When I think “Fourth of July,” my mind goes straight to summertime bliss. Basking in the sun, enjoying a festive cocktail, and gathering with friends and family for a classic backyard barbecue is my idea of a perfect holiday. If you’re planning your weekend menu and craving a few more plants on your plate, these vegetarian Fourth of July recipes are for you.
It’s no secret that the Fourth of July is typically all about the grill, but that doesn’t mean that it has to center around hot dogs, hamburgers, or steaks. Instead, your menu can include vegetable-based favorites that even the most enthusiastic meat lovers will enjoy. So whether you’re planning a menu for dietary restrictions, looking to include more vegetables in your diet, or simply searching for veggie sides to complement meats, these 15 vegetarian Fourth of July recipes are a great place to start. Put a few of these in your back pocket and try something new this year—you and your guests might be surprised how much you love it.
Feature image by Suruchi Avasthi.
Vegetarian Fourth of July Starters
Spring Crudité With Green Goddess Dressing
Why We Love It: Sub in your favorite summer veggies (and fruits if you please!) and you’ve got a winning Fourth of July appetizer that can tie over any hungry guests. Bell pepper, cucumber, tomatoes, watermelon, you know the drill.
Hero Ingredient: That green goddess dressing can double as a coating for salads, spread for sandwiches, or general saucy superhero in your fridge. Use it freely.
Get the recipe for Spring Crudité With Green Goddess Dressing.
White Bean & Radicchio Salad
Why We Love It: I love a good white bean, and they’re definitely celebrated in this simple salad. A little veggie stock, chive, lemon juice, and olive oil is all it takes before you’re on your way to the easiest summer starter or side that sets the tone for Fourth of July festivities.
Hero Ingredient: Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano is the perfect sidekick for that lovably-bitter radicchio. Salty, nutty, and savory… mmm.
Get the recipe for White Bean & Radicchio Salad.
Simple Citrus Salad
Why We Love It: I’ve said this a number of times, but this salad is about as refreshing as it gets. What do you get when you combine juicy citrus with salty marcona almonds and sharp shaved onion? Pure bliss. While it may be unconventional, this salad makes an excellent starter for any summer gathering. It’s the same vibe as biting into a frozen orange slice after a peewee soccer game. Sounds ideal to me.
Hero Ingredient: A drizzle of white wine vinegar—though it’s not called for—is a real game-changer.
Get the recipe for Simple Citrus Salad.
Watermelon Tomato Caprese Salad
Why We Love It: This simple salad combines four of summer’s most beloved ingredients: watermelon, tomatoes, cucumber, and basil. Make the most of the season by whipping up a big bowl of this tasty caprese. Of course, those mozzarella balls are not to be overlooked, though. They bring in the perfect amount of creamy indulgence that complements literally everything in salad.
Hero Ingredient: Lime juice (and zest, if you have the patience) keeps things nice and zingy.
Get the recipe for Watermelon Tomato Caprese Salad.
Classic Hummus With Marinated Chickpeas
Why We Love It: One of the most classic appetizers, hummus is the perfect Fourth of July starter. It’s so easy to serve with pita, crackers, or fresh veggies, and is guaranteed to tie over any snacky guests. In this recipe, hummus gets an upgrade with marinated chickpeas. A little texture goes a long way here, which is really what sets this simple recipe apart from your basic hummus. I’m about it.
Hero Ingredient: If you have any marinated chickpeas leftover (or if you have the bandwidth to make extra), they make a great topping for salads, wraps, and even sandwiches.
Get the recipe for Classic Hummus With Marinated Chickpeas.
Vegetarian Fourth of July Mains
Sweet Potato Falafel Veggie Burgers
Why We Love It: Let me tell you, these veggie burgers are probably more flavorful than any you’ve had before. Gone are the days of lifeless black bean-centric vegetarian subs and here is the new wave of meatless magnificence. This patty combines the traditional flavors of falafel with hearty sweet potato to create something truly magical. Prepare to be amazed.
Hero Ingredient: Chickpeas + sweet potato = protein galore.
Get the recipe for Sweet Potato Falafel Veggie Burgers.
Smashed Grilled Sweet Potatoes With Chimichurri
Why We Love It: Grilled sweet potatoes are a show stopping main for any Fourth of July gathering, and here’s why. They’re packed with nutrients, filling and satisfying, and grilled. Grilled! What’s more Fourth of July than grilling? I can barely think of three things. Toss these smashed ‘taters on the grill and soak up the sweet scent-sation of summer.
Hero Ingredient: I highly recommend doubling that chimichurri recipe to use on sandwiches, grilled meats, or wraps throughout the week. Make the most of your cooking.
Get the recipe for Smashed Grilled Sweet Potatoes With Chimichurri.
Paneer Tikka Kebabs
Why We Love It: Kebabs are inherently built for summer barbecues. But that doesn’t mean that they have to be stacked with meat. These vegetarian alternatives bring all kinds of flavor and texture to the party that are equally tasty as they are satisfying. The paneer gets marinated in yogurt and lots of spices overnight to maximize its flavor alongside those juicy bell peppers and onions—yum!
Hero Ingredient: Ginger and garlic join the force of spices to round out all that flavor.
Get the recipe for Paneer Tikka Kebabs.
Black Bean Tacos With Mango and Radish Salsa
Why We Love It: Packing tons of protein and heartiness, these black bean tacos are a real winner. The other winner? That mango and radish salsa. If you’re worried about time or simply want to divide up your workload, I highly suggest making the salsa the night before your gathering. Even better, the flavors get to meld longer, which leads to a more flavorful topping. It’s a win-win.
Hero Ingredient: Should you choose to make extra salsa, set it out with chips for an easy appetizer that you already have on hand. Bonus!
Get the recipe for Black Bean Tacos With Mango and Radish Salsa.
Spinach and Ricotta Pizza With Garlicky Olive Oil
Why We Love It: Spinach and ricotta is a classic combo when it comes to homemade pizza. But here’s where things get even more interesting: that garlicky olive oil is truly to die for. And with this recipe, if you have the grill fired up for the Fourth, toss your pizza right on the grates and cook until the crust is golden and those cheeses are melted. It’s a double whammy for sure.
Hero Ingredient: Seriously, make extra garlicky olive oil for bread dipping (I love this focaccia), salad dressings, or really anything you think could use a garlicky kick.
Get the recipe for Spinach and Ricotta Pizza With Garlicky Olive Oil.
Vegetarian Fourth of July Sides
Summer Pasta Salad
Why We Love It: Charred veggies are the stars of this summer side. And oh, do they shine brightly. It’s no secret that grilling your produce can extract all of its delicious flavor, but it’s really proven in this pasta salad. Those charred edges on eggplant, broccolini, summer squash, and zucchini are something to behold. Not to mention you’re getting protein, complex carbs, healthy fats, and fiber, all tossed together in one harmonious serving. Hint: it’s even better at room temperature.
Hero Ingredient: The simple lemon vinaigrette lets all of that beautiful produce shine.
Get the recipe for Summer Pasta Salad.
Texas-Style Mac and Cheese from The Defined Dish
Why We Love It: If you’re looking for an elevated mac and cheese recipe, look no further! Sour cream and a can of green chiles set this recipe apart from any other. Sour cream brings the tang while green chiles usher in just the right amount of heat. Your guests will thank you later, and probably designate you to bring the mac from now on.
Hero Ingredient: Breadcrumbs and mac and cheese are truly a match made in heaven. Say goodbye to lifeless noodles and hello to your new go-to.
Get the recipe for Texas-Style Mac and Cheese.
Easy Vegetarian Baked Beans from Fork in the Kitchen
Why We Love It: Baked beans are not the prettiest (or the healthiest), nor are they the most universally adored. But I’m a firm believer that no backyard barbecue is complete without them. You simply can’t celebrate American Independence Day without a pot of good ‘ol baked beans.
Hero Ingredient: Not an ingredient, but one of my favorite things about baked beans is that they can hang out in a slow cooker while your event commences. It may seem counterintuitive to enjoy such a warm side during the peak of summer weather, but I stand by the declaration that baked beans are a BBQ necessity. I don’t make the rules.
Get the recipe for Easy Vegetarian Baked Beans.
Corn and Avocado Salad
Why We Love It: Corn salad is another classic Fourth of July recipe that belongs on every festive plate. This simple variation with avocado and fresh herbs is ideal for any warm weather gathering, and can even be personalized to your liking. If you’ve got the grill going, you can opt to grill your corn instead of blanching, which will kick up the charred, smoky flavor in your tasty salad.
Hero Ingredient: Fresh dill and chives really seal the deal here on freshness.
Get the recipe for Corn and Avocado Salad.
Salt and Vinegar Crispy Potatoes
Why We Love It: Think crispy potatoes are a restaurant-only luxury? Think again. Camille’s salt and vinegar potatoes crisp up in a cast-iron skillet well enough to make you think they’re fried in a vat of oil. But they’re not! Only a little, wink wink.
Hero Ingredient: To all my apple cider vinegar gurus, this recipe is for you. We’re talking immunity boosts, nutrient absorption, blood sugar regulation, and more all wrapped up in a pillowy potato package. I’ll take two, please.
Get the recipe for Salt and Vinegar Crispy Potatoes.