15 Vegan Summer Salad Recipes That Will Overshadow the Burgers

15 Vegan Summer Salad Recipes That Will Overshadow the Burgers

As soon as it seems that sunny days are indispensable – no more hot weekends followed by a cool Monday, thank you very much– we are ready for barbecues. We’re talking veggie burgers, meat-free hot dogs, and vegetable beef kebabs. If it’s vegan and we can grill it, we’re all for it. But barbecuing is more than just getting your vegetable proteins in order. You’ll want the sides to fill everyone’s plate. We’re talking dishes like dairy-free mac and cheese, cornbread, and vegan summer salads. Yes, salads. At the BBQ. Trust us.

These aren’t your typical disappointing salads made with iceberg lettuce, a few slivers of red onion, uncut grape tomatoes, and no dressing. A summer salad can be so much more than just leafy greens. It could be watermelon mixed with dairy-free feta and fresh mint, grilled corn with black beans and charred tomatoes, or a classic potato salad made vegan. In other words, what constitutes a vegan summer salad is open to interpretation. So, here are some recipes we love to make.

1 Vegan macaroni salad

Question: is it really a barbecue without macaroni salad? Answer: yes, because we try everything as long as it is vegan, but we really love a good macaroni salad. This summery pasta salad balances the textures of crisp, refreshing produce with tasty pasta enrobed in a silky sauce. It’s also packed with delicious carbs (which can be whole grain or gluten-free) and spicy to boot. Check out this guide to our best vegan mayonnaise choices.BEFORE THE RECIPE

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2 Vegan Grilled Corn Salad

If we counted the ways we love corn on two hands, we’d run out of fingers. One of those ways is when grilled corn is used in salads. This one combines grilled corn and charred cherry tomatoes with black or pinto beans, marinated shallots, japaleños, lime, cilantro, and fresh avocado. We think serving with a large bowl of tortilla chips is in order.


3 Vegan Tahini Caesar Salad

Meet the lofty Caesar salad. Kale leaves are massaged into a creamy, dairy-free, sunflower seed dressing, then mixed with crispy romaine lettuce and tangy, crunchy chickpeas. This dish will convince even the biggest salad skeptics to eat their vegetables. If you’re short on time, you can swap the homemade Caesar dressing for a store-bought one like Follow Your Heart’s.


4 Grilled eggplant and zucchini salad

Speaking of grilled salads… Eggplant and zucchini undergo a complete transformation when grilled. This warm salad consists of bite-sized chunks of tender, melting summer vegetables infused with a smoky flavor. Although they are the co-stars of the show, they are also joined by bell peppers, red onions and tomatoes.

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5 Black bean and mango salad

Juicy mango, black beans, jalapeño and red cabbage are an absolute dream team. This salad is packed with texture, flavors (sweet, tangy, savory, and herbaceous, thanks to fresh cilantro…yum!), and protein. We love it on a vegan burger from the grill or with crunchy, salty tortilla chips.

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6 Vegan BLT Pasta Salad

We’re in love with the concept of swapping the bread in Tabitha Brown’s famous TTLA sandwich with macaroni. Loaded with tempeh bacon, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and peppery arugula, then tossed in a creamy, tangy dressing, this barbecue-friendly salad can just overshadow major eventers (aka veggie burgers and hot dogs).


7 Vegan Watermelon Cucumber Salad

Pairing watermelon with cucumber is the way to get your serving of fruit in a refreshing, summery salad. It has juicy watermelon, crunchy cucumber and fresh basil. To add more flavor and texture, add diced vegan feta like Violife’s Just like feta Product. If you’d rather break your feta into chunks, we recommend Follow Your Heart’s Dairy-free feta crumbs† Pro tip: For the juiciest watermelon, choose a fruit that feels heavy, sounds hollow, and has a bright yellow spot.


8 Vegan Potato Salad

Regardless of the event, it’s never wrong to serve the humble potato in one of its various forms. In the summer we want chips as a snack, while vegan burgers sizzle on the grill and this potato salad. Made with russet potatoes, celery, dill pickle, and red onion, you can flavor this salad with whatever spices you like. Add paprika and garlic powder or a curry spice mix with coriander. It’s your salad – have fun with it!


9 Greek Cauliflower Salad

Cauliflower is the cruciferous vegetable with seemingly limitless identities. But even in a world of Buffalo cauliflower “wings” and orange cauliflower “chicken,” it’s okay to step back and let it shine in its true form. This Greek-inspired salad combines tender, blanched cauliflower (tip: pop the florets on the grill for a few minutes to infuse them with char) with bell pepper, chickpeas, parsley, and a lemony olive oil dressing.

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10 Vegan Grilled Peach Caprese Salad

Caprese salads are great in their true form, but adding juicy grilled peaches to the mix just makes the game better. Sizzling ripe peach slices on the barbecue only increases their juiciness and pairs so well with the tomatoes, basil, and balsamic vinegar. This recipe uses Miyoko’s Creamery’s Organic Cashew Milk Mozzarella, which has the smooth texture of the fresh cheese you can find at grocery store delis. Serve along with crusty bread so you and your guests can enjoy to the last drop.

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11 Vegan Everything Bagel Panzanella

Nothing beats the aroma and taste of fresh tomatoes –nothing† This vegan Panzanella has all the tomatoes you could wish for, mixed with basil, crisp English cucumbers, a sour red wine vinegar dressing, and toasted all-diced bagels instead of the traditional shredded, old Italian bread. It’s a great use of those day-old bagels and the best summer produce.

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12 Strawberry Quinoa Salad With Avocados

Strawberries are a serious contender for summer salads, especially in this one, where ripe berries are mixed with quinoa, spinach, and creamy avocado, plus spinach to add a little greenery. It’s a salad after all! For the dressing to tie everything together, simple is best. In this case, that means olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

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13 Shirazi salad

Shirazi salad, also known as salad-e shirazi, is a Persian salad consisting of fresh tomatoes, cucumber and red onion mixed with fresh parsley, dried mint and a clear, lemony dressing. Fun fact: It is named after Shiraz, a city in southwestern Iran known for its gardens. Lemon juice gives this salad its distinctive sour taste, but a sour grape juice called “ab ghooreh” is traditionally used. Search for it if you have access to Iranian groceries near you.

To learn more about vegan salads, read:
15 Vegan BBQ Sides and Salads

13 Vegan Salad Dressings to Make You Crave Any Salad

16 Vegan Salads You Won’t Believe Are Salads

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