Vegan Tailgating Recipes
These plant-based appetizers, snacks, and main dishes are portable and quick to prepare and are ideal for an outdoor celebration. These meatless recipes are free of eggs and dairy too, making them suitable for vegans and those with food allergies.
Barbecue Slawpy Jacks
This hearty vegan entrée is essentially a cross between a sloppy Joe and a barbecue sandwich and a creative way for vegans to enjoy a traditionally meat-based classic. Be sure to use jackfruit canned in brine, not syrup. Jackfruit can be found at Asian markets and on Amazon. Serve with potato chips for crunch.
A little baking soda softens the chickpeas for an ethereally smooth texture in this Israeli-Style Hummus. The hummus will have the best flavor and will thicken considerably once cooled.
Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos
This flavorful fiesta-on-a-plate involves an unlikely main ingredient: fruit! Jackfruit is an extremely versatile ingredient because it absorbs and takes on the flavors of spices and other ingredients incredibly well, which helps lend these tacos their authentic flair. The fruit itself is pale in color and has a flaky, meaty texture, which makes it the perfect meat substitute for a vegetarian or vegan dinner option so everyone can enjoy it.
The Best "Beefy" Vegan Burgers
This umami-rich burger is unabashedly attempting to imitate a beef burger in flavor, texture, and appearance. Mushrooms and grains form the bulk of the burger--the mushrooms are tender, and the grains stay firm to give the impression of protein which has been cooked. The fat helps coat the separate elements so that it holds together nicely and isn't piecey like most veggie burgers. The patty absorbs lots of grill flavor to deliver a charred, smokey patty just like a traditional beefy backyard burger.
Root Veggie Fries
Choose this easy roasted vegetable medley as a healthier choice over traditional fried potatoes. They're delicious and ridiculously-easy to make. That's a win-win!
Warm Spiced Cashews
Chinese five-spice powder lends a distinct toastiness to these sweet and savory nuts. They're perfect to whip up as a quick, make-ahead, crowd-pleasing appetizer for entertaining.
Gin and Maple Macerated Berries
In this simple fruit salad, sugar, lime, and gin soften and preserve berries while extracting their natural juices to become a syrupy sauce.
Dark Chocolate Avocado Cake with Chocolate Avocado Frosting
This vegan cake (no eggs or butter!) is so delicious that our kids begged for more. The frosting is silky smooth, and the cake is light and loaded with chocolate flavor, and healthy fats.
Mini Vegan Key Lime Icebox Pies
This “custard” has an insanely rich and silky mouthfeel born from a partnership between avocado (which also provides the natural green coloring) and tofu in these delicious handheld pies.
Tomatillo Salsa Verde
This a great, versatile salsa for chips, chicken tacos, and enchiladas verde. You can also customize it by adding mint or avocado--or charring ingredients for a robust flavor that's especially good in carne asada tacos.
Cashew-Lime Cilantro Hummus
Serve with fresh-cut vegetables, such as jicama, carrot, red pepper, and celery sticks.
Strawberry-Avocado Salsa with Cinnamon Tortilla Chips
This 5-star recipe for fruity salsa and homemade cinnamon tortilla chips looks impressive and is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser for everyone at the tailgate--vegan or not.
Smoky Two-Bean Vegetarian Chili
A wee bit of canned chipotle chiles goes a long way in infusing this hearty chili with rich, smoky flavor and a hint of heat.
Veggie Lettuce Wraps
Because of their strength and malleability, Bibb lettuce leaves are some of the best for loaded lettuce wraps. It's worth picking up a couple of heads if you only have iceberg or romaine in your crisper.
Grilled Baba Ghanoush
Grilling the eggplant adds a charred note to this classic Middle Eastern dip. Let the slices steam after cooking so the flesh becomes even more tender. Serve with toasted pita, sliced cucumber, or fennel.
Smoky Carrot Dogs with Nacho Sauce
We've embellished the humble carrot to mimic the smoky taste and snappy texture of a hot dog. To lend a dairy-free cheesy flavor to plant-based nacho sauce, we use nutritional yeast; look for it in health food stores or well-stocked specialty grocers. Our recipe saves 8g saturated fat over standard cheese dogs without losing any of the flavor.
Build a healthy "snack dinner" platter with this flavor-packed dip at the center--surround it with crunchy vegetables and whole-wheat flatbread for dipping, and add a tin of oil-packed sardines, olives, nuts, feta cheese, marinated artichokes, and some dried and fresh fruit for a colorful, well-rounded meal.
