As a longtime vegan, I understand the pain (and the drama) of having to attend a non-vegan barbecue. Barbecues are literally a meat orgy. Over the years I’ve actually turned down invitations here and there because sometimes it’s just too much.
But here’s the truth: Grills are good for much more than cooking up dead animal parts. In fact, with all the incredible vegan meats on the market these days, you could host an incredible all-vegan barbecue that would rival any traditional cookout. Here are nine vegan meats that are perfect to throw on the grill.
Just two things before we get started: 1. Remember that veggies are amazing on the grill. Try grilling corn (my favorite), zucchini, carrots… even watermelon! 2. If you’re invited to a non-vegan barbecue, it’s totally acceptable to bring your own meat. Some people have an issue with their meatless burgers being cooked on the same grill as actual meat, but if that’s not an issue for you, BYOM — bring your own meat.
1. Beyond Burger
These are hands-down the most impressive vegan burgers on the market. Want to fool your meat-eating friends? Buy these. Beyond Burgers are so convincing they’re sold in chain restaurants like Carl’s Jr. and TGI Fridays. You can not go wrong here.
2. Beyond Sausage
Take what I said above and now apply it to sausages. These are so similar to meat-based sausages they’re oftentimes sold right next to them in the meat department. These are incredible on a grill and will astound your non-vegan friends.
3. Field Roast Frankfurters
If you want the flavor of a hot dog, the best vegan version on the market is Field Roast’s Frankfurters. Case closed. Truth be told, I love all the sausages Field Roast makes — but the frankfurters are in a league of their own.
4. Lightlife Smart Dogs
While these are not as good as the Field Roast Frankfurters, they are still pretty solid and widely available.
5. Tofurky Italian Sausage
These are so good I can eat them straight out of the package — stop judging me! While not as “realistic” as Beyond Sausage, I think these are really excellent.
6. Gardein Chipotle Black Bean Burger
This is my favorite Gardein burger. There’s a hint of spice in these — so if you don’t like spicy, you might want to avoid it. Otherwise, it’s packed with flavor and makes an awesome addition to any barbecue. (Sorry about the promo image, it’s the best one I could find that really showed how good the burger looks)
7. BOCA Turk’y Veggie Burgers
Stop rolling your eyes. This is not your 90s BOCA burger, I swear! BOCA updated their products and they’re actually pretty good. We tasted these on my podcast recently and we couldn’t believe how much they’ve improved. The other thing about BOCA’s products is you can find them everywhere. I know this is not nearly in the same league as the Beyond Burger, but it’ll do in a crunch.
8. Amy’s Quarter Pound Veggie Burger
I love Amy’s! Honestly, everything from her soups to her pizzas are awesome. Her veggie burgers are not going to trick any of your meat-eating friends, but they’re still very good. This one is her most substantial burger but I also love her California burger — which is basically just veggies blended into a patty.
9. Yeah Dawg
What I love about Yeah Dawg is the fact that it’s a veggie hot dog made from a blend of whole foods. Right on their website it says, “Keeping fake real.” Cute! I do find these to be a bit salty, but the flavor is on point. I served these up to my very non-vegan parents recently and they LOVED them! FYI: Yeah Dawg is more widely available on the east coast.
Main image source: Instagram/beyondmeat