Happy MDW! Make These Plant-Based Versions of Your Favorite Classic Recipes
Planning the perfect spread for Memorial Day Weekend? We have you covered with these seven plant-based recipes that are easy to make and healthier versions of the classics we all grew up with, keeping the taste but losing the bad stuff. For the complete grilling guide to plant-based burgers, dogs, sausages, and skewers, check out the best vegan options here.
Before your guests arrive make a signature cocktail to greet them with. We love a fresh twist on the classic Salty Dog, that adds grapefruit and rosemary to the mix, which you can make with vodka or gin. This cocktail is refreshing on a hot day and has a tangy citrus kick but is not too sweet, so you can save your sweet treat for dessert.
Whether you're headed to a BBQ or hosting the get-together, a classic potato salad is a must-have side dish and with this recipe, anyone with a dairy allergy can dive right in because we swapped mayonnaise for Veganaise, a creamy dairy-free blend of vegetable oils . Our second most popular side dish is a dairy-free baked mac and cheese with crispy breadcrumbs that complement the cauliflower nuggets perfectly. Everyone loves this cheesy dish, including children!
Pasta salad is a backyard BBQ favorite. Prepare and serve our bruschetta pasta salad recipe in a large bowl with serving spoons for everyone to help themselves. Next to your pasta dish, enjoy bite-size cauliflower nuggets with a side of ketchup or mustard. This is the perfect dish if you're trying to eat healthily but still want to enjoy the foods you love.
For the best part of the night, enjoy a cheerful and bright spread of homemade desserts that are healthier for you than the real thing since none of them include dairy. Your dessert menu includes homemade cashew milk ice cream, blueberry pie, and a photo-worthy fruit tart. Enjoy your holiday weekend with fun, creative, plant-based recipes you haven't tried before.
Your Drink of the Weekend: Rosemary and Grapefruit 'Salty Dog' Cocktail
When you want something refreshing to sip on in the sun, reach for this sweet and sour grapefruit and rosemary cocktail mixed with gin or any of your favorite liquor. This drink is also known as "Salty Dog," which refers to sailors who spent a long time at sea in the 1920s. Throw out this fun fact at your BBQ party!
Recipe Developer: Natalie Penney, @natalie.naturally
Grapefruit and Rosemary Cocktail
- 150ml/ 5oz. of Hendricks Gin or any other brand
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- Juice of 2 ruby/pink grapefruit
- 2 tbsp. salt
- 1 lemon wedge
- 1 slice of grapefruit to garnish
- ½ cup ice
- Place the salt onto a little plate.
- Rub the lemon on the rims of the glasses, and dip into the salt to coat the rim, set aside.
- In a shaker add a small handful of ice cubes, the juice from the grapefruit, a few rosemary leaves, and the gin.
- Shake vigorously till combine and icy cold.
- Pour into your glasses and garnish with the grapefruit slices and rosemary sprigs.
Your Side Dishes: Dairy-Free Baked Mac and Cheese and Potato Salad
For your first side dish, make this dairy-free mac and cheese to complement your cauliflower nugget entree. The breadcrumbs add a nice texture while the goey, cheesy sauce melts in your mouth. Children will be the first to help themselves!
Recipe Developer: Britt Berlin, @the_bananadiaries
Prep: 20 Minutes
Cook: 35 Minutes
Total Time: 55 Minutes
Vegan Baked Mac and Cheese
- 16 ounces pasta (chickpea pasta for protein, GF pasta if needed for GF)
- 1 1/3 cups dairy-free milk (recommended: oat milk or coconut milk)
- 1/2 cup vegan shredded cheese
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup vegan butter, melted
- 2 tbsp arrowroot starch or cornstarch
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- Optional: 2 tbsp plain pea protein
- 2/3 cup rolled oats
- More sea salt to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a large casserole dish with a tbsp olive oil or vegan butter.
- Cook the pasta according to directions. Once cooked, drain the pasta and pour the pasta into the casserole dish. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the dairy-free milk with nutritional yeast, melted vegan butter, dijon custard, sea salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Once the mixture begins to boil reduce to medium-low heat. Remove 3-4 tbsp of the mixture and place it into a small bowl along with the arrowroot powder. Mix the mixture until it forms a paste, and then add it back to the saucepan, mixing until the paste combines with the dairy-free milk mixture.
- Add in the vegan shredded cheese and stir until completely melted. Once melted, pour the cheese mixture over the pasta and mix with a wooden spoon until the pasta is completely coated.
