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These flavour-packed recipes from food blogger Jacqueline Meldrum, AKA Tinned Tomatoes, will satisfy even the most committed carnivores

Vegetables should have a starring role at your next barbecue, says food blogger Jacqueline Meldrum. “Veggie barbecues can be so varied, full of colour and delicious. They’re also healthier and kinder on your wallet!”


“Summer’s here, and it’s time to grill. Barbecues are often seen as a meat feast, but I think vegetarian ones are much more interesting. I’m not just talking about veggie burgers or halloumi, which seem to be the staple meat-free option. Make vegetables the star of the show. They’re often forgotten, and only appear in salads or a token kebab, but they really shine when cooked over hot coals, which impart an incredible charred, smokey flavour.

“Take my stuffed mushrooms: cooking them on the grill gives them a depth of flavour which makes this retro veggie dish worth revisiting. Let children add their own toppings, and they’ll be more likely to try them.

“For a stress-free option, prep the tandoori sweet potatoes the night before – as they’re pre-cooked, they’ll grill quickly. The tandoori paste gives them a crisp, spicy coating which contrasts beautifully with the fluffy sweet potatoes.

“No barbecue would be complete without a hot dog, and M&S do great veggie versions. You can make them even more fun by setting up a station for people to ‘pimp’ their own. I’ve suggested three topping ideas – set up a table with rolls, sauces, pickles, and veggies, and let guests get creative.

“When it comes to setting up your barbecue, the main thing you need is patience. Wait until the coals are pale grey with glowing orange embers underneath. While you’re waiting, get your kit together. You don’t need a lot, but long tongs, skewers and a wire cleaning brush are essentials. Don’t forget to keep drinks cold: fill big buckets with plenty of ice to chill beer and wine.

“I’ll always have a jug of Pimm’s on hand, too, and for dessert, I’ll make a fruity cheesecake ahead. There’s something special about eating outdoors in the sun: sheer relaxation.”

Shop barbecue kit




Tandoori sweet potatoes

“These thick slices of sweet potatoes in a fiery tandoori marinade become wonderfully charred and crispy on the grill”

Serves 4

2 tbsp paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp cayenne
Salt, to season
100g natural yoghurt
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tsp tomato purée
6 tbsp mayonnaise
½ lemon, zest and juice
4 sweet potatoes
Leafy green salad and lemon wedges, to serve

Mix all the spices and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Add the yoghurt, garlic, lime juice and tomato purée and mix well. Store in the fridge until you are ready to use.

For the lemon mayonnaise, mix the mayonnaise, lemon zest and juice and a pinch of salt in a bowl, then store in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

Scrub the potatoes, add them to a large pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, until tender. Drain and allow to cool.

Once cool, cut the potatoes into thick slices. Brush with the tandoori paste, then place on the grill of a preheated barbecue. Cook over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes on each side, until charred. You could also do this in a hot griddle pan.

Serve with a green salad, lemon mayonnaise and wedges of lemon.


Stuffed barbecue mushrooms

“The oozy cheese and tomato filling for these smokey, succulent grilled mushrooms is inspired by pizza toppings”

Serves 4

8 Portobello mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
1 jar of M&S vine-ripened tomato paste
1 ball of mozzarella, cut into 8 slices
8 cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 tsp dried oregano
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
Green salad and potato wedges, to serve

Carefully peel the skin off the mushrooms and remove the stalks. Brush the outside with a little oil and lay them flat side down on a baking tray.

Spoon 1 tablespoon of tomato paste into each mushroom and spread across the inside with a spoon. Top each with a slice of mozzarella, 3 slices of tomato, and a sprinkling of oregano. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook on a preheated barbecue over a medium heat until the mushrooms are tender and the mozzarella has melted; around 5-10 minutes. These could also be cooked on a baking tray in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

Serve with a green salad and spicy potato wedges.


Mexican hot dogs

“Stacked high with fresh tomato salsa, sweetcorn, crumbled feta and coriander, these colourful hot dogs are a taste of Mexico”

Serves 4

3 salad tomatoes, seeds removed, finely chopped
½ red onion, finely chopped
½ green chilli, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp lime juice
A small handful of fresh coriander
A pinch of salt
4 M&S butternut squash and paprika sausages
4 M&S posh dog rolls
2-3 tbsp sweetcorn
100g feta, crumbled

Mix the tomato, onion, chilli, garlic, lime juice, coriander and salt in a bowl. Set aside until you’re ready to use.

Grill the sausages on a barbecue over a medium heat, and serve in rolls, topped with the tomato salsa, sweetcorn and crumbled feta.


New York hot dogs

“This is inspired by the flavours of a New York deli – cream cheese and pickles. Any leftover pickled onions are fabulous on sandwiches or burgers”

Serves 4

1 red onion, peeled and finely sliced
150ml red wine vinegar
150ml water
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp salt
1 tsp salt
A grind of black pepper
4 M&S butternut squash and paprika sausages
4 M&S posh dog rolls
4 tbsp soft cheese with garlic and herbs
6 cherry tomatoes, sliced

Place the sliced red onions in a clean, lidded jar. Add the vinegar, water, maple syrup, salt, chilli flakes and black pepper to a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved.

Pour the hot liquid over the onions, pressing them down with a spoon until submerged. Pop the lid on and set aside to cool – they’ll be ready to eat in about 30 minutes, and can be kept in the fridge for up to a week.

Grill the sausages on a barbecue over a medium heat, and serve in the rolls, spread with a generous layer of garlic and herb cream cheese, a spoonful of pickled red onions and cherry tomatoes.


Blue-cheese chipotle dogs

“Blue cheese, a dollop of chipotle-spiked mayo and sweet caramelised onions: this is definitely one for the grown-ups”

Serves 4

3 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp chipotle paste
1 lime, zest and juice
A pinch of salt
2 white onions, finely sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
4 M&S butternut squash and paprika sausages
4 M&S posh dog rolls
4 tbsp mustard
25g stilton, crumbled

Stir together the mayonnaise, chipotle paste, lime zest and juice and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

Sauté the onions with the olive oil in a frying pan over a low heat for 8-10 minutes, until soft and caramelised.

Grill the sausages on a barbecue over a medium heat, and serve in rolls, spread with mustard and topped with crumbled stilton, a dollop of chipotle mayonnaise and the cooked onions.

Recipes and photographs: Jacqueline Meldrum / Editor: Heather Taylor

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