What You Need To Know For A Vegan-Friendly BBQ

For most people, the idea of a BBQ calls to mind images of sizzling steaks, burgers, bratwursts, and protein-packed skewers, all expertly seasoned and bursting with flavor. Add in a few delectable sides and you've got an impressive spread with a little something for everyone — unless, that is, you're planning on hosting a vegan-friendly BBQ. However, inviting your plant-based pals does not mean you have to sacrifice on flavor whatsoever.

When it comes to the main dish, don't be the person who just tosses a sad veggie burger patty on the grill. If you want something that closely resembles staples the carnivorous diners are eating, there are plenty of vegetarian burgers and sausages on the market — just read the ingredients to ensure there's no cheese, honey, or other non-vegan items in them. Additionally, while vegan diners won't be topping their burgers with mayo, there are plenty of condiment options you can offer that appeal to vegans and non-vegans alike, such as spicy mustards, fresh greens, avocado, pickled red onions, and much more. If you want to go beyond the classic burgers and sausages, there's always the option to craft some vegetarian kebabs with a mix of tasty grilled vegetables, or even to grill portobello mushroom caps or eggplant steaks for an incredible entree option (via Food Pleasure and Health). 

Also, ask your vegan guests whether or not they are okay with sharing a grill — if not, you can simply toss their items on the grill first, before any meat starts sizzling.

How to master vegan-friendly BBQ sides — and desserts

A variety of flavorful sides is one of the best parts of any BBQ spread, and there are tons of vegan-friendly options that will be satisfying for everyone at the BBQ. Vegan chef Gaz Oakley swears by having some fresh salsa, a bowl of guacamole, and potato wedges to start off the assortment of sides (via Delish). Salads are a great addition to a BBQ spread, since they can be prepared ahead of time, and there are countless salads that incorporate only vegan-friendly items. Again, you just want to skim the ingredients of any recipe to ensure there's no eggs or dairy — this is where vinaigrettes and similar marinades or sauces can truly shine.

When it comes to desserts at a vegan-friendly BBQ, you don't have to worry about navigating the world of vegan baking — crafting baked goods without any eggs or dairy is a challenge you don't need to take on! Instead, clean that grill and use it once more. While it may seem simple, grilled fruit is a crowd pleaser, and you can toss everything from peaches to pineapples on the grill to get a bit of a char and some delectable caramelization. You can season fruit with vegan-friendly spices, like cinnamon and sugar. (As Food Republic explains, honey has a tendency to burn on the grill anyway.) Then serve them up with a non-dairy ice cream — there are plenty of options on the market nowadays. Yum!