Summer is officially in full swing, which means it’s time to dust off and fire up the grill for your next BBQ or cookout. And whether you’re a seasoned griller or a newbie—vegan burgers and hot dogs are grilling musts! Looking for the best? Look no further.
With a few plant-based meat recommendations and the right equipment, you can easily master the summer cookout.
19 Plant-Based Meats to Enjoy During a Summertime Cookout
1. Fry’s Family Foods
Desiring a big, juicy burger to bite into this summer? Fry’s Family Foods offers three mouthwatering plant-based burgers that you can char to perfection. According to the company, its meat-free burgers are a BBF— a Bun’s Best Friend.
Try the brand’s traditional burger, the protein-packed quinoa and brown rice burger, which is seasoned with rosemary, marjoram, and sage, and rolled in a light gluten-free crumb, or grill up the spicy quinoa and falafel burger. Or, stock up on Fry’s newest meatless burger—the Big Fry Burger. The beefless, soy-based burger, which is packed with 20 grams of protein, sizzles and tastes just like a ground beef patty.
The brand, which was founded by former South African livestock agent Wally Fry in 1991. Fry’s wide-range of vegan offerings include hot dogs, burgers, sausage rolls, nuggets, and prawns.
Last summer, the brand launched in Costco Australia. Fry’s burgers became the first plant-based product to be sold in the chain’s chilled and freezer sections. “Our aim as a company is to make plant-based food accessible to the masses,” Fry’s international marketing director, Tammy Fry, said in a statement about the launch. “We have to make it easy for people to choose vegan alternatives and this includes making sure they’re affordable. We’re thrilled to offer Costco customers the opportunity to feed the whole family with a healthy, more sustainable and cruelty-free burger at less than $1 per patty.”
German vegan meat brand LikeMeat has everything you need to make your summer barbecue cookout a success.
Stock up on LikeMeat’s summer essentials: the brand’s pea-based, gluten-free smoked sausages combine the smoky taste of ham with the texture of traditional sausage. Grill them on the barbecue or cook them in a pan, LikeMeat’s Smoked Sausage is as quintessential as summer cookout foods go. The brand also carried curry sausage and bratwursts that are perfect for the barbecue. And for those craving a meaty burger, grill up LikeMeat’s soya-based Like Burger. The juicy, plant-based burger’s texture and taste are just like meat.
The company was founded by Timo Recker in Wetschen, Germany in 2013. Recker grew up in a family that worked in the meat industry. But after he learned of the health and environmental benefits that plant-based proteins had compared to traditional meat, he made a shift away from animal products. Unsatisfied with the plant-based meat options in Germany, LikeMeat was born.
“I wanted to recreate all the things that I love–chicken, kebabs, sausages–in a healthy way and without losing any flavour or satisfaction,” Recker said in a statement. He continued: “And I wanted to make sure that you can stand next to your buddy at the BBQ and proudly throw on some pea sausages. For us, it’s not about creating a substitute. It’s about making amazing food.”
LikeMeat carries chilled and frozen meat-free products that are made with organic soy or pea protein. The brand is committed to sustainability and only uses GMO-free soy.
With the barbecue season finally here, Swedish vegan meat brand Oumph! has all the grillable fixings to make your summer cookout a success.
The brand’s Sticky Smokehouse Oumph! rib style fillets are covered in a richly flavored, smoky barbecue sauce. Oumph! also carries spicy kebabs and a juicy veggie burger.
“The barbecue season is the highlight of the year for many people. At Oumph! we are all about indulgence and with our range of products we are aiming to make the transition to plant-based food as easy and as tasty as possible. The Sticky Smokehouse Oumph! is no exception,” Henrik Åkerman, CMO at Oumph!, said in a statement.
