This sweet and tangy crockpot vegan bbq is out-of-this-world! Perfect for summer outdoor gatherings or any time of the year. Serve with slaw, corn on the cob, or air fried potato wedges.
Vegan BBQ is so good because it’s…
- perfect for July 4th
- great summer picnic food
- simple & delicious
Vegan BBQ for July 4th
We absolutely LOVE barbecue at my house, and I remember the first July 4th holiday after we went plant-based was when I found this crockpot vegan bbq recipe in a book by Dr. Neal Barnard, president of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
Every year, on July 4th, the small North Carolina town I live in has a festival with rides for kids, music, crafts, and fireworks. The volunteer fire department makes barbecue and sells it, and we always used to go eat lots of barbecue sandwiches.
That was a problem after we went plant-based because our new-found knowledge told us that animal products are loaded with artery-clogging saturated fat and cholesterol. And, that’s when I ran across this recipe and decided to give it a try.
We absolutely love it and make it all year round–no special holiday needed! You’ll be amazed at how good it tastes, and it’s not difficult to make either.
Cooking with seitan
Seitan is used for this dish, and many people have never even heard of it before. I sometimes make my own seitan, because it’s quite easy to make. Check out this article I wrote called Seitan How to Cook it and Recipes. It can also be purchased already cooked.
Definition of seitan: Although it is made from wheat, seitan has little in common with flour or bread. Also called “wheat meat”, “wheat protein”, “wheat gluten” or simply “gluten”, seitan becomes surprisingly similar to the look and texture of meat when cooked, making it a popular meat substitute.”—The Spruce
This nonmeat alternative is high in protein, low in fat and a good source of iron.
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Seitan is so easy to make yourself with this recipe from Dr. Barnard’s book, 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart. This stuff adds such a hearty texture to other recipes like stir-fries.
You can purchase seitan already cooked in a number of stores like Whole Foods and Earth Fare. It’s also simple and fun to make a batch yourself. It’s made with vital wheat gluten and just needs water and spices to prepare.
Kneading and baking seitan for vegan bbq
When cooking seitan yourself, it has to be kneaded and allowed to set and rise, just like baking bread. The longer you knead, the chewier the seitan will be after baked. It is surprising how close the texture is to meat.
Once it is completely kneaded, press into a pan for baking. This is where the fun is because the ‘dough’ is so spongy, it can’t really be pressed completely into a pan. It just keeps springing back into place. Such a neat texture to work with!
This sweet and tangy crockpot vegan bbq is out-of-this-world! Serve with slaw, a side salad, corn on the cob, or air fried potato wedges. Unbelievably delicious!
RECIPE CARD BELOW
If you’re short on time or just don’t want to make your own bbq sauce using the recipe below, a good store-bought sauce is Bone Suckin’ Sauce available on Amazon by clicking the link.
Vegan bbq sauce options
There are so many dishes that could use a great barbecue sauce to enhance the flavors. With its sweet smoky flavor, a good bbq sauce can transform a bland recipe into a culinary masterpiece. This 8-ingredient Healthy BBQ Sauce Recipe can do just that!
Serve these sandwiches warm on whole grain buns. We added fresh spinach leaves and sliced onion to ours. Delish!
Note: These sandwiches can also be made with Soy Curls, if preferred.
I have two favorite slaw recipes to serve with these vegan bbq sandwiches. One is my traditional Country Cole Slaw, and the other is Carolina Red Slaw. Either one of these is terrific paired with barbecue!
Other great burger recipes
- 2 cups vital wheat gluten
- 1 Tbsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1.5 cups water
- 1/4 cup tamari
- 2 Tbsp vegetarian "oyster" sauce
- 2 Tbsp tahini
- 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 2 cups fire roasted tomatoes
- 1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard, not ground mustard, but liquid
- 2 Tbsp black strap molasses
- 2 Tbsp agave or maple syrup
- juice from one lemon
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 tsp liquid smoke, optional
- Vital wheat gluten can be found in the baking section of most grocery stores.
- Assemble the dry ingredients of wheat gluten powder, spices, and herbs. Combine in a large bowl and whisk together.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients of water, tamari, "oyster" sauce, and tahini.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture. It will thicken very quickly. Begin to knead everything together for approximately 3 minutes.
- Set to the side and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Then knead another 2-3 minutes. The longer you knead, the chewier the seitan will be after baked.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and press seitan into the pan. Bake at 325 for 40 minutes.
- Remove from oven, cut in half, and place in a crockpot with barbecue sauce. Allow to cook on low for 1 hour. By allowing the seitan to cook slowly in the barbecue sauce for at least an hour, it achieves a tender, pulled texture.
- Remove from the crockpot. Use a couple of forks to pull and shred the seitan apart. This can be shredded in a food processor, but I like mine chunkier and did it by hand. Then place back into the crockpot with barbecue sauce and cook 6-8 hours on low.
- Serve warm on whole grain buns. We added fresh spinach leaves and sliced onion to ours. Delish!
- Over medium heat, saute the onion and garlic in 3 Tbsp of veggie broth until it softens. I cook a little longer to caramelize.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, simmering for another 5 minutes.
- Pour mixture into a blender and puree until smooth. Add to crockpot with seitan.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 151 Total Fat: 3.5g Carbohydrates: 13.1g Fiber: 1.9g Protein: 11g
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