Hosting a vegan dinner is a daunting task, especially during summer grilling season. A vegan cookout may sound like an oxymoron to meat lovers, but a plant-based barbecue is the perfect opportunity to enjoy good company around a table of healthy, delicious food. As opposed to traditional barbecues—which may leave guests feeling sluggish post-meal—a meatless family get-together is more likely to leave everyone feeling energized throughout the evening.
These recipes are a great starting point for organizing your own vegan cookout, from the appetizer course to the dessert. Along with being completely meatless and dairy-free, these ingredients lists are also ideal for anyone who doesn’t eat gluten.
Potato Salad for Starters and Sides
Potato salad is a staple at summer barbecues across the country. Satisfying potatoes, crunchy celery, and fresh dill are all naturally vegan, so it’s easy to transform your favorite recipe into one of your most requested vegetarian barbecue dishes. Simply swap out traditional mayonnaise for a vegan alternative and almost any potato salad becomes a crowd-pleasing appetizer for all of your guests.
This recipe from the Minimalist Baker uses vinegar and a little maple syrup for a sweet twist on this savory favorite. If you prefer a more traditional flavor, this recipe uses vegan mayo. Additionally, when looking for more side dishes and starters, guacamole and fresh salsas are also fantastic vegan appetizers loved by just about everybody on your guest list.
Shish Kebabs for Entrées
When it comes to grilling in the great outdoors, shish kebabs are my go-to dish. Green peppers, cherry tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, and zucchini are known as the “fantastic five” in my home. Skewer the ingredients, top with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt, and grill for 10 minutes, flipping regularly. Try adding some variety with lemon garlic tofu.
The ingredients you need for the tofu are:
- 1 cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced in half
- 1 tsp. rosemary
- 1 block (14 oz.) of tofu, cubed
- Salt and pepper to taste
Combine lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and rosemary in a large container. Mix until everything is fully incorporated. Add cubed tofu, and gently mix to ensure the tofu has all been coated in the marinade. Refrigerate for several hours, mixing the tofu and marinade occasionally for best results.
Place cubed tofu on bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water for at least 10 minutes. Place tofu skewers on a preheated grill for five to seven minutes on each side. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Coconut Sorbet with Grilled Pineapple for Dessert
Coconut sorbet is the perfect dessert to indulge your sweet tooth without diving into dairy. The best part is that this tasty treat is incredibly simple. You can even add to the wow factor by topping each dish with freshly grilled pineapple. Just slice the pineapple, grill three minutes on each side, and dice for a delicious topping.
Your ingredients are:
- 2 cans (13 oz.) coconut milk
- 1 cup flaked coconut
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Combine all the ingredients into a blender, and mix until smooth. Pour the mixture into a freezer-safe container, and freeze for about four hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Store the mixture in the freezer until you’re ready to serve. Top with fresh fruit, toasted nuts, or the previously mentioned grilled pineapple for a refreshing summer dessert.
A vegan cookout can be a fun, filling, and memorable event for all of your guests, regardless of their dietary preferences. What are some of your favorite healthy and delicious vegetarian BBQ recipes? Let us know with a #GoodMatters tweet!
This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.