It’s that time of year again: the final days of summer are upon us and retailers are heading full-force into fall. Coffee shops are announcing their new fall flavors (bless Peet’s coffee for bringing us a vegan PSL with coconut whipped cream) and things are starting to get spooky in stores thanks to the early arrival of Halloween decorations. While we are more than ready to embrace cozy sweaters paired with a cup of warm, mulled apple cider, we’re also not ready to say “goodbye” to barbecues and beaches just yet.
Thankfully, this weekend is Labor Day weekend, so it’s time to get everything you need ready for the season’s last, big barbecue. If you’re trying to eat more plant-based foods, you might be wondering what you can do to show your friends and family that meat-free barbecue food can go toe-to-toe with the classics. Just check out these 10 Epic Veggie Burgers to Throw on the Grill Now, 25 Labor Day Recipes That are Unbelievably Vegan, and Show Off Your BBQ Skills on Labor Day With These “Meaty” Vegan Recipes.
Of course, no Labor Day barbecue is complete without sauce and luckily, we’ve got you covered. We scrolled through hundreds of homemade sauce recipes on the Food Monster App and found five awesome barbecue sauce recipes that might make you hesitate the next time you reach for the bottled stuff. They’re that good:
Source: Rhubarb BBQ Sauce
Half of what makes a great dish is an excellent sauce. Blogger Emily Brees knows this, so that’s why she made this awesome Rhubarb BBQ Sauce. It’s is tart, savory, and can be applied to a range of dishes. Marinate jackfruit in this sauce for a super flavorful, vegan pulled pork sandwich.
Source: Slow Cooker BBQ Sauce
If you know that you have a busy weekend ahead, then you can’t go wrong with this Slow Cooker BBQ Sauce by Nora Schlesinger. This recipe is great because you literally throw everything in your slow cooker, give it a quick stir, and leave it to percolate into thick, saucy goodness. Unlike conventional, store-bought barbecue sauces that use sugar or high fructose corn syrup, this sauce utilizes the natural sweetness of tomatoes and a touch of molasses. It can also be given a smoky flavor using either liquid smoke or a hefty amount of chili powder and smoky paprika.
Source: Sugar-Free Barbecue Sauce
Barbecue sauces can be high in sugar. If you’re looking to avoid that, try this Sugar-Free Barbecue Sauce by Kelly Morisson. It’s made with minimal ingredients, like tomato sauce, Dijon mustard, tamari (so it’s gluten-free, too), and molasses, and it’s sweetened with stevia. The prep work is all too simple: add everything to a bowl and whisk until the ingredients are combined.
Source: Korean BBQ Sauce
Want to add a little flair to your food? Try this Korean BBQ Sauce by Gabrielle St. Claire. With ingredients like fresh ginger, garlic, scallions and rice vinegar, this Asian-inspired sauce is equal parts sweet, salty, and savory, and all parts delicious. Plus, it’s easy to throw together and the sauce is astoundingly versatile. Try pairing it with recipes like this Korean Kimchi BBQ Burger.
This BBQ Seitan Ribs With Homemade Barbecue Sauce recipe from the VEGANIZE IT! cookbook is a two-fer: an awesome recipe for tender, meaty, protein-packed seitan and a recipe for sweet and smoky barbecue sauce. This sauce combines aromatic onion and garlic with tomato sauce, tangy apple cider vinegar, sweet maple syrup, and adds a layer of smokiness thanks to one chipotle chili pepper in adobo and a dash of liquid smoke. Yum!
For even more tips on how to make Labor Day food without meat or cheese, read 10 Ways to Make Awesome Vegan BBQ Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades, Tricks for Making Veggie Burgers That Won’t Fall Apart, and How to Make the Best Grilled Vegetables for Labor Day.
We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 15,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!
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