Bean burger, veggie dogs, and BBQ “meats” are tasty and all, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t confess that the sides are always the party hits at cookouts! Labor Day in the United States is quickly approaching and if you are still scrambling to figure out what to bring to a party or what to make for your own, fear not. Our Food Monster team has scoured our archives for flavor-packed, summery side recipes that include cookout classics and interesting, unique takes on your average summer party fare.
Keep reading for vegan recipes for baked beans, pasta salads, layered bean dips, and other goodies that we promise will wow both vegan and non-vegan party attendees.
Skip the boring salad that hardly anyone eats, and make Grilled Zucchini and Green Bean Salad instead! This grilled salad is a mish-mash of simple, whole-food veggie nutrition with a charred and smoky flavors slathered in the most addictive date balsamic vinaigrette. It’s a great way to make your salad more interesting and creatively!
These Brazilian Style Black Beans are a great way to put in a spin on the classic bean side on Labor Day. These beans are intensely savory, perfectly spiced, and cooked until tender, rich and fragrant with deepened flavors. This dish is also hearty and nutritious, and highly adaptable if you want to use your favorite spices or toss in some wholesome greens and vegetables.
What party is complete without chips and salsa?! Make this Grilled Pineapple Salsa With Mango and Corn if you want a salsa that has the perfect balance of sweetness, smoky flavor, and heat. Grilled corn gets smoky and crispy on the outside, but remains full of juicy sweet corn flavor on the inside.
Mix up your traditional potato salad with this Fava Beans and Za’atar Potato Salad and you won’t regret it! It features caramelized red onion, fava beans, green olives, and, of course, perfectly tender potato wedges. The salad is well-seasoned with za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend of thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and more.
Rather than the navy beans typically used in baked beans, this recipe uses chickpeas! Make a big batch of these sweet and smoky chickpeas and you will see how quickly they run out. Chickpea Baked Beans are the ideal side because they are incredibly versatile; they taste good on or with literally anything!
Need to whip up something quick right before your Labor Day festivities? This Three-Step Spinach Pesto Pasta Salad is the answer to all your troubles! Spinach, pine nuts, marinated sun-dried tomatoes, and vegan parmesan are blended up into the perfect pesto for tossing with your favorite pasta. Super delicious and no one will even know how easy it was!
This Jalapeño Pickle Dip is effortless, affordable, has multiple textures, crisp dill flavor, and of course that added bit of heat with the jalapeños! Serve this at your gathering this weekend and people will be shocked by the simplicity yet perfectly combined flavors. Whether you’re a pickle person or not, this dish will surely sweep you off your feet!
If jalapeño pickle dip isn’t your thing, try these Zucchini Chips With Lemon Basil Tahini Dip! Since zucchini is a great source of manganese, vitamin C, and dietary fiber, you don’t have to feel guilty about eating a hearty portion of these chips. This side is a great alternative to potato chips and a sour cream based dip.
These Quinoa Stuffed Peppers With Jalapeño Cream Sauce can be sliced into smaller portions to make a hearty, protein full side. Not only are these healthy, but they are also packed full of flavor and spice. The star of the show is the jalapeño cream sauce. Creamy and spicy, what more could you want?
Fool your party guest or fellow party goers with Hearts of Palm Calamari that looks incredibly similar to the real thing! This vegan calamari recipe is flavorful, light, crispy, and absolutely delicious. It’s served with a classic cocktail sauce that perfectly compliments the crispy, tempura-battered hearts of palm. Not to mention, it only requires a few ingredients and takes just half an hour to prepare.
Baby Bella mushrooms are very mild in flavor, which makes them perfect to use in marinated dishes since they soak up whatever flavors you add to the pan! In this Lime-Marinated Mushrooms dish, the bite-sized mushrooms are marinated in a sweet and salty lime sauce. This healthy side option is easy and affordable to make in large batches.
This Simple Summer Macaroni Salad is, you guessed it, super simple and summery! Pasta is tossed with crisp vegetables like bell pepper, celery, and onion with pickles providing a tangy, salty punch that will leave everybody coming back for a second helping. This super easy and totally creamy macaroni is guaranteed to be the talk of the party.
We didn’t forget about the iconic American side coleslaw! This Veggie Coleslaw With Avocado Mayo and Cashew Sour Cream has richness from the avocado and the nuttiness of the cashews that gives this side the same consistency as the traditional version. It’s a great party option because guests can layer some on their burgers or pair it with some grilled veggie dogs.
Grilled Avocado with Roasted Tomatoes makes a great side dish because it has the summery flavors we all love! Grilling the avocados adds a smokiness to their creamy texture while the roasted tomato, corn, and jalapeño filling adds bites of freshness. This is a guaranteed party hit because who doesn’t love a good avocado?
Let us know below what you end up cooking for your Labor Day festivities! If you’re interested in finding some more delectable vegan recipes, then we highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!
Lead image source: Paleo Seven Layer Dip