There is no better way to utilize the waning warm days of summer than a backyard cookout or get together. That usually means a lot of meaty dishes – burgers, sausages, hot dogs, shish kebabs – which can be heavy and not so healthy for us. If you’re looking to eat less meat, it doesn’t have to mean having to eat only plain vegetables. It’s possible to make meatless dishes with the same savory, umami tastes and flavors that rival “classic” meaty dishes. It’s true.

Look at these 10 Vegetables that Can Substitute for Meat and The Ultimate Guide to Vegan Meats and Meat Substitutes. There are so many foods we can cook with instead of meat. With a few creative tips, we can make these meat-free ingredients taste meaty. Get all the info in 5 Tips to Make Meatless Food Taste Meaty.  It will also help to know that you can make a meatless version of pretty much any dish. Still have doubts? Here are 15 classic meaty dishes made meatless.


1. Black Bean Apple Burgers With Caramelized Onion Chipotle BBQ Sauce and Shiitake Bacon

Black Bean Apple Burgers With Caramelized Onion Chipotle BBQ Sauce and Shiitake Bacon [Vegan]

Nothing says classic like a BBQ bacon burger and this Black Bean Apple Burger will become your new classic go-to. With savory caramelized onions, spicy chipotle BBQ sauce and smoky shiitake bacon, you’ll never miss the meat.

2. Homemade Seitan Hot Dogs


Hot dogs are a classic but who knows what’s really in them. These Homemade Seitan Hog Dogs give you all the taste and texture of classic frankfurters without the mystery of questionable ingredients. Slather on your favorite toppings to make a Delicious and Healthy Vegan New York-Style Hot Dog.

3. The Vegan Gutbuster Sandwich – Homemade Vegan Italian Sausage on Baguette


There are few things more satisfying than the timeless sausage and peppers hero. This Vegan Gutbuster Sandwich will take you right back to that amazing taste with homemade vegan Italian sausage with sauteed mushrooms, peppers, onions and vegan cheese.

4. Chicken-Less Burgers

Chicken-less Burgers [Vegan]

It’s easy to make these Chicken-less Burgers that taste so much better than anything you can get at a drive-through. With a spicy breading, these chicken-flavored burgers are just waiting for you to load your favorite toppings on them and dig in.


5. Tofu Vegetable Kebabs with Peanut Sauce

Tofu Kebabs

Fire up the grill with these Tofu Vegetable Kebabs. The marinade gives the tofu a savory, smoky flavor that’s perfect for grilling. The smoky peanut sauce is added flavor that will make these kebabs your new favorite.

6. Balsamic BBQ Seitan and Tempeh Ribs


If you want to sink your teeth into smoky, chewy ribs, these meatless Balsamic BBQ Ribs are the perfect recipe for you. Make them with meaty seitan or go gluten-free with tempeh. Indulgent and delicious, these will satisfy those meaty cravings.

7. Portobello Mushroom Steaks

Portobello Mushroom Steaks [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Portobello mushrooms have a juicy, savory, meaty flavor that is perfect for your meatless meals. These Portobello Mushroom Steaks are sauteed with onions, balsamic vinegar and fresh herbs and can be made indoors or outdoors on the grill.

8. Super Protein Kale Caesar Salad

Super Protein Kale Caesar Salad [Vegan]

Everything’s better with tempeh bacon! This Super Protein Kale Caesar Salad not only has mushrooms, tomatoes, avocado, nuts and seeds but smoky, savory tempeh bacon crumbled all over it. Topped with a homemade vegan Caesar dressing, this is one satisfying salad.


9. Cauliflower Buffalo Bites


Wings are for flying, not frying. Serve these Cauliflower Buffalo Bites with celery and carrot sticks and homemade vegan blue cheese dressing. These are a definite crowd-pleaser so make a lot.

10. Walnut ‘Taco Meat’

Walnut Taco “Meat” [Vegan, Raw, Gluten-Free]

The next time you make tacos, skip the meat and go nuts. Walnuts, that is. You can make ground “meat” from walnuts, tamari and spices. Spoon this Walnut “Taco Meat” onto tortillas with all your favorite toppings for meaty meatless tacos you’ll go nuts for.


11. Vegan BBQ Lentil Meatball Sandwich with Sweet Miso Coleslaw


This BBQ Lentil Meatball Sandwich with Sweet Miso Coleslaw is two meaty classics in one. Savory, smoky meatballs made with meaty lentils makes a satisfying sandwich balanced with cool and creamy sweet coleslaw.

12. “Crab” Cakes

Vegan "Crab" Cakes [Vegan]

Here, vegan “Crab” Cakes are made with hearts of palm. They are baked so these “crab” cakes are not only delicious but healthier too.

13. BBQ Jackfruit


Jackfruit may be a fruit but when it’s unripe, it has a savory taste and the perfect texture to substitute for meat. This BBQ Jackfruit is made in a slow cooker so you can be out in the sunshine while it cooks.

14. Portobello Mushroom BLT Sandwich

Portobello Mushroom BLT Sandwich [Vegan]

No sandwich is more classic than the BLT. This Portobello Mushroom BLT Sandwich has the usual lettuce and tomato but the “B” stands for “better bacon” made with mushrooms. Cooked with smoky, savory flavors, this sandwich will satisfy your BLT cravings in a better way.


15. Tempeh Burger Pizza

Tempeh Burger Pizza [Vegan]

If you have trouble choosing between pizza and burgers, the good news is you don’t have to. This Tempeh Burger Pizza combines two classic dishes – the burger and the pizza – in one amazing dish. Forget meat-lover’s pizza; this is a meatless-lover’s pizza dream.

With a bit of creativity and a few helpful tips, any meaty dish can be made meatless and still be satisfyingly delicious.

Lead image source: BBQ Jackfruit