Summer is unfortunately subject to the tyranny of grilled meats, it’s true. Like it’s somehow impossible to enjoy eating things outside if they’re only made of plants. And what do you DO if you can’t slather your potato salad in half a jar of mayonnaise?! Heavens to Betsy, it’d just be a travesty! Lol jk. Vegan picnic and barbecue recipes are just as delicious and perfect for eating with a nice cold can of beer while sprawled on a blanket in the park or lounging in a lawn chair. Frankly, dare we say it, some of these vegan options are better than their meat and dairy-based counterparts. Expand your mind beyond the frozen foods section of the grocery store where the veggie burgers are surely going to disappoint you and end up tasting much like cardboard flavored black beans. We pulled together a whole menu of our favorite vegan recipes that are perfect for your next backyard gathering or group hang in the park. Don’t forget the sunblock. (And the bug spray; this party could go all night.)
Pickled veggies are a seriously underrated part of the appetizer spread of any good party. Make your own spicy little giardiniera mixture, and use some of these to garnish a crisp, refreshing vodka martini if you’re feeling cheeky.
Caesar salads appeal to the masses, so this is a good go-to for bringing to a barbecue that will have a mixed crowd of vegans and meat eaters.
We KNOW, we know. Broccoli in your mac ‘n’ cheese reminds you of your mom trying to sneak vegetables into dishes where they don’t belong so you would eat more green things. But we actually think the crunch factor of the roasted, spicy broccoli goes pretty well with a toothsome pasta like orecchiette.
Corn pudding might seem like more of a cold-weather side dish, but, we ask you: why the fuck is that? Corn tastes best in the summer, full stop. Bring a dish of this to your next cookout and let everyone dive in with a spoon.
What’s the best way to keep everyone from getting too tipsy before the main courses come off the grill? A never-ending bowl of potato chips and an array of dips to keep everyone occupied while your overworked grill tender tries not to burn the veggie dogs.
London chef Dixie Innes shows us how to make a naturally vegan roasted pepper muhammara dip with a pop of pomegranate molasses. Full recipe is over here.
This is the kind of vegan look-alike dish that’s so good you can bring it to your Aunt Judy’s—the one who still asks you if vegans eat fish—backyard cookout and just let everyone think it’s made with dairy.
These plantain chips are a little sweet, a little salty, and a great alternative to potatoes if you’re up for something a little different.
Whatever veggies look good at the farmers market + salt + vinegar = side dish is done.
You can easily substitute the pecorino-romano in this classic party appetizer recipe with some nutritional yeast or a vegan cheese alternative.
Shredded seitan marinated in a spicy beer marinade, pan-seared over high heat makes for a taco filling even your most ardent carne asada-loving friend will enjoy.
Beets, black beans, and mushrooms are the trifecta of veggie burger fillers, but we’re pretty crazy about this truffle cashew cheese, too. You can watch how it's done in our How To series over on Vice Video.
A whole dang pound of king oyster mushrooms, shredded and smoked over applewood chips. *drools* Pulled pork who?
When tomatoes are in season, we’d basically consider it a crime to not indulge in a BLT at least once. This version uses tempeh, but you could give slow-roasted shiitake mushrooms a try, too, as your “B” substitute.
LA’s Burgerlords know their way around a vegan burger patty. This version uses plenty of mushrooms, eggplant, brown rice, and chickpeas as a base.
Fresh, juicy melons barely need anything to turn them into dessert, but if you’ve got some friends who are willing to pass a bag of this sorbet around in a circle while shaking it (the old-school replacement for an actual ice cream churner), you should give this a shot.
A little palate cleanser anyone? Just kidding, this granita would also make a really delicious cocktail base for those who prefer to drink their desserts.
We’re fans of any dish that can be eaten at a picnic or barbecue with one hand, leaving your second hand free for a glass of rosé or a nice cold beer. Brownies and chocolate chip cookies are a perfect solution.