Oumph! recently joined the LIVEKINDLY co.’s nascent collective of heritage and startup brands, along with Fry Family Food Co. and LikeMeat. “Bringing Oumph! into the LIVEKINDLY co. family was a natural next step for us,” he continued. “Their commitment to plant-based food quality and protecting the planet mirrors our own as we accelerate our mission to make plant-based eating the new normal,” Kees Kruythoff, CEO and Chairman of the LIVEKINDLY co., said in a statement.
Oumph! first launched in 2015 in Swedish retailers. Its mission was to give consumers more sustainable food choices without sacrificing taste. Oumph!’s meat alternatives are high in fiber and plant-based protein. They are also a good source of iron and folic acid.
“Since co-founding Oumph! five years ago, it’s been an amazing journey to-date and I’m incredibly proud of the work our team has done in creating exceptionally tasty plant-based food,” Anders Wallerman, co-founder of Oumph!, said in a statement.
4. Field Roast
Seattle-based Field Roast launched in 1997, and since then, has been making plant-based meat made from whole-food, quality ingredients. The brand carries a range of artisanal plant-based cheeses and meats, including sausages, roasts, and deli slices. To make its flavor-packed, plant-based meats, Field Roast combines uses whole-food ingredients—including grains, vegetables, legumes, and spices.
Field Roast’s Frankfurters and FieldBurgers are must-haves for any summer cookout and they work perfectly on the grill. Throw the meat-free sausages in between hot dogs buns and load them with your favorite wiener toppings, such as sauerkraut, relish, ketchup, or mustard. Field Roast’s juicy plant-based burgers can be charred to perfection atop the grill. The FieldBurgers are hand-crafted in Seattle and are made with barley, fresh carrots, and celery. The guilt-free burgers are also packed with 20 grams of protein per serving.
Make the ultimate burgers and hot dogs with Lightlife’s new range of pea protein-based meats. The brand’s products are made with simple, recognizable “ingredients you know and taste you’ll love.” The company, which is “dedicated to becoming the most sustainable plant-based protein company on the planet,” launched the new line last year. The brand’s new beef-like burgers will make the perfect addition to any summertime cookout meal spread. The new plant-based burgers are packed with 20 grams of protein per serving, contain zero cholesterol, and are soy- and gluten-free.
The company even sells vegan ground beef. “We were the first to market with the ground product. You would use this just as you would use any type of ground beef product. So you could use it for meatballs or put it in your pasta or tacos or you could form it yourself to do burgers. So it gives complete versatility and it’s absolutely positively terrific,” Dan Curtin, CEO of Lightlife, said during an interview.
For those craving a grilled hot dog—the company also offers three different types of vegan hot dogs. Smart Dogs are a summertime classic and feature eight grams of protein per serving. Tofu Pups contain seven grams of protein per serving. Both options are a healthier alternative to meat-based hot dogs because they are free of saturated fat and contain zero cholesterol. Lightlife also carries Jumbo Smart Dogs, which are packed 14 grams of protein per serving. The vegan hot dogs have zero cholesterol and only contain 0.5 grams of saturated fat per serving.
Lightlife’s Plant-Based Bratwurst Sausages are also a healthier alternative to traditional brats as they contain zero cholesterol. Plus, they can be grilled up in under ten minutes. The meatless sausages are soy- and gluten-free and are packed with 14 grams of protein per serving.
6. Sweet Earth
Get your burger on with Nestlé’s Sweet Earth Foods protein-packed vegan burger. The
brand is known for its vegan seitan and frozen foods, including its pizzas, bowls, and burritos. But the plant-based food brand also sells a number of tasty meats that are perfect for grilling on the barbecue. Grill up the company’s Awesome Burger and Awesome Bacon Burger—both of which feature 26 grams of protein.
7. Beyond Meat
Of course, a vegan barbecue get-together wouldn’t be complete without the Beyond Burger. Beyond Meat’s plant-based “bleeding” burgers are so flavorful and have a meaty texture that resembles the real thing. Grill the meatless patties “animal-style” with mustard on both sides and top them with grilled onions and pickles. Yum!
