Summer may be winding down, but there's still one glorious three-day weekend full of sunshine and barbecues waiting for you: Labor Day. Keep the sunscreen on and the grill warm, because you have these vegan Labor Day recipes to try before cookout season is officially over.
There's no better way to toast to the end of a great summer and usher in a brand new autumn like a Labor Day celebration. A holiday that is meant to honor the working people of the country, it's become a staple end-of-the season celebration that lets friends and families get together one more time before the craziness of the fall season takes hold. It's an opportunity to enjoy the still-warm summer weather, an occasion to prove who is the best at lawn games once and for all, and a chance to turn the grill on one last time.
When you're putting your spread together, you're going to want the essentials — salads and side dishes, burgers and kebobs, and, of course, some vegan cookout options for you and all of your guests.
1. BBQ Chickpea Sandwich
If you're throwing a cookout, you better have BBQ on the menu, even if you're a vegan. Naturally Ella's BBQ chickpea sandwich is lathered in a juicy peach sauce and served on a crunchy bun.
2. Penne Pomodoro with Vegan Tuna
Who says you can't have tuna salad just because you're a vegan? Green Kitchen Stories shows you how to have it all with this flavorful, filling penne pomodoro complete with sunflower seed "tuna." Fresh and healthy, this dish will steal the show.
3. Avocado Strawberry Caprese
It doesn't get much more summery than strawberries, which is what makes this mouthwatering recipe from Oh She Glows the perfect Labor Day cookout dish. Warm, juicy, and bursting with flavor, this salad alternative has everything your guests could want and more.
4. Tomato, Basil, and Artichoke Picnic Sandwich
Made with juicy tomatoes, roasted artichokes, and flavorful basil-edamame spread, this sandwich from Love and Lemons is all fresh everything. It's the perfect dish for eating and holding a beer, so be sure to make plenty of these addicting summer sandwiches.
5. Tropical Fruit Salad with Vanilla Bean
Party food is only as good as its presentation, which means A Spicy Perspective's tropical fruit salad must be out of this world. Served in kiwi cups and bursting with both colors and flavors, this refreshing side dish will add a punch of freshness to your Labor Day spread.
6. Collard Wrap Tacos with Citrus Slaw
Tacos are delicious alternatives to the traditional burger and hot dog-heavy cookout spread, but what should you do when you're sick of (or allergic to) tortillas? Love and Lemons has the answer with these fresh and delicious collard wrap tacos. Filled with avocado, cabbage, and oranges, the only thing that makes this dish better is the creamy chipotle sunflower sauce it's served with.
7. Vegan Smokey Mac and Greens
Looking for an alternative to cold pasta salad at your Labor Day cookout? Fo Reals Life has just the thing: vegan smokey mac and greens. A creamy combination of potato, carrots, kale, noodles, and more, it's a uniquely flavored macaroni and cheese substitute that will have all of your guests reaching for seconds.
8. Vegetable Flatbreads
A simple and delicious finger food, there are a million different kinds of sandwiches you can serve at your Labor Day celebration. Whatever variety you choose, though, one thing is key: having good bread to serve it on. Green Kitchen Stories has just the thing with its vegetable flatbread in broccoli, carrot, and beet. Beautiful to look at and even more delicious to eat, your guests won't know whether to eat this dish or Instagram it.
9. Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips
You're going to need chips to go along with all of the dips you're serving at your Labor Day cookout, but instead of plain old store-bought potato ones, try making your own. Crispy and seasoned with onion, sunflower seeds, lime juice, chili powder, and cumin, these delicious and addicting snacks from Healthful Pursuit will keep you reaching for more.
10. Tahini Cabbage Slaw
Any good backyard celebration comes with a variety of side dishes, including slaw. But insead of the same old boring mayo-heavy recipe, try Naturally Ella's tahini-inspired one. Crunchy and flavorful, this is a unique and healthy alernative to a cookout classic
11. Crispy Brussels Sprouts
Variety is the key to life, and the key to cookouts. For your buffet table, try these crispy sprouts from Oh She Glows, complete with seven different ways to flavor them, from sweet barbecue sauce to pomegranate molasses.
12. Grilled Portobello and Peach Burgers
Mushroom burgers are the perfect vegan alternative to a traditional meat kind, but how do you give it a more summery twist? By adding peaches, of course, and a healthy helping of guacamole. Green Kitchen Stories shows you how with this easy-to-follow, easy-to-become-addicted-to recipe.
13. Mix and Match Summer Crostini Bar
Taco bar, ice cream bar — everyone loves a good DIY food bar. Instead of the traditional ones, though, spice up your Labor Day spread with a touch of summer. From jams and herbs to spreads and nuts, Love and Lemons' crostini bar has ingredients every guest will love, including vegan ones.
14. 15-Bean Salad
You've had three-bean salad, five-bean salad, maybe even seven-bean salad — but have you gone so far as to try 15-bean salad? This simple recipe from A Spicy Perspective gives you the chance. A combination of tomatoes, corn, fresh herbs, and over a dozen kinds of beans, this protein-heavy dish will leave your Labor Day cookout guests full and satisfied.