The Best Menu Items for Summer Entertaining at Home. You will be amazed how all these flavors come together for the perfect feast! The twist is they are all Vegetarian with Vegan Options… trust me when I say everyone will be very happy!
Now that summer has arrived, you’re probably getting ready to plan a party or two. It’s the perfect time of year to take a dip in the pool and hang out with all your friends, which is why summer is the season of backyard parties!
Instead of wondering what your friends and family would like to eat when they come over to your home, check out these best menu items for summer entertaining. There will be something for everyone, even for the pickiest of eaters. Summertime yields a plethora of freshness so why not take advantage of it all! The Vegetarian and Vegan options here will have your taste buds a flutter!!
1. Fruit Salad Bowl
Plenty of fruit is in season during the summer, so you’ll be able to find many fruits on sale at your local grocery store.
Scrumptious Honey Lime Fruit Salad by Cafe Delites
Fruit salad is the perfect side, dessert or appetizer to serve at a party, since the fruit will be cool and refreshing. Buy an assortment of fruit and arrange it on a platter. Maybe even create a beautiful Fruit and Vegan Cheese board! Think about combining fruits like:
- Mango Slices
- Orange Segments or Slices
- Honey Dew
- Thinly Slice Apples and Pears of all kinds spritzed with fresh lemon juice
- A Selection of Vegan Cheeses and Spreads
- A Cheese Selection for Vegetarians
- An assortment of Chutney’s and Jams
- An assortment of Crackers or Bread Slices
- Dark Chocolate is a perfect touch
- You can’t go wrong with and assortment of Nuts
- You also can’t go wrong with an assortment of Dried Fruits
As long as your guests don’t have any notable fruit allergies, it’ll be a hit with everyone, since they’ll be able to choose which fruit they’ll eat.
Created by Modern Honey
You might even want to create a fabulous Grilled Fruit and Vegetable Platter served with all kinds of Hummus and yummy dips… how gorgeous does this one look… total inspiration!
Created by: Reluctant Entertainer
2. Lettuce Wedge Salads
Salads take the spotlight during the summer. They’re just as filling as a regular meal, without heating up your kitchen or standing over a hot grill. How about a fabulous Vegetarian and Vegan Cobb Salad… I can hear the oooo’s and ahhhh’s now.
This Vegetarian Cobb Salad from Izzy at She Likes Food will amaze
This is a Cheesecake Factory Knock-Off Vegan Cobb Salad that is better than the original created by Layers Of Happiness
Put some flair on your summer salads by making them lettuce wedges. Cut a head of lettuce into four sections and drizzle with your favorite toppings and dressing like this Chickpea Wedge Salad with Avocado Ranch Dressing… (Vegans… substitute Diary Free Sour Cream and make sure you use Vegan Worcestershire Sauce) this salad will be the talk of the party. Then there are so many other possibilities. These serve up perfectly on a fabulous platter.
How yummy does this Chickpea Wedge Salad with Avocado Ranch look. Get the recipe over at
How Sweet Eats
Everyone will be able to cut into a wedge salad and enjoy it, especially if you set up a salad bar so everyone can personalize their plates. Your guests will be amazed and very happy! Let your imagination go wild with the toppings… the list is truly endless. There is one topping that I am in love with and that is Pomegranate Seeds… your guests will flip for them and they make any salad look instagram ready : )
Looking for tons of Salad Bar Inspiration… drop by It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken for tons of ideas from toppings to dressings.
3. Fresh Potato Salad
Still want something creamy and delicious at your party? Why not put out some tasty potato salad?
If you are looking for the Perfect Vegan Potato Salad this Lemon Potato Salad from Recipe Tin Eats… it is Summertime Fresh
Potato salad goes well with any main dish at a summer party. Make some at home or pick up pre-made containers at your grocery store to make party prep a bit easier.
4. Grilled Tofu and Vegetables
People grill out every summer, so if you have a grill ready to go, it’s time to fire it up. If you’re not sure what to grill, why not start with some Marinated Tofu and Vegetables of all different kinds.
Why not combine Marinated Tofu and Vegetable and create the delicious Vegan Grilled Tofu Skewers by Vibrant Plate
Grilled Tofu and Veggies are delish! They’re versatile enough to serve as sandwiches, shred for salads or even top them with marinara. They will make the perfect foundational meal for your party if you’re looking to center your menu on a specific dish.
This Barbecue Tofu Sandwich will have everyone falling in love. Don’t miss out on this incredible recipe over at Eat This!!!
5. Macaroni Salad
Macaroni salad is the sibling food to potato salad. It’s slightly different because of the cooked macaroni, but it’s sure to please the same crowd.
