The Best Vegan BBQ For Summer Entertaining

With 4th of July right around the corner, I am excited to share with you my favorite summertime BBQ menu that is perfect for entertaining both small and large groups. This spread is so easy to create and will impress your guests with flavors that rival any traditional BBQ they have ever tasted! These are recipes that I have been making for many years; ones that my family and friends look forward to every summer. I hope you give these recipes a try! For dessert, the Peanut Butter Cup recipe is probably my greatest creation and a favorite in my house! Enjoy! If you are looking for cute 4th of July-themed table and serve ware, Home Goods is a great resource. If you are local to San Diego, my go-to for holiday décor is Floral Palette in Rancho Santa Fe and La Jolla.

The Best Vegan BBQ Menu

  • BBQ Jackfruit Sliders with Cole Slaw
  • Vegan Sliders with Thousand Island Dressing
  • Coleslaw with Pineapple
  • Macaroni Salad
  • Baked Spicy Black & White Beans
  • Grilled Corn with Cilantro Lime Butter
  • Potatoes with Lemon Parsley Pesto
  • Grilled Vegetable Skewers with Herb Marinade & Balsamic Reduction Drizzle
  • Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

BBQ Jackfruit Sliders

Jackfruit makes an amazing vegan substitute for pulled pork and once you slather it in BBQ sauce and top your slider with some pineapple coleslaw, no one will know any different.

If you are short on time, there is an amazing product that you can purchase at Whole Foods and Jimbo’s Naturally (if you live in San Diego) instead; it’s called Mindful “Chik’n” from Sweet Earth. If you end up using this product instead of jackfruit, all you need to do is warm up the “chicken” in a pan and add some spicy barbeque and a little bit of water.

Ingredients for BBQ Jackfruit:

  • 2 20-ounce cans of young green jackfruit in water (favorite brand Native Forest)
  • 2 Tablespoons avocado oil
  • ¼ to ½ cup water
  • 1 Cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions for Preparing the BBQ Jackfruit:

  1. Drain and rinse the cans of jackfruit and place on a kitchen towel. Pat the jackfruit until it is dry.
  2. Transfer the jackfruit to a large bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the spices together.
  4. Add the spices to the jackfruit and combine until the pieces of jackfruit are well coated with the spices.
  5. Heat the avocado oil over medium heat in a large fry pan and add the seasoned jackfruit. Cook for approximately 10 minutes.
  6. Add the 1 cup of BBQ sauce to the pan; adding a little bit of water at a time to help with the cooking process without burning the sauce.
  7. Cover and continue to cook for approximately 30 minutes; adding more water as necessary. Alternatively, you could transfer the mixture to a slow cooker and cook for an hour to an hour and a half.
  8. Once the jackfruit and sauce have cooked down, I like to use a fork to break apart the pieces of jackfruit so that it pulls apart like pork or chicken.

Instructions for assembling the Jackfruit Sliders:

Using small hamburger buns of your choice, pile the bottom of the bun with 1/3 cup of BBQ jackfruit and top with ¼ cup of the coleslaw with pineapple (recipe below). Top with a Bread & Butter Pickle slice. Your guests will gobble these up; so delicious!

Coleslaw with Pineapple

Adding pineapple to this coleslaw this dish a little extra special; it adds a sweet and unexpected surprise topped on the BBQ jackfruit slider.


  • ½ head of greed cabbage; shredded
  • 1 Cup purple cabbage; shredded
  • 1 cup carrot; thinly sliced or shredded
  • 1 Red pepper; thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of fresh or canned pineapple; chopped into small cubes
  • ½ cup vegan mayo (favorite brand is Follow Your Heart)
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard


  1. Mix all ingredients together and let sit for at least an hour.

Vegan Sliders with Thousand Island Dressing

Making vegan sliders is easy and there are several amazing “hamburger” substitutes that I use in place of beef. Impossible Meat and Beyond Burger are the two brands that really come close to offering a similar-tasting burger. I try to eat very little processed foods, but I will occasionally splurge and have one of these burgers. A healthier vegan burger choice would be Hilary’s; I love their burgers and really enjoy them knowing that they don’t have any ingredients in them that are questionable. I personally think it is ok to eat an Impossible or Beyond Burger on a special occasion, but I stick with the Hilary’s burgers on the regular.

