Wondering what to make for dinner and dessert on a hot summer night? We have rounded up over 40 of the best light vegan summer recipes, including pasta salads, grain bowls, fresh salads for dinner, vegan dessert recipes, and more.
Most of these recipes are quick and easy 30-minute meals with just a few ingredients, great for weeknight dinners, putlocks, and summer cookouts.
Browse through this list, and take your pick from vegan and fulfilling summer dinner ideas. We're sure you'll find your next summer favorite on this list!
Vegan Summer appetizers
Perfect for summer nights with friends, barbecues, and game nights. Finger food, light bites, and easy appetizers that are kids-friendly and will please the crowd.
Vegan Egg Salad
We start this vegan summer list with an idea for vegan nibbles; vegan egg salad served on crunchy slices of cucumber. No cooking is required and very refreshing, this vegan egg salad takes just 10 minutes to prep with easy-to-find ingredients.
Homemade guacamole is probably the best dip in the world. Tasty, healthy, and a crowd-pleaser, especially when served with some crunchy tortilla chips.
Mashed chickpea "tuna"
Vegan tuna is a quick and easy recipe made with mashed chickpeas. It's fun to serve as an appetizer, stuffed in cherry tomatoes or in leaves of lettuce.
Mini pizzas are one of the most popular finger foods in Italy. They are usually served as a fun, crunchy starter, perfect for birthdays, buffets, and festive gatherings.
Vegan Summer Dinners
Light, crunchy, and with fresh ingredients. These vegan summer dinners are perfect for barbecues, picnics, and summer parties. We've also listed some easy sides for a vegan grill night, please enjoy.
Vegan potato salad
This vegan potato salad is a fresh and light side dish with herbs, lemon, and olive oil. It's naturally vegan and with our trick, you'll get a super creamy dressing that we are sure you'll love!
Vegan pasta salad with lemon vinaigrette
An easy pasta salad that you can make ahead before your guests arrive. Incredibly nutritious and full of healthy vitamins, and it's a super handy picnic recipe too.
A great way to serve plant-based protein is with this vegan lemon tofu. It takes just 10 mins to make and has a refreshing flavor that is perfect for those hot summer nights.
This vegan fish is soft, refreshing, juicy, lemony, and full of Mediterranean flavors. It's oven-baked with Italian seasoning and wrapped in parchment paper to concentrate its aroma and keep it juicy. The perfect replacement for white fish.
Panzanella salad is a traditional Italian summer dish made with simple seasonal vegetables and leftover stale bread and is one of the most underrated salad recipes.
Vegan Chickpea Salad
This vegan chickpea salad is an easy and nutritious dish, perfect as a vegan side. Make it in just 15 minutes with simple, fresh ingredients and a refreshing lemon vinaigrette.
Tofu Salad (Creamy Dressing)
This is the perfect springtime and summertime dish. Tofu’s remarkable ability to get flavorful and crunchy makes it the ideal protein choice for this healthy yet delicious meal.
Spinach Pesto (Vegan Recipe)
Our spinach pesto is an easy recipe that you can make in 5 minutes in a blender. Use the pesto with your favorite pasta, and grated lemon zest on top for a summer-friendly and light meal.
Caponata is an Italian eggplant salad with a delicious sweet and sour flavor. We make it with oven-baked eggplant (instead of deep-fried) in less than 45 minutes. A perfect side dish for summer and social events.
Garlic and Oil Pasta (Spaghetti Aglio e Olio)
This is the original recipe for garlic and oil pasta, a delicious Italian meal also known as spaghetti aglio e olio. A delightful summer dinner, it's simple yet incredibly delicious.
This easy rice salad is adapted from the Italian rice salad and it's the perfect summer dish, easy to prepare in advance, and bring with you for a picnic outdoors. It's even better when served with our vegan mayonnaise.
Italian Flatbread (Piadina)
Piadina is a thin yeast-free Italian flatbread that you can fill with anything you like and enjoy for a light lunch, snack, or dinner. Perfect for guests as they can choose their favorite fillings and get the vegan wrap, they want.
Couscous with Vegetables
Couscous with vegetables is a delicious way of enjoying couscous. This is an easy side dish or main that you can make in less than 30 minutes, with seasonal veggies and herbs.
Vegan Zucchini Pie
This zucchini pie is made with a soft a delicious crust that hugs an eggy, cheesy, zucchini filling. It's incredibly satisfying, indulgent, and yet so nutritious. A perfect summer pie that will please vegans as well as non-vegans.
Tomato Cucumber Onion Salad
This tomato cucumber onion salad is a crunchy, refreshing, simple dish that you can enjoy as a starter or as a side dish. Pick your favorite tomatoes, and for extra protein, add in fried and crunchy tofu.
Here is an easy and quick summer dinner idea with vegan pesto and greens. You can make it with a classic basil pesto or experiment with arugula, zucchini, and roasted peppers. We'll show you how to make it!
Chickpea Pasta Salad
Perfect for putlocks, cookouts, and picnics, this chickpea pasta salad is a family favorite! It's one of the quickest, tastiest, and most fulfilling meals you can make when you want something healthy and satiating but doesn't have much time to cook.
Here's a summer favorite: we combine tomatoes with thinly sliced onion and basil, then season them with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar to make a fresh summer salad. Tasty, refreshing, nourishing, and the perfect side dish to most meals.
This avocado salad is super creamy, crunchy, and refreshing, and it's all you need for a quick lunch or light dinner during the hot summer months.
