Cookouts present a delicate line that every vegetarian must toe. You don’t want to inconvenience the host, but you’d like to eat more than corn on the cob and questionable potato salad. The easy answer? Bring your own veggie burgers to pop on the grill. Paired with the right decadent cheese, you’ll have die-hard carnivores begging for a bite.
There’s two ways to approach veggie burgers: replace the meat patty with whole vegetables, or replace it with a starchy bean- or grain-based patty. For the whole vegetable approach, The Kitchn came up with a Mediterranean inspired grilled eggplant and halloumi burger, topped with pesto. In this case, both the “burger” and the cheese are grilled side-by-side, before being assembled at the end. Halloumi is a great vegetarian option because it still has a firm bite, even after being grilled. As The Kitchn explains, “Halloumi, a salty, dense Greek cheese, is uniquely chewy in texture and mild in flavor. Once grilled or fried, halloumi becomes slightly soft and is a great addition to any salad or sandwich, like this one.”
Another good whole vegetable patty replacement is the a portobello mushroom, paired with blue cheese. The mushrooms are juicy and meaty, while the blue cheese has a nice, fatty taste. Once you’ve topped it with all the usual burger fixings, you won’t even miss the meat.
Want to add a little more protein in your meatless burger? Try a chickpea and pepperjack burger for a little extra spice. Or for the classic, ground-beef cheeseburger experience, a black bean patty topped with cheddar can’t be beat. Short on time? Check out this list to find the best store-bought veggie patties around. Whatever you choose to bring to your next BBQ, bring some extra to share — and don’t forget the cheese.
Photo by The Kitchn