The best vegan barbecue recipe

"I ain't here for a long time, I'm here for a good time. So bring on the sunshine, to hell with the red wine, pour me some moonshine." (George Strait)

This song kept playing in my head, while I was chewing this crispy, smoky and utterly delicious vegan barbecue. We sat outside in the sun, enjoyed the smell of the lilacs and daffodils and sipped some cold foamy beer. Not quite moonshine, but it paired perfectly with this plant meat. I've waited for so long to finally publish this recipe. Since the barbecue season is already in full swing, I couldn't think of a better time. I know you guys LOVE my super easy vegan seitan steak recipe. Well, I took the same recipe, added marinade and turned it into an amazing barbecue. I will also include a completely gluten-free version below, so don't worry. You will have your vegan barbecue and eat it too!

We are going to Texas next year (HURRAY!), so it's about time I honed my barbecue skills to perfection. I will offer you two of my favorite versions. One is with seitan and other is with soy (for the gluten-free but still super delicious option). I made the marinade quite universal. It is basically sweet and sour and rather on the sweet side. I used my mom's homemade apple cider vinegar, which is much more lighter in taste. If you are using store-bought one, you might adjust the sugar ratio to your liking. Since I wanted to make this marinade really basic (but really-really good), I didn't add spice to it. So it's super family friendly. BUT if you like more heat, definitely add some cayenne, chipotle or chili flakes!

When thinking of a perfect barbecue, it all comes to a proper technique and bold flavoring. It is really important to drain and squeeze out all the extra liquid after boiling your seitan or soy. That way it will not be soggy, but instead soak up all the delicious marinade. I've also written down some extra steps to make your skewers ultra good. It's a little bit more work but really worth it. The difference between seitan and soy, is that seitan is like a fluffy pillow when boiled. It will need more work to make it really stand out. But soy cutlet's texture is more layered and it absorbs more flavor and heat this way. Both are equally good! You just have to choose one or why not make them both. We did! I truly hope you will enjoy this recipe. Let me know how it turned out and please recommend me some good country music!

PS! For more people, double or triple the recipe!

PPS! It will keep in the fridge for at least 24 hours. If you want a longer period, add the onions on the day of the barbecue.

Time: about an hour (includes grilling)
Serves: 2 - 3 people


  • 1 - 2 Tbsp (unrefined) sugar
  • 3 Tbsp oil (I used refined olive oil)
  • ¼ cup / 60 ml soy sauce or gluten-free soy sauce (or tamari)
  • 2 tsp paprika powder
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 onions, cut into four and layers separated
  • ¼ tsp salt

Make the seitan dough. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Press it thinner and wider with your hands. Cut it into strips and then into small cubes. Boil the cubes in plenty of water for 30 minutes. Drain and carefully press out all the extra liquid, so it will not be soggy. That way it will soak up the marinade real good. Whisk all the marinade ingredients together. Taste and add more sugar if needed. Now you can just throw the boiled and drained cubes into a marinade and grill them OR...

To make an extra delicious hyper super good version, do this instead:

Don't mix the cubes with the marinade just yet. Heat up a pan and pour plenty of oil in it. Add drained cubes and cook them until golden brown and crispy. Now pour over the marinade and cook them more, until there's no more marinade left and it's all soaked in. For extra smoky flavor, you can now make them into skewers and grill, but they are delicious even without the grilling part. Enjoy with quality ketchup, fresh salad and bread.


  • 4 ½ oz / 125 g dry soy cutlets (textured soy protein)

Use the same marinade, but instead of a regular soy sauce, use a gluten-free version or tamari.

Boil the cutlets for 15 minutes until they are soft or soak them in hot water for 15 - 20 minutes. Drain and carefully rinse with plenty of cold water. Now squeeze out the extra water from every single cutlet. Tear the cutlets into half, mix with the marinade and grill. Enjoy!

Have some leftover marinade? Use it as a base for a comforting soup the next day!