Navigating BBQ Season with Vegan Family and Friends

If you are having a vegan or vegetarian over for a BBQ (July 4th anyone??), or you are a new vegan yourself - then read on! We gathered some of our favorite recipes and vegan products in ONE spot to make grilling season as easy as possible for you.

We've organized the recipes by meal type first (appetizers, mains, sides, desserts), then by healthy, homemade indulgent, or store bought indulgent. All followed up by some last minute tips!

Appetizers/Snacks:

Navigating a Vegan BBQ with Vegan Friends and Family

Healthy: 

You cant go wrong with a standard fruit bowl and some homemade chips and guac! But if you want to get a little bit fancier, we love this 7 layer dip from Oh She Glows!

Store Bought Indulgent: 

Cheese and cracker platters are a party standard! Vegan Cheese is getting better and better these days. Have a slab of vegan cheese for the dairy-free friends in your life!

Most crackers are already vegan, but always check the ingredient list for that hidden ingredient, milk loves to sneak in there! Some of our favorite vegan cheeses are Chao, VioLife and Miyokos.

Mains:

Healthy: 

Homemade Veggie Burgers and Kabobs - healthy, simple and yummy! Be courteous and cook these on the grill first before the meat (or bring some tin foil to cook them on!)

Homemade Indulgent: 

If you have not yet tried pulled jackfruit, what are you waiting for!? Raw jackfruit tastes like Juicy Fruit gum (or does Juicy Fruit taste like jackfruit?) But when marinated, Jackfruit takes on the perfect consistency and taste for pulled “pork”  Because lets be real, BBQ sauce makes almost anything delicious

Store Bought Indulgent: 

We’re sure you've heard of this one! This is by far our favorite vegan burger. While definitely not healthy (although healthier than its meat counterpart!) the Beyond burger is AMAZING for events like this! There is one other brand that is out there called Impossible Burger - ask your guest(s) which they prefer! 

Sides:

Healthy: 

Sides, when they're done right, can be the star of the party! Our personal favorites:

Homemade indulgent: 

We named this one indulgent because of the use of vegan mayo - but it can easily be made with a homemade cashew sauce! 

Store Bought Indulgent: 

Mmm, theres something about the simplicity of this one! Half of the baked beans out there are vegan, but the other half often contain bacon. We’ve included two of our favorite brands that are bacon free. 


Desserts:


Healthy: 

Specifically for July 4th, we love this red, white, and blue nice cream recipe! Nice cream is when you blend up frozen bananas (often with other ingredients) and serve it up as soft serve!  We've also included a recipe for watermelon cake, you can have this as a healthy dessert - or a decadent alternative to a fruit bowl.

Homemade Indulgent:  

Anything you can make, we can make vegan! Baked goods are the easiest to disguise as vegan, bet you can't taste the difference!

Homemade ice cream, chocolate cake, or cookie cake? Which will you choose? 

Store Bought Indulgent: 

Vegan ice cream is on the rise! Great for vegans and people who are lactose intolerant (PS. did you know that over 65% of the world population is lactose intolerant?) It's actually a genetic variant that allows us to digest lactose after infancy.)

Want some cookies but don't have time to make your own batter? Eat Pastry has you covered! It's also safe to eat just as the dough (cookie dough ice cream? Hello!)  They have Gluten Free options as well.

Tips:

    • Take one for the team
      • Vegan butter is very similar to butter! If you don't want to create two of everything, vegan butter for corn, salt potatoes, etc. is an easy replacement that everyone can enjoy (and most wont even notice)
    • If a dish can be made vegan by leaving the animal based product on the side, then do that!
      • i.e cheese on salad, honey on fruit, butter on potatoes, etc.
    • Stock up on already vegan condiments:
      • Hot sauce, ketchup, mustard, hummus, etc.
    • Double Check to see that there are no animal based products in store bought food
      • Trick: “May Contain” on the label means that it was processed in the same facility, most vegans are OK with this, but double check with your guest.

    This BBQ can be fun for everyone! If you are a friend or family member reading this for a vegan guest, you are already ahead of the game! Make sure to communicate with them, as everyone has their own likes and dislikes (even outside diet preferences).

    If you are a new vegan trying to come prepared to a BBQ, you'll be just fine! Bring a couple of these dishes and your own burger and you're all set.

    Here's to BBQ season and enjoying time with friends and family in the hot summer sun!