10 Products You'll Need for a Vegan Cookout

Your guide to start substituting common dishes!

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July 21, 2021
By: Hadiya Presswood
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My parents are incorporating more plant-based dishes into their diet, and it’s fine when trying weeknight dinners or a quick breakfast. But it’s summertime — the height of outdoor cooking season — and I’m not so sure I’m ready to try to replace traditional cookout fare. I’m pretty skeptical about substituting non-vegan foods, but I searched for options and found some top-rated products that might help convince me.

I started with the star of the show: burgers. These patties are made with rice and a variety of vegetables. They can be cooked in a skillet, in the microwave and, of course, on the grill, which is great because is it really a cookout without burgers?

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Hot dogs loaded with toppings and condiments are another cookout heavy-hitter. While this summer has brought us a few interesting hot dog innovations, including carrot dogs, flat hot dogs and a lattice slicer, this option might be the best one for those of us who want to keep it simple.

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The sweetness of the tomato and maple that these beans are made with is sure to balance out the savory taste of the "meats," making them the ultimate companion to grilled food.

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Personally, I think baked macaroni and cheese is the way to go, but if the creamy stovetop variety is more your taste, then this cheddar variety is the ideal product. It’s gluten-free, too!

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Many of the best side dishes at a cookout (potato salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw) require mayonnaise to create the creamy texture, especially when the starchy ingredients like potatoes and pasta absorb liquids.

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While you have the mayo out, add some sour cream to make a good dip for chips and crisp veggies. It can even be seasoned with herbs to take it up a notch. Everyone knows you can grill vegetables, but next time try grilling fruit to unlock fun summer flavors.

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At this point, it’s indisputable that bacon is a champion of the food world. It’s used as a main dish, ingredient, garnish and seasoning. For the cookout, these vegan bacon bits can be added to patties, pasta salad and dip for a salty crunch.

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It’s a tight race with bacon, but you could argue that cheese is the conqueror of the food world, and in this case, nothing beats a slice of cheese perfectly centered on a hot patty. Luckily, you can still create that same combo with vegan cheese slices.

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A little goes a long way, especially when corn-on-the-cob is involved, but according to some recipes, a lot of butter goes further when it comes to baking something special. It’s always good to have some on hand, including this vegan alternative made from oak milk.

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If you’re looking for something not too sweet and still crave a classic dessert, a moist pound cake (with a little vegan ice cream on the side) is the way to go.

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