Welcome to our 40 vegan summer recipes list, including pasta, salads, satiating protein ideas, barbecue recipes, desserts, and much more.

As the days grow longer and the temperatures rise, there’s no better way to celebrate the energy of summer than with healthy and satisfying plantbased dishes.

If you are thinking about hosting a backyard barbecue, packing a picnic for the beach, or simply looking to enjoy a light and healthy meal, this roundup has something for you.

40 easy vegan summer recipes with breakfasts, lunches and dinners

You’ll find twists on classic favorites, Mediterranean appetizers, and protein-packed meals that are as nourishing as delicious.

Most of these recipes are quick and easy 30-minute meals with just a few ingredients, excellent for vegetarian dinners, potlucks, and summer cookouts.

Vegan summer dinners and lunches

1. Tofu egg salad

vegan egg salad sandwich with lettuce and radishes

This vegan egg salad recipe, or tofu egg salad, is our take on a classic egg salad.

Tofu’s texture perfectly mimics that of boiled eggs. Since tofu can have a bland, neutral taste, we toss it in a delicious, creamy dressing with mayonnaise to make the best vegan egg salad.

2. Bruschetta

Bruschetta con basilico

The combination of tomato, basil, and olive oil is a match made in heaven.

This Italian recipe is quick and easy to make, and it’s the perfect dish for a beautiful summer dinner with friends and family.

3. Crostini

White bean dip served on crostini

Crostini are small slices of crunchy toasted bread you can eat as an appetizer or with soups and stews.

Everyone loves crostini because they are tasty and fun to eat. You can top them in summer with bean dip, olive tapenade, and roasted pepper for a colorful starter.

4. Watermelon salad

watermelon feta salad on a serving platter

Watermelon salad is sweettangyjuicyvibrant, and refreshing—perfect for hot summer days.

Excellent for picnics, barbeques, or as a light and healthy meal, this watermelon pistachio salad will leave you satisfied, nourished, and hydrated.

Feta tip: for a vegan watermelon salad, use non-dairy feta cheese such as Violife or Trader Joe’s feta alternative.

5. BBQ tofu

BBQ tofu with a spoon

This BBQ tofu is the most delicious meat-free alternative for your meatless meals and the best tofu recipe you’ll ever taste.

A bold and sweet homemade BBQ sauce hugs the small bites of crisp and chewy baked tofu to perfection. This easy vegan summer recipe blew us away, and we think you’ll like it, too!

6. Tomato cucumber salad

Cucumber tomato salad in a bowl

The cool crunch of cucumber paired with juicy tomatoes, fresh basil, and tangy red onions makes this dish your best ally during scorching hot summer days.

You can eat it as is or make it a meal by adding fried tofu, chickpeas, lentils, homemade croutons, kalamata olives, or diced avocado.

7. Chickpea salad

Chickpea salad in a bowl with a fork

This chickpea salad is easy to make in 15 minutes. It uses simple seasonal ingredients, such as cherry tomatoes, canned corn, olives, and cucumber.

It’s a tasty, wholesome summer recipe that is also excellent for meal prep.

8. Homemade pizza

homemade pizza with marinara sauce and hand taking a slice of pizza

Pizza is a wonderful summer dinner idea that you can cook in an outdoor or home oven.

This pizza recipe uses delicious, light, and easytodigest pizza dough that can be topped with veggies, marinara sauce, and plant-based cheese.

9. Vegan potato salad

Vegan potato salad with white spoon

This vegan potato salad is a great make-ahead recipe for barbecues, putlocks, and summer cookouts.

You’ll enjoy this tangy, rich, herby potato salad with plenty of flavors. It stores well in the fridge, making it perfect for mealprep and as a cooling vegetable side dish.

10. Grilled tofu

Italian salsa verde on grilled vegetables and tofu

Grilled tofu is a quick and easy protein-packed recipe you can make in 10 minutes on a grill pan or grill and season with your favorite sauces and condiments.

The best way to add flavor to grilled tofu is to serve it with a tasty sauce. Our favorites are chimichurri, peanut sauce, tahini sauce, and chermoula.

11. Zucchini fritters

Zucchini fritters with tzatziki and lemon

Zucchini fritters are an easy, tasty, and fun recipe the whole family will love. They are golden brown and slightly caramelized on the outside and soft and flavorful inside.

Make them with chickpea flour and serve them as a starter, side dish, or main dish with our marinara saucesour cream, or tzatziki sauce.

