4 Vegetarian-Friendly BBQ Sides

vegetarian friendly bbq table with hands
Maarten van den Heuvel

Summertime, for me, has always reminded me of barbecues, burgers on the grill, and my father setting plates on the table with a big grin on his face. As I’ve moved away from home and started to create my own summer traditions, plus incorporate both vegan and vegetarian friends, I’ve redefined my traditional BBQ. Instead of only meat-heavy dishes, I’ve paid added veggie burgers, meat substitutes, and sides that include both my meat and plant-eating friends.

Whether you’re looking for an alternative for your traditional BBQs, or wanting to include friends who don’t eat meat, here are four vegetarian-friendly side dishes to pair with anything you throw on the grill.

1. A savory-sweet salad.

It’s no surprise that I love salads. From traditional greens to fruit-based creations, having a side salad that’s interesting and healthy is always an easy go-to.

Instead of opting for something you’ve done, though, try a savory-sweet option that includes a mix of white beans, arugula, basil, feta cheese, and watermelon. This watermelon salad incorporates the sweet fruit, tangy dressing (of choice!), creamy beans and salty cheese—a perfect, complimentary blend.

2. Zoodles with spice and lime.

Sick of greens? Tired of the same old potato salads, pasta salads, and coleslaws? Instead, spiralize a few zucchini and mix with olive oil, pepper, spices (to taste) and a hint of lime. Zesty enough to bright you a light and fresh taste, but low-calorie, low carb, and low hassle.

3. Cauliflower steaks.

So I went into detail on how to make these veggie-based steaks in this post, but just to give you a quick preview, these are easy! All you need to do is slice your cauliflower thin, add toppings/marinade, cook in the oven, and transfer to the grill!

4. Grilled potatoes with spice (or sweet).

Potatoes are a staple, yes, but have you subbed sweet potatoes for regular ones yet? Or, better yet, have you switched up the toppings? Garlic salt, maple/brown sugar, tahini, tzatziki, etc.?

Instead of doing the same old baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, etc. switch up your meal with something new. Feeling extra ambitious? Make homemade tater tots (guaranteed to be way healthier than anything store bought)!

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