Pellet Grilling for Vegetarians & Vegans – A Guide
No meat? No problem.
Pellet grills are very versatile machines as they allow you to smoke, grill, bake, and even create wood-fired pizzas. While meat is often the first thing that pops into a person’s mind when they think of grilling or smoking, you can also create wonderful smoked food using a variety of plant-based options. Maybe you’re a vegan or vegetarian wondering what to make on your pellet grill or you have a vegetarian friend who is coming to your backyard cookout. Either way we have you covered! But how can you get a nice smoky flavor by cooking vegetables and other meatless dishes on a pellet grill? Let’s find out!
What Kind of Vegetarian Food Can I Cook on a Pellet Grill?
First, it’s important to know what kind of vegetables work better on a pellet grill than others. Solid vegetables that tend to be larger in size work best to really pick up the different, smoky flavors. Vegetables that fit into this category include corn, cabbage, and artichokes just to name a few. Mushrooms are also a favorite as you can grill them up and turn them into veggie burger patties. If you’re looking for something that isn’t as time consuming to smoke, consider softer vegetables such as tomatoes, zucchini, or eggplant. Chickpeas are a popular plant-based protein that you can roast with spices and/or sauces. Another great plant-based food to cook on your pellet grill are nuts. You can roast nuts on the grill and even turn them into a vegan nut-based cheese afterwards. The options are endless when it comes to what kind of vegetables can be cooked on a pellet grill – just figure out what your taste buds are craving!
Vegan Pellet Grilling: Seasoning is Important
There’s nothing worse than taking a bite of something and finding out how dull and bland it is. We don’t want the same thing to happen when grilling your favorite vegetables! You want your food to be bursting with flavor, and while your pellet grill will impart that smoky flavor people love, you should also be sure to use different salts and spices to season your vegetables. A few of the more popular spices that work well with vegetables include pepper, paprika, garlic, rosemary, and basil. We recommend making a citrus herb salt that will give your vegetables the flavor they’ve been missing.
Fruits are Good for Vegetarian Grilling, Too!
Vegetables aren’t the only thing that vegans and vegetarians enjoy – you’ll definitely want to try cooking fruit on your pellet grill! You can very easily smoke pineapple rings sprinkled with a little bit of brown sugar which turns them into slices of caramelized perfection. Peaches and nectarines are other popular fruits that you can quickly and easily grill up for a dessert or to add to a savory dish. Don’t neglect the fruits at your next cookout!
Why Pellet Grills are Best for Vegan and Vegetarian Dishes
When it comes to traditional grilling on a gas or charcoal grill, it can be difficult to achieve the perfect flavor in your food. Sometimes your food comes out tasting like gas, and that’s never a good thing, especially when it comes to vegetables and fruit. With a pellet grill, you have the versatility to use different flavored wood pellets that can enhance the flavor of your food. At Grilla, we’re big fans of our apple, cherry and competition blends when it comes to choosing wood pellets for grilling veggies.
This can be very helpful when it comes to cooking vegetables and other meatless dishes as it can be difficult to get the seasoning just right. That’s where pellet grills can be a big help. A pellet grill can help cover up some of our mistakes as amateur cooks by adding some extra flavor and take something that might have been slightly under seasoned and make it taste like you were at a sit-down restaurant having dinner.
Our Favorite Vegan & Vegetarian Pellet Grill Recipes
Now that you’ve gotten some tips for grilling for vegans and vegetarians, where will you begin? It can be difficult to put together a killer dish, especially if you are new to making vegan and vegetarian dishes on a pellet grill. Well, you’re in luck because we have a few easy, delicious recipes to help you kickstart your new grilling adventure. Below, you can find some of our personal favorites here at Grilla Grills along with some amazing dishes from our friend Cindy from Vegetarian Mamma.
Tips for Omnivores Grilling for Vegetarians and Vegans
You love steak so rare it almost moos, and the only thing you’ve ever cooked on your Grilla is meat, meat and more meat. Are you really the best person to cook up something delicious for the vegetarian in your life? Yes! You don’t have to be a vegetarian or vegan to cook for one.
