How To Host a Vegan-Friendly Grill Party

June 30, 2016

It’s summertime! Summer means lots of days outdoors swimming, hiking, playing, enjoying life, and eating lots. It also means grill parties. Lots of grill parties. Most grill parties involve lots of meat and lots of cheese and not much else in between! So how can you still have your All-American grill and be all-inclusive to the plant-based friends among you? Here are my top six tips to keep everyone happy at your summer party–including vegans and non-vegans alike.

How To Make Your Grill Party Vegan-Friendly

6 Easy Tips for Hosting a Vegan-Friendly Grill Party

1. Cheese? Put it as an accompaniment dish!

Vegans don’t eat cheese, and a growing number of non-vegans have dairy intolerances. Play it safe, and if you really have to have cheese, keep a bowl of cheese to the side, and people can add it if they wish! Pasta dishes, rice dishes, and salads without cheese all taste great to vegan people, and those who want to add cheese can do so! You could also try some of the great vegan cheese options available.

2. Let people dress their own salads!

Some people like vinaigrette, some people like ranch, others like balsamic dressing, and others may want something else! Keep the salad dressings to the side and let people make their own choice. That way, the vegans among you can opt for the non-dairy dressings and enjoy their salad with everyone else!

How To Make Your Grill Party Vegan-Friendly

Smoky Cilantro Dressing

3. Hummus. If nothing else, have hummus.

Hummus with veggie sticks. Hummus with chips. Hummus spread on a roll. Hummus hummus. You can’t go wrong with a big pot of hummus.

How To Make Your Grill Party Vegan-Friendly

For a twist on classic hummus, try this Raw Zucchini Pesto Hummus.

4. Rolls for everyone!

Make sure your hotdog and hamburger rolls are dairy and egg free! That way, the vegans at your party can grab a roll even if they don’t grab the meat. Rolls are yummy with salad, hummus, and even chips!

5. Take the meat out of the burger…

If you want to go a step further for your vegan friends, there are some great veggie burger options available that don’t contain dairy. Beyond Meat and Boca burgers are yummy meat alternatives.  If you do decide to go down this route, keep a section of your grill meat-free, and use this section for veggie burgers and any other vegetable options. Alternatively, cook the vegetables and burgers on foil.

How To Make Your Grill Party Vegan-Friendly

Need veggie burger inspiration? Try this Vegan Stuffed Portobello Burger.

6. Finish with fruit!

Many desserts are dairy-based, but a great big bowl of fruit will be a hit with everyone at a grill party! Stock up on watermelon, grapes, blueberries, and strawberries. At this time of year, there are so many amazing options that work for everyone–not just your plant-loving friends!

How To Make Your Grill Party Vegan-Friendly

Everyone loves fruit! 

And above all else, remember that vegans are used to going to parties without a lot of choices for them. By ensuring they can eat one good thing, without resorting to a big bowl of chips and salsa, you’ll make them feel included and loved, along with all your other meat-eating friends!

What are your tips for hosting a vegan-friendly grill party? 

Related: Summer Fun: 5 Ways to Throw an Eco-Friendly Party

Vegan Party Ideas: Casual Summer Refreshments

Vegan Sandwich Recipes: Lentil Sloppy Joes (Video)

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Photo: Matt Heaton via Unsplash, Molly Lansdowne, Mary Hood Luttrell, Peaceful Dumpling, Lindsey Welch

Lindsey Welch is a photographer and childbirth educator living in Maryland. When she's not working she spends her time looking after her three young boys and plant-powered ultra-runner husband. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram @lindseywelchphotography.


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