We’ve all gotten it… “The Look” that we vegetarians get when we step up to the table at a non-vegetarian barbecue.  Hot dogs, hamburgers, BBQ chicken, ribs… all the things a vegetarian has  sworn off  the menu are out in full force. Even though the host may mean well,  they don’t always have vegetarian options – especially if you’re showing up at the last minute!

We’ve all been in the position of being the odd vegetarian out, and it can get uncomfortable.  To save you a grumbling stomach (or to avoid eating all the chips and side dishes), here are some vegetarian friendly tips for a non-vegetarian barbecue:

Confused Smiley

“The Look” ( photo credit: Prince of Powerpoint)


Bring a dish

Grilled summer vegetables

Grilled summer vegetables (Photo credit: MarkelConnors)

Most people bring a dish when they come to a barbecue anyway, so why not bring a vegetarian barbecue option everyone will love? Some great options include barbecue beans, corn on the cob, and vegetarian shish-kabobs. If you’re looking for a good burger alternative, grill up some Portobello mushrooms, or try this tasty avocado burger recipe. Before you know it, people will like your food so much they’ll start serving vegetarian barbecue options all on their own!


Leave your soapbox at home

English: A soapbox at Occupy Boston

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s ok to stand firm in your reasons for being a vegetarian. Trying to make your fellow barbecue guests (or worse, your host) feel guilty about eating meat definitely won’t score you any points! Just as a vegetarian’s decision  be vegetarian is to be respected, a fellow bbq patron’s decision to eat meat should be respected as well.

Of course, if the topic of discussion heads in that direction, feel free to share your views, so long as you don’t insult others. Until the discussion steers in that direction it’s probably best to leave that  copy of Skinny Bitch in the car :) .


Call ahead


Cell Phone

(Photo credit: daryl_mitchell)

Of course, this doesn’t really work if you’re dropping in unexpectedly . But if you’re tagging along with a friend to a barbecue, have them call ahead. It’s good form anyway to let the host know you’re bringing one extra, and if they know to expect a vegetarian, they might just whip something delicious out for you all on their own. After all, nobody hosting a barbecue likes to know they have a guest going hungry!

If you follow these tips, there should be no trouble with you barbecuing right along with everyone else. Happy grilling!

What are your favorite vegetarian barbecue dishes? Tell us in the comments below!



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