The Perfect Vegan BBQ Sides for Summer Cookouts

Summer cookouts are all about delicious food and good company. And what better way to elevate your gathering than with some incredible vegan BBQ sides? These dishes will steal the show and leave your guests craving for more. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with easy, fresh, and mouthwatering recipes for grilled veggies, salads, slaws, and more.

Key Takeaways

Grilled Asparagus: Taking It to the Next Level

There’s something magical about grilled asparagus. The lightly charred spears are taken to new heights by a simple yet ingenious trick. Grill some lemon halves alongside the asparagus and squeeze the charred lemon juice over the spears just before serving. The result is an explosion of flavors that will make this easy BBQ side dish stand out from the rest.

Grilled Asparagus

Jazzed-up Grilled Vegetables

Grilled vegetables are a staple at any BBQ, but why not take them to the next level? Drizzle these colorful kabobs with Greek salad dressing and serve them with a creamy tzatziki sauce for dipping. The combination of flavors will make your taste buds dance with delight.

Grilled Vegetable Skewers

Grilled Zucchini: Simple and Flavorful

Sometimes, simplicity is the key to perfection. Grilled zucchini is a prime example of that. The smoky flavor and tender texture make it a favorite among BBQ enthusiasts. For an extra touch of elegance, plate it over a bed of lemony yogurt and sprinkle it with fresh herbs. It’s a dish that will surely impress your guests.

Grilled Zucchini

Smoky Grilled Eggplant: A BBQ Hit

Nicely charred on the outside and silky smooth on the inside, smoky grilled eggplant is always a crowd-pleaser. Serve it plain or with a quick couscous topping to add an extra layer of flavor and texture. This dish is perfect for those looking for a unique and satisfying BBQ side.

What’s a Summer BBQ Without a Pasta Salad?

Pasta salad is a classic BBQ side dish that never goes out of style. Give it a fun twist with these unique recipes that will make your taste buds sing.

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Easy Pasta Salad: Hearty and Refreshing

When it comes to picnic or cookout side dishes, this easy pasta salad is a no-brainer. Packed with pasta, chickpeas, tangy feta cheese, and a bright lemon dressing, it strikes the perfect balance between hearty and refreshing. The addition of tomatoes, cucumbers, and fresh herbs takes it to a whole new level.

Best Pasta Salad

Pesto Pasta Salad: Bursting with Flavor

Basil pesto is a culinary delight, and when it meets curly noodles, crunchy pine nuts, and thinly shaved zucchini, magic happens. This pesto pasta salad is a summer favorite that will leave your taste buds craving more.

Pesto Pasta Salad

Vegan BLT Pasta Salad: A Plant-Based Twist

Put a plant-based spin on the classic BLT with this vegan pasta salad. Crispy and smoky tempeh bacon takes center stage, while sun-dried tomatoes add an extra layer of savory goodness. This dish will satisfy even the most discerning BBQ enthusiast.

Vegan BLT Pasta Salad

Orzo Salad: Greek-Inspired Delight

Transport your taste buds to the Mediterranean with this Greek-inspired orzo salad. Bursting with flavors, this dish has become a reader favorite. Give it a try and experience the magic for yourself.

Orzo Salad

Macaroni Salad: A Childhood Favorite, Reinvented

Remember those creamy macaroni salads from your childhood? This lightened-up version brings back all the nostalgia with a twist. A lightly creamy dressing, crunchy veggies, and a pop of salty flavor from diced dill pickles make this macaroni salad a surefire hit.

Macaroni Salad

Vegan Pasta Salad: Creamy Delight

Love creamy pasta salad but want to skip the mayo and sour cream? Look no further. This vegan pasta salad uses tahini to achieve that delicious creamy texture. It’s a dish that will please everyone, regardless of dietary preferences.

And You’ve Gotta Have a Slaw

No BBQ is complete without a refreshing slaw. These recipes are light, refreshing, and perfect for making ahead.

Broccoli Salad: A Flavor Explosion

With over 200 5-star reviews, this broccoli salad is a fan favorite. The lightly creamy, sweet, and tangy dressing pairs perfectly with the crisp broccoli florets, chewy dried cranberries, and smoky roasted almonds and pepitas. Trust us, you’ll be going back for seconds.

Creamy Coleslaw: The Secret’s in the Dressing

Coleslaw is a classic BBQ side, and this recipe takes it to new heights. The secret? A homemade dressing that strikes the perfect balance between creamy, tangy, and sweet. It’s the ideal accompaniment to your favorite grilled dishes.

Vinegar Coleslaw: A Tangy Alternative

If creamy dressings aren’t your thing, this vinegar coleslaw will become your new go-to BBQ side. Marinate the veggies in a punchy apple cider vinegar dressing for at least 20 minutes (up to 2 days!) to let the flavors develop. The result is a refreshing slaw that pairs perfectly with any grilled dish.

Broccoli Slaw: Sweet and Savory Delight

This sweet and savory slaw is highly addictive. It’s perfect for packing up and taking to a picnic or BBQ, but we won’t judge if you can’t resist devouring it straight from the bowl. The combination of flavors and textures will leave you wanting more.

Love Sweet Corn? These BBQ Sides Are for You.

Fresh sweet corn is a quintessential summer delight. Showcasing it in these easy BBQ sides will take your cookout to the next level.

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Grilled Corn on the Cob: Classic and Flavorful

For a classic BBQ side, you can’t go wrong with grilled corn on the cob. Keep it simple with butter, salt, and pepper, or elevate it with one of these herb compound butters. The smoky char from the grill adds depth and flavor that will make these ears a crowd favorite.

