Summertime is almost here, and with it comes sundresses and sandals, trips to the beach, and tons of outdoor eating fests. From neighborhood potlucks to unplanned picnics at the pool, it’s important to have a few quick (and delicious) recipes that take little effort. Here, we share quick recipes that’ll help you tackle a last-minute invite to a potluck down the street.
We all know one of the quickest breakfasts is cereal and milk, but summertime brunches call for something a little more sophisticated. Look like you put in a lot of effort (your secret is safe with us) by whipping up some homemade Wheat Bread, Chocolate Croissants, and from-scratch Granola with non-dairy yogurt and fresh fruit. Oh, and don’t forget the cinnamon-vanilla French Toast! For mornings with the young ones, Chocolate Brownie Pancakes and Tofu Scrambles are quick, easy crowd-pleasers.
Munching at Lunch
Day trips to the beach and lunch breaks on the office patio scream for light, flavorful food. Take advantage of summer produce by whipping up an Avocado, Tomato, and Sprouts Sandwich, Chickpea Salad Sandwich, or Peanut Butter, Banana, and Apple Sandwich. For even lighter fare, a super easy Miso Soup with tofu, Kale Salad (a serious VN favorite), and Spinach Salad with berries and walnuts will delight your taste buds. For the kiddies, nobody can say no to the classic Grilled Cheese Sandwich—Daiya pepperjack cheese is one of our favorite fillers.
Come dinnertime, you might be in the mood for heartier fare, but still want to spend as little time prepping and cooking as possible. For rainy days or cold snaps, turn on your oven for the first time in weeks and cook up some quick Soyrizo Potato Enchiladas or a Vegetable Bake. For something spicier, choose Cauliflower and Tofu Curry, West African Peanut Soup, or Cajun Black Beans and Sweet Potatoes. Mujadera and Kale and Tomato Pasta are both easy, crowd-pleasing dishes perfect for potlucks and impromptu dinner parties.
This summer, ditch processed chips, crackers, and granola bars when making brown-bag lunches for day campers and picnic baskets. Oat Bars and Peanut Butter Granola Bars take little effort and are filled with palate-pleasing ingredients. For last-minute couch surfers and unexpected slumber parties, the combination of Black Bean Quesadillas, Guacamole, and Salsa make for a delightful tex-mex spread in minutes—all you need is a bag of chips. Spinach Dip and South of the Border Trail Mix are also two simple dishes that are universally loved as snacks or last-minute appetizers.
Cream pies, cheesecake, ice cream … summertime just wouldn’t be summertime without sweet treats at picnics and the bells of ice cream trucks passing by. To take advantage of ripe summer cherries, this Cherry Treat is no muss, no fuss—you prepare and bake in the same pan! Other easy and healthier desserts include Rice Pudding made with coconut milk and Candied Almonds. For a nod to the classics, whip up an easy, healthy ice-creamy treat with a Chocolate Milkshake (it’s only three ingredients!), some delicious Rice Crispy Treats, or homemade three-step Peanut Butter Cups.
Need more quick and easy recipes? Vegan Stoner is a great resource for cheap, easy vegan meals, and our guide to cooking once all week for a host of delicious dishes you can enjoy for many summer nights.