December 27, 2022

10 Top Argentine Asado Vegan Options

The Asado is not just another meal for the locals. Over the past 2 decades, it has become a ritual, like a special ceremony where friends, families, and neighbours get together to share a moment that is heart-warming and unique.  People often say that the Argentine Asado is much more than just the food and […]

Jason Pittock

December 27, 2022

The Asado is not just another meal for the locals. Over the past 2 decades, it has become a ritual, like a special ceremony where friends, families, and neighbours get together to share a moment that is heart-warming and unique. 

People often say that the Argentine Asado is much more than just the food and grilling. It's the experience.  With that being said Argentina is unquestionably the country of meat. There's no doubt about it. Currently, the country has the world's third-highest meat consumption per capita (link).

This can be a bit daunting for vegans. So let's take a look at the grilled vegan alternatives and how we unite the traditional Argentine Asado with vegans.

Vegans and Asados: How to bring them together

Argentine Asado vegan options used to be a pickle. But this has changed, like many things, cultures have become more inclusive and the Argentine Asado included!

There are ways of enjoying a good cook-up with your friends and family and at the same time be able to provide Argentine Asado vegan options that keep your vegetarian or vegan friends happy and nourished!

If you are vegan and are invited to an “Asado Argentino”, you'll have to inform your guests about it. It will never be assumed that you don't eat meat. A typical Asado is filled with different assorted meat cuts ranging from beef to pork, venison and lamb. Not to mention all the variety of cuts and ways of grilling.  

But there is good news after all: the acceptance of vegan lifestyles has gained many followers in recent years, and businesses are adjusting to the new era, making it easier to follow a vegan or vegetarian diet. 

Vegan and vegetarian dishes for the Argentine grilling culture have been gaining popularity in the markets and family kitchens. In the larger Argentine cities, we can already find many grilling houses where that serve plant-based foods along with the traditional Argentine Asado. This inclusive approach has allowed both the vegan culture and traditional Asado culture to meet and enjoy grilled food.

So, if you have vegan friends to eat with you and want to entertain them with a good grill, you'll need to learn how to do it; here we present the ten most famous options among vegans.

What are the best vegan options for an Argentine barbecue?

When it comes to choosing vegan options for the Argentina BBQ we can find several options for our vegan friends. These vegan BBQ alternatives can replace meat and continue the Argentine grilling tradition among friends and family.

You can find vegan products in some of the local markets and in natural food stores. In addition, you will find vegan dressings (such as vegan mayonnaise, mustard, and ketchup) and different types of plant-based cheeses.

Among the most common vegan alternative there are:

Grilled Vegan Matambrito

There are 2 variations to the “matambrito” which would technically be a flank steak. 

For the vegan grilled alternative, you use grilled seitan and choose topping options such as:

1) Pizza: the “matambrito base” made of seitan, tomato sauce, and vegan mozzarella cheese.

2) Bacon and Cheddar: the “matambrito base” made of seitan, and then add vegan cheddar and vegan bacon.

Grilled Vegan Empanadas

Empanadas are the traditional Argentine version of a “cornish pastie”. The empanada is a grilled, baked or fried pastry with different fillings. For the vegan alternative, we can add in different fillings such as grilled veggies, grilled vegan cheese, texturized soy and legumes.

argentine asado vegan options
Argentine Vegan Empanadas: A great Argentine Asado Vegan Option!

Grilled Vegan Milanesa

The argentine milanesa is classic, and although rarely cooked on the traditional argentine grill, this is a good alternative for vegans. 

Vegan milanesa: the vegan grilled Milanesa is made from seitan along with a mix of spices, natural condiments and gluten.

Grilled Vegan Chorizo

Chorizo in Argentina is a classic side dish for the main course, and a traditional Argentine BBQ wouldn’t be completed without a stack of chorizos. Now went it comes to vegan dishes, there is widely available vegan chorizo. 

Vegan Choripan: vegan chorizo (made with chickpeas and brown rice) between bread, it can include vegan cheese, vegan mayonnaise or even our classic provenzal or chimichurri. 

Grilled Vegan Vaciopan

The traditional “vaciopan” is the famous Argentine Vacio sliced up and put between bread. You can read more about cooking vacio here.

Now when it comes to vegan options you can also serve a delicious mouth-watering vaciopan that's 100% vegan. 

The vegan vaciopan is simply a vegan vacio made of seitan or lentils between bread. You can go a step further and add sauces or other condiments to make it even more appetizing! 

Grilled Vegan Provolone

Vegan provolone: just like the real one, but made with cashews and condiments that mimic provolone's flavour. It can be cooked in a traditional provolone saute method or in foil. To make the provolone extra tasty you can garnish it with thyme, rosemary or other condiments/ 

Grilled Vegan Girgopan

Girgolas in English is known as oyster mushrooms. They are a delicious nutrient-dense vegan alternative to do over the coals! 

The Girgopan is ultimately roasted girgola, that has been sauteed with mushrooms and garlic. Once grilled it can be east inside a bread roll. “Pan” in English means bread, so “Gigo-pan” would be Oyster mushrooms in a roll! 

Grilled Pepper With Cheese 

A staple vegan roasted option: roasted pepper, filled with vegan cheese. 

Simply done, you slice the pepper in half, grill it on one side first and then turn it around and fill it with vegan cheese and other veggies. This is a great option to do on the open grill as it's easy to prepare and doesn’t take too long. 

argentine asado vegan options
Argentine Asados Can Be Vegan-Friendly!

Grilled Veggies 

All kinds of Veggies: roasted or grilled veggies on the Argentine Asado are a must not only for vegans/vegetarians. There are lots of grilled veggie options such as:

  1. Grilled onion 
  2. Grilled garlic 
  3. Grilled sweet potato
  4. Grilled corn-on-the-cob
  5. Grilled carrot
  6. Grilled eggplant 

And, of course, salads.

Conclusion for Vegan Grilled Options

All the options mentioned above are based on plant-based ingredients such as seitan (high-protein gluten alternative), tofu, chickpeas, textured soybeans, mushrooms, and of course lots of vegetables.

When it comes to grilling vegan options, there are many. It's just a matter of preparation, doing some simple research and getting out there and trying your grilling skills with something new. 

Keep in mind that the way and time of cooking vegan foods on the grill differ from meat. Some will only take a few minutes; with others, you may need to use aluminium foil which can take much longer.

Whether your an expert Argentine Grilling master or a newbie, having the skills to be able to grill for your vegan guests is a plus, everyone should and can enjoy the Argentine Asado.

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