If you’re thinking that we’re going to have a beverage today for our backyard quarantine-style Labor Day festivities, you’d be correct. But what you might not know is that we’re stepping up our brew game by featuring seven plant-based dishes that are made with this frosty drink. Beer has made its way into the food-trend scene, which means everyone can enjoy a frosty libation. From moist stout cupcakes and beer-battered tofu tacos to chocolate stout brownies and beer macaroni and cheese, we’ve compiled a list of the tastiest beer-infused vegan dishes to whet your appetite. So, raise your glass, but don’t take a sip. Instead, enjoy beer cooked into your food. Cheers!
1. Vegan Beer Brats
Beer-infused brats are the perfect summer send-off. Do like Thyme & Love and cook your favorite Beyond Meat brats in a bath of your go-to summer brew for a flavor you won’t soon forget. Served between soft pretzel buns and loaded with all the fixings, dress up this classic with a side of potato salad (or even baked beans!) for the ultimate Labor Day meal.
2. Thai BBQ Beer Can Cabbage with Daikon Slaw
If you’re the kind of person who likes to experiment with your food, try these inventive sliders from cookbook author (and VegNews contributor) Jackie Sobon. Packed with barbecued beer cabbage (which involves gutting a cabbage, adding beer into it, and slow-grilling the beer-stuffed cabbage until tender and infused with hoppy goodness), the sandwich’s Asian-inspired barbecue sauce and bright daikon slaw make for an incredible sandwich.
3. Beer & Brat Mac ‘n’ Cheese
Another delicious culinary invention from the kitchen of Jackie Sobon, this Oktoberfest-worthy macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. The cashew-based sauce is completely swoon-worthy thanks to its luxuriously creamy texture and added oomph from the Golden Ale beer. We’d smother almost anything with it, but Sobon pairs it with perfectly cooked pasta and hearty chunks of vegan seitan bratwurst.
4. Vegan Beer Chili
Is it okay to drink alone if you pour the beer into a pot of chili? We say yes, which is why Minimalist Baker’s one-bowl wonder is our staple for nights spent curled up on the couch. Although the recipe serves eight, we find it’s best suited for the single lifestyle. Simple ingredients? Check. Easy prep? Yep (less than an hour). Freezer-friendly? You bet! Plus, the beer gives it a robust flavor, and the beans give this soup substance. Serve it in a pint glass for a festive touch and enjoy your party of one.
5. Vegan Beer & Cheddar Bread Bowl Dip
Beer and cheese is the harmonious adult equivalent to peanut butter and jelly, which might explain why Hot for Food created the ultimate gooey, cheesy, plant-based dip for your quarantine-style Labor Day party of one. The dip relies on potatoes and cashews for its classically thick consistency, while the beer, spices, and pickled jalapeños enhance its bold, complex flavor. The dip is poured into a bread bowl and topped with vegan cheddar, green onion, and coconut bacon, so forgo the accoutrements and start ripping this bowl apart.
6. Crispy Beer-Battered Tofu Tacos
Those who say they don’t like tofu obviously have never had Kathy Patalsky’s beer-battered creation. The blogger transforms these bland bricks of soy into craveable, beer-soaked bites that are simple yet satisfying when paired with pickled onions, cabbage, avocado, vegan chipotle mayonnaise, and hot sauce. The tofu is crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and tastes delicious inside a warm tortilla. We’re making extra to add to our salads, sandwiches, and Buddha bowls.
7. Chocolate Stout Brownies
Stout is an acquired taste, but everyone can learn to love its chocolate accents, thanks to these decadent vegan brownies. Concocted by healthy vegan dessert blog Chocolate Covered Katie, these guiltless brownies are fudgy, stuffed with chocolate-chips, and are a surefire pleaser. Note: Katie highly recommends you let these sit overnight in the refrigerator before serving, so plan ahead and make these the night before Labor Day. We won’t judge if you celebrate a day early by eating the batter.
Photo courtesy of Kathy Patalsky