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10 amazing vegetarian barbecue recipes

10 of our best-ever vegetarian barbecue recipes

by Great British Chefs 24 April 2019

The art of barbecuing has traditionally centred around meat and fish, but a good barbecue will really take vegetarian dishes to the next level too. Here are ten innovative vegetarian and vegan barbecue recipes that we always turn to when the sun's shining and we're looking to impress.


With more and more of us reducing our meat intake and turning to vegetarian and flexitarian diets, we’re always on the hunt for new, exciting vegetarian recipes that really show off vegetables in all their glory. In that sense, barbecue season provides a unique opportunity. The art of barbecue has always been dominated by meat – there’s no denying that open flames, searing-hot coals and smoke bring a new dimension to meat cookery. But they also change the game for vegetables too.

A good barbecue opens the door to a whole world of possibilities that few have really explored before – you can smoke garlic and nuts, bake flatbreads and pizzas, char vegetables over coals or slow-roast them among the embers.

We’ve been hard at work testing all sorts of different vegetables, cooking methods and flavour combinations to devise a host of new vegetarian recipes that really harness the power of barbecue. These ten recipes are some of our absolute favourites, but our advice? Don’t be afraid to experiment. The beauty of cooking over live fire is that it brings out flavours you wouldn’t expect in things. You may think you hate cauliflower for example, but slow-roast a cauliflower over charcoal and you’ll discover flavours you didn’t know existed. Read on for ten fantastic vegetarian barbecue recipes and unlock the potential of your grill – these can all be served as mains, but as with any barbecue-focused get-together, cooking a few of them and serving a selection of dishes is always bound to go down well.

Barbecued hispi cabbage with miso butter and goma dressing

Though cabbage is not as misunderstood as it once was, some of us remain scarred by memories of sulphurous school meals. There may be no better way to cook a cabbage than on the barbecue – the smoky heat of the coals coaxes a sweet nuttiness from the brassica that really takes it to the next level. This recipe sees hispi (or sweetheart) cabbages crisped up on the barbecue before being brushed liberally with a miso butter, which melts into the cracks between the leaves. Once cooked, a drizzle of snappy sesame dressing adds a top note to the dish which really brings everything together.

Barbecued broccoli with satay sauce, charred lime, smoked peanut, coriander

Broccoli is another vegetable that benefits from the barbecue – the florets really hold onto that smoky flavour and you can have this dish ready to roll in just twenty minutes. We’ve paired ours with peanut – not only do the flavours really work together, but the crunchy shards of crushed smoked peanut infiltrate their way into the florets, providing lots of textural contrast. Make sure your barbecue is nice and hot before you roast your broccoli on there, and char your lime to give it a smoky edge before you squeeze the juice over the top. This dish is also suitable for vegans.

Baba ganoush flatbread and Brussels sprouts flatbread with feta, hazelnuts and mint

This recipe really shows barbecue cooking at its most flexible. There’s no better way to cook aubergines than in the glowing embers of a barbecue – it gives the resulting baba ganoush its incredible smoky aroma and changes the whole dish. Once you have your baba ganoush ready and your Brussels sprouts are nicely charred, pump up the heat inside the barbecue and preheat a pizza stone on the top. Rolling your dough as thin as possible and allowing it to prove for fifteen minutes before cooking will give you the lightest, crispiest flatbread you’ve ever tasted, and that combination of crisp flatbread with smoky baba ganoush, briny feta cheese, sprouts and hazelnuts is pure magic.

Whole barbecued artichokes with smoked garlic mayonnaise

Every year when globe artichokes come into season, we gaze longingly at them and wish we could eat some without having to go through the arduous ordeal of preparing them. This recipe makes artichoke cooking dead simple – just season the artichokes generously with salt, pepper and lemon, wrap them in foil and tuck them amongst the coals of your barbecue. After forty-five minutes they come out beautifully tender – steamed in their own juices – and you can eat them leaf by leaf Provençal-style, dipping each one into a punchy smoked garlic mayonnaise.

Cauliflower shawarma wrap with smoked yoghurt

This humble white brassica transforms into something amazing when combined with the heat and smoke of a barbecue – the sugars caramelise and deepen to reveal a rich, meaty flavour under the surface. There’s a certain joy and satisfaction that comes from slow-roasting a whole cauliflower on the barbecue, but these skewers are equally delicious – individual florets are marinated in shawarma spices and charred over the coals, before being swaddled in a quintessential Turkish mix of pomegranate and coriander. Smoking the yoghurt is easy and adds an extra layer of flavour.

Barbecued hasselback butternut squash with sage salsa verde

This butternut squash hasselback is a worthy centrepiece for any barbecue, but it’s not just easy on the eyes – it works on every level. Once you’ve made cuts all along the squash, brush it liberally with rosemary and pink peppercorn butter, allowing it to sink into the 'hassel-gaps'. Once it goes onto the barbecue, the butter cooks the squash from the inside, gently crisping the outside whilst it absorbs smoke and char. Aromatic, sweet, salty, crispy – this recipe takes butternut from boring to breathtaking. The sage salsa verde provides the perfect dressing for the vegetable.

Charred leeks with leek ash crème fraîche, burnt citrus dressing and soft egg

Leeks can be a tricky task on a barbecue – the larger specimens can be quite tough and stringy and need moist heat to really break them down. But by wrapping the leeks in foil and throwing them on the barbecue you allow them to sweat and soften in their own juices, and you can add accompanying flavours into the bargain (in this case, bay leaves). The leek ash crème fraîche is a revelation too – not only does it use the green tips of the leeks (which are often discarded), but it adds a deep, almost chocolatey note to the accompanying crème fraîche. Quartered soft-boiled eggs and a burnt citrus dressing round off the dish nicely, helping to balance the natural sweetness of leek and fatty acidity of crème fraîche.

Green romesco sauce with barbecued nectarines and asparagus

Packed full of colour, flavour and textural contrast, this is the perfect vegan salad for a big summer gathering. In swapping red peppers for green, the romesco has deeper, earthier notes that perfectly accompany the sweetness of peach and cherry tomato. You could make this salad without a barbecue but it wouldn’t have the same depth – getting a good caramelisation on the peaches and asparagus and then blackening the green peppers really brings the smoke of the barbecue into every aspect of the dish. Feel free to trade out elements – this dish is all about balance of flavour and there’s no reason why you couldn't adapt it to use seasonal fruit and vegetables year-round.

Barbecued celeriac burger

After many years of searching, we might just have discovered a vegetarian burger that satisfies our meaty cravings! Celeriac has the right combination of density, flavour and texture, and our step-by-step process really brings forth its savoury flavour. First the celeriac is roasted among the coals with a generous coating of mustard, then it’s sliced, brushed with tangy barbecue sauce and seared over a hot grill to give it that all-important caramelisation. Toast a nice brioche bun alongside and serve with your choice of condiments for an unbelievably good burger that's suitable for vegans.

Barbecued aloo chaat

No barbecue is complete without a big heap of potato salad. Don’t get us wrong – we still love the creamy comforts of a classic new potato salad, but this Indian-inspired number is an emphatic new number one in our books (plus it's vegan, too!). The potatoes are parboiled and crushed gently, then tossed with a simple marinade of garam masala and lemon. Opening the potatoes up really lets the marinade get to work in the nooks and crannies, and also gives your potatoes lots of delicious crispy edges when you sear them over the barbecue. Combine the crispy potatoes with coriander pesto, vegan coconut yoghurt and mango chutney and you have a transcendent salad on your hands.

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