We’re taking every opportunity to get outside while the sun still shines, and that includes plenty of plant-based cookouts. The mouthwatering innovations in plant-based meat continue to lure us year after year, and it’s high time to don that “Kiss the Vegan Cook” apron and get grilling! From vegan ribs to bratwurst sausages, here is your comprehensive guide to vegan grilling.

What is vegan meat made from?

Vegan meat looks, cooks, and tastes very similar to animal-based meat, only instead of animals, it’s made from plants. While a number of different ingredients can be used to replicate the feel of real animal meat, most brands opt for soy or pea protein, or even fungi. Ingredients like tofu, seitan, and tempeh can also be used to create homemade burgers, sausages, wings, and more.

You don’t have to buy real animal meat to enjoy the sizzle of the barbecue this summer, here, we’ve gathered some of our favorite vegan options, ideal for the grilling season. What are you waiting for? Grab the coals!

The best vegan meat for summer grilling

Vegnews.TofurkyburgerKara Aragon

1 Tofurky Plant-Based Burgers

The original Tofurky has come a long way since its humble hippy beginnings in 1995. The brand is now competing in the plant-based burger space, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. The soy- and-seitan patties are juicy, grillable, and contain 19 grams of powerhouse protein. Recreate a veganized, at-home version of a McDonald’s classic burger by topping it with ketchup, mustard, a few pickles, diced raw onions, and sandwiching it all on a soft sesame seed bun.
Find them here 

VegNews.HBSteakHerbivorous Butcher

2 Herbivorous Butcher Summer Grill Packs

The original vegan butchery is supplying our cookouts with grillable proteins we’ve yet to find elsewhere. Complete with BBQ Beef Brisket, Red Miso BBQ Ribs, Spinach and Feta Brats, and pork chops, this collection is perfect for a large family barbecue or an al fresco dinner party. Cooking for one? Check out the à la carte online ordering option. 
Find them here 

VegNews.AlphaI Can You Can Vegan

3 Alpha Chik’n and Original Beefy Burgers

You can grill way more than burgers and brats, and this juicy chik’n patty proves it. The breading crisps up nicely on the grill—leaving Instagram-worthy char marks. Pair it simply with lettuce, mayo, and a thick beefsteak tomato slice. Pick up a few of the Original Beefy Burgers for a more traditional burger night.
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4 Lightlife Bratwurst Sausages

The same company that brought us Smart Dogs has made a serious comeback with these meaty brats. While we love a classic Smart Dog, we admit that they don’t quite pass for an authentic meat substitute—at least not by 2021 standards. The new bratwurst has redefined the brand. The texture, flavor, and snap replicate its meat-based analog exceptionally well. Load it up with mustard and grilled onions or a pile of sauerkraut—these links can handle it. 
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5 Prime Roots Bacon Strips

What’s better than bacon? Grilled bacon. If you’re obsessed with the Tabitha Brown-famous Whole Foods TTLA, then you’ll flip for a homemade version made with this crispy accouterment. This online-only company started with bacon as its sole product in 2020 but has since expanded to meal kits, mac and cheese, pasta, and more. While we’re fans of the new products, we always check out with a slab of Prime Roots bacon. Try it, you’ll understand.
Find them here 

VegNews.TJspattiesPlants & Progress by Misha

6 Trader Joe’s Protein Patties

These pea protein-based patties caused a bit of a flurry when they debuted in January 2020, and initial reviews were overwhelmingly positive. Unlike most veggie burgers, these thick patties stand up to the grill and can take the char without falling apart. In a pinch, Trader Joe’s has become our one-stop shop for all of our grilling goods.
Find them here

VegNews.UptonsUpton’s Naturals

7 Upton’s Naturals Bar-B-Que Jackfruit

This meat isn’t meant for the grill (unless you want to spend the rest of the afternoon cleaning it), but this sticky-sweet and smoky pulled pork replica is a wonderful complement to grilled onions and toasted buns. Get some char on those veggies then pile on the jackfruit! 
Find them here 

Vegnews.FieldRoastSausageField Roast

8 Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage Sausages

The flavor is what truly brings us back to these hearty links. Made with apples and sage, they offer a complex taste most brats lack. The slight smokey flavor is amplified when grilled— resulting in a sausage that really doesn’t even need toppings. We enjoy eating them with a side of sauerkraut and spaetzle.  
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VegNews.VGBKiren Milan Deraj

9 The Very Good Butcher Very Good Boxes

If you’re only cooking for one or two, this box will last you through the end of summer. The collection includes a pack of Very Good Burgers, Smokin’ Burgers, Very British Bangers, Smokin’ Bangers, Very Good Taco Stuff’er, and Pepperoni. If you’re looking for a less processed meat option, you can trust in the company’s name. The minimal-ingredient eats are made with whole foods such as mushrooms, jackfruit, wheat gluten, spices, and beets.  
Find them here 

VegNews.ImpossibleBurgerImpossible Foods

10 Impossible Burgers

These patties need no introduction. Impossible Foods’ products have been flying off grocery shelves and restaurant menus at an unrelenting pace. Impossible fans, you know who you are, and we can bet you already have these beefy burgers in the fridge, queued up and ready to grill. 
Find them here

VegNews.SweetEarthMaciej Macak

11Sweet Earth’s Traditional Seitan Strips

Grilling is more than just brats and burgers. Slide these seasoned, meaty seitan strips onto a metal skewer between thick chunks of eggplant, tomato, and zucchini for a light-yet-satisfying barbecued kabob. 
Find them here 

VegNews.GardeinBurgerMadisonEatsMadison Vegan Eats

12 Gardein Ultimate Plant-Based Burgers

The makers of fishless fish sticks and porkless sausages recently debuted their meatiest creation to date—the Ultimate Plant-Based Burger. Unlike its falafel and black bean patties, this burger stands up to the heat of the grill. Find it in the frozen aisle among other Gardein favorites.
Find it here

VegNews.BeyondBurger3.0Beyond Meat

13Beyond Meat Beyond Burgers

We can’t pass up a summer without grilling up a few Beyond Burgers. It’s a delicious exercise to try new patties, but we will never go without the brand that catapulted the veggie burger into something that could be legitimately considered as “beefy.” We don’t have to tell you how to dress up this burger—you top it any way you like it.
Find them here

For more on vegan barbecue food, read:

Here at VegNews, we live and breathe the vegan lifestyle, and only recommend products we feel make our lives amazing. Occasionally, articles may include shopping links where we might earn a small commission. In no way does this effect the editorial integrity of VegNews.

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