How to host the ultimate vegetarian BBQ

No meat . . . no worries!

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The iconic backyard barbecue has long been the domain of the meat-lover, but the rise of vegetarianism and plant-based eating has seen veggies become the star of the show.

In fact, one of the biggest food trends in recent years has been flexitarianism—eating predominantly, but not strictly, vegetarian—with more than two million Australians, and almost half a million New Zealanders, stating their diets are “almost all” or “all” vegetarian.

The key to a good barbecue is finding the balance between protein, plenty of veggies, and substantial grain and carbohydrate dishes. Tick all the boxes with a well-planned menu filled with extra flavour from herbs, spices, pickles, sauces and condiments.

Here are our top tips to host a very veggie barbecue:

Mix & match

Just like any dinner party, make sure you provide plenty of flavours and options. Yes, it’s a barbecue, but that doesn’t mean you’re only serving grilled veggies. Consider other cold dishes that will support the grill—this is where you can get your grains and legumes in too.

Why not try: A fresh Caprese salad, borlotti bean salad or Moroccan chickpea salad.

Super sides

While salads are a must, a barbecue isn’t complete without some substantial sides and, happily, some of the tastiest ones are vegetarian and pair perfectly with any grilled veggies.

Why not try: A zesty coleslaw, buttered corn cobs or creamy potato salad.

Go for meat alternatives

If you don’t want to make your own meat alternatives, don’t stress. There are plenty of ready-made meat-free alternatives stocking supermarket shelves.

Why not try: Some options from Alt Meat Co, Bean Supreme or Vegie Delights that will satisfy any barbecue guest, from koftas to patties, sausages and fillets. Visit lhf.net to see their full range of products.

Involve your guests

The best part of entertaining is time spent with family and friends, so get them involved. Plan dishes that guests can make their own way so they can cater for their own needs.

Why not try: Veggie skewers or Mexican burgers.

Classic swap

The best thing about a vegetarian BBQ is that you can still enjoy burgers and sausages, just look for plant-based alternatives.

Why not try: Lentil patties or corn and coriander fritters.

More than veggies

Fruit on the BBQ may seem strange but the char-grilling process brings out delicious caramelisation, taking your dessert to the next level. 

Why not try: Grilled fruit kebabs or cinnamon-sprinkled pineapple rings.