Katy Beskow’s peanut butter and chilli jam bean burgers, tamarind aubergines, and grilled lemon cake

These vegan barbecue recipes will be just as popular with carnivores thanks to their fresh, summery flavours

Peanut butter and chilli jam bean burgers with pretzels. Picture: Luke Albert

Peanut butter and chilli jam bean burgers with pretzels

A good bean burger is hard to find: they are either too complicated to make, don’t hold together well, or lack a certain something. This recipe has been a fail-safe favourite of mine for years on the barbecue (and beyond) with bite, texture and plenty of flavour to stand up to the smokiness. It’s gently spiced and flavoured with rich peanut butter, then glazed with sticky chilli jam that mellows as it caramelizes.

Finish off with salted pretzels in a toasted bun. Prepare in advance and refrigerate overnight to allow the burgers to come together. A party-pleasing burger that everyone will love.

Barbecue cooking temperature: medium heat

Ingredients, serves six

1 x 400g can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 x 400g can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

4 tbsp rolled oats

4 spring onions, finely chopped

2 tbsp smooth peanut butter

Half tsp mild chilli powder

Half tsp smoked paprika

Pinch ground cinnamon

Small handful of fresh coriander leaves, torn

Pinch sea salt and black pepper

2 tbsp sunflower oil

2 tbsp chilli jam

6 burger buns

6 leaves iceberg lettuce

1 beef tomato, thinly sliced

About 18 salted pretzels


1. Pat dry the rinsed black beans and kidney beans with kitchen paper or a clean towel, then tip into a blender jug or food processor, with the oats, spring onions, peanut butter, chilli powder, paprika, cinnamon, coriander, salt and pepper. Pulse a few times until you have a semi-smooth mixture (you may have to scrape the mixture down with a spatula) leaving a few beans chunky for texture.

2. Shape into burger patties using two tablespoons of the mixture per burger, or press into a burger shaper to a thickness of 2.5–3cm (1–1¼in). Place the six burger patties onto a plate and cover with cling film. Refrigerate overnight, or for at least six hours.

3. Remove the burger patties from the fridge and brush over all surfaces with one tablespoon of the oil. Place the burgers onto the hot grill and cook for four to five minutes until crisp and browned, before carefully flipping over. A flat spatula is often easier than tongs for this job.

4. In a small bowl, mix the remaining oil and with the chilli jam. When both sides of the burgers are browned, brush over the oil and chilli jam mix and cook for a further minute on each side.

5. Lightly toast the burger buns and add the lettuce and tomato slices. Top with the burgers and lay 3 pretzels over the top of each burger. Enjoy hot.

HOT TIP: Allow the burgers to cook until crisp and firm for about four to five minutes before flipping to prevent any breakage.

Tamarind aubergines

My favourite way to cook aubergines is on the barbecue, as the skin absorbs all the smokey flavours and the flesh becomes ultra-tender. This recipe is simple and quick, but looks impressive served to your guests (or for your supper). Tamarind has a sour flavour that balances the sweet, smoked aubergines with hints of maple, cinnamon and chilli in the marinade.

These are delicious served with olive flatbreads, and pistachio, pomegranate and mint salad with bulgur and orange, recipes for which can all be found in the cookbook.

Barbecue cooking temperature: high heat

Ingredients, serves two

4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

3 tbsp maple syrup

2 tsp tamarind paste

Half tsp ground cinnamon

Pinch dried chilli flakes

2 aubergines, halved lengthways with green top left intact

Seeds of half a pomegranate

Handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped


1. In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, tamarind paste, cinnamon and chilli flakes.

2. Lay the aubergine halves on a flat surface and score the flesh in diagonal lines to make a criss-cross pattern. Dip the cut sides into the marinade, using a pastry brush to push the marinade into the scored lines, then coat the skin in the marinade. Stand the aubergines on a plate for 10 to 15 minutes, keeping the extra marinade in the bowl.

3. Use tongs to place the aubergines onto the grill, skin-side down, for 15 minutes. Baste the flesh with extra marinade, then turn cut-side down onto the grill and cook for 10 minutes until browned and tender.

4. Remove from the grill and arrange on a serving plate. Drizzle with a little extra olive oil, then scatter with pomegranate seeds and chopped parsley.

HOT TIP: Aubergines absorb lots of flavour and moisture in a short space of time so there’s no need to marinate longer than 15 minutes.

Grilled lemon cake with limoncello cream and pistachios. Picture: Luke Albert

Grilled lemon cake with limoncello cream and pistachios

Bake this light and zesty lemon cake in the oven, allow to cool and rest (preferably overnight), then grill on the barbecue to create layers of flavour in a dessert that was made for summer. Whip up a bowl of limoncello-infused vegan cream, then top with crunchy pistachios.

Barbecue cooking temperature: high heat

Ingredients, serves six

250g self-raising flour

100g caster sugar

Three quarters of a tsp baking powder

250ml sweetened soya milk

100ml sunflower oil

1 tsp good-quality vanilla extract

Zest and juice of half an unwaxed lemon

270ml vegan double cream, chilled

2 tbsp limoncello

2 tbsp shelled pistachios, roughly chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Line a small baking tray (30x20cm/12x8in) with baking parchment.

2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and baking powder. In a jug, whisk together the soya milk, sunflower oil, vanilla extract, lemon zest and juice. Fold the liquid mixture into the dry mixture until just combined.

3. Pour into the lined baking tray, then bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes until lightly golden and risen. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before cutting into 6 squares. Rest the cake overnight, or for at least six hours.

4. When you are ready to serve, add the vegan double cream to a large bowl and stir in the limoncello. Use an electric whisk or stand mixer to beat the cream until whipped and light. Set aside.

5. Carefully place the squares of cake onto the hot grill. Allow to cook for about one minute until char lines appear, then turn them over. Remove from the heat before a golden crust forms on the cake.

6. Place the grilled cake squares on serving plates and top with a spoonful of the whipped cream. Scatter with chopped pistachios and serve while the cake is still hot.

HOT TIP: Vegan double cream is available in most supermarkets, perfect for whipping and versatile enough to use in many desserts and dishes. If you don’t have any vegan double cream available, refrigerate a can of full-fat coconut milk overnight, whip the solid separated cream and use this instead.

Vegan BBQ: 70 Delicious Plant-Based Recipes to Cook Outdoors by Katy Beskow is published by Quadrille, price €20