- In a food processor or blender, pulse the oats until they’re rustic powder. Sprinkle the ground oats over the mac and cheese, along with a pinch of sea salt.
- Place the casserole dish into the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the oats have cooked to a light golden color.
- Remove from the oven and allow the casserole dish to cool for 5-10 minutes. Serve warm and enjoy! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Potato salad is that one dish served at every backyard barbeque. This recipe is healthier than many traditional potato salads since we ditch the dairy and added sugar. Prepare the salad in a big bowl with two serving spoons, add salt and pepper on the side for taste.
Recipe Developer: Lauren, @flora_and_vino
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Vegan Potato Salad
Yield 6-8 servings
- 2 1/2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed
- 1/2 cups celery, diced
- 1/2 cup green onions (green parts only), diced
- ½ cup sweet bell pepper, diced
- ¼ cup dill, chopped
Potato Salad Dressing:
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup vegan mayonnaise (store-bought or cashew mayo)
- 1 heaping TBSP Eden Foods Yellow Mustard
- ½ lemon, squeezed
- Himalayan sea salt
- Black pepper
- Wash and scrub the potatoes and place them in a large pot. Cover with 1 1/2 inch of water, and add a generous pinch of salt.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a gentle boil and cook about 15 – 20 minutes, until potatoes are just fork-tender. Drain potatoes and cool slightly.
- Once cooled, gently peel the skin away. Cut the potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes and place them in a large mixing bowl.
- While potatoes are cooking and/or cooling, prepare the green onion, celery, bell pepper, and dill. Add to the bowl with the diced potatoes and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the mayo, mustard, Himalayan sea salt, and black pepper, and mix well. If the dressing is too thick, add a squeeze of lemon. If the dressing is too thin, add a little more mayo.
- Pour the dressing over the potato and vegetables in the large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Season with Himalayan sea salt and black pepper.
- Transfer the bowl to the refrigerator to chill for an hour or so before serving.
- Garnish with fresh dill. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
Your Main Dishes: Bruschetta Pasta and Cauliflower Nuggets
This bruschetta pasta salad is loaded with fresh ingredients like tomatoes, red onions, and basil that go perfectly with a pasta salad. Not to mention, this recipe requires minimal effort so you can get this done in less than half an hour.
Recipe Developer: JD Raymundo, @the_little_almond
Vegan Bruschetta Pasta Salad
Prep Time: 5 Min
Cook Time: 10 Min
Total Time: 15 Min
Servings: 4-6 People
- 3 Cups Pasta Noodles
- 5 Medium Tomatoes, diced
- ¼ Cup Red Onions, diced
- 2 Green Onions, diced
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- ½ Cup Vegan Parmesan
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- A handful of basil, roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Start cooking your pasta noodles as directed on the package. While pasta is cooking, in a bowl add your tomatoes, red onions, green onions, garlic, vegan parmesan, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and basil. Toss it together until it’s evenly mixed.
- Once your pasta noodles are cooked, drain them and add them to a large bowl. Add your bruschetta mixture to your pasta and toss until it’s well mixed together Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover the bowl and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Once chilled, you can serve it right away. Garnish with extra basil, parmesan, and a light drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!
Finger food is an easy way to serve your guests while they dance and enjoy the music. Serve these nuggets as an entree or pass them out as small appetizers with a side of ketchup and mustard. Or, serve them at the kids' table and they'll be gone in 5 seconds!
Recipe Developer: Britt Berlin, @the_bananadiaries
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes
- 16 ounces cauliflower rice (plus 1/4 cup water for steaming)
- 1 1/3 cup cassava flour
- 1/2 cup pea protein, plain
- 2 1/2 teaspoons finely ground sea salt
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 4 cups Plant Snacks Sea Salt Cassava Root Chips
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- Preheat the oven to 375F and grease a baking sheet with coconut oil.
In a medium saute pan, steam the cauliflower rice with the water, covered on medium-low heat. Steam the rice for about 7 minutes or until soft and translucent. Remove from heat and allow the rice to cool for 5 minutes.
- Transfer the cauliflower rice to a large food processor. Pulse the food processor until the cauliflower rice becomes a puree.
- Add in the cassava flour, pea protein, sea salt, and cumin, and pulse again until the cauliflower mixture becomes a sticky dough. Set aside.
