Best Vegetarian Barbecue Recipes

Veggie kebabs

These delicious meat-free recipes will appeal to everyone, not just vegetarians. Here’s a selection of my best vegetarian barbecue recipes for you to try.

If you’re a vegetarian and get invited to a family barbecue, the chances are that you won’t have much choice of what to eat; maybe a veggie burger or a vegetable kebab. You could end up feeling very deprived.

If you’re a vegan, you have even less of a choice, unless the person hosting the barbecue is a skilled plant chef. But vegans do have a very strict diet. If you’re vegetarian you have more choices. My aim here is to provide you with some really delicious recipes that even dedicated carnivores will enjoy.

So why not host your own barbecue and serve your guests some great food, without a greasy veggie burger in sight. You will be spoiled for choice and your guests will be delighted!

I’ve used a charcoal grill for these recipes but if you have a gas-powered barbecue, that’s fine. If your barbecue doesn’t have a lid, you can improvise with a deep metal roasting tin turned upside down over the food. Just make sure you’re wearing oven mitts before you go to remove it.

A note on charcoal: Please always use sustainable charcoal from a reliable source. The cheap charcoal that you can buy in petrol stations has all sorts of additives and you don’t want to breathe that in. I can recommend the Tregothnan estate in Cornwall and Whittle and Flame. They supply good-quality charcoal with next-day delivery, which is easy to light, quick to heat up and doesn’t present an environmental or health hazard.

Barbecue Appetisers

Nachos and dips

Something to nibble on with a drink in your hand while the rest of the food is cooking. These are tasty but very light, so they won’t spoil your guests’ appetite.

Halloumi and Mushroom Skewers

I use wooden skewers for these little treats but make sure they’re soaked in water for 30 minutes, otherwise they will burn. Leave them to soak up the marinade for an hour before cooking. Makes 4.

400g chestnut mushrooms, wiped clean and halved
250g halloumi, cut into 2.5 cm chunks
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons olive oil
A pinch of chipotle chilli flakes
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Zest and juice of a lemon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
Sesame seeds to garnish

Put the halloumi, halved mushrooms, olive oil and rosemary into a large bowl and stir together gently. Leave to marinate for an hour.

Thread the halloumi and mushrooms alternately onto 8 skewers. Be careful not to break up the cheese, it can be quite crumbly. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and set aside.

Grill the skewers over hot coals for 4 – 5 minutes each side, until the halloumi is charred and the mushrooms soft. Pour over the dressing and sprinkle over the sesame seeds. Serve hot.

Garlic Pitta Bread with Dips

Hummus and pitta bread

This is like a barbecue version of garlic bread. It tastes great dunked into guacamole, barbecue sauce or hummus. Serves 6.

6 white or flavoured pitta bread
50g butter, melted
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
Salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a small pan and add the crushed garlic. Leave to one side to allow the flavours to develop. Slice the pittas in half through the middles and place them cut side down on the grill. Cook for 1 minute, then turn them over with tongs, brush generously with the garlic butter and cook for 2 minutes more. The butter will start to sizzle.

Cut the pitta into triangles and serve with a dip of your choice.

Stuffed Anaheim Chillies

Anaheim chillies

Anaheim chillies are no hotter than a green pepper, and when cooked they become almost sweet. They can be served to anyone, including children. Serves 4.

8 large Anaheim chillies
100 – 175g soft goat cheese
A tablespoon of finely chopped chives
A teaspoon of olive oil
Salt and pepper

Cook the whole chillies over medium-hot coals for 10 – 15 minutes, until the skin has become charred and the chillies have softened. Cut them open lengthways and remove the seeds. Mix the cheese and chives together and spread the cheese inside each chilli. Close them back up and brush them with oil.

Cook for a further 2 – 3 minutes on each side until the cheese has melted.

Stuffed Garlicky Mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms

My brother Kevin makes these every time he has a barbecue and they’re always a big hit! Large, open-capped mushrooms are needed here so that you get more of the delicious stuffing. Serves 4 but easily doubled.

