When it comes to food, summer is often overlooked. It tends to be overshadowed by the fall festivities and Thanksgiving. A girl has gotta eat, though!
As much as summer is about fun in the sun, it’s also the perfect time for vegan BBQ kebabs, fresh summer salads, light rolls, wraps, and more!
Whether you’re preparing a feast for your friends or you’re eating solo, there are lots of delicious (and fun) recipes that you can make using easy-to-find ingredients and a few simple kitchen items. The best part is that most of them don’t even take that long to cook.
If you’ve been searching for the perfect summer meal ideas, then you’ve come to the right place! Below, I’ll show you some of the best vegan summer recipes that I’ve been experimenting with lately. I’ve got several large BBQ events planned this summer, so I’ll be cooking a lot of these.
Check it out!
What Are The Best Summer Meal Ideas?
So, what exactly is a “summer meal?” Well, for starters, summer meals tend to be light. Let’s face it – when you’re out in the sweltering sun, the last thing you want to do is eat something greasy, heavy, and overly filling.
Therefore, most summer recipes use fresh ingredients like fruits, veggies, and greens. You’ll also find a lot of cold meals, such as pasta salad or cool cucumber salads. These cool meals can help you beat the summer heat and cool your body down for a few minutes.
Additionally, there are lots of fresh fruits and veggies that are ripe and in season during the summer months! Some of the best summer produce options include:
- Bell Peppers
- … and more!
These days, we can buy most of this produce year-round at our local grocery store. However, I always try to make an effort to buy farm-fresh organic produce from my local farmers’ market.
I like supporting the community and I’d rather eat something fresh and local than something that was shipped in from a greenhouse farm on the other side of the world.
Last but not least, summer is the best time for barbecues. Whether you’re at the pool, chilling by the beach, or simply soaking up the afternoon sun on your front porch, there are few better occasions to sip an ice-cold drink and eat your favorite food.
The Best Vegan Summer Recipes: Fresh & Delicious
I hope you’re all as excited for the summer as I am! Unless you live out in Arizona, where the desert heat can be an oven, the summer is the time to get outdoors, eat some fresh food, and get together with friends.
So, without further ado, here are some of the best vegan summer recipes that I’ve ever tried!
1) Oil-Free Chickpea Salad
Chickpea salads are a Greek-inspired dish that is very popular in the summer. They’re generally cool, crunchy, and packed full of flavor. The only problem is that most of the chickpea salad recipes I’ve tried in the past are a bit too oily, which can make them heavy and too filling.
This oil-free chickpea salad recipe changed my mind for good! It’s light, low-fat, and low-calorie. Chickpeas provide just enough protein and carbs to energize you and help you make it through the rest of the day.
It’s a simple recipe made using chickpeas, diced tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and some herbal seasoning.
2) Vegan Caesar Pasta Salad
Remember how I said that summer was the best time for cool pasta dishes? Well, this vegan caesar pasta salad is just that. It’s cool, slightly crunchy, and refreshing. Best of all – it only takes twenty-five minutes to cook!
It combines bowtie pasta, hearts of romaine, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and chickpeas with some salt and pepper. The dish can then be topped off with your favorite vegan caesar salad dressing.
3) Vegan Paella
Paella is a traditional Spanish dish that’s made using saffron, rice, and fresh vegetables, and is typically cooked with meat. This vegan paella dish is made using the same fresh saffron rice and veggies but uses vegan protein instead.
It has a lot of ingredients, which mostly consist of seasonings, peppers, garlic, onion, peas, olives, lemon juice, and parsley. The entire dish is cooked in a delicious vegetable broth and topped with firm tofu. I’ve also cooked this same vegan paella dish using tempeh and seitan as well!
4) Grilled Tempeh Caesar Salad
Caesar salads are notoriously simple and easy, yet so delicious. The hearty crunch and cool dressing make it one of the best vegan summer recipes, and it’s low-calories as well, so it’ll help you fit into your swimsuit better!
