Break out the cold beers and white claws, baby, it’s summer cookout season. As our favorite season commences, you may be wondering how you’ll keep up with your newfound plant-based diet while out at the functions. 

It’s no secret that, though they may be a great health choice, alternative eating habits can make it difficult to just show up and grab a plate. It may even mean that you have to show up with more than just chips and alcohol if you want to eat more substantially while hanging out—yep, you may have to bring your own food. But don’t fret; there are a lot of great plant-based options to throw on the grill, slather with bbq sauce, and make you feel right at home in the cookout. 

Impossible Burgers

Sold pretty much everywhere and easy to find in bulk, the impossible burger is a great option to throw on the grill for non-meat eaters. You can even get a pretty chargrilled taste on it by leaving it over the charcoal for a little longer than you’d cook it in a skillet. 

Beyond Meat Italian Sausages

These spicy and juicy sausages are a great alternative to the beloved polish sausages that are a hit at many cookouts. So throw these babies on the grill, top them with sautéed onions, relish, and slide them onto a hotdog bun. And boom, you’ve got the perfect one-hand eating sensation to give you the ultimate BBQ experience!

Portobello Mushrooms

Yes, sis. A grilled portobello mushroom can make a great burger substitute if you’re not interested in rocking with the fake meat or simply want to switch up the options. Remove the stems and make sure they’re properly patted down to reduce the amount of moisture that will come out of them—no one wants a soggy mushroom on top of their burger bun—and then give them a proper grilling. Finally, top them with all the burger fixings and live your best life. 

Beyond Meat Meatballs

Summer baby shower, anyone? We all know nothing hits like a baby shower meatball, so why deny yourself one of life’s great pleasures? Grab these little plant-based wonders, cook them up and dip them in your favorite sauce. Voila! 

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Most cookouts already feature this BBQ side staple, but why not get a little fancy with them? If you’re a vegetarian, try rolling them in cotija cheese, lime, chili powder, cilantro, and mayo for an elote moment. Or, if you’re fully vegan, season them well and opt for a dairy-free butter, sour cream, and chili lime seasoning. 

Grilled Asparagus

It may not be your first choice but, trust, you’ll understand why it’s on this list. So grab some asparagus, season it with a little salt, pepper, and lemon, wrap it in foil with some onions or garlic and let the heat do the work. 

Grilled Pineapple

Whew! This one can definitely give you the yumminess you need at a cookout. Get a fresh pineapple or grab precut slices from your local grocery store and set aside a clean part of the grill specifically for these. If you’re really feeling fancy, add a little bit of pink Himalayan salt or cayenne pepper if you like a little spice to mix in with the sweet stickiness of the pineapple. Get some good grill marks on those slices and enjoy. 

Grilled Fruit Kabob

Some fruits are great combined on skewers together and grilled. Try strawberries, mango, grapes, and kiwi slices for a fresh side option to accompany one of the meatless options above. 

BBQ Seitan Ribs

If you’re not steering clear of soy, these can be a great option. Take some seitan slices and smother them in BBQ sauce, place them face down directly onto the grill, and there you go! Even meat-eaters will want to try these. 

Grilled Watermelon

I mean…do you even need a reason. Watermelon is one of the most refreshing and hydrating fruits for the summertime, so adding them to your cookout menu is an easy play. 

Don’t let not being a meat eater keep you from getting the most out of your cookout experience this summer!

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