recipe roundup for summer
From cactus tacos to mojito popsicles, these vegan recipes are summer-approved. | Polly Haas for LIVEKINDLY

The Only Vegan Summer Recipes You Need

This year, give your summer plant-based spread an upgrade. We’ve gathered all of the vegan summer recipes you’ll ever need. (Thanks us later.)

It’s still barbecue season, which means hot dogs, cheeseburgers, and barbecue ribs are in order—all meat-free, of course. Oh, and lots of watermelon. This year, give your summer spread an upgrade. We’ve gathered all of the vegan summer recipes you’ll ever need. All in one spot. Just for you. (You’re welcome.)

Up first, a plant-based picnic spread featuring not one but four sandwiches: chickpea tuna salad, tofu egg salad, veggie club, and a Caprese salad. (Because why choose just one?!) The best part? You only need one baguette to make them. This vegan summer recipe is so good you’ll want to eat it year-round.

We’ve also thrown in recipes for barbecue vegan wings made from mushrooms and jackfruit-based bone-in ribs. No explanation is necessary. Just trust us, they’re finger-licking good. 

Can’t get enough (vegan) meats? Throw some hot dogs on the grill. Or whip up a Minnesota-style vegan Juicy Lucy burger, which features a molten core of melted cheese. Is your belly grumbling yet? Without further ado, it’s time to get cooking.

Vegan summer recipes

This Vegan Picnic Spread Is Summer Approved
Make these vegan sandwiches and strawberry shortcake in a jar for dessert. | LIVEKINDLY

Four Sandwiches on One Baguette

Vegan

Ingredients

Chickpea Tuna Salad Sandwich

  • Chickpea tuna salad
  • Cucumber, sliced
  • Red onion, sliced

Tofu Egg Salad Sandwich

  • Butter lettuce
  • Tofu egg salad
  • Sprouts

Vegan Club Sandwich

  • Vegan mayonnaise
  • Butter lettuce
  • Vegan cheddar cheese
  • Vegan deli turkey slices
  • Sliced tomato
  • Sliced avocado

Vegan Caprese Salad Sandwich

  • Vegan mozzarella cheese
  • Tomato
  • Balsamic glaze
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper 
  • Fresh basil
  • 1 large baguette

Preparation

  1. 1
    Cut a large baguette in half.
  2. 2
    First sandwich quarter: add the chickpea tuna salad, sliced cucumber, and red onion.
  3. 3
    Second sandwich quarter: add the butter lettuce, tofu egg salad, and sprouts.
  4. 4
    Third sandwich quarter: spread on the vegan mayonnaise, and add butter lettuce, vegan cheddar cheese, vegan deli turkey, sliced tomato, and avocado.
  5. 5
    Fourth sandwich quarter: add vegan mozzarella cheese, tomato balsamic glaze, extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and fresh basil.
  6. 6
    Cut the sandwich into four separate sandwiches. Enjoy!
These Barbecue Vegan Wings Are Made From Mushrooms
These barbecue vegan wings are made from oyster mushrooms. | Nathan Josias for LIVEKINDLY

Barbecue Mushroom Wings

Vegan

Ingredients

  • 300ml frying oil
  • 200g corn flakes

Batter

  • 230g plain flour or rice flour
  • 300g beer
  • 20g baking powder
  • 200g oyster mushrooms
  • 2 tsp chili powder

Barbecue Sauce

  • 200g maple syrup
  • 250g ketchup
  • 50g balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika

Ranch Sauce

  • 2 tbsp vegan mayo
  • 1 tbsp pickle juice
  • 2 tsp plant milk
  • 2 tsp dry oregano
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

  1. 1
    For the batter: In a bowl Add the beer to the flour and the chili powder, whisk until no clumps are visible.
  2. 2
    For the barbecue sauce: Combine all the ingredients in a pot and let simmer for 30-40 minutes.
  3. 3
    For the ranch dressing: Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl, whisk, and add plant-based milk until you reach your desired consistency.
  4. 4
    For the wings: Cut and coat the oyster mushrooms with the batter. Then, dip them into the hand-crushed cornflakes. Place the ready-to-fry mushrooms on a tray.
  5. 5
    When the oil is hot, deep fry the wings.
  6. 6
    When all of your wings are fried, put them in a bowl and coat them with the barbecue sauce.
  7. 7
    Drizzle your homemade ranch sauce on top, and enjoy!
Get Your Grill On With These Bone-In Barbecue Vegan Ribs
Throw Sauce Stache’s vegan ribs on the grill. | Mark Thompson/Sauce Stache for LIVEKINDLY

Jackfruit Barbecue Ribs

1 hour 30 mins to prep
55 mins to cook
Vegan

Ingredients

Ribs

  • 1 20-ounce can young green jackfruit 
  • 1 cup vegetable stock 
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce 
  • 1 cup cold water 
  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten 
  • 2 tablespoons pea protein powder 
  • 1 tablespoon mushroom seasoning (or 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika 
  • 1 teaspoon cumin 
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch 
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 2-3 stocks lemongrass 

Dry Rub

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt 
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder 
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard 
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika 
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper 

