Vegan BBQ Side Dishes: 15 Tasty Salads to Outshine

Vegan barbecue sides offer a fresh and healthy twist on traditional favorites, perfect for grilling veggie burgers at your next BBQ. With the summer season in full swing, it’s time to elevate your cookouts and barbecues with vibrant vegan sides, like veggie burgers and vegan ribs. Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or simply looking to add more veggies to your plate, these perfect side dish and appetizer recipes are packed with flavor and sure to impress your guests. From green beans to other guilt-free indulgences, these recipes will satisfy all taste buds.

Say goodbye to the notion that barbecues and cookouts are all about ribs and meat-heavy main dishes. Grilling can be a delicious way to prepare dinner for everyone. Vegan barbecue sides are a must-have for your cookout. They add variety, color, and nutrition to your outdoor gatherings. Check out our collection of recipes for the perfect accompaniments. From grilled barbecue veggies marinated in zesty lemon dressing to mouthwatering vegan side dishes that burst with seasonal flavors, there’s something for everyone at the cookout table. Don’t forget to try our delicious vegan ribs as well!

So why not break away from tradition this summer? Embrace the fun of experimenting with vegan side dishes and discover new recipe favorites that will have everyone asking for seconds at your next barbecue or cookout. These vegan barbecue sides are the epitome of perfection – deliciously satisfying without compromising on taste or health. Whether you’re hosting a cookout or looking for a new recipe, these dishes will surely impress your guests. Keep reading for some mouthwatering ideas.

How to make vegan BBQ sauces?

Tangy, smoky, and sweet recipes for dipping and drizzling

Creating tangy flavors in your vegan barbecue sauce recipe for your cookout is easier than you might think. Don’t forget to pair it with a delicious side dish. By incorporating apple cider vinegar and mustard into your recipe, you can create vegan side dishes with a delightful tang that will enhance your barbecue experience. Make sure to check the reading photo credit for more inspiration. Apple cider vinegar is a key ingredient in this recipe, providing a sharp acidity that cuts through the richness of the grilled dishes. Mustard is also added for a zesty kick. Combine these two vegan side dish ingredients with other flavor enhancers such as balsamic vinegar or tahini to create a recipe with a complex taste profile that will leave your guests wanting more. Reading photo credit.

To infuse your vegan BBQ sauces with smokiness, there are a couple of options you can explore. One option is to try out a smoky recipe for your sauce. Another option is to add smoky ingredients to your sauce. Additionally, you can experiment with different smoking techniques to achieve the desired flavor. When making your sauce, be sure to include the keywords “recipe” and “side” in your reading. Lastly, don’t forget to give photo credit if you use any images in your blog post. One option is to try out a smoky recipe for your sauce. Another option is to add smoky ingredients to your sauce. Additionally, you can experiment with different smoking techniques to achieve the desired flavor. When making your sauce, be sure to include the keywords “recipe” and “side” in your reading. Lastly, don’t forget to give photo credit if you use any images in your blog post. Liquid smoke is a popular choice among barbecue enthusiasts for vegan side dishes as it imparts an intense smoky flavor without the need for an actual smoker. Reading photo credit. Just a few drops of liquid smoke can transform your vegan side dishes recipe into something truly remarkable. Keep reading for the photo credit. Alternatively, if you are looking for a delicious side dish recipe, smoked paprika can be used to achieve a similar effect. Don’t forget to credit the photo to the original source when sharing your reading experience. This spice recipe adds depth and complexity to your sauce, giving it that irresistible smoky aroma. It’s the perfect side dish for any meal.

Vegan BBQ

For those looking for a vegan BBQ sauce recipe, adding some sweetness to your side sauces is essential. Maple syrup or agave nectar are excellent choices for achieving this balance in a recipe between savory and sweet flavors. They can be used as a side. This recipe uses these natural sweeteners to complement the tanginess and smokiness of the sauce perfectly, creating a harmonious blend that tantalizes the taste buds. It is a great side for any meal.