Regardless of which vegan burger you chose, I like to load my hamburger bun with the patty and top it with vegan cheese (my favorite brand is Violife), vegan thousand island dressing (my favorite brand is Follow Your Heart), and Bread & Butter pickle slices. If you serve your burgers with the Impossible or Beyond Meat; no one will know they are vegan. They really nailed it and made them taste like the real deal.

Macaroni Salad

This recipe is my vegan and gluten-free version of the classic macaroni salad; tastes so good that no one will even notice the modification. There are many brands of gluten-free pasta out there but my favorite for this recipe is the Tinkyada brand elbow macaroni; the texture is perfect for this recipe.


  • 1 box or bag of brown rice/gluten-free elbow macaroni (Tinkyada or Jovial brands); cooked and drained
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • 1 large carrot shredded
  • 1/3 cup dill pickle relish
  • ½ cup of chopped fresh dill
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • ½ cup of organic corn (fresh if you can, if not frozen organic is fine)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ tsp of pink Himalayan salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • ¾ cup of vegan mayo (favorite brand is Follow Your Heart)
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard


  1. Cook the pasta according to the package, drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the lemon, mayonnaise and mustard together.
  3. Add the celery, shredded carrot, pickle relish, chopped dill, chopped parsley, corn and salt and better to the pasta.
  4. Mix the mayo mixture into the pasta until well blended.
  5. Adjust herbs, seasonings, mayo and relish accordingly.

I like to let this sit for an hour or more before serving. If you refrigerate it – let it sit on the counter to room temperature.

Spicy Black & White Baked Beans

This recipe is a spicy and sweet alternative to a boring traditional baked bean dish. When I serve these for my guests, they go crazy over them. The ginger, spicy barbeque sauce and balsamic vinegar give this dish a unique and spicy/sweet kick to it that everyone enjoys. I love using black and white beans to make the dish stand out differently than a traditional baked bean recipe. Trust me..this is a keeper and will be a favorite when you put on a summer BBQ spread.  


  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ red onion, thinly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped ginger
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Cans Organic Black Beans; drained
  • 2 Cans Organic Great Northern White Beans; drained
  • 2/3 Cup Spicy BBQ sauce
  • 1/3 Cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. molasses
  • 3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium/high heat. Sautee onions, garlic and ginger until soft. Add balsamic vinegar and cooked beans and stir until combined.
  2. Allow beams to simmer for a few minutes on low while you whisk together the BBQ sauce, maple syrup, molasses, mustard and salt and pepper.
  3. Remove beans from heat and stir in the sauce.
  4. Mix well and pour into a lightly oiled baking dish.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees uncovered for 1 hour. Serve hot.

These beans have so much flavor and are so delicious! Say goodbye to boring baked beans!

Lime Cilantro Grilled Corn

This grilled corn, with lime cilantro butter, is a staple on our table during the summer months when corn is at its peak. I only eat corn when it is in season and organic to avoid GMOs.


  • 1 stick of vegan butter; softened (my favorite brand for this is Earth’s Balance)
  • 1 Lime juiced
  • ½ tsp of lime zest
  • ½ tsp of coconut sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 6 ears of corn; shucked


  1. Mix the butter, lime juice, lime zest, sugar, salt and cilantro into a bowl.
  2. Grill the corn for about 10 minutes – turning to evenly cook without burning!
  3. Put the grilled corn on a serving plate and spread the butter onto the corn and serve!

Potatoes with Lemon Parsley Pesto

I love potato salad but if I am serving macaroni salad at my vegan BBQ, I feel like the flavors are a bit redundant. This lemon parsley pesto gives roasted potatoes a vibrant color and flavor and pairs nicely with the rest of this vegan BBQ spread. I prefer to cook my potatoes in the air fryer, but you can get a similar result by cooking the potatoes in the oven at 425 degrees.