8 large portabello mushrooms
100g of butter, softened
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
100g grated mozzarella or mild cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper

Wipe the mushrooms clean with a sheet of kitchen paper and remove the stalks, then put them on the grill, cap side down. Cook over medium-hot coals for 4 – 5 minutes, then flip them over. Mix the butter, garlic and parsley together and spread over the surface of the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle with the cheese and cook for 3 – 4 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and is bubbling. These can be served in a toasted bun as a kind of veggie burger but they’re good just as they are.

(If you have some garlic butter left over, it will keep in the fridge wrapped in foil, for a couple of weeks.)

Main Courses

There are so many good things that can be served at a vegetarian barbecue. Not just veggie burgers, although they can be very tasty. Here’s a selection of tried and trusted favourites.

Spiced Chickpea Burgers

Bean burgers

These are so good that everyone will want to try them, even the carnivores! The curry flavour gives them extra appeal and the courgettes ensure the burgers are moist and juicy. Makes 4.

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
20g butter
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
2 medium courgettes, finely grated
225g carrots, coarsely grated
1 x 400g can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
75g fresh white breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons mild curry paste
2 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
1 egg yolk
A pinch of dried chilli flakes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a non-stick pan and fry the onion until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, courgettes and carrots and fry for 5 minutes. Leave to cool.

Blend the chickpeas in a food processor until smooth. Stir in the cooked vegetables and the remaining ingredients. Mix well, then divide the mixture into 4 portions. Press them into a flat disc shape by hand or push them into a metal pastry cutter. Chill for at least 2 hours so that the burgers firm up.

Lightly brush the burgers with olive oil and cook for 6 – 7 minutes on each side, over medium-hot coals. Lightly toast 4 halved ciabatta rolls, cut side down, on the grill and place a burger into each one. Add sliced tomatoes, lettuce or rocket and some barbecue sauce.

Stuffed Aubergines

Aubergines are one of my favourite vegetables to cook on the barbecue. They become smoky, soft and almost sweet. These are made even tastier with a fresh tomato and herb stuffing. Serves 4.

4 aubergines, about 225g each
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 small onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 x 400g can cherry tomatoes in juice
2 tablespoons tomato puree
3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon of sugar
Salt and pepper
Lemon wedges to serve

Rub the skins of the aubergines with some oil and pierce them near the stalk. This stops them from bursting apart during cooking. Cook over medium-hot coals for 10 – 12 minutes, until the skin starts to char. Leave to cool slightly.

Heat the remaining oil in a pan and fry the onion and garlic for 7 – 8 minutes until softened. Add the drained tomatoes, tomato puree, sugar and seasoning and cook for 10 minutes. It should have reduced and thickened slightly. Tear the basil leaves and stir them into the sauce.

Make a slit down the side of each aubergine and open it out to form a pocket. Spoon the tomato sauce in and place the aubergines on individual squares of extra-thick foil, about 45 cm in size. Bring up the edges of the foil to enclose the aubergine and pinch firmly to create a tight seal.

Return the parcels to the grill and cook for a further 15 minutes, until the aubergines are cooked through. Unwrap carefully and serve with some garlic pitta bread (recipe above) and lemon wedges to squeeze over.

Couscous Stuffed Barbecued Peppers

Stuffed peppers always go down a treat. But if you’re a vegetarian, you need a tasty, satisfying alternative to the meat-based stuffing that’s normally used. Couscous is very quick to cook and mixed with a few other ingredients it makes a delicious main course. Serves 4.

4 large red peppers
150g couscous
300 ml hot vegetable stock
4 tomatoes, diced
4 spring onions, trimmed and sliced finely
8 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
100g feta cheese, crumbled
Salt and pepper
Chopped fresh parsley to garnish

Halve the peppers lengthways, leaving the stalks on. Scoop out all the seeds then cook over medium-hot coals, cut side down, for 7 – 8 minutes.

Put the couscous into a heatproof bowl and add the hot stock. Stir and cover with a plate for 5 minutes so that the couscous can absorb the stock.