Vegetarian grilling offers the perfect opportunity to try out something you have never done before. You grow as a griller every time you step outside your comfort zone. Ask your friend to recommend some vegetarian grilling recipes, and see which one piques your interest. Grab the ingredients and look at this as a new adventure.
The best part is, many of the main dishes you prepare for your veggie-loving friends make perfect side dishes for a meat-lover’s meal. Sample some of the things you grill and add them to your year-round grilling roundup. Here are some tips to get you started.
1. Cut the Veggies Carefully
When you roast veggies on the grill, you want to cut them evenly, so each piece takes about the same amount of time to cook. You also don’t want them too small, or they could fall below the grate! Take your time slicing and dicing to avoid any veggie casualties.
2. Try Marinating Tofu for an Out-Of-This-World Taste
Tofu is great for grilling because it picks up the taste of whatever you marinate it in. You can also slather it in barbeque sauce just like your meat. Marinate your tofu at least a few hours beforehand for the best results.
3. Don’t Forget the Cheese
While vegans don’t eat cheese, many vegetarians do, and it makes an excellent addition to a kebob. Look at the grocery store for “grillable” cheese. Two kinds we like are halloumi and kefalotyri. Trust us, even your non-veggie friends will want to try this out.
What Can I Grill for Vegetarians?
Just about any vegetable grills well. You can buy grill-safe veggie baskets that go on the grill and let you cook a bunch of mixed veggies until they carmelize and taste sweet and slightly smoky. You can also put veggies directly on the grill. Try slicing up these vegetables, spraying them with olive oil, and adding your favorite herbs and seasonings:
- Yellow squash
- Sweet potatoes
What Do Vegetarians Eat at a Cookout?
While most vegans and vegetarians eat a lot of veggies, that’s not their only favorite. Other vegan grill ideas include:
- Veggie burgers: Try a black bean or quinoa-based burger, which will cook crisply on the grill.
- Tempeh: Tempeh is a dense protein made from fermented soybeans, and it grills nicely when you marinate it beforehand.
- Baked potatoes: Cover the potatoes in foil and cook them while you tend to the meat, then let your veggie friends loose on a topping bar to finish off a great meal.
We also have a lot of BBQ vegetarian recipes below to add extra flavor to your next cookout.
Vegan and Vegetarian Grilla Girl Favorites
Not only are the following recipes some of our favorites, but they’re also our most popular veggie dishes on our YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe if you want to keep up with our new additions!
Whether savory or sweet, this smoked sweet potatoes side dish is destined to end up on your dinner table.
This hearty smoked mac and cheese recipe comes out hot, but your family might not be able to wait to dig in.
We know — you hated brussels sprouts as a kid, but this smoked brussels sprout recipe will change your mind. With Grilla smoke and flavor, you and your kids will be asking for more.
Doctors orders: eating one of these soft and smokey apples every day is no issue. Add some smokiness to your dessert with this amazingly delicious grilled apple crisp recipe that’s perfect for fall.
Recipes from Vegetarian Mamma
“This recipe is delicious and can be made vegan with the swap of Maple Syrup (or Agave) for honey. It is a light and delicious meal that is perfect for lunch preps!”
Grilled vegetable alfredo
“This one is vegetarian with NO vegan swap. It uses a jarred alfredo, which makes it easy for the consumer. It is a heavier dish that we tend to have in late fall or winter.”
Grilled BBQ tofu sandwich with grilled pineapple salsa
“I am drooling thinking back to this tofu burger. Think BBQ with grilled pineapple salsa! YUM!”
Fajita tofu kabobs
“These grilled kabobs fit the bill for the vegan needs!”
A Pellet Grill Can Make Vegetables the Star of the Show
These recipes are just the tip of the iceberg. Whether as a side or a main dish, the Silverbac pellet grill or the Grilla model can take your cooking to the next level. So whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or just love veggies and fruit, it’s time to see what wood-fired flavor can do for you.