Vegan Couscous Salad
This vegan couscous salad is easy, fresh, crunchy, and nutritious. Follow our recommendations or make it with your favorite veggies. A perfect summer meal for dinners or picnics.
Vegan frittata - no eggs, no tofu
Would you believe me if I told you that this eggless vegan frittata, made in 15 minutes with chickpea flour, is just as good as a traditional frittata? Serve it as a starter or side dish for friends or bring on a picnic, it's delicious.
Perfect for pizza night - this flatbread pizza recipe is easy to make with simple ingredients. You'll get flatbreads that are soft but with a crunch, and light to eat. Top with our vegan melted cheese for the most indulgent result.
Chickpea flour and oil make this quick and easy chickpea socca. It's perfect as a starter, snack, or even as dinner if you add toppings to it.
Roasted bell peppers
Roasted bell peppers are a delicious recipe that can be served as an antipasto, a side dish, or can be used as a base for many other recipes like salads and pasta. A colorful and healthy summer-dish.
Vegan Summer Desserts
Sponge cakes, fruit tarts, and pies - all vegan and delicious! Take your pick from these homemade vegan desserts with simple ingredients.
Vegan Meringues are easy, crunchy, and light. Learn how to make them with 2 ingredients: aquafaba and sugar. These meringues take 10 minutes to make and 90 minutes to bake to perfection.
Vegan custard (pastry cream)
The perfect easy and light base for most summer desserts. You can use this custard in tarts, cakes, pastries, and other desserts. You can also flavor it with vanilla, lemon, chocolate, and much more. Here, we'll show you how.
This simple, 4-ingredients dessert almost tastes like a tiramisù, without the biscuit, but is a lot easier to make. It's creamy, soft, light, and sweet, but with an irresistible coffee aroma.
Vegan Panna Cotta
Our vegan panna cotta is similar to the original Italian panna cotta in both texture and flavour. When we first tried it we were surprised by how simple and delicious it is. You can make it in 10 minutes, without gelatine, dairy-free and nut-free.
No bake vegan cheesecake - no cashews
This no-bake vegan cheesecake is the best! It's made with no-nuts, no-blending, no-cooking, and goes straight into the refrigerator to set. It's easy to make, smooth, fluffy, rich and creamy and it cuts perfectly.
Vegan lemon bars
These vegan lemon bars are easy to make, delicious, and full of lemon flavor thanks to a finger-licking vegan lemon curd.
Vegan Cannoli Recipe
Our filling is made of vegan homemade ricotta and is sweet and creamy. The shell is every bit as bubbly, light, and crisp as the traditional ones, but without eggs, lard, or butter.
Vegan Lemon Cake
This vegan lemon cake is soft, light, moist, and incredibly easy to make, with a few simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.
Apricot tart with frangipane
This apricot tart is made with an easy-to-make pie crust, filled with frangipane, and packed with fresh apricots. It's such an easy tart to make, with simple ingredients, in under 1 hour.
This beautiful and delicious fruit tart is a classic Italian pastry recipe that everyone loves. We make a light, crunchy, and easy pie crust that we then fill with our dairy-free homemade custard.
Fruit pizza is an easy, fun, crunchy and refreshing recipe made with a quick, homemade sugar cookie pie crust base, topped with dairy-free cream cheese and a mix of fresh seasonal fruit.
Vegan lemon tart
This vegan lemon tart is a popular recipe that everyone will love. It's sweet, refreshing, and made with really simple ingredients that you already have in your pantry. You can make it with a soft crust or crunchy crust. We'll show you both.
Vegan strawberry tart
This tart is made with a crunchy vegan pie crust, filled with smooth and creamy vanilla custard, and topped with sweet fresh strawberries. This recipe is so easy and delicious that you'll want to make it every day.
TIPS FOR VEGAN SUMMER RECIPES
- How to store: Most of these meals keep for 1 day in the refrigerator, best if stored in an airtight container.
- How to freeze: You can also freeze these for up to 3 months. To freeze them, let them cool down first, then transfer them to a freezer-friendly container, leaving some space to allow them to expand.
- How to reheat: Thaw in the microwave or in a pot on the stovetop. Before serving, garnish with fresh herbs. Always refer to the individual recipes for exact guidance.
It is definitely possible (and quite easy) to make a delightful vegan summer meal with starter, mains, and desserts included. Hot weather is merely an occasion to serve delicious raw vegan salads and light mains. If you're looking for additional ideas or you're hosting a vegan dinner party, check out these lists:
- 25 vegetable side dishes
- 30 vegan beginner recipes
- 25 vegan salad recipes
- 29 easy vegan dinners
- 40 vegan pasta recipes
- 65 vegan Italian recipes
If you made any of these recipes, leave us a comment in the sections below. It helps us improve our recipes and bring value to other people too.
For many more 30-minute meal ideas, check out our 30-minute meal category page.
40 Vegan Summer Recipes
- Pick your favorite summer dinner or dessert
- Read the recipe for ingredients required
- Make the recipe by following the instructions
- How to store: Most of these meals keep for 1 day in the refrigerator, best if stored in an airtight container.
- How to freeze: You can also freeze these for up to 3 months. To freeze them, let them cool down first, then transfer to a freezer-friendly container, leaving some space to allow them to expand. Thaw in the microwave or in a pot on the stovetop. Before serving, garnish with fresh herbs. Always refer to the individual recipes for exact guidance.
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