With Memorial Day just a few days away, it’s time to welcome the summer months! And while summer doesn’t officially begin until June 20, many regard Memorial Day as the unofficial start of the season. In fact, many US schools are already on summer break. And, if you ask us, there’s no better way to celebrate Memorial Day—and the start of summer—than with a barbecue. 

Jump to the sides

If you’re planning to host for the occasion, here are a few vegan sides to serve alongside your plant-based meat. But just a tip: make plenty, as your guests are sure to come back for seconds, and maybe even thirds.

RELATED: 10 Vegan Recipes for Fourth of July You Need to Make Now

What vegan food is good to serve at a barbecue?

As well as an array of sides, a barbecue isn’t complete without the meat. But it doesn’t have to come from an animal. These pulled pork, rib, and kebab options, for example, are all made from plants, but taste just as juicy as the real thing—especially after they’ve been barbecued. If you prefer to keep things traditional, these eight vegan burgers also work perfectly on the grill. And these vegan hot dogs and sausages were also made for barbecuing.

RELATED: Get Barbecue Ready With These 10 Meat-Free Ribs, Kebabs, and Pulled Pork Options

15 barbecue sides and salads that’ll outshine everything else

A barbecue isn’t complete without a few delicious sides. We don’t know how you’ll choose from the list below—they’re all tasty, satisfying, and easy to make, too. From mac and cheese to slaw to salad, here are some of the best vegan barbecue sides to whip up this long weekend.

VegNews.MacaroniandCheese.HannahKaminskyHannah Kaminsky

1 Vegan Macaroni and Cheese

Family and friends won’t be able to get enough of this vegan macaroni and cheese recipe, regardless of whether they eat plant-based or not. Made with a few sneaky vegetables, including carrots and onions, it’s creamy, comforting, and deliciously addictive.
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VegNews.SouthernBiscuitsJeremy Patton

2 Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

Biscuits are great for breakfast, snacks, lunch, and dinner, there’s no doubt. But if you haven’t tried barbecuing them outside yet, you’re mind is about to be blown. Plus, they go with everything barbecue-related, including vegan ribs, salads, burgers, and sausages.
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VegNews.GrilledMushroomsNadine Horn and Jörg Mayer

3 Grilled King Oyster Mushroom Skewers

This side is so juicy and meaty that you might decide to actually skip the burgers and sausages. All you need to do is marinade king oyster mushrooms, thread them onto skewers, and then cook them on the grill. Simple and delicious.
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VegNews.Koshimbir_2Shivangi Rao

4 Indian Cabbage Slaw

Slaw is the ultimate barbecue side. This Indian-style version of the cookout classic, which features shredded cabbage and serrano pepper, is a little spicy, but it’s packed with flavor and has that addictive tangy element, too.
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5 Spiced Cauliflower With Beans, Slaw, and Vegan Ranch

Even your meat-loving friends will enjoy this refreshing mix of crunchy coleslaw, spiced baked cauliflower, and silky cashew vegan ranch. Serve with corn and beans for a plant-rich barbecue feast.
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VegNews.ShavedAsparagusColeslawCREDITALLYSONKRAMERAllyson Kramer

6 Shaved Asparagus Coleslaw

If you’re looking for a quick and simple slaw recipe, this might be the one. With raw asparagus, cabbage, and vegan mayo, it’s easy to pull together (just make sure you leave enough time in advance, as it needs around 2 hours to chill!).
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VegNews.MexicanCornSaladAbuela’s Plant-Based Kitchen

7 Vegan Mexican-Inspired Corn Salad

You don’t need leafy greens to make a delicious salad. Instead, try this Mexican-style corn salad, which is loaded with flavor thanks to the tangy lime, herbs, and spicy peppers in the mix.
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VegNews.AirFryerTofuDanielle Keith

8 Air-Fried Buffalo Tofu Poppers

Forget chicken, these air-fried buffalo tofu poppers have all the same delicious texture and flavor, but with none of the animal products. Make sure to serve with lots of vegan ranch or sour cream!
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VegNews.CornbreadTerry Hope Romero

9 Cornbread Loaf

Enjoy your barbecue the southern way by baking this cornbread loaf ahead of time. According to Southern Living magazine, it’s one of the top barbecue side dishes in Tennessee.
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10 Chili-Lime Cauliflower With Couscous and Collard Greens

Add some extra nutrition to your barbecue feast with this delicious, simple cauliflower bowl, which is loaded with couscous and collard greens, another southern classic. It will go perfectly with the air-fried tofu, too.
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VegNews.WhiteBeanBruschetta.HannahKaminskyHannah Kaminsky

11 White Bean Bruschetta

For a pre-barbecue appetizer, these white bean bruschettas are a certified crowd pleaser. But, if country bread is a little too filling ahead of the main event, you could also opt to serve the creamy spread with crackers or breadsticks.
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VegNews.VeggieSkewers.FeaturePage Street Publishing

12 Garlic-Rosemary Vegetable Skewers

Skewers are always a great barbecue side, and these are not just packed with flavor, but they’re easy to make, too. Just load them up with your favorite vegetables and season generously.
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VegNews.MangoCauliflowerLuke Albert

13 Spiced Yogurt-Grilled Cauliflower and Mango

Another tasty skewer idea, this is a great recipe for those who like to experiment with different plant-based ingredients. The heat of the grill will bring out the flavor of the marinated mango and cauliflower beautifully. Pro tip: slightly underripe mangoes will work best.
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VegNews.BeansNFranks.HannahKaminskyHannah Kaminsky

14Simple Vegan Baked Beans and Franks 

This recipe for baked beans and franks can easily be prepared in advance. They’re deliciously tangy and flavorful. Plus, they require just four ingredients and come together in a flash. 
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VegNews.GreekPotatoSaladLauren Toyota

15 Greek Potato Feta Salad

And finally, when it comes to barbecue salads, you can’t go wrong with Greek. Load it up with plenty of potatoes, vegan cubes of feta or tofu, and serve with a big helping of creamy cucumber dressing.
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