Even Snoop Dogg’s family indulges in Beyond Burgers. In a new ad for the company, the rapper explained how he got his family to try the vegan meat. “I just slid it on them. I snuck it in,” he said. He added: “You know, you got to sneak it in man because so many people are accustomed to, you know, a certain taste or a certain way of doing it. So you got to slide it in.”
And just in time for the barbecue season, Beyond Meat announced it will sell value packs of its plant-based burgers. The 10-pack retails for $15.99. The company also sells soy- and gluten-free plant-based brat sausages.
8. Impossible Foods
Have you tried Burger King’s Impossible Whopper yet? Well, you can take that grilled-to-perfection taste home because Impossible Foods’ vegan burgers can now be delivered straight to your door—just in time for your summer barbecue. In addition to placement in a growing number of retailers, the brand recently launched a direct-to-consumer online store. The meatless burgers are available in four bulk options, which range in price between $49.99 and $69.99.
Singer Katy Perry has been enjoying the plant-based burger during her pregnancy. “Foods that gross me out now are beef. I’m not really into red meat, thank god for the Impossible Burger,” Perry said earlier this year during an Instagram Live.
9. Before the Butcher
For a sizzle-worthy, grillable burger, get your hands on California-based startup Before the Butcher’s Uncut meatless range. The brand launched its plant-based meats in the foodservice sector in 2018. Last year, the company hit store shelves with its Uncut meatless line. It offers three, barbecue-ready, plant-based burger options: a savory chicken burger, a roasted turkey burger, and a traditional plant-based burger. Serve the latter up this summer with a side of fries and a can of your favorite pop.
10. Amy’s Kitchen
Fire up the grill now, because Amy’s Kitchen has a new vegan burger available. The Organic Summer Harvest Veggie Burger is made with a number of plant-based ingredients including protein quinoa, carrots, kale, and a tomato-based sauce for added juiciness. Amy’s also sells an organic black bean veggie burger and an organic Sonoma veggie burger made with mushrooms, organic vegetables, and quinoa.
11. Upton’s Naturals
What’s a summer cookout without veggie dogs? Noticing there were few vegan hot dog options, Chicago-based brand Upton’s Naturals—which is known for its jackfruit- and seitan-based meats—came to the rescue.
Upton’s Naturals founder Dan Staackmann told TrendHunter, “As popular as plant-based eating has become, the vegan hot dog category is still one that needed some help.”
The Updogs features a blend of yellow mustard seed and celery seed seasonings. They also feature 20 grams of protein per serving, are zero cholesterol, and contain no added sugars or artificial flavors.
12. Trader Joe’s
Stock up on all your summer barbecue vegan meat essentials at Trader Joe’s. The grocery chain launched its own vegan meat burgers last year. Called Protein Patties, the meatless patties look and cook just like the popular plant-based Beyond Burger. The chain also launched its own-brand Turkeyless Protein Patties earlier this year.
13. Whole Foods
Planning a barbecue, cookout extravaganza? Then take a trip over to Whole Foods (you probably were going to anyway). In addition to selling popular brands like Beyond Meat and Upton’s Naturals, the chain also sells its own-brand vegan burgers. The plant-based burgers contain zero cholesterol and are a good source of protein and iron.
14. Dr. Praeger’s
Famous for its veggie burgers, Dr. Praeger’s recently introduced its “Perfect Burger.” Similar to the Impossible Burger, the meatless burger is designed to taste and look like traditional meat. The patties are pea protein-based and are soy- and gluten-free. Dr. Praeger’s also carries a vegan, pea protein-based turkey burger and a number of veggie burgers like the Kale Veggie and Black Bean Quinoa.
From its sweet and tangy barbecue wings to its new protein-packed Ultimate Plant-Based Burger, Gardein has everything you need for a complete summer cookout meal. The brand also sells chipotle black bean and beefless sliders.
