It's summer time again, which means only one thing: determined people across the UK planning BBQs that they will execute come rain or shine. If it's your turn to host, planning a menu that will suit everyone's tastes can often feel like a big task. A lot of people panic when cooking for a vegan or vegetarian, but going meat free doesn't necessarily mean a difficult recipe and hours in the kitchen, and it certainly doesn't mean expensive. These cheap vegan BBQ ideas can be whipped up and brought along to any house party or weekend soiree.
Even if you're a vegan guest, having a go-to bowl to bring to parties to make sure you have something great to eat is a pro-tip. It can also help you avoid the "So, what do actually you eat?" conversations. And you never know, you might even change a few minds. Vegan food no longer means buying a two page list of ingredients for one dish. Often, all it takes to make a recipe vegan-friendly is a few quick adjustments, some imagination, and having a few kitchen essentials on hand to add in. Here are my favourite cheap vegan recipes for a BBQ party in summer 2018.
1. Vegan Teriyaki Tofu
This BBC Good Food teriyaki tofu recipe is super simple and affordable, and makes a great vegan alternative to classic BBQ foods like ribs. There are only a few ingredients needed so it's low-cost, and you can easily substitute mirin (a rice wine) if you don't have it. If you can, always pop the tofu in the fridge to marinade overnight or while you're prepping the other details for your feast!
2. Kimchi Fried Rice
This recipe, from vegan food blogger Green Eggs, is one of the cheapest, quickest, and best tasting vegan recipes there is. If you haven't had it already, kimchi is a Korean staple food, made of fermented vegetables and spices. And surprisingly, it's really yummy. You can buy it preprepared so bringing this recipe together requires minimal cost and effort, and you can make a huge batch of it in one go. It's a great side dish to accompany your summertime BBQ.
3. Vegan Burgers
If you are familiar with the many incarnations of the veggie burger, you are familiar with the deft hand movements needed to keep things together while eating. This recipe from I Love Vegan is great, and rare, a vegan burger you can actually BBQ without risking it hitting the charcoal underneath. By adding a small amount of brown rice or walnuts, the recipe is even more suited to grilling, and it's also a super easy dish to bring together.
4. Vegan Seven Layer Dip
You simply cannot have a garden party without having lots of dips and lots of things to dip in said dips. It's the unwritten rule of summer socialising. Chop up some veggies or have vegan tortilla chips to go alongside this dish from I Love Vegan. Besides tasting amazing, it's super colourful and looks great on the table. You can substitute a tin of ready made refried beans instead of making your own if you want to cut down on time. This affordable vegan seven layer dip is sent from the gods to make BBQs truly great.
5. BBQ Fennel With Black Olive Dressing
Fennel — the humble vegetable that just keeps on giving. This recipe is great all year round but its fresh and light taste makes it a perfect accompaniment for BBQs. It's so tasty and inexpensive, and best of all, you can have the dressing prepared in advance. Simply assemble when you're ready to fire up the BBQ when guests arrive.
6. Pulled Jackfruit
Jackfruit is native to southern parts of India and has over the last few years become a staple for vegan diets because of how versatile and indulgent it is. This recipe has plenty of mouth-watering seasoning to liven up a really affordable dish for your vegan BBQ. Jackfruit flakes apart really tenderly and makes a great alternative to meat, so much so non-vegan guests won't know the diference.
7. PB & Banana Iced Mocha
There are loads of vegan-friendly desserts that are great for a BBQ and that are surprisingly easy and cheap to make. If you want something light, you can BBQ some pineapple or peaches and simply serve with a dairy-free ice cream. Alternatively, this peanut butter and banana iced mocha recipe is a must and only has a few ingredients so is easy on your budget and your free time. It can also be adapted to suit a sunny weekend by adding a dash or two of rum!
Whether you get the weather for a BBQ party that will last until the sun is setting, or even if the weather requires keeping a raincoat to hand, just in case, having a stash of go-to cheap and easy vegan recipes will make entertaining super easy.