12. Stuffed peppers

Stuffed bell peppers on a white plate

Stuffed bell peppers are a popular summer dish in most Mediterranean countries, from Italy to Turkey, from Spain to the coasts of North Africa.

Our pepper recipe is strongly inspired by MediterraneanLevantine, and Middle Eastern flavors, especially from our lentil mujaddara with lentils and rice.

13. Lentil patties

Lentil patties with pita bread and marinara sauce

Lentil patties—or lentil fritters—are a tasty and fulfilling meat-free, egg-free, vegetarian, and vegan recipe.

For a beautiful summer meal, serve them with Mediterranean or Middle Eastern dips and spreads, such as hummusbaba ganoushmuhammara, and yogurt sauce.

14. Zucchini boats with lentils

Easy zucchini boats

Our zucchini boats are filled with a rich, savory mixture of lentils, tomatoes, herbs, and walnuts.

Our recipe contains no meat and is suitable for most diets. Thanks to their robust flavor, they can be served as a fulfilling summer meal or appetizer for most occasions.

15. Peanut noodles

Peanut noodles with broccoli and fork

Peanut noodles are perfect for lunchdinner, or meal prep, and they are a delicious way to quickly enjoy a satisfying and healthy summer dish.

PS. For extra vegan protein, you can add fried tofu, airfried tofu, marinated tofu, or tempeh bacon.

16. Chickpea pasta salad

chickpea pasta salad in a bowl

This pasta salad is excellent for meal preppotlucks, and picnics, and it can be served as a quick lunch or a healthy dinner.

The recipe is perfect for springsummer, and early autumn. It’s versatile, tasty, and packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and plant-based protein from wholesome ingredients.

17. Buddha bowl

Buddha bowl with brown rice and mango

Buddha bowls are an easy and practical way to eat a nutrient-dense and balanced meal in one bowl.

They are like grain bowls and similar to poke bowls, except they don’t contain fish or meat and favor plant-based protein.

18. Rice salad

Rice salad with cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs

Growing up in an Italian family, Nico had his share of rice salad recipes, especially during summer. This dish is delicious when served cold, and you can have it as a main dish for lunch or dinner or serve it as a colorful side dish.

Here is how to make the easiest, tastiest brown rice salad with fresh vegetables and a delicious maple (or honey) mustard dressing.

19. Mango salad

Mango salad on a white platter

The sweet and juicy flesh of ripe mango pairs perfectly with creamy avocadocrunchy red bell peppertangy shallots or mild red onions, and spicy red chilies.

If you want to add something leafy, we recommend dark green baby spinach or beautiful purple radicchio; its slightly bitter and spicy taste melds perfectly with the sweetness of ripe mango.

20. Italian Panzanella

panzanella salad with lettuce

Panzanella is an Italian salad originating in the centenary traditions of central Italy, especially in the Umbria, Tuscany, Lazio, and Marche regions.

Italians use stale bread soaked in water, and vinegar absorbs the tomato and onion juices and flavors like a sponge, becoming incredibly tasty.

This tasty bread, combined with crisp cucumber, tomatoes, tangy red onion, and fruity extra virgin olive oil, creates an irresistible palette of textures and flavors.

21. Easy orzo salad

Greek orzo pasta salad

Orzo salad is a quick and easy solution for a tastysatisfying, healthy summer pasta recipe.

You can make it with fresh vegetableschickpeas, and a zesty 5-minute mustard dressing.

TIP: Substitute any other short pasta shape for orzo pasta, such as fusilli, rotini, penne, ditalini, farfalle, ziti, or macaroni.

22. Eggplant parmigiana

eggplant parmigiana on a white plate with a silver fork

Like an excellent vegetarian lasagna or Greek Moussaka, eggplant parmigiana is a fulfilling summer casserole dish everyone loves.

You can make parmigiana with fried eggplant or with oven-roasted eggplant. We will show you the oven-baked version as we think it’s more modern, easier to make, and possibly healthier.

23. Avocado salad

avocado salad

Avocado salad is light, fresh, summer-friendly, and fulfilling. With its healthy fats and plenty of fiber, the avocados make this salad a good candidate for a quick everyday summer lunch.

Pair it with a slice of rosemary focaccia or warm pita bread and a dip of your choice (we love it with tzatziki), and you’ve got a light dinner for the whole family.