Singer Lance Bass took to Instagram on National Burger Day to share his love for the new vegan burger. “The grill is fired up and so am I, because I’ve got the new Gardein Ultimate Plant-Based Burger. The look, smell and taste of meat are all here, even though this burger is meat-free! Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or a flexitarian like me, [you’re] going to fall in love with this burger just like I did,” he wrote.
Boca and barbecue just go together. The vegan and vegetarian brand has a handful of burger options that are perfect for this season’s grilling. Boca’s original vegan veggie burgers and vegan turkey burgers are a must-buy.
Char vegan meat company Tofurky’s plant-based hot dogs, beer brats, and burgers to perfection. Throw them on buns and top with mustard and ketchup for pure barbecue bliss.
18. MorningStar Farms
Another brand to offer countless plant-based BBQ options—MorningStar Farms’ vegan burgers are a meat lover’s dream. The juicy quarter-pounders look and taste just like traditional meat. Plus, they’re packed with 27 grams of protein.
Offering crave-able, grillable plant-based frozen foods, Hilary’s vegan meats are packed with whole veggies, grains, and beans and are free from the top 12 allergens. The brand carries a number of burger options, including a black bean burger, a cauliflower burger, and a hemp and greens veggie burger. Grill them up and serve them between two buns—don’t forget to add a slice of non-dairy cheese.
And what’s a vegan burger without dairy-free cheese? Here are a handful of vegan cheese brands to top off that grilled-to-perfection burger.
5 Non-Dairy Cheese Brands
1. Field Roast – Chao
Top off your delectable, grilled-to-perfection FieldBurger, with Field Roast’s meltable collection of Chao non-dairy slices. The sliced vegan cheese slices are sold in grocery chains across the country, including Walmart and Whole Foods. From the brand’s delectable Coconut Herb With Black Pepper Slices to its Tomato Cayenne With Spicy Peppers Slices and even its Creamy Original Slices—you’ll be guaranteed to savor every last bite.
2. Miyoko’s Creamery
What’s a juicy, meatless burger without Miyoko’s Creamery? The artisanal cheese company offers Farmhouse Cheddar Slices and Pepper Jack Slices for the ultimate double-double cheeseburger.
3. Follow Your Heart
Calling all cheese connoisseurs! Follow Your Heart’s vegan Pepper Jack style cheese slices is where it’s at! The brand behind your favorite vegan mayonnaise also makes a number of vegan cheese slices. Layer your burger with the company’s American Style, Mozzarella Style, Provolone Style, or Smoked Gouda Style cheese slices.
4. Whole Foods
Whole Foods Market sells its own vegan cheese through its private label brand, 365. It currently has coconut-based cheddar and smoked gouda slices that melt and stretch like the real thing—a perfect topping for vegan cheeseburgers.
UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s offers coconut-based cheddar cheese through its Free From range. It comes in slices or you can pick up a block and slice it yourself.
Best Grilling Equipment
Whether you have a gas, charcoal, pellet, or portable grill, you’ll need a grilling tool kit. A basic kit will typically include a spatula, tongs, a two-prong fork, skewers, and a grill brush.
And if you prefer to cook over a charcoal grill, which tends to burn drier and hotter than its gas counterpart, you may also want to snag a chimney starter. A chimney starter, or charcoal chimney, is a grilling device that is used to ignite the charcoal. In addition to being relatively inexpensive, chimney starters eliminate the need for lighter fluid—which can add a harsh chemical taste to grilled food. They also heat up coals in half the time compared to traditional lighting methods.
For those sensitive to heat, a grilling mitt may be helpful. If you want to grill batches of vegetables, a grilling basket may also be useful. And if you don’t have outdoor grilling space, you can always opt for an electric or indoor grill.
Looking for sides to serve at your next cookout? Check out this vegan macaroni salad recipe, which features Farfalle noodles, veggies, and eggless mayo. Or try this sweet potato cauliflower vegan mac and cheese recipe.
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