What’s more wonderful than a picnic in the summer? Not much, that’s what. However, while picnics can be a delight with friends and family, they’re also (unfortunately) a great way to break your diet and healthy eating habits. Buckets of fried chicken don’t exactly scream “healthy vegan option." So what should you put into your picnic basket if you’re craving something a little fresher?
You’d be surprised by how many picnic staples can be easily reworked into absolutely amazing vegan counterparts. If you’re despairing at putting together a vegan picnic, then fear not — we’ve got some ideas to get your creative juices flowing. So grab your green drink and juice for detox, and get prepped for summer. Here’s our list of amazing vegan picnic ideas.
#1 Vegan potato salad
Potatoes might not be the first pick for everyone’s diet, but potato salad is a classic. The issue for those going vegan is mayonnaise. However, potato salad ends up being a pretty simple option to turn vegan.
All you need to do is find some vegan mayo and you’re good to go with your old favorite recipes. You can go store-bought, but you can also fill up some mason jars with your own homemade vegan mayo. You’ll find a ton of tasty examples online, using ingredients such as cashews.
#2 Vegan sandwiches
Alright, so no good picnic is complete without the sandwiches. However, let’s say you want to go beyond ham and cheese. You have a ton of potential options and it can be hard to pick which vegan, dairy-free sandwiches to choose from.
We’d like to forward the humble chickpea as a potential contender for a sandwich star. These little legumes are a viable replacement for meat-based proteins and go well with many different ingredients.
#3 Vegan pinwheels
Talking about sandwiches, there are few more iconic picnic foods than playful pinwheel sandwiches. Making some healthier, vegan options for pinwheels is super easy. The trick to making it healthier is to swap in a whole wheat tortilla for the bread. As for fillings, you can find all sorts of great recipes online.
#4 Vegan dips
Chips and dips are another staple for picnics. You can quickly come up with tons of vegan picnic ideas for dips that are entirely vegan if you do a little bit of poking around. If you’re willing to use vegan meat substitutes, you could put together something like a vegan taco dip. But if you just want to enjoy some fresh fruits and veggies, then whipping up some dairy-free and oil-free dips just takes a little bit of imagination.
#5 Vegan pasta salads
It wouldn’t be right to bring up potato salads and not mention that you can just as easily adapt pasta salads into vegan versions. All you need to do is get your favorite fruits and veggies together, some whole wheat pasta, and a light dressing of your choice. This makes a great snack to go along with your green drink or juice for detox, but it’s also fabulous picnic fare. There are plenty of recipes online to get your imagination running.
#6 Vegan soups
Soups get unfairly forgotten when it comes to the summer season. It’s not everywhere that has a tradition of cool summer soups. However, if you get good at prepping them, chilled soups can be among the best easy vegan recipes in your arsenal. It’s all the good stuff of green drinks or juice for detox but as a filling meal. A great vegan picnic idea as far as soups go has to be our own gazpacho recipe.
#7 Vegan slaws and salads
Coleslaw can be considered part of the holy trinity of traditional picnic salads, along with the aforementioned pasta and potato variations. Just like those, it tends to often have an uncomfortable amount of mayonnaise in it. But, just like those, it’s also the source of fantastic vegan picnic ideas when you start thinking about how to redo the dressing. If you’re looking to get into easy vegan recipes, coleslaws are a great way to start.
Coleslaws are the first step into the larger world of shredded vegetable dishes. Once you get comfy with some easy versions, why not check out the larger world of shredded veggie dishes? We’re a big fan of urab, ourselves — check out our recipe!
#8 Vegan pies
A thick slice of pie with some ice cream — a summer dream, but one that seems out of reach for anyone looking for vegan options. Yes, we’re into the dessert section of this list. After all that green drink and juice for detox, you deserve a little bit of a treat every now and again.
But is pie going to be an off-limit dessert for vegan picnics? Not necessarily. It’s entirely possible to develop vegan options for all the old classics. And if you get creative with your dairy substitutes, you might not even need to get rid of the ice cream!
#9 Tropical fruits
Sometimes, you don’t need to get fancy. Some of the most delicious dessert items for a picnic is your favorite tropical fruits. Not much is needed here in the way of prep work, but you’ll create a memorable spread your guests will be eager to try again and again. If you want some tips on which tropical fruits make the best vegan picnic companions, why not check out our shortlist of some of our favorite examples?
#10 Chef V green drink
You can’t have a picnic without something to drink. Low sugar lemonade is one nice option. But why not also enjoy some of that wonderful Chef V green drink? If you’re used to our original recipe, you might not know we have a truly amazing tropical version. This is the perfect companion to any picnic in the summer heat. No matter what you decide, just make sure you load up on the fruits, veggies, and plenty of water. And, of course, make sure to have fun!