Summer is the best time to veg out—and I’m not just talking about lounging by the pool. If there’s any season to go meatless, it’s summertime. The best vegetarian summer recipes rely on produce that is bountiful, rich, and oh so yummy. Juicy bites of fruit and smokey grilled vegetables take the most delicious crops to an entirely new level. And, yes, they even pair well with a pool day.
Of course, eating the rainbow isn’t only delicious. It’s also the simplest no-fuss way to know you’re nourishing your body. While I’m happy to deep-dive into foods that won’t spike my blood sugar or will keep my gut happy, it’s nice to know that as long as my plate is full of color, I’m probably doing just fine. Summer is all about that laid-back vibe, after all. Give me a meal full of ripe, plump veggies paired with a long sunset walk and it’s all good.
Ahead, we’ve got 12 vegetarian summer recipes that give in-season produce the spotlight it deserves. Warm-weather deliciousness awaits.
Featured image by Michelle Nash.
Vegetarian Summer Recipes for Breakfast
Tropical Pineapple-Ginger Smoothie
Why We Love It: Even picky eaters approve of this five-minute breakfast smoothie. Packed with pineapple, banana, strawberries, ginger, and avocado, you’re looking at a crowd-pleasing smoothie that’s nut-free, dairy-free, vegan, and full of fiber. Make your prep easy and efficient by gathering up all the ingredients in individual bags for a breakfast that’s as energizing as it is filling.
Hero Ingredient: Ginger adds a necessary zing, but we also have to give credit to the orange juice in this one! Skip the milk—it’s gotta be juice.
Get the recipe for Tropical Pineapple-Ginger Smoothie.
Simple Vegetarian Quiche
Why We Love It: A quiche is the perfect vehicle for summer veggies. And with so many variations available, you just can’t go wrong so long as the veggie is in season. We even map out how to work with three different types of crust. Make this quiche work for you—not the other way around.
Hero Ingredient: It’s all about the vegetables. Gather your favorites and don’t forget to top the finished product with lightly dressed greens for a major wow factor.
Get the recipe for Simple Vegetarian Quiche.
A Perfect Vegetarian Summer Lunch
Vegan Chorizo Tacos
Why We Love It: This recipe from Austin hotspot The Well brings nothing but joy to the table. In place of soy, chickpeas and lentils provide protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients for a well-balanced meal. From the cassava tortillas to the earth-shattering chorizo oil, these breakfast tacos are worth the effort.
Hero Ingredient: It’s the infamous chorizo oil. Made from fresh garlic, cumin seeds, paprika, turmeric, jalapeno, and olive oil, this oil is liquid gold.
Get the recipe for Vegan Chorizo Tacos.
Chickpea Salad Sandwiches
Why We Love It: Truly, any vegetarian summer recipe could pass for lunch. But sometimes, you just want a classic sandwich. This chickpea salad is a protein powerhouse—the perfect Sunday night meal prep addition so you aren’t scrambling come Monday morning. Tip: Rehydrate the cranberries for a plump, deliciously tart bite.
Hero Ingredient: The lemon makes this chickpea salad sing.
Get the recipe for Chickpea Salad Sandwiches.
Vegetarian Summer Sides
White Bean & Raddichio Salad
Why We Love It: This white bean and raddichio salad is a simple starter or side that’s practically made for summer dinner parties. Olivia Muniak‘s go-to for summer spreads gets our seal of approval. From taste to color, this one absolutely WOWS.
Hero Ingredient: The raddichio is the star of the show—but that salty, fresh-shaved parm gets second billing.
Get the recipe for White Bean & Raddichio Salad.
Bruschetta With Slow-Roasted Tomatoes and Ricotta
Why We Love It: You must slow-roast the tomatoes for optimal flavor. With only five minutes of hands-on time, an hour in the oven is where this dish comes to life. Paired with high-quality bread and ricotta, it’s one of the most delicious flavor combos ever. Start all your summer parties this way!
Hero Ingredient: Clearly, it’s the tomatoes. You can also pop them on a pizza or in these creamy polenta bowls.
Get the recipe for Bruschetta With Slow-Roasted Tomatoes and Ricotta.
Salt and Vinegar Crispy Potatoes
Why We Love It: These crispy potatoes cracked the code—they require no oven! Pan-roasting in a cast-iron skillet gives you the perfect crunch that’ll have you popping ’em in your mouth one after another. The secret to getting them crispy? Be patient and don’t crowd the pan.
Hero Ingredient: The vinegar takes these potatoes to a new level. It’ll smell strong when you add it to the pan but the final flavor is perfectly subtle.
Get the recipe for Salt and Vinegar Crispy Potatoes.
Fool-Proof Vegetarian Summer Recipes for Dinner
Sweet Potato Falafel Burger
Why We Love It: Every summer, grill-centric gathering needs a solid vegetarian burger and this is it. How do you keep them from falling apart? Pre-cook the veggies to reduce the amount of water, giving your burgers a firmer texture. Keep the shape short and plump, then chill for an hour or overnight. Boom—the perfect patty.
Hero Ingredient: If you can freshly grind your seasonings, do it. Coriander and cumin seed straight from the mortar and pestle bring the flavors to life.
Get the recipe for Sweet Potato Falafel Burger.
Paneer Tikka Kebabs
Why We Love It