Google Trends search data shows that interest in the term “Vegan BBQ” has skyrocketed in recent years in the UK, with year-on-year growth over the past three years.
There was a time when the word “barbecue” brought a dejected sigh out of vegans nationwide – get ready for picking through the side salads whilst listening to your friends ask “Don’t you miss meat?” on repeat until the ordeal was over.
No longer – with 1.6 million UK vegans now browsing UK supermarket shelves hungry for meat-free alternatives, the range of plant-based barbecue options has blown up in recent years. Google Trends search data shows that interest in the term “Vegan BBQ” has skyrocketed in recent years in the UK, with year-on-year growth over the past three years. As the global meat alternatives market explodes, predicted to hit $21 billion by 2025, there’s never been a better time to be plant-based. Whether you’re vegan for health reasons, ethical considerations or environmental motives, there is now a vast range of summer barbecue options out there that ensure vegans can stand proudly alongside the grill without feeling like they’re missing out.
Grab your shopping bags, start up the charcoal and pick up your barbecue tongs – vegan protein and plant-based lifestyle experts Free Soul are breaking down this summer’s must-have vegan barbecue choices from your local supermarket!
Linda McCartney’s Red Onion and Rosemary Sausages
Image credit: Linda McCartney
Price: from £1.39
Available: Sainsbury’s, Asda, Tesco, Ocado, Iceland, Waitrose, Lidl, Morrisons, Aldi
The vegan market is overflowing with great sausage options to choose from. Whether it’s the M&S Plant Kitchen’s Posh Dogs or Sainsbury’s Plant Pioneers Shroomdogs, this is definitely one of the areas of meat alternatives that the vegan community has got nailed down. However, there’s a reigning champ when it comes to vegan sausages in terms of availability, versatility and all-around great taste – we’re talking of course about Linda McCartney’s Red Onion and Rosemary Sausages. Whether you’re making a casserole, breakfast fry-up, toad-in-the-hole or hosting a barbecue, these are delicious, perfectly seasoned vegan sausages that will get your mouth watering as you wait by the grill with a hotdog bun and ketchup in hand.
Bird’s Eye Green Cuisine Meat-Free Burgers
Image credit: Birdseye
Price: from £2.50
Available: Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Ocado, Waitrose, Iceland, Amazon Fresh, Morrisons
One of our personal favourites, the Bird’s Eye Green Cuisine range is perfect for vegans looking for something a little more substantial than the classic bean burger. Made from pea protein, this juicy vegan burger features chunks of onion and a hearty, “meaty” texture – enough to make even the staunchest meat-eaters admit that, hey, vegan food might not be so bad after all.
THIS Isn’t Bacon
Image credit: THIS
Price: from £2.40
Available: Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose, Tesco, Co-Op
It might not be traditional British barbecue fare, but we’re taking a page out of America’s book when it comes to this one. Our cousins across the pond have perfected the art of the burger, and if you haven’t already tried mixing up your burger by adding bacon on top of the patty, make 2022 the summer you discover this decadent way to elevate your burger experience.
THIS Isn’t Bacon is recommended to pan fry with vegetable or olive oil, but if you’re out and about with only a grill to hand, we’ve found it also works great BBQ-style.
Quorn Vegan Fillets
Image credit: Quorn
Price: from £2.50
Available: Asda, Ocado
For those who like a “chicken” alternative for their barbecue, these Quorn Vegan Fillets are just the ticket. The beauty of these fillets is their versatility – although they work just as well for burgers and salads, we love using them to make barbecue-style skewers such as these red onion fillet skewers and vegan Korean BBQ skewers.
Beyond Meat Beyond Burger
Image credit: Beyond Meat Beyond Burger
Price: from £4.00
Available: Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Asda
No plant-based BBQ list would be complete without this signature classic. Making a splash when it launched in the UK back in 2018, the vegan burger that “bleeds” is perhaps the most convincingly meaty option out there, although it will require you to splash out a bit more to enjoy. The Beyond Burger is Kosher, with no GMOs, no gluten and no soy, meaning it satisfies pretty much anyone at the barbecue. Plus, with 20g of protein per patty, the Beyond Burger actually has a higher protein content than traditional beef burgers – meaning you’ve got a comeback already to hand when the inevitable “But where do you get your protein from?” question comes around.
This summer looks to be the best yet when it comes to vegan barbecue options. Lucy Murray, Vegan Lifestyle Expert at Free Soul, comments: “It’s great to see vegans and those on plant-based diets able to expand beyond the salad and breadsticks table at barbecues this summer. The vegan meat alternatives options out there have never been better or more widely available, ensuring those who want to steer clear of animal products have no reason to feel left out.”
Source: “Best Vegan BBQ Options This Summer” by Free Soul