The salad base is made with romaine hearts and avocado. This recipe also offers instructions on how to make your own homemade vegan caesar salad dressing with tahini, lemons, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and apple cider vinegar.
Lastly, it’s topped with fresh grilled tempeh, which tastes almost identical to grilled chicken! Thanks to the extra protein, this salad is a lot more filling than it looks.
5) Soba Noodle Salad
Soba noodles have been a Japanese staple dating back as far as the Middle Ages. These simple noodles are 100% vegan, egg-free, and are made with healthy buckwheat flour instead of the processed white flour that most other noodles are made with.
This cool noodle salad is made using cooled soba noodles, cucumber, cilantro, lime, ginger, sesame oil, red pepper, tamari, maple syrup, and scallions.
It’s absolutely bursting with flavor and the added sesame oil makes it quite filling, so you don’t need to eat a lot of it. You can eat this as either a side dish to a vegan BBQ meal or as the main course.
6) BBQ Grilled Pineapple & Tofu Kebabs
It’s hard not to love BBQ… Just because you’re a plant-eating vegan doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the smoky, savory taste of fresh-off-the-grill kebabs, though!
These skewers are simple to prepare and are made with tofu and a number of fresh summer fruits and veggies that you can find at your local supermarket or farmers’ market.
All you need is some skewers, bell peppers, mushrooms, pineapple, onion, and extra-firm tofu. Once you put the skewers on the grill, you’ll top them off with a bit of fresh cilantro and lime juice for added flavor! They should be ready to eat within twenty minutes, too, so it’s a fast dish!
7) Baked Veggie Taquitos
These vegan taquitos are one of my favorite summer snack foods. They pair wonderfully with a side of fresh salsa, hot sauce, or your favorite vegan savory sauce.
The dish is actually quite simple to make as well! All you need is some fresh tortillas, potatoes, garlic, onion, carrots, and peas.
You’ll start by boiling the potatoes to make mashed potatoes. However, if you’re in a rush, then you can start with some pre-made dairy-free mashed potatoes from the grocery store!
8) Mango Bowl
This simple dish is as fresh and delicious as it gets! I love bowls like this because they’re great for meal-prepping. They don’t need to be warmed up and can be eaten cool and fresh from the fridge whenever you start to get hungry.
This delicious vegan bowl is made using fresh-chopped mangos, peanuts, basmati rice, tofu, cabbage, jalapenos, green onion, cloves, and red bell peppers. It’s then topped with a savory sauce and seasoned generously to give it a real island vibe.
9) Vegan Key Lime Tarts
I’ve always been a sucker for a delicious vegan dessert. The key lime tart is an iconic summer dish that goes back hundreds of years. I remember that my grandma used to make these for me almost every summer when my family would spend time with her.
These aren’t your average key lime tarts, though. Instead, they’re made using raw vegan ingredients, like avocados, dates, kiwi, cashews, coconut, walnut, lime juice, and agave nectar.
The result is a raw, uncooked, incredibly fresh, and healthy key lime tart that’s naturally sweetened with agave nectar and sweet kiwis.
10) Watermelon Cucumber Salad
If you’re looking for a super-simple summer salad that you can make in minutes, then this is it! The salad is made using freshly-chopped watermelon, cucumbers, mint, and basil. The dish is then lightly salted with a bit of sea salt and topped off with savory balsamic vinaigrette.
What’s not to love?
Conclusion – What’s The Best Vegan Summer Recipe?
Out of all of the summer recipes I’ve tried, I’d say that the BBQ Grilled Pineapple & Tofu Kebabs are the best vegan summer recipe. I’ve cooked them multiple times at barbecues and pool parties, and everybody (even the non-vegans) loves them!
If you’re prepping your bikini body for the summer and still need to shed a few pounds, doing a raw vegan challenge can help you burn off the extra fat fast. Keep on reading here to learn more about the raw vegan diet and estimated weight loss!