  • 2 ½ pounds of small yellow potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • 1 large bunch of Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup of basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil


  1. Wash the potatoes and then pat dry with a kitchen towel.
  2. Cut the potatoes in half.
  3. Transfer potatoes to a bowl and toss with olive oil and sea salt.
  4. Place the potatoes in an air fryer and cook until tender and golden brown; opening the fryer every 10 minutes to shake and toss so the potatoes get evenly browned.
  5. Alternatively, you can roast the potatoes in an oven at 425 degrees until tender and browned.
  6. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the pesto.
  7. Place all the pesto ingredients into a blender. Using a spatula, gently scrape the sides of the blender to incorporate all ingredients evenly.
  8. Once the pesto is complete and the potatoes are cooked, toss the potatoes in a large bowl with the pesto.
  9. Transfer to a serving platter and enjoy!

Grilled Vegetable Skewers with Herb Marinade & Balsamic Reduction Drizzle

These veggie skewers are not only colorful and festive looking, but equally tasty and perfect for a vegan BBQ. The key to creating these little beauties is cutting the vegetable evenly into small 1 to 1 ½ inch pieces so that they match up well and cook evenly. The herb marinade and the balsamic reduction drizzle at the end give these skewers a lot of flavor.


  • 2 red onions
  • 4 zucchinis
  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 yellow peppers
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • Sea salt
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • Bamboo skewers
  • Balsamic vinegar reduction to drizzle on top (optional)


  1. Soak the bamboo skewers in water for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Heat the grill.
  3. Cut the vegetables into small 1 to 1 ½ inch pieces. To cut the red onion, cut in half and then cut each half into sixths. Cut the zucchini into ¼ inch rounds. Cut the peppers into small squares.
  4. Drizzle oil on the cut veggies and sprinkle with some sea salt.
  5. Carefully skewer the pieces of vegetables onto the stick; alternating each vegetable to create a balanced and beautiful skewer.
  6. Place the skewers on the grill for approximately 20 minutes; flipping the skewer halfway to prevent overcooking.
  7. While the skewers are grilling, prepare the marinade by combining all chopped herbs, garlic, and oil in a bowl.
  8. Once the vegetables are soft and cooked through, remove and brush each one with the marinade.
  9. Plate and drizzle with some balsamic vinegar reduction. 

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

These cookies are my greatest creation and anyone that has ever tasted them agrees that these are the best cookies ever; especially given that they are grain-free, vegan and low glycemic. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to find a way to produce these cookies to sell in stores, but I have yet to figure out a cost-effective way without compromising the quality. Since I don’t see these cookies hitting the shelves of grocery stores any time soon, I’ve decided to share the recipe instead. These will not disappoint.


  • 1/3 Cup soft vegan butter (favorite brand Miyokos)
  • 2/3 dark brown coconut sugar
  • 1 vegan egg replacement (favorite brand is Bob’s Red Mill) – 1 Tbsp. egg replacement with 2 Tbsp. water. Let thicken for 5 minutes
  • ¼ cup smooth natural peanut butter – favorite brand is Maranatha
  • ¼ Crunchy peanut butter – favorite brand is Maranatha
  • 1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 2/3 cups of almond flour (either blanched or regular)
  • ½ tsp. pink Himalayan Salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ Cup mini vegan chocolate chips (Favorite brand is Enjoy Life)
  • 10 Mini dark chocolate peanut butter cups chopped up (Favorite brand is Justin’s)


  1. With a hand mixer, combine and mix until creamy; the soften vegan butter, dark brown coconut sugar, and vegan egg replacement.
  2. Add the peanut butter and vanilla extract and continue to mix until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until well blended.
  5. Then fold in the chocolate chips and chopped peanut butter cups into the batter.
  6. Scope dough into 2 Tbsp. size balls and bake on a cookie tin (I like to line mine with parchment paper or a silicon baking sheet) 375 degrees for about 12 minutes.
  7. Let cool and enjoy!


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