Now let’s dive into some mouthwatering recipes for vegan BBQ sauces:

Tangy Balsamic Glaze

    • Ingredients: balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard.

    • Recipe: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine equal parts balsamic vinegar and maple syrup. Stir in the Dijon mustard recipe to taste until well combined and heated through.

Smoky Southwest Sauce

    • Ingredients: liquid smoke, tomato paste, cumin powder, garlic powder, onion powder.

    • Instructions: In a bowl, mix together tomato paste, liquid smoke, cumin powder, garlic powder, and onion powder. Adjust the quantities to achieve your desired level of smokiness and spiciness.

Sweet Mango Barbecue Sauce

    • Ingredients: mango puree, apple cider vinegar, agave nectar, smoked paprika.

    • Instructions: Blend fresh or frozen mangoes until smooth. In a saucepan, combine the mango puree with apple cider vinegar, agave nectar, and smoked paprika. Simmer over low heat until the sauce thickens slightly.

Experiment with these recipes by adjusting the ingredients to suit your personal tastes.

How to make vegan coleslaw

Creamy, crunchy, and colorful recipes for a classic BBQ side dish

Coleslaw is always a crowd-pleaser. But what if you follow a vegan diet? No worries! You can still enjoy the creamy, crunchy, and colorful goodness of coleslaw without any animal products.

Achieve creaminess in coleslaw without dairy using cashews or plant-based mayo

Creaminess is an essential element in any coleslaw recipe. Traditionally, mayonnaise provides that rich texture. However, as a vegan, you can achieve the same creaminess by using alternatives like cashews or plant-based mayo.

One option is to soak cashews overnight and then blend them with water until smooth. This homemade cashew cream serves as an excellent base for your vegan coleslaw dressing. Alternatively, you can find pre-made plant-based mayonnaise at most grocery stores. These options not only maintain the desired creaminess but also add a subtle nutty flavor that enhances the overall taste of your coleslaw.

Add crunch to your coleslaw with shredded cabbage, carrots, and sliced almonds

The perfect coleslaw has a satisfying crunch that complements its creamy dressing. To achieve this texture without compromising on flavor, start with fresh vegetables like shredded cabbage and carrots as the main ingredients.

Cabbage provides a crisp bite while adding natural sweetness to the mix. Consider using both green and purple cabbage for extra visual appeal. Carrots bring vibrant color and additional crunch to the slaw. For an added twist, toss in some thinly sliced almonds for an unexpected nutty texture that pairs well with other ingredients.

Make your coleslaw visually appealing by incorporating colorful vegetables like bell peppers or purple cabbage

A visually appealing coleslaw not only entices the eyes but also enhances the overall dining experience. By incorporating colorful vegetables, you can create a vibrant and appetizing dish that will stand out on any BBQ table.

Consider adding bell peppers in various colors, such as red, yellow, and orange. These peppers not only provide a burst of flavor but also add a beautiful rainbow of hues to your coleslaw. Purple cabbage is another excellent addition that brings deep purple tones to the mix, making your dish visually stunning.

How to make vegan potato salad?

Hearty, creamy, and flavorful recipes for a satisfying BBQ side dish

Potato salad is a classic side dish that complements any BBQ spread. But what if you’re following a vegan diet? Don’t worry! You can still enjoy the creamy goodness of potato salad without compromising your dietary choices. By making a few simple substitutions and additions, you can create a vegan potato salad that is just as hearty, creamy, and flavorful as its traditional counterpart.

Creamy alternatives to traditional mayo

Traditional potato salad often relies on mayonnaise for its creaminess. However, there are plenty of delicious vegan alternatives that can give your potato salad the same luscious texture. One option is to use mashed avocado as a base. Avocado not only adds creaminess but also brings in healthy fats and nutrients. Another alternative is tahini, which is made from ground sesame seeds. Tahini adds a unique nutty flavor while providing the desired creaminess.