White Bean and Jackfruit Chili
In the vegan and vegetarian world, jackfruit is a blessing when it comes to adding a hearty touch to typically meaty dishes such as chili. Jackfruit has a mild flavor that is a lot like a blank canvas that easily takes on the flavors of sauces or spices used with it. In the case of this flavorful and cozy dish, spices like coriander, paprika, oregano, and cumin add a warm and toasty edge to this can't-believe-it's-vegan chili. The jackfruit has a shockingly good meaty texture while the supporting flavors lend it an unforgettable quality that simply proves that a meatless chili can actually be very meaty and satisfying.
Grilled Baby Eggplants with Green Onion Salsa
If you can't find the type of eggplant we used, go for small, slender Japanese eggplants instead.
This creamy and dreamy queso dip is something that even the greatest non-vegans will appreciate. This queso is made with a blended puree of nutty and earthy cashews which lend a hearty flavor to this "cheese." The cashews are soaked for a few hours in water until they soften, and from there get blended up to make a rich and creamy base to this flavorful queso. With spices added in like cayenne pepper and cumin, this dip is the perfect flavorful addition to the appetizer table.
Garlic, Avocado, and Tomato Toast
Three words garlic, avocado, and tomato. Perfect for tapas or a great, heart-healthy snack.
You won't believe this completely satisfying chili that cooks in a fraction of the time it takes to make traditional meat chili is vegan! This recipe makes plenty--so prepare to have lots to share.
Serve cold or at room temperature with toothpicks for a delicious meatless snack.
Here is a make-ahead chili that both meat lovers and vegetarians will love: It packs in all the classic flavors you want and is loaded with beans that give the dish a rich, almost meaty character.
Diner-Style Onion Rings
Revive this diner favorite using a mixture of gluten-free all-purpose flour, white rice flour, and club soda in the batter.
White Bean and Pumpkin Hummus with Pita Chips
This lightly sweet and smoky take on hummus is the perfect snack or a fitting starter for any autumn gathering.
Grilled Tempeh Skewers
The salty-sweet glaze complements the nutty, slightly tangy flavor of the tempeh. If you've never experimented with this soybean cake before, this is a good recipe to start with.
Split Pea Hummus
This fun Southern twist on traditional hummus is inexpensive and tasty. Serve it as an appetizer with fresh vegetables and pita chips.
Chloe's Vegan Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes
This little vegan chocolate strawberry cupcake helped then 22-year-old baker Chloe Coscarelli win first place on Food Network's "Cupcake Wars" in 2010. She was the first vegan to win a Food Network competition.
Roasted Chickpeas with Garam Masala
These addictive snacks flew out of our test kitchen. They're great on salads, too.
Pan-Roasted Padrón Peppers
The classic way to enjoy Padrón peppers, this appetizer is as good at room temperature as hot. You can also make this recipe with small sweet peppers, adding a sprinkle of red chile flakes.
Three-Bean Vegetarian Chili
This delicious meatless chili is great as-is, but you can also add in some corn and bell peppers and substitute black beans for white beans, if you'd like.
You're just 2 ingredients away from an appetizer that's salty, hot, and highly-addictive.
Tofu + a handful of kitchen staple ingredients are all you'll need to prepare this delicious vegan snack. Before serving, let jerky cool completely. (Slices will get a bit crisper as they cool.) The leftovers will keep refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 1 week.
You can make this salsa up to 4 hours ahead; cover and chill before packing it for the big game.
Black Bean Tacos
Seitan has a neutral flavor and a chewy, meatlike texture. Look for it in the refrigerated sections of health food stores or Asian markets. It may also be labeled wheat gluten.
BBQ Tempeh and Mushroom Kebabs
Serve these grilled skewers with plenty of tangy barbecue sauce.
Light and Fresh Potato Salad
We swapped a vinaigrette for the standard mayo-loaded potato salad, and the result is no less delicious.
Veggie Burgers with Pomegranate Ketchup
Ground porcini mushrooms add a meaty flavor to this hearty veggie burger.
Two-Tone Potato Salad
Pickled onions and cucumber relish add a tangy kick to this blue-and-gold potato salad. We opted for vegan mayonnaise here.
SoCal Veggie Burgers
Pile up your favorite veggie burger patties with lots of vegetables, homemade hummus and slaw, and tuck the works into lettuce "buns." Use extra hummus as a dip for vegetables or as a sandwich spread.
These tender vegetable patties are meant to be soft.