24. Black bean bowl

black bean salad with quinoa and sweet potatoes

Nutritious black beans are paired with sweet cornroasted sweet potato, bell peppercreamy avocado, and a tangy cilantro lime dressing.

This summerfriendly grain bowl perfectly balances colors, nutrition, and textures.

25. Vegan pasta salad

Vegan pasta salad with beans and cherry tomatoes

This vegan pasta salad is a quick recipe that combines naturally vegan Italian pasta with fresh vegetables, legumes, herbs, and a delicious dressing.

You’ll love the texture of cold, chewy pasta with juicy, crunchy, colorful veggies and creamy cannellini beans hugged by a bold, citrusy olive oil and mustard dressing.

26. Tofu soup

tofu soup recipe with white spoon

Our tofu soup combines a tasty broth with crisp veggies and bite-size tofu pieces into a light, delicious, and summer-friendly dish.

You’ll love this tofu recipe because it’s simple, healthy, and easily customizable to your taste by choosing your favorite veggies.

Tofu soup is light yet fulfilling; you can even add noodles to make it a satisfying meal.

27. Vegan frittata

vegan frittata with zucchini

A vegan frittata is an easy recipe that you can make in 10 minutes. It uses sautèed zucchini for a delightful breakfast or brunch.

Our recipe does not use eggs or tofu but chickpea flour to make the batter. Once cooked, it is surprisingly similar to a classic frittata with eggs.

28. Tofu salad

tofu salad with dressing

This tofu salad recipe is a tasty and healthy vegan summer salad perfect for lunch or dinner. 

Fried tofu or air-fried tofu adds a flavorful and crisp dimension to this salad and increases its plantbased protein content.

29. Focaccia

focaccia squares

This recipe shows you how to make the best and easiest focaccia bread without kneading, with just a bowl and a spoon, and in most baking pans.

Focaccia is usually topped with extra virgin olive oilcoarse salt, and fresh rosemary and is a delicious side dish to any barbecue party or summer gathering.

30. Broccoli salad

Broccoli Salad in a white bowl with lemon on the side

This broccoli salad combines indulgent and healthycrunchy and creamy, and fulfilling in one tasty bowl.

It’s our interpretation of the classic broccoli salad recipe. We use almonds and sun-dried tomatoes instead of cheddar cheese and bacon bits.

The result is a crunchiernuttier, and healthier plant-based broccoli salad that everyone will love.

Vegan summer desserts

31. Fruit tart

Fruit tart with sliced fresh fruit

With this vegan summer dessert, we show you how to make a fruit tart at home with simple ingredients in about 1 hour.

You’ll love the crunchy pie crust topped with creamy custard and the vibrant sweetness and tanginess of seasonal fresh fruit.

32. Kiwi tart

sliced kiwi tart

Our refreshing kiwi tart offers a flaky, sweet crust filled with creamy lime-infused custard and a top layer of sliced green kiwi.

It’s surprisingly easy to make, with simple ingredients and three steps: bake the crust, fill it with custard, and top it with kiwi slices.

33. Egg-free custard

egg-free custard in a glass with fresh mint

Our egg-free custard is a smoothcreamy, and delicious recipe that can be made in 10 minutes with five simple ingredients.

This custard can be used in tarts, cakes, pastries, and other desserts. Try our pistachio, chocolate, or coffee version for more vegan custard ideas.

34. Vegan apple cake

baked vegan apple cake

Our next vegan summer dessert is Italian apple cake, a family recipe and one of our favorite apple desserts.

You can enjoy this apple cake for breakfast (that’s what Italians do), as an afternoon snack, as a dessert, with ice cream, or drizzled with vegan custard.

The cake is easy to put together, soft, moist, and made with fresh apple chunks. It’ll take you 10 minutes to prepare.

35. Vegan pancakes

vegan pancakes with maple syrup

Our vegan pancakes are egg-free, butter-free, and dairy-free. They taste delicious and are excellent paired with fresh fruit, hazelnut spread, and maple syrup.

You’ll learn how to make the bestfluffiestvegan pancakes with simple everyday pantry staples, which you can use immediately.

36. Mango sorbet

Mango sorbet soft serve and silver spoon

Creamyrefreshing, and with a touch of tangy sweetness, this mango sorbet is a simple yet indulgent frozen treat for a summer dinner party.

Mango sorbet has a creamy, velvety texture and a sweet, fruity flavor. Every spoonful will make you feel refreshed and rejuvenated.