Add the fresh and sun-dried tomatoes, spring onions, olive oil and seasoning. Mix well and remove the peppers from the barbecue. Turn them over and spoon the couscous into them. Return the peppers to the grill and cook for a further 20 – 25 minutes, until the peppers are completely soft and nicely charred on the outside. Sprinkle over the feta and parsley before serving.

Jerk Cauliflower ‘Wings’ with Roquefort Dip

Jerk cauliflower

Chicken wings are a popular food to cook on the barbecue. These are the vegetarian version, spiced with jerk seasoning and accompanied by a cooling, creamy dip. Serves 4 but easily doubled.

1 large cauliflower
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons jerk seasoning
A pinch of sea salt
100g Roquefort cheese, crumbled
100g Greek yoghurt
30g mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Black pepper
Pomegranate seeds to garnish

Cut the cauliflower into medium-sized florets and put them into a large bowl. Add he jerk seasoning and olive oil and mix with your hands so the cauliflower is completely coated. Sprinkle with sea salt and leave to one side.

Stir together the ingredients for the dip and chill until needed.

Grill the cauliflower florets for 4 – 5 minutes on each side until nicely charred then sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and serve with the cheesy dip.

Aubergines with Black Bean Sauce


Until I tried this recipe, I thought aubergines were very bland. And a bit boring. But this recipe converted me and I think it could do the same to you! But if you’re a fan of aubergines, this will make you very happy. Serves 4.

2 large aubergines, cut into wedges
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons black bean sauce
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
5 cm fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
A pinch of dried chilli flakes
Black pepper

Mix together the sesame oil, black bean sauce and soy sauce in a large bowl. Add the aubergine wedges and stir gently until evenly coated with the sauce. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes.

Cook the aubergine wedges over medium-hot coals for 6 – 7 minutes on each side, until charred and softened. Remove onto a plate.

Mix the ingredients for the dressing together and pour it over the cooked aubergines. Serve hot with some flatbreads or salad.

Avocado Tacos with Sriracha Mayonnaise

These tacos really hit the spot; a combination of creamy soft avocado, juicy tomatoes and spicy mayonnaise, topped with melting smoked cheese. Sriracha is very hot so you could use another chilli sauce, such as tabasco, if it’s going to be too hot for you. Serves 4.

8 flour tortillas
150g grated Monterey Jack or Applewood cheese
2 large ripe tomatoes, diced
1 large avocado, peeled and diced
1 small red onion, very finely chopped
Juice of half a lime
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
150 ml mayonnaise
1 – 2 tablespoons Sriracha, according to how hot you like it
Salt and pepper

Stir together the avocado, tomatoes, lime juice and coriander in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Mix the mayonnaise and chilli sauce in another bowl and chill until needed.

Heat the tortillas for a minute on each side then sprinkle over the grated cheese, followed by the avocado mixture, keeping to the middle of each tortilla. Quickly fold the edges over towards the middle to make a cone shape. The cheese should melt in the heat from the tortillas.

Dollop over some Sriracha mayonnaise and tuck in!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article and that it’s given you some inspiration. If you have any comments or questions please leave them below.

For more barbecue ideas visit best barbecue recipes ever

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4 thoughts on “Best Vegetarian Barbecue Recipes”

  1. Hey thanks for this post!

    I was thinking thinking about barbecues the other day as it’s nearing winter, I’m planning on getting everyone together for a food party however I’ve already gotten bored of the same recipes and since I as well as a few friends prefer veg, this is a great find!

    Can’t wait to try it out!

    • Hi Sariyah, I’m glad you found some inspiration from this post! Vegetables are so good when cooked on the barbecue. Have you seen my other BBQ posts? You will find even more ideas there. I hope the party goes well and your guests enjoy the food

  2. Thank you for all these great recipe ideas! I always avoid cooking and preparing anything because I have a very small kitchen and it makes me feel anxious. However, these meals sound very easy to prepare. I already have a lunch prepared for today, but I think I will try to make stuffed garlicky mushrooms or jerk cauliflower “wings” for tomorrow.

    Jerk Cauliflower ‘Wings’ with Roquefort Dip


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