (Makes 2-4 burgers)

Recipe adapted from Slate

Note: Once your tempeh is cut into 2 equal squares you can prepare them as is, or you can slice them horizontally through the center to create 4 thinner burgers. I tried the thicker version, and it was just too much for me- but might be great for those with a larger appetite!


  • Two 8 ounce packages of tempeh, cut into 2 equal squares (I used about 6 oz from each package, so you might have something a little better in your local stores)
  • 1/3 cup Braggs liquid aminos
  • 4-5 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon powdered onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered garlic
  • 1 tablespoon agave
  • 2 good pinches of powdered ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha
  • Dash of sea salt, if desired
  • Non-stick spray
  • 2 (or 4) hamburger buns, toppings as desired


  1. Steam the tempeh for 20 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, mix all other ingredients in a large bowl.  Marinate the tempeh for 30-45 minutes.
  3. Heat grill to medium, and cook burgers for 7-8 minutes on each side. You want grill marks, but be careful not to let them burn.


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{ 32 comments… add one }
  • Gabby @ the veggie nook July 20, 2012, 5:41 am

    Great round-up! You sure have a lot of delicious recipes… πŸ™‚

  • thecrueltyfreereview July 20, 2012, 6:48 am

    Hmmm, I haven’t tried making tempeh burgers but these look so good I might have to try!

    • Barb July 20, 2012, 6:56 am

      I really liked them… might have to make them again soon, in fact!

  • Hannah (BitterSweet) July 20, 2012, 7:32 am

    Seriously solid advice- Now you’ve got me in the mood for a party, asap! I’ll definitely have to make these burgers whether that pans out or not though.

    • Barb July 20, 2012, 8:06 am

      I’ll be waiting for my invite πŸ˜‰

  • Terri Cole July 20, 2012, 7:58 am

    Hi Barb, I love your blog! Thanks for the great barbeque ideas, I have a question about the Asian burger recipe. Powdered garlic is listed twice, was the second one supposed to be ginger?

    • Barb July 20, 2012, 8:06 am

      Well thank you, and thanks for pointing that out- it was supposed to be Ginger, and I just edited it. Clearly my mind was elsewhere!

  • An Unrefined Vegan July 20, 2012, 11:34 am

    Thanks for the handy-dandy round-up, Barb! Lip-smacking good burgers, too!

    • Barb July 23, 2012, 11:58 am

      You’re welcome πŸ™‚

  • laurenlisang July 20, 2012, 1:15 pm

    Great post Barb! Thanks!

  • Starr July 21, 2012, 9:36 am

    Normally, I don’t have much interest in BBQs. However, with a menu like that, I’d be first to arrive, and of course, “help” set up the food πŸ˜€

    • Barb July 23, 2012, 11:57 am

      “help”, of course, ha ha!

  • Lauren July 21, 2012, 11:47 am

    That picture cracks me up. :). All of those recipes sound delicious.

    • Barb July 23, 2012, 11:59 am

      It’s a great picture- Betty is the perfect size for toddlers!

  • * Vegan Sparkles * July 22, 2012, 5:31 am

    mmmmm, you’re making me miss summer SO BADLY!!! πŸ˜‰ LOVE this whole post, especially the part about the burgers and the thrift store plates!

    • Barb July 23, 2012, 11:59 am

      Thanks- I’m a huge fan of the thrift store plates!

  • iatelunch July 22, 2012, 2:01 pm

    These sound great! I love tempeh burgers! So meaty!

  • iatelunch July 22, 2012, 2:01 pm

    Also, thrifty plates? So cute. I thrift store hopped for five hours this morning. It was exhausting looking through everything, but it payed off!

    • Barb July 23, 2012, 11:58 am

      I love thifting- sometimes you go home empty handed BUT sometimes you find treasures!

  • vegan_kitchen_nuggets July 23, 2012, 1:16 pm

    I went thrifting last week and scored some rockin’ plates! I love that! Also, just recently made a variation of a spicy chickpea burger; very tasty. Awesome BBQ food!

    • Barb July 23, 2012, 1:17 pm

      Good job on the plates! So much fun!

  • Heather July 26, 2012, 12:57 pm

    I thnk all vegans need to share this post of yours with their omni friends, what a great recap!

    Here we go with begin twinsies agian, I have been playing around with a few different asian burger recipes too πŸ™‚ I love yours with tempeh what a great idea!

    • Barb July 26, 2012, 1:38 pm

      I can’t think of anyone I’d rather be twinsies with πŸ™‚

  • Debbie Belknap June 14, 2013, 5:26 am

    Great menu ideas! (But why is the vegan guest always crazy?)

    • Barb July 11, 2013, 8:16 am

      I was being facetious.

  • Nicki September 28, 2014, 7:23 pm

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    I have no expertise in programming but I had been hoping to start my own blog
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