With 4th of July celebrations underway, cookout season has officially begun.
For plant-focused eaters, cookouts aren't always the easiest to navigate, especially if you're attending one as a guest.
The rise of plant meats like Beyond or Impossible have made it a lot easier — offering a convenient and approachable option for both hosts and guests.
But plant meats aren't the only thing worth throwing on the grill or bringing to a party this summer.
Cookout food is all about keeping things simple, fresh, and easy to share, and there are endless crowd-pleasing, plant-based dishes that fit that description.
If you're headed to a cookout this holiday or summer, here's a delicious menu of whole food plant-based options you can prep ahead or throw on the grill at the last minute.
Summertime Salads and Side Dishes
1. Long Weekend Grilled Salad, which highlights many of the season’s freshest veggies.
2. Keep it refreshing with the Red Chile Corn Salad with Limas & Cherry Tomatoes salad.
3. Mexican Style Grilled Corn, a summertime party favorite.
4. What’s a cookout without baked beans? Step away from the canned options and try out this Maple Baked Beans recipe.
5. Always a party favorite, Matt Frazier’s Buffalo Hummus.
Plant-Based Dips and Sauces to Spice Up Your Cookout
6. Guacamole. You just can’t go wrong with fresh guacamole.
7. Grill-Smoked Eggplant Dip for a smoky treat.
8. Skip boring traditional salsa and mix it up with this rad Radish and Nectarine Salsa.
9. When it comes to BBQ sauce, simple is often better. It doesn’t get much simpler than Del’s Basic Barbecue Sauce.
10. One of my favorite ways to dress up a burger or veggie dog: Cashew Cream Sauce. Kick it up a notch by adding chipotle seasoning to the standard recipe, or lighten up the flavor with Cilantro Lime Garlic Cashew Sauce.
Grillable Entrees Everyone Will Love
11. Surprise your guests with Creamy Red Pepper Scallion Spread Grilled Flatbreads.
12. Hawaiian BBQ Tacos from Rip Esselstyn’s My Beef with Meat are the perfect summertime marriage between sweet pineapple and savory BBQ sauce. We recommend grilling the tortillas for a special touch.
13. Carrot dogs? Carrot dogs. Sounds crazy, but this alternative to the processed veggie dog is a guaranteed hit (or at least a conversation starter). Throw them on the grill for extra flavor.
14. Keep the preparations quick and simple with these Perfect Grilled Portobellos.
15. If you're whipping up a veggie burger, you can't go wrong using this Veggie Burger Blueprint from No Meat Athlete.
Beautiful Summer Night Desserts
16. Peanut Butter Bliss Balls are perfect no matter the time of year.
17. Cool things off with homemade Raspberry Sorbet.
18. Spicy Grilled Watermelon … simple, sweet, and the perfect summertime treat.
Bonus: Hydrate Cocktails and Mocktails!
Beat the summer heat with a refreshing and rehydrating drink. Here are three fun drink recipes guaranteed to make a spash.
1. Hydrate Spritz (with a green option!).
2. Pink Mimosa for your afternoon cookouts.
3. Strawberry Gin & Tonic ... a twist on the classic summer cocktail.