Mexican Street Corn Salad: Bold and Bright

This Mexican street corn salad is a culinary explosion of flavors. With just 10 simple ingredients, it bursts with bold, bright flavors that will transport you to the streets of Mexico. It’s the perfect side to complement any BBQ spread.

Black Bean & Corn Salad: Zesty and Versatile

Zesty and packed with flavors, this summer side dish gets even better when made ahead of time. Let the flavors mingle, and just add the avocado right before serving. It’s a versatile dish that pairs well with any grilled protein.

Jalapeño Cornbread: Spicy and Satisfying

Although not made with fresh corn, this spicy cornbread is a must-try for sweet corn lovers. Moist, tender, and infused with the heat of jalapeños, it’s perfect on its own or slathered with homemade honey butter. Elevate your BBQ side game with this delightful twist.

BBQ Side Dishes That Showcase Summer Fruit

When summer fruits are in season, they deserve a spot on any cookout menu. These BBQ side dishes highlight the sweet, juicy, and refreshing flavors of berries, cherries, melons, and more.

Watermelon Salad with Feta: Cool and Refreshing

On a scorching summer day, nothing beats the refreshing crunch of watermelon. Combine it with crisp cucumbers, creamy avocado, tangy feta cheese, and aromatic herbs for a salad that will cool you down and awaken your taste buds.

Strawberry Salad with Balsamic: An Unexpected Delight

Normally reserved for tomatoes and basil, the combination of strawberries and basil is a revelation. This strawberry salad with balsamic adds a fruity twist to the classic Caprese salad. It’s the perfect addition to any summer cookout.

Grilled Watermelon: Sweet and Smoky

Grilling watermelon might sound unconventional, but it’s a game-changer. The heat concentrates the sweetness and adds a hint of smoky flavor. Top it off with a zesty corn and avocado salad, and you have a BBQ side that will impress everyone.

Summer Fruit Salad: Bursting with Flavor

When planning your BBQ side dishes, you can never go wrong with a fresh fruit salad. This recipe takes it to the next level with a zingy citrus-ginger dressing that brightens up a colorful medley of summer fruits. It’s a vibrant and refreshing addition to any cookout.

BBQ Sides for Potato Lovers

Potatoes are a beloved BBQ side, but classics like mashed potatoes or French fries aren’t always picnic-friendly. Try these delicious alternatives to satisfy your potato cravings.

Best Potato Salad: Classic with a Twist

No discussion of BBQ sides is complete without the mention of classic potato salad. This version features a creamy Greek yogurt dressing and crunchy veggies that strike the perfect balance between indulgence and wholesomeness. It’s a comfort food favorite that won’t disappoint.

Vegan Potato Salad: Creamy and Dairy-Free

For a dairy-free twist on potato salad, look no further. This vegan version features green beans and fresh corn for added texture and flavor. Drizzle it with vegan sour cream for an extra creamy touch that will keep your guests coming back for more.

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Grilled Potatoes: Crispy and Smoky

Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and packed with smoky flavor, these grilled potatoes are a BBQ delight. Enjoy them on their own or elevate them by combining them with blueberries, pickled onions, and a grilled scallion vinaigrette. It’s a potato salad like no other.

Grilled Sweet Potatoes: Charred and Creamy

On hot summer days, turning on the oven for sweet potato fries doesn’t sound appealing. Instead, throw a couple of sweet potatoes on the grill. They come out beautifully charred on the outside and irresistibly creamy on the inside. Serve them with ketchup, mayo, or chipotle sauce for a dipping experience that will leave you wanting more.

No Utensils Necessary! Finger Foods That Are Perfect BBQ Sides

Want to keep your cookout fork-free? Pair your veggie burgers or hot dogs with these delicious finger foods that are sure to delight.

Ultimate Crudité Platter: A Feast for the Senses

This ultimate crudité platter has something for everyone. From marinated feta to tart cherry compound butter and lemony white bean dip, each bite is a burst of flavor and texture. Your guests will love the array of options at their fingertips.

Summer Fruit Platter: Simple and Impressive

Maximize flavor with minimal prep by serving a fruit and cheese platter. This platter features three cheeses, vibrant fruits, olives, nuts, and a summery jam. It’s a visual and culinary delight that requires no cooking.

Homemade Salsa: Fresh and Flavorful

When summer tomatoes are at their peak, homemade salsa is a must. This zesty, fresh salsa takes just 10 minutes to prepare and pairs perfectly with tortilla chips. Prefer a green salsa? Try the tomatillo salsa verde for a tangy twist.

Guacamole: The Perfect Dip

No finger food spread is complete without guacamole. Whip up this creamy and flavorful dip to pair with tortilla chips. It’s the ultimate crowd-pleaser that will keep your guests coming back for more.

Caprese Skewers: Bite-Sized Delight

Caprese salad is a classic, and these bite-sized skewers take it to the next level. Thread cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and fresh basil leaves onto skewers for an irresistible appetizer that’s easy to enjoy.

Dill Pickles: Salty and Refreshing

Refrigerator pickles are the ultimate salty, tangy, and refreshing snack. Cut them into spears for snacking or slice them into rounds to pile onto sandwiches and veggie burgers. These pickles will elevate your finger food spread.

Cowboy Caviar: A Fresh and Irresistible Dip

Speckled with crisp bell peppers, juicy cherry tomatoes, and creamy avocado, this fresh bean and corn dip is completely irresistible. Your guests won’t be able to resist reaching for more. Just be prepared for the entire bowl to disappear in minutes.

No matter what your dietary preferences are, these vegan BBQ sides are sure to impress. From grilled veggies to refreshing salads and delightful finger foods, your summer cookouts will never be the same. So fire up the grill, gather your friends and family, and get ready to create unforgettable memories over a delicious feast.

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