Take your cookout all the way through dessert with this grilled banana split with chocolate peanut butter sauce. It is a swoon-worthy dessert that’s entirely vegan & gluten-free!
In my childhood home, the barbecue grill was a meat-only affair. There were no vegetable kebabs, grilled asparagus or Portobello mushrooms to be had. I didn’t even realize that grilling plants was a thing people did.
It was only once I was in my twenties and started working as a cater waiter that I discovered there was so much more possible on the grill.
Often at parties and banquets, the chefs would have platters of grilled eggplant, zucchini, and red bell peppers. I was surprised at how much nuance and sweetness the grill gave to simple vegetables. And for dessert? Grilled bananas.
Grilled bananas are vaguely like fried plantains. The fiery grates caramelize the bananas just a bit around the grill marks. Inside, the bananas become hot, melty, and gooey. With a simple drizzling of chocolate sauce, it’s a worthy dessert all on its own.
But if you want to take it up a significant notch, make this grilled banana split.
Grilled banana split
These grilled banana splits are topped with scoops of non-dairy ice cream and a generous drizzling of chocolate peanut butter sauce. Think of it as a chocolate peanut butter cup in liquid form.
It’s easy to make the chocolate peanut butter sauce on the stove in just minutes. The 4 ingredients are simply non-dairy milk, chocolate chips, chunky peanut butter, and maple syrup.
Then for good measure, I garnished the sundae with chopped vegan peanut butter cups. (The cups are on my list of best vegan junk food!)
I served these banana split sundaes to friends recently for a sweet end to our dinner party. After the main course was finished, I hopped outside to the patio to start the outdoor grill.
Since we use propane, it didn’t take long at all to get the grill grates hot. I’d made the chocolate peanut butter sauce ahead of time and just reheated it quickly in the microwave with a splash of almond milk. In less than 10 minutes, our guests had grilled banana splits in front of them.
The warm banana with cool ice cream is a wonderful meeting of textures and flavors. And of course, chocolate, banana, and peanut butter play very nicely together.
Our guests had no problem polishing off their desserts and said they were the highlight of the night.
Grilled banana splits with chocolate peanut butter sauce
- In a small pot, bring non-dairy milk and chocolate chips to a low or low-medium heat. Stir constantly with a fork or whisk until the chocolate chips are fully melted and smooth. (It should take just a few minutes.)
- Stir in the peanut butter and maple syrup. Once it has all completely combined, continue cooking and stirring for a minute or two more while the sauce reduces and becomes the consistency of gravy. If it gets too thick or seizes up, add another splash of non-dairy milk.* Remove from heat and set aside.
- Heat the outdoor or indoor grill to 500 degrees. Lightly brush the grill grate or the cut side of the bananas with oil.
- Place the bananas cut side down on the heated grill. Don't move them for about three minutes, until they get good, dark grill marks.
- Use tongs to flip the bananas onto the back where the peel is still attached. Continue cooking them for another two or three minutes until the peel has darkened and the banana has softened. Move them to a plate to cool slightly.
- Put out 4 bowls or banana boats. Into each bowl, put 2 or 3 scoops of creamy cashew frozen dessert. Remove the peels from the bananas. Put two banana halves into each bowl. Top with warm chocolate peanut butter sauce. Garnish with chopped peanut butter cups. Serve immediately.
This grilled banana splits recipe was my entry into the So Delicious Dairy Free recipe contest in collaboration with Go Dairy Free. While I was not compensated for my time creating this recipe, I did receive a small grocery stipend.