- In a large bag or in a blender, smash or blend the Plant Snacks Sea Salt Cassava Root Chips into a bread-crumb texture or a fine powder, whichever you prefer. Transfer the bread crumbs to a large bowl.
- Use a spoon to scoop about 2 tablespoons of cauliflower dough and roll it with your hands into a nugget shape. Dip the nugget into the bread crumb bowl, coating both sides evenly. Place the nugget onto the baking sheet and repeat to make 20 nuggets or until you’re finished with the dough.
- Place the baking sheet into the oven to bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, carefully flip each nugget onto the other side to continue browning for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool before serving.
Your Dessert Menu: Cashew Milk Ice Cream, Blueberry Pie, Fruit Tart
This homemade cashew milk ice cream is a unique treat that may be a first-timer for you and or your guests. Vegan ice cream isn't a simple task since it requires a lot of attention. For the first two hours, you need to stir ice cream every 30 minutes so it doesn't get icy. This chilled treat is well worth the work since it's a delight to have on a warm spring day.
Recipe Developer: Britt Berlin, @the_bananadiaries
Cashew Milk Ice Cream
- 2 cups (420 grams) homemade Cashew milk
- 1 cup (270 grams) creamy cashew butter
- 1 cup ( 200 grams) coconut cream (fat from coconut cream can)
- 1 cup (160 grams) coconut sugar*
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) coconut oil
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp vanilla powder (from 1 oz container)
- In a large food processor, combine all the ingredients until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into a container that can be sealed and store in the freezer for 2-3 hours.
- For the first 2 hours, every 30 minutes, give the ice cream a stir to make sure that the ice cream doesn’t become icy.
- When ready to scoop, allow the ice cream to sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes, then run a scoop or spoon under hot water to help scoop.
- Serve with vegan sprinkles, chocolate chips, homemade peanut butter or cashew butter, fresh berry jam, or more.
For anyone with gluten or dairy allergy, this recipe is perfect since we use GF baking flour, vegan butter, and a homemade vegan "egg" using coconut oil and maple syrup. This blueberry pie is a masterpiece and pairs well with cashew ice cream. Serve them side by side and surprise your guests by telling them the desserts are completely vegan.
Recipe Developer: Britt Berlin, @the_bananadiaries
Vegan and Gluten-Free Blueberry Pie
Vegan Pie Crust:
- 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour or gluten-free 1:1 baking flour
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp arrowroot starch (or cornstarch)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup (226 grams) vegan butter, cubed
- 5–7 tbsp chilled water
- Vegan “egg” wash: 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted + 1 tbsp maple syrup
Vegan Blueberry Pie Filling:
- 4 cups (600 grams) fresh blueberries
- 2 tbsp coconut oil or vegan butter, melted
- 1 tbsp arrowroot starch or cornstarch
- juice from 1 lime
- zest from 1 lime
- Make the vegan pie crust: Add the flour, arrowroot powder, coconut sugar, baking soda, and sea salt to a food processor, and pulse the ingredients together. Then add in the cubed vegan butter to the food processor, and pulse the ingredients until the mixture resembles a sand texture. Place the lid back onto the food processor, and begin to blend again. Remove the top insert from the lid and carefully slowly pour in the water 1 tablespoon at a time until it forms a smooth dough ball. Allow the dough to blend until it forms a large dough ball.
- Stop the food processor and remove the dough. Divide the dough in half and place it onto two separate pieces of parchment paper. Form each dough ball into a flat disk. Wrap the dough in the and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. While the dough is chilling, lightly grease a 9″ pie dish with olive oil and set aside.
- Form the pie crust: When the pie crust is ready to be rolled, remove one dough disk from the fridge and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Sprinkle a piece of parchment paper with flour, as well as the dough disk and a rolling pin. Gently roll the dough to be about 1/4″ thick and 1″ wider than the pie dish edge. See this pie crust video help. Gently drape the pie dough over the pie dish and gently press the dough into the sides of the pie dish. Place the pie crust into the fridge to chill, and remove the second dough disk.
- Make the blueberry pie filling: while the second dough disk is resting on the counter and the pie dish is in the fridge chilling, make the blueberry pie filling. In a large bowl, combine the blueberries, arrowroot starch, coconut oil or vegan butter, lime juice, and zest together until completely mixed. Remove the pie dish from the fridge and gently pour the blueberry filling into the pie dish. Place the pie dish back into the fridge and prepare the second dough disk.