Enhancing the flavor with herbs

To take your vegan potato salad to the next level, consider adding fresh herbs like dill or parsley. These herbs bring a burst of freshness and elevate the overall flavor profile of your dish. Dill lends a subtle tanginess, while parsley provides earthy notes that complement the potatoes perfectly.

Experimenting with different types of potatoes

While russet potatoes are commonly used in traditional potato salad recipes, there’s no reason why you can’t switch things up when going vegan. Try using Yukon gold or red potatoes instead for unique textures and flavors. Yukon gold potatoes have a buttery taste and smooth texture that adds richness to your dish. Red potatoes offer a slightly sweeter flavor and hold their shape well after cooking, making them ideal for salads.

Flavorful add-ins for extra pizzazz

If you want to kick up the flavor of your vegan potato salad even more, consider adding some tasty extras. Garlic is a great addition that brings a savory kick to the dish. You can either mince fresh garlic or use garlic powder for convenience. Another option is to incorporate plenty of onions, whether they’re finely diced red onions or green onions for a milder flavor. These add-ins not only enhance the taste but also provide additional layers of complexity.

How to make vegan pasta salad?

Fresh, light, and delicious recipes for a refreshing BBQ side dish

Pasta salads are always a hit at barbecues, but if you’re looking for a vegan option that is fresh, light, and packed with flavor, then you’ve come to the right place.

Lighten it up with zucchini noodles or gluten-free pasta

If you want to cut down on the carbs and calories typically found in traditional pasta salads, consider using zucchini noodles or gluten-free pasta as your base. Zucchini noodles are an excellent alternative for those following a low-carb or gluten-free diet. They provide a refreshing crunch and absorb flavors beautifully. On the other hand, gluten-free pasta options made from brown rice or quinoa offer a healthier alternative without sacrificing taste.

Fresh vegetables for added crunch and color

To elevate the freshness of your vegan pasta salad, incorporate an array of vibrant vegetables. Cherry tomatoes burst with juicy flavor while cucumbers add a cool and crisp texture. Bell peppers bring both sweetness and crunch to the dish. Consider adding other veggies like broccoli florets or baby spinach leaves for added nutritional value.

Elevate flavors with homemade vinaigrettes

Dressing up your vegan pasta salad is key to creating a tantalizing flavor profile. Instead of store-bought dressings that may contain animal products or unwanted additives, opt for homemade vinaigrettes made with simple ingredients like olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh herbs. Combine these elements to create tangy dressings that will complement the other ingredients perfectly.

Creative twists on classic combinations

Looking to add some excitement to your vegan pasta salad? Try experimenting with different combinations of ingredients and flavors:

  • Pesto power: Swap out traditional mayo-based dressings with vibrant pesto. Blend together fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon juice for a burst of herbal goodness.

  • Marinated wonders: Infuse your pasta salad with bold flavors by marinating vegetables like zucchini, tomatoes, or bell peppers in a mixture of balsamic vinegar, garlic, and herbs. This step will take your dish to the next level.

  • Feta-like crumbles: While traditional feta cheese is off-limits in vegan dishes, you can achieve a similar tangy flavor by crumbling tofu and marinating it in lemon juice and herbs. Sprinkle this over your pasta salad for an added layer of complexity.

How to Make Vegan Corn on the Cob?

Grilled, Boiled, or Roasted Recipes for a Sweet and Juicy BBQ Side Dish

Grill corn on the cob to enhance its natural sweetness and add a smoky flavor. The charred kernels bring out the inherent sweetness of corn while infusing it with a delightful smokiness. To grill corn on the cob:

  • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.

  • Remove the husks and silk from the corn cobs.

  • Brush each cob with olive oil or melted vegan butter for added flavor.

  • Sprinkle salt, pepper, and any desired spices such as paprika or chili powder onto the cobs.

  • Place the corn directly on the grill grates and cook for about 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally until lightly charred.

Boil corn on the cob for a classic cooking method that retains its juiciness. This traditional technique ensures tender kernels bursting with flavor. To boil corn on the cob:

  • Fill a large pot with enough water to cover all of your corn cobs.