Here’s a recipe for a Classic Garden Veggie Pasta Salad… you can make it if you are Vegan just by subbing the Mayo with Vegan Mayo… EZ PZ!
As long as you have cooked macaroni, onions or scallions, celery and relish, you can throw it all in a bowl with some mayonnaise and seasonings to make a creamy salad. Or some delicious dressings like Italian, Balsamic Dressing, Avocado Ranch…etc… will work great too Adding grilled veggies to your Macaroni Salad is really tasty and a crowd pleaser. There are so many different yummy items you can add… let your imagination soar.
Here’s a fun and oh so colorful Garden Veggie Pasta Salad that can easily be made Vegan just by adding Vegan Parm or a good sprinkle of Nutritional Yeast.
6. Ice-Cold Lemonade
What’s a summer party without homemade lemonade? There are a million different ways to make lemonade, so don’t worry if you’ve never made it before.
You can make your lemonade with a few fresh lemons and some sugar. Or if you live a sugar-free lifestyle, add in all-natural sweeteners like honey or stevia.
Does this Leomonade make you thirsty or what???
Lemonade recipes are super flexible, so get creative! Mix in some fruit juice or sub in sparkling water for a fizzy drink. Try out different ingredients ahead of time so everything is ready for your party.
I highly recommend you try this Peach Strawberry Lemonade by The Forked Spoon… AMAZING!
7. Stuffed Bell Peppers
Want to amaze your guests with food that looks professionally done, but is still super easy to make? You’ll want to try your hand at stuffed bell peppers.
Do these Best Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers look fabulous or what! They can easily be made Vegan by leaving out the Sour Cream or using a Vegan Sour Cream Product or maybe even some Cashew Cream
Fry up some Veggie Ground Round, Veggie Mince, Lentils, VTP or whatever Veggie Meat Crumble you love and mix in whatever extras you want. For a Southwest-style meal, add ingredients like corn and Mexican blend cheese. You can fill many bell peppers with a big batch of Veggie Stuffing, so this is the perfect recipe to make if you’re hosting a larger party.
Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers with Lentils by Killing Thyme. Easily made Vegan by using Vegan Cheese!
8. Mac and Cheese
Summer wouldn’t be complete without the occasional bowl of mac and cheese. It’s a classic comfort food you can make well ahead of time, so you can prep early for your party.
Whip up a boxed version, buy it pre-made or experiment with a homemade recipe. Whatever mac and cheese you go with, it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Think about including this food on your menu if kids will be attending your party too. No need to miss out if you are Vegan : ) This Classic Macaroni and Cheese is for you by I Heart Recipes. Vegans can also substitute with many different Vegan Cheeses and Plant Based Milks and yes… they taste delicious!
9. Homemade Baked Beans
Baked beans are another traditional cookout food no summer party would dare to miss. They go so well alongside grilled foods and the sweet taste of fresh fruit.
You sure don’t need bacon to make a delicious pot of Baked Beans like these Stove Top Homemade Vegetarian Beans by Lord Byron’s Kitchen
Go the easy route by heating up a few cans on the stove, or you can bake them in a crockpot overnight. Whether you plan to eat them alongside some veggie dogs or wrapped up in burritos, beans will be the perfect addition to your summer menu.
These Slow Cooker Vegan Baked Bean are outrageously tasty… a total Crowd Pleaser… hold for applause… created by Kitchen Treaty
10. Pulled Jackfruit Sandwiches
Barbecue is a perennial favorite summer food, but you don’t need to have a smoker to make it for your parties.
Just because you are a Vegetarian or Vegan doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the taste of some pulled Faux Pork. One of the most popular ways to make it is using Young Jack Fruit… trust me… you are going to be amazed how incredible the taste is. I have also made it with shredded homemade Seitan! Great for a crowd for sure. Throw a few bags of sandwich buns and a bottle of barbecue sauce on the table for guests, a big pot of pulled Faux Port and your meal will be good to go.
I mean REALLY FRIENDS… how good does this Pulled Jackfruit Sandwich look! Get the recipe over at Vegan Richa!
Don’t forget the SLAW… try this delicious Creamy Vegan Slaw from Vegan Hugs… it won’t disappoint!
See What’s on Sale
If you’re still not sure which foods you’ll serve your guests, the easiest way to figure out what people will enjoy will be to see what’s on sale at your grocery store. They know what people will be buying in bulk for the summer, so their sales prices are a great place to start.
No matter what you decide to serve, summer foods are easy crowd pleasers. Potato salad, baked beans and mac and cheese are only the start of all the possibilities you could whip up for your party. Get creative in the kitchen, so you can get to the fun of hanging out with friends this summer. There is no reason why Vegans and Vegetarians can’t have a Fabulous and Delicious Barbecue! Trust me… your friends that aren’t V or V… they are going to love this food.
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