37. Cake donuts

Lemon donuts with sprinkles

This recipe is for oven-baked cake donuts raised with baking powder, without yeast.

Whether you are a deep-fried cake donut or a yeast donut person, you cannot deny this oven-baked cake donut recipe’s simplicitytaste, and versatility.

You can whip up the batter in 2 minutes, plus our recipe is without eggs and easy to adapt for vegetarians and vegans.

38. Vanilla cake

Vegan vanilla cake with cream cheese and sprinkle

This vegan vanilla cake is a one-layer sheet cake with easy-to-find pantry staples.

You need only to whip together all-purpose floursugarbaking powdersaltwateroil, and vanilla extract, bake it, and add your favorite cream cheese frosting on top.

39. Vegan lemon tart

Lemon tart with slice and red berries

This summer tart is easy to make: it takes about 10 minutes, it’s dairy-free and without eggs.

For the filling, we use vegan lemon curd that you can whip together in 5 minutes. It’s sweet, creamy, and lemony and excellent for hot summer nights.

40. Vegan cheesecake

Vegan Cheesecake slice on a plate

Our vegan cheesecake has a rich yet refreshing taste with a slight tanginess and a creamycheesy, and fluffy texture.

You can make this recipe in the fridge without turning on the oven making it perfect as a summer dessert.

You’ll need a cake pan, or to make things easier, you can assemble single-portion cheesecakes into small glasses or jars.

Tips for Vegan Summer Recipes

  • How to store: Most of these meals can be stored for one day in the refrigerator, best in an airtight container.
  • How to freeze: You can also freeze these for up to 3 months. To do so, let them cool down first, then transfer them to a freezer-friendly container, leaving some space for expansion.
  • 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 plenty of plant-based protein such as legumes, tofu, grains, and nuts.

Mediterranean salad with sumac onions and hand holding a silver spoon
Mediterranean summer salad with protein from chickpeas and black beans.

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:

Easy vegetarian summer recipes

Vegan Summer Recipes: BBQ Tofu

By: Nico Pallotta
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This BBQ tofu recipe is the most delicious meat-free alternative for your meatless meals and the best tofu you'll ever taste.
A bold, smokey, sweet homemade BBQ sauce hugs the small bites of crisp and chewy tofu to perfection. We were blown away by this recipe, and we think you'll be too.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Course: Main
Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces tofu firm or extra firm
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C. Take the tofu out of the package, drain it, and pat it dry with kitchen paper.
    With your hands, pull the tofu apart into bite-size pieces and add it to a medium bowl.
    tofu and hands
  • Toss the tofu with olive oil, soy sauce, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper.
    tofu and spices in a glass bowl
  • Transfer onto a baking tray and arrange it on a single layer.
    Bake at 400°F or 200°C for 25 minutes or until slightly charred and crisp on the edges.
    spiced tofu after baking
  • Add about ½ cup of BBQ sauce (or more to taste) to the tofu, toss with a spatula until coated, and bake for 5 more minutes.
    tofu with BBQ sauce on a baking tray
  • Take out of the oven, add more BBQ sauce to taste, and serve on a plate as the main protein of the meal or in a sandwich.
    how to serve bbq tofu

Notes

Nutrition information is an estimate for 1 serving on BBQ tofu out of 4 servings and with store-bought BBQ sauce. If you make our homemade BBQ sauce it has less sugar and fats.
STORAGE
Make ahead: tofu barbecue is an ok recipe to make ahead as the tofu keeps well in the fridge for a few days. However, the tofu gets dry after a few hours, so I’d recommend tossing it in more BBQ sauce as you are about to serve it.
Refrigerator: keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Freezer: let it cool down completely, then transfer it to a freezer-friendly container and freeze for three months.
Reheat: thaw and reheat in the microwave.

Nutrition

Calories: 288kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Potassium: 214mg, Dietary Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 24g, Vitamin A: 653IU, Vitamin B6: 0.1mg, Vitamin C: 0.5mg, Vitamin E: 2mg, Vitamin K: 7µg, Calcium: 170mg, Folate: 4µg, Iron: 2mg, Manganese: 0.1mg, Magnesium: 15mg, Zinc: 0.2mg
Tried this recipe? Leave a comment below or mention @theplantbasedschool on Instagram. We are also on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and TikTok.

If you liked these vegan summer recipes, you might also enjoy:


Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

Easy right?

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