Make the lattice crust: Roll the second dough out like in step 3. To make the lattice, measure 9″ in length (if using a 9″ pie dish) and 1″ in width for each strip of the lattice. Measure out 8-12 strips, depending on how many you want to go across each side. Remove the pie dish from the fridge again and begin to make your lattice. Drape half of the strips in one direction over the pie. Do not seal off the lattice yet. Now begin to weave the other strips going the opposite direction, lifting up every other strip to cover the opposite strip. Gently tuck the pie pieces under the edges of the pie crust.
- Place the pie dish into fridge again and preheat the oven to 400F.
Once the oven is preheated, make the vegan “egg” wash by mixing together the melted coconut oil and maple syrup. Use a pastry brush to brush the mixture over the top of the pie crust. Place the pie dish onto a baking sheet and gently cover with aluminum foil.
- Place the blueberry pie into the oven to bake for 25 minutes covered. Then remove the cover and reduce the heat to 350F. Bake the blueberry pie for an additional 25-30 minutes.
- The crust should look lightly golden, and the blueberries moist. Remove the blueberry pie from the oven and allow the blueberry pie to cool for 10 minutes at room temperature and then set completely in the fridge for 3 hours. Serve a la mode and enjoy!
Fruit tarts are a summer staple and an easy dessert to whip together for a backyard party. A traditional fruit tart contains dairy and eggs but this recipe is 100% vegan and is guaranteed to brighten up your table of desserts.
Recipe Developer: Nico & Louise, @theplantbasedschool
Prep Time:15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Resting Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 1 hour
Fruit Tart with Vegan Custard
Serves 10 people
For the shortcrust pastry base
- 3 cups whole grain flour (375 grams)
- 0.9 cup sugar (190 grams)
- 0.4 cup sunflower oil (75 grams)
- 0.20 cup coconut oil (30 grams)
- 0.4 cup of cold water (90 grams)
- Zest of half lemon
- 1 tbsp vanilla sugar (8 grams)
- 2.5 tsp baking powder (9 grams)
- 1 pinch salt
For the vegan custard
- 3 cups unsweetened soy milk (690 grams)
- 6 tbsp cornstarch (70 grams)
- 5 tbsp sugar (100 grams)
- 1 pinch turmeric
- zest of 1 lemon
- vanilla extract
For the fruit topping
- 8 strawberries
- 2 kiwis
- 1 nectarine
- 5 cherries
- 9 raspberries
- 9 blueberries
- 9 mint leaves
- In a saucepan, whisk together the milk, cornstarch, sugar, turmeric until well-combined
- Add the lemon zest, or thin lemon peel, making sure you only use the yellow part of the lemon and not the white flesh under the skin. That part is bitter.
- Set the saucepan on high heat and bring to a simmer while whisking continuously. Keep stirring fast and vigorously to avoid any lumps. Stop when you reach your desired consistency. If you like a smooth custard you should pass it through a sieve halfway through this step to filter out the lemon zest.
- Let cool the custard at room temperature. Whisk occasionally to prevent the formation of skin on the surface. If you want to cool it down faster, you can submerge the pan in cold water while whisking until the custard is cold.
- In a bowl, add lemon zest, vanilla extract, sunflower oil, coconut oil, water, salt, sugar, and stir well. Add the whole grain flour and the baking powder all at once and mix with a spoon. When the dough comes together, mix a few more times with your hands until smooth. Don't over-mix. Shape the dough into a ball.
- Wrap in foil and let rest in the fridge for an hour, or in the freezer for 15 minutes. This is a very important step as the dough needs to cool down or else it will be very hard to roll.
Prep the pie dish by greasing it with some oil. We use a 10 inch (24 cm) pie dish. 9 inch is easier if it's your first pie. Then dust it with some flour. This will make it easier to remove the tart once baked.
- Start flattening the dough, first with your hands, then with the help of a rolling pin.
- Make it 1/8 of an inch thick (4mm). Also, make sure you sprinkle your rolling pin and your work table with some flour. You need to work fast here as you want to keep the dough as cold as possible so that it's easier to move.
- Roll the dough around the rolling pin and carefully unroll it over the pie dish.
- Make sure the dough covers the whole dish and fits in it tightly. With a fork, make some holes into the base of the tart. Pour your homemade custard into the dish and spread it around evenly with a spoon.
- Bake at 360˚F / 180C for about 30 min. The tart is ready when slightly golden on top. Let the tart cool down completely before adding the fruit on top.