  • Add salt to enhance the taste of the boiling water.

  • Bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat.

  • Carefully place the husked corn into the boiling water and cook for 5-7 minutes until tender.

Roast corn on the cob in the oven with herbs and spices for a flavorful twist. This method allows you to infuse different flavors into your grilled dish, making it an exciting addition to any BBQ spread. To roast corn on the cob:

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).

  • Place each husked ear of corn onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

  • Drizzle olive oil over each cob and season generously with herbs like thyme, rosemary, or oregano.

  • Add minced garlic, salt, and pepper for an extra burst of flavor.

  • Roast the corn in the oven for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown and tender.

Whether you choose to grill, boil, or roast your corn on the cob, it pairs perfectly with a variety of vegan BBQ dishes. Consider serving it alongside these delectable options:

  • Grilled vegetable skewers: Thread marinated vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms onto skewers and grill them to perfection.

  • Vegan rice pilaf: Cook fragrant basmati rice with aromatic spices like cumin, turmeric, and cinnamon for a flavorful side dish.

How to make vegan baked beans?

Rich, savory, and spicy recipes for a filling and comforting BBQ side dish

Baked beans are a classic barbecue side dish that adds depth and flavor to any meal. While traditional recipes often include meat-based ingredients, it’s easy to create delicious vegan versions that are just as satisfying.

Achieve richness in baked beans by using ingredients like molasses or tomato paste

To create a rich base for your vegan baked beans, consider adding ingredients like molasses or tomato paste. These additions provide depth of flavor and enhance the overall taste of the dish. Molasses adds a slightly sweet and smoky note, while tomato paste brings out the natural tanginess of the beans. Experiment with different ratios to find the perfect balance for your taste buds.

Add savory flavors with ingredients such as onions, garlic, and liquid smoke

Savory flavors are essential. Onions and garlic are staple aromatics that add depth and complexity to any dish. Sauté them until they become fragrant before incorporating them into your recipe. Liquid smoke is an excellent ingredient for lending a smoky flavor reminiscent of traditional barbecue cooking methods.

Consider these options for enhancing the savory profile of your baked beans:

  • Sautéed onions and garlic: Dice an onion and several cloves of garlic before sautéing them in a bit of oil until they turn golden brown.

  • Liquid smoke: Add a few drops of liquid smoke during the cooking process to infuse your beans with smoky goodness.

  • Tamari or soy sauce: These umami-rich sauces can be used sparingly to enhance the overall savoriness of your dish.

Spice up your baked beans with chili powder, cayenne pepper, or hot sauce

For those who enjoy a bit of heat, adding spices to your vegan baked beans is the way to go. Chili powder, cayenne pepper, or hot sauce are excellent options for infusing your dish with a spicy kick. Start with small amounts and gradually increase until you reach your desired level of heat. Remember, you can always add more spice but it’s challenging to remove it once it’s too intense.

Here are some ideas for spicing up your baked beans:

  • Chili powder: Sprinkle in some chili powder during the cooking process to give your beans a subtle warmth.

  • Cayenne pepper: If you prefer a more pronounced heat, add a pinch of cayenne pepper for an extra kick.

How to make vegan salads?

Green, grain, or fruit salads that are perfect for a BBQ

Salads are always a hit. They provide a refreshing and healthy option that complements the smoky flavors of grilled vegetables and plant-based proteins. Whether you prefer green salads packed with mixed greens and fresh herbs, hearty grain salads featuring quinoa or couscous, or vibrant fruit salads bursting with sweetness, there is a vegan salad option for everyone at your next BBQ.

Create refreshing green salads using mixed greens, fresh herbs, and tangy dressings

Green salads offer a crisp and refreshing addition to any BBQ menu. Start by gathering an assortment of mixed greens such as spinach, arugula, romaine lettuce, and kale. These leafy greens provide a nutritious base packed with vitamins and minerals.

To add flavor and depth to your green salad, incorporate an array of fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, mint, or parsley. Not only do these herbs enhance the taste profile of your salad but they also contribute additional health benefits.

For the dressing, opt for tangy vinaigrettes made from ingredients like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar combined with olive oil. These dressings bring out the natural flavors of the vegetables while providing a zesty kick.

Here are some ideas for green salad combinations:

  • Mix baby spinach with sliced strawberries and toasted almonds.

  • Toss arugula with cherry tomatoes, avocado slices, and red onion.

  • Combine romaine lettuce with cucumbers, bell peppers, and carrots.

Experiment with different grains like quinoa or couscous to create hearty grain salads

Grain salads are not only filling but also offer an excellent source of protein in a vegan diet. Quinoa is particularly popular due to its high protein content and versatility in various recipes. Cooked quinoa can be combined with an assortment of colorful vegetables to create a hearty and nutritious grain salad.

To make a quinoa-based grain salad, start by cooking the quinoa according to the package instructions. Once cooked, allow it to cool before adding your desired mix-ins. Consider incorporating vegetables like bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and black beans for added texture and flavor.

If you prefer couscous as your grain of choice, prepare it by soaking it in hot water or vegetable broth until it fluffs up. Then toss in some roasted vegetables like zucchini, eggplant, and red onion for a Mediterranean-inspired twist.

Incorporate seasonal fruits into your salad for a burst of sweetness and vibrant colors

Fruit salads are an excellent way to add a burst of sweetness and vibrant colors to your BBQ spread.

How to make vegan breads?

Buns, rolls, or flatbreads that are soft and fluffy for a BBQ

Bake homemade buns using plant-based milk and yeast for softness and fluffiness.

For those looking to elevate their vegan BBQ experience, homemade buns are a fantastic addition. By using plant-based milk and yeast in the dough, you can achieve buns that are irresistibly soft and fluffy. Here’s how you can make them:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine warm plant-based milk (such as almond or soy) with active dry yeast. Allow it to sit for a few minutes until the yeast activates and becomes frothy.

  • Add flour, salt, sugar, and melted vegan butter to the bowl. Mix everything together until a sticky dough forms.

  • Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for about 5-7 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.

  • Place the dough back into the bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm area for approximately 1 hour or until it doubles in size.

  • Once the dough has risen, punch it down gently to release any air bubbles that may have formed.

  • Divide the dough into equal portions and shape them into round bun shapes.

  • Arrange the buns on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving some space between each one.

  • Cover the buns again with the kitchen towel and let them rise for another 30 minutes.

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) while waiting for the second rise to complete.

  • Bake the buns in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes or until they turn golden brown on top.

Make delicious rolls by incorporating ingredients like garlic or herbs into the dough.

If you’re craving something slightly different from traditional buns, making vegan rolls with added flavors like garlic or herbs can be a delightful choice. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Follow the same steps as mentioned above to prepare the dough for the rolls.

  • Once you have a smooth dough, incorporate your desired flavorings. You can add minced garlic, dried herbs like rosemary or thyme, or even nutritional yeast for a cheesy taste.

  • Knead the dough gently to distribute the flavorings evenly throughout.

  • Proceed with shaping and baking the rolls following the instructions provided earlier.

Prepare easy-to-make flatbreads using flour, water, salt, and olive oil.

For those seeking simplicity and versatility in their vegan BBQ side dishes, easy-to-make flatbreads are an excellent choice.


In conclusion, planning a vegan BBQ menu doesn’t have to be a challenge. With the right recipes and preparation, you can create a spread that will satisfy both vegans and non-vegans alike. From tangy BBQ sauces to creamy coleslaw, hearty potato salad, refreshing pasta salad, sweet corn on the cob, savory baked beans, vibrant salads, and soft breads, there are plenty of options to choose from.

By incorporating these delicious vegan side dishes into your BBQ menu, you can ensure that everyone’s taste buds are satisfied. Whether you’re hosting a backyard gathering or attending a potluck with friends and family, these recipes will impress even the most skeptical carnivores. So fire up the grill and get ready to enjoy a flavorful feast that celebrates plant-based goodness!


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