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Vegan Summer Salad Recipes

I have forever been a lover of the BBQ season. I always looked forward to grilled burgers, fresh corn on the cob and Jersey tomatoes, macaroni salad, watermelon and all things summer. This is my first BBQ season as a vegan and I decided to jump in with both feet on Memorial Day weekend, which is the unofficial start of summer here at the Jersey Shore. Hubby and Kid decided on burgers and I decided to have a portobello cap as my burger (with the right marinade it’s amazing). I got to work making some great summer salads that we could all enjoy, and that I’d be happy to serve to company or take along to a BBQ.

vegan summer salads

My friend and fellow blogger Kelli from Kelli’s Kreations introduced me to Vegenaise. I am a die hard mayo fan and I ONLY EVER used Hellman’s classic mayonnaise. I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised by the taste of Vegenaise, as was my whole family, which leads me to my first salad…

Classic Macaroni Salad, Only Vegan and Gluten-Free

summer salads

A gluten-free and vegan take on classic macaroni salad

This is my same old macaroni salad except I used gluten free elbow macaroni and Vegenaise. The rest is super simple.

  • 1 lb pasta of your choice, elbow macaroni
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 carrot, grated
  • Vegenaise – your preferred amount of mayo plus a little extra
  • Paprika
summer salads

My new best friend, Vegenaise

Cook pasta, drain and cool for about 15 minutes. Add chopped veggies and Vegenaise. I found the Vegenaise to be more absorbent than regular mayo, but it could have been the corn pasta I used. Next time I may throw caution to the wind and use regular wheat pasta. Sprinkle with paprika and watch your family scarf it down.

Tabouleh Salad

My next salad is one of my all-time favorites. It’s got a few more ingredients and it takes a bit longer to make, but there isn’t a huge amount of effort involved. I love the freshness from the herbs and lemon in this salad. It is such a great meal or side for a hot summer day and a great big bowl of deliciousness to bring to a BBQ.

summer salads

Tabouleh Salad – a favorite of mine that happens to be vegan

  • 2 cups bulgur wheat
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup mint, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
summer salads

Use a whole bunch of parsley – you want to have about 3 cups

Place bulgur wheat in a large bowl. Boil water and pour over bulgur. Let sit for one hour. After one hour, add all other ingredients and gently stir until combined. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

White Bean Summer Salad

I love the flavors of this salad, which I recently dreamed up on a hot day when I didn’t feel like cooking dinner. The beans provide lots of protein and the rest of the salad is raw, which makes it a vegan dream. Everyone will appreciate this salad and it looks really pretty too.

summer salads

Vegan White Bean Summer Salad

  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced thinly
  • 4-5 radishes sliced thinly
  • about 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • dill

Slice the cucumbers and radishes as paper thin as possible. Mix beans, cucumbers, radishes and vinegar in a large bowl. Sprinkle with dill. Add salt and pepper to taste.

summer salad

Even my carnivore family enjoyed these salads. They are all easy to make and use readily available ingredients. I hope even if you are not following a vegan diet you will bring one of these along to your next BBQ. What’s your favorite summer salad?

Read more from Jen Leeman on her blog, Driftwood Gardens.


Jen Leeman

Jen Leeman is a working mom whose passion is writing. She lives at the Jersey Shore with her husband, daughter, 2 dogs and a cat. She writes about her love of family, home and garden, casual entertaining and shore living at her blog Driftwood Gardens. Instagram: jluvsa911

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