Preparation

  1. 1
    Drain and wash your jackfruit in a colander. Press the hard ends of the jackfruit and separate any seeds you find under the cold water.
  2. 2
    Add your washed jackfruit along with vegetable stock, soy sauce to a small or medium sized saucepan and use cold water to cover the jackfruit (about a cup of water). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. 3
    Now in the bowl of a stand mixer or mixing bowl add gluten, protein powder, mushroom seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cumin. Mix the dry ingredients together.
  4. 4
    Once the jackfruit is done simmering, drain the liquid from your jackfruit. You can pour the jackfruit through a colander into a mason jar.
  5. 5
    Add the jackfruit to your mixing bowl along with the gluten and seasonings and turn on slow mix to combine.
  6. 6
    Add ½ cup of your remaining broth from the jackfruit to the mixer while mixing. Allow to mix together, knead and combine for around 5 minutes. (if you don’t have ½ cup of broth left you can add water, or more vegetable stock.
  7. 7
    Your mixture should now look very meaty! Add your tapioca starch and oil (you can use chili oil to add some spice.) Knead together on 2-3 speed for 5-10 more minutes. Your mixture should look slightly wet. If needed add more broth about a teaspoon at a time.
  8. 8
    Remove from the bowl and knead together by hand until fully combined. Flatten mixture into a long rectangle about the width of your hand and 3x as long!
  9. 9
    Remove outside of lemon grass and cut into 3 even sized pieces for your “bones.” On your “rib meat” place your “bones” about 1-2 inches apart covering only half. Fold over your meat and press together. Wrap in parchment paper, and allow to rest refrigerated for at least 1 hour to overnight.
  10. 10
    After your meat has rested mix together your dry rub seasonings and cover the entire outside of your ribs, rubbing into the meat.
  11. 11
    Prepare your grill. For a charcoal grill, you can use real wood chunk charcoal along with a steam box. For a steam box, you simply use a foil pan filled with water placed next to the hot coals. This will create moisture in the grill and help regulate the grill temp. You can create a hot zone and a steam zone in the grill by placing the charcoal in only half of the grill.
  12. 12
    Once your grill is ready and grates of been oiled, temp between 250º and 300º Fahrenheit place your rib meat on the cool side above the water pan, cover and let grill for 45 minutes, flipping half way through. After 45 minutes flip your ribs to the hot side above the grill to sear for 1-2 minutes per side.
  13. 13
    After you got your sear, while still on the sear side of the grill brush with your favorite bbq sauce. You can use a 50/50 mixture of sweet BBQ sauce and ketchup. Slice between rib bones and enjoy!
Vegan Cactus Tacos With Black Bean Salsa
Serve these vegan cactus tacos with a homemade corn and black bean salsa. | LIVEKINDLY

Vegan Cactus Tacos With Black Bean Salsa

Vegan

Ingredients

Cactus Tacos

  • 2 nopales cactus paddles
  • 1 cup white onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 1 teaspoon coriander, ground
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Corn tortillas

Black Bean Salsa

  • 1 cup fresh corn
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped finely
  • 1 Roma tomato, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons limes juice
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Garnishes

  • Radish, sliced avocado, vegan sour cream, and more cilantro to serve

Preparation

  1. 1
    Prepare the cactus by rinsing the leaves, scraping away nubs and spines, and slicing them into small strips. Rinse and dry.
  2. 2
    Using a large pan over medium heat, add the olive oil, cactus strips, onion, poblano pepper, and garlic. Cook until the veggies are soft, translucent and liquid has evaporated.
  3. 3
    Add the spices, mix. Set aside.
  4. 4
    For the salsa: In a medium bowl combine the corn, black beans, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice and zest, tomato, olive oil, smoked paprika, and salt. Mix.
  5. 5
    For assembly: Begin by warming your tortillas. Add the nopales and onion mixture in the bottom, top with the corn and black bean salsa. Garnish with avocado and vegan cream.
vegan summer recipes hamburger
This Minnesota-style vegan Juicy Lucy burger has a molten core of melted cheese. | Photo credit: LIVEKINDLY

Vegan Juicy Lucy

Vegan

Ingredients

  • 1 slice vegan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces vegan burger meat
  • 3/4 cup yellow onions, diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Hamburger buns
  • Vegan Thousand Island dressing
  • Pickles

Preparation

  1. 1
    Cut vegan cheese into four squares.
  2. 2
    Pour olive oil into a small bowl and place the cheese squares into the oil.
  3. 3
    Microwave the bowl for 15 seconds. Flip the cheese over and microwave for another 15 seconds.
  4. 4
    Form the vegan burger meat into a hamburger patty. Place melted cheese into the middle of the patty and cover with another layer of hamburger patty.
  5. 5
    In an oiled pan, saute yellow onions and add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. 6
    In a separate oiled pan, brown hamburger buns.
  7. 7
    Cook hamburger patties.
  8. 8
    Add Thousand Island dressing, pickles, and hamburger patty to bun. Top with grilled onions. Enjoy!

And… you can’t forget about dessert: mojito popsicles. Because it’s dang hot. And because… mojitos. Equal parts minty and refreshing, the hardest part about making this recipe will be waiting for the popsicles to freeze. But we believe in you. Get the recipe here. (Try eating just one; we dare you.)