BBQ with a twist: flexitarian tips and tricks


The sun is finally back! To food lovers, it means one thing… lighting the barbecue! Grilling food, one of the favorites summer activities, usually features meat as the star of the show.

But have you ever thought of bringing veggies and pulses into the mix? Sounds tasty? We love it! Read our tips and tricks for varied, healthy and eco-friendly BBQ ideas!

Did you know that 62% of the French population owns a barbecue? This was found by a study*, which also provided information about the type of barbecues people own: charcoal barbecues are the most common, followed by electric barbecues, and the barbecue/plancha combo. Although most people tend to barbecue during summer months when the weather is warm, some people grill in spring, in autumn, and even in winter.

More than meat

Although meat is the traditional barbecue staple, two thirds of study respondents said they grill vegetables, a practice that is gaining popularity given today’s environmental concerns. The number of countries promoting plant-based food in their nutritional recommendations is growing. France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the Nordic countries particularly focus on the importance of plant-based diets in their communication with the general public.

But what about barbecuing? We recommend including at least 50% plant-based foods. Feel free to add more if it strikes your fancy!

Greener plates for top-notch flexitarian barbecues

Barbecuing and flexitarian diets can mix. Think side dishes! These can be fully plant-based: mixed greens, pulse salads (lentils-tomatoes-cucumbers, butter beans-quinoa-radishes-feta, edamame-watermelon-baby spinach, marinated chickpeas-onions-pesto-cashews…), whole grain salads (bulghur, wholewheat pasta, brown rice, quinoa…) or raw veggie platters.

But it’s not all about side dishes. Barbecue cooking works just as well for veggies as for meats! Everything is possible with a little creativity: kebabs, stuffed or grilled veggies… Check out these ideas:

  • BBQ grilled veggies: Cut vegetables into strips (aubergine, zucchini, bell peppers…), coat with herb- and spice-infused oil, and pop them on the grill.


  • Prepare vegetables as for oven cooking: cut vegetables in half, add spices and oil, and place them above the grill to cook. Try with tomatoes, onions, zucchini…


  • Have you tried a barbecue grill basket? Now is the time to do it! Practical for cooking fish, grill baskets also come in handy for cooking veggie burgers and certain vegetables such as courgette, baby carrots, and asparagus.
    • Tasty tip: Serve grilled baby carrots with pine nuts and a yoghurt sauce, and serve asparagus with a sprinkling of almond flakes.


  • Try BBQ meat-free alternatives for flexitarian diets, such as tofu, seitan or halloumi. Marinate them, add them to kebabs, or cook them in grill tray.
    • Did you know? You can replace aluminium trays with a bed of leeks or corn husks.


  • What about veggie steaks? Yet another option! Cut a large vegetable, such as a head of cabbage or an aubergine, into large slices. Grill like regular steaks. Season to taste and serve with a scrumptious sauce.


Let your imagination run wild when it comes to marinades. Oil infused with thyme and rosemary, with bay leaves and garlic, or any other herb or spice that tickles your taste buds! Marinate vegetables and meat-free alternatives for at least 15 minutes (the longer the better for more flavour!).

Do not forget the sauce. Most times, it’s the real clincher! Chefs Chloé Charles, Zohra Levacher and Sébastien Mure share their best recipes on @jemangepourlefutur !