One of the best things about summer is the backyard barbecues. It’s so great to get together with friends and family and enjoy each other’s company and – of course – the food. Barbecuing is common because the food preparation and cook time are usually pretty simple. All you have to do is throw a couples burgers and hot dogs on the grill and you’re done. However, burgers and dogs aren’t the crowd pleasers that they used to be. I am a pescetarian, I eat fish but no other meats. Sometimes I feel left out at barbecues and other social gatherings because there usually aren’t any options that I can eat and enjoy. According to a study done by Credit Donkey in 2015, about 16 million Americans are vegetarian. Rise of the Vegan says that now 6% of the American population is now vegan. The pescetarian diet has also become very popular and keeps growing as well. Having non-meat meal options are now essential to the perfect barbecue.

 

Here are my recommendations for great non-meat barbecue food, from one pescetarian to all the other non-meat eaters:

 

Seafood:

It’s really easy to grill fish and other kinds of seafood. Shrimp skewers are always popular and are easy to prepare. Bobby Flay has a recipe made with soy sauce and ginger – for a more Asian style flavor. All you have to do is marinate the shrimp and then grill and serve. Here is the recipe.

 

Pasta Salad

Whenever I go to my family’s barbecue, I always look forward to my mom’s pasta salad. It’s made with rotini pasta, roasted red peppers, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, shallots, and shredded mozzarella cheese. It’s usually served cold and is completely vegetarian. To make it a vegan option, put the cheese on the side and let guests sprinkle it into the pasta. I love this dish because it’s refreshing, light, and easy to prepare and serve.

 

Dips

With any good barbecue, you can’t forget about appetizers. Guacamole and mango salsa served with tortilla chips are fun options, and are completely vegan. Inspiredtaste.net has a guac recipe that I really enjoy. They suggest to add tomatoes to the dip for an extra flavor and to leave the overall product chunky instead of creamy. I personally like guacamole that is left chunky because it keeps the flavor alive, and you can really taste all the ingredients. Here is the recipe. Food blogger Kate has a recipe for mango salsa that includes red peppers, a jalapeno, and cilantro for added flavor. It’s a fresh and ripe recipe with an extra kick that is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Here is the recipe.

 

Desserts

No barbecue is complete without dessert. The blog A Virtual Vegan has a list of vegan-friendly summer desserts. My personal favorite is the chocolate and raspberry brownies. Here is the website with all the ideas.

 

What I love about barbecues is that it’s a great way to bring people together for a summer afternoon. And you want everyone that goes to the barbecue to feel included by having food options that everyone will enjoy. I hope these recipes serve you well and are liked by your crowd.