Vegetarian Summer Survival Guide: Cookouts & Tailgates

As the season of cookouts and tailgating approaches, so does the realization that the only things you’ll be able to eat at one of these get togethers are…well…the condiments. But you don’t have to head into a baseball game with only a few pickles and onions in your stomach! And you definitely don’t have to sit on the sidelines and miss out on any backyard barbecue fun, either.

In my experience, party hosts tend to get nervous about being able to provide special vegetarian options for non-meat eaters, so I always try to relieve that burden by bringing my own things! Here are a few ideas for easy-to-prepare, meat-free foods to pack in your cooler the next time you head to a summer cookout:

1. Burgers

If you still want to get in on the burger-flipping fun, bring along your favorite choice of veggie burger and throw it on the grill! People might give you a hard time about it at first, but once they see how amazing your burger looks, they’ll probably want one, too!

2. Wings

Yes, you read that right: wings! As in chicken wings! Minus the chicken, of course. But they taste pretty darn close to the real thing! (My favorite are Morning Star Parmesan Garlic Wings. Mmmm.) Along with being incredibly delicious, veggie wings are an easy, no-hassle food for you to bring along and throw in the oven at any party or cookout.

3. Hot dogs

If you’ve caught on to the theme here, you’ll of course realize that these are technically veggie (or tofu) dogs. But again, still totally delicious! Grill it, roast it over a fire or toss it in the microwave and stick it in a bun with all your favorite condiments!

4. Veggies

Veggie Skewers
You can’t really go wrong with throwing a bunch of vegetables on the grill. Although this might take a bit more preparation, it’s worth it! Plus, this is something that’s shareable and will be a total crowd favorite. Shish kabobs, anyone?

Remember that most side dishes are likely meat-free, so you’ll be able to enjoy the full cookout experience with potato salad, fruit, chips, pasta salad, pretzels, etc.

Umm, is anyone else getting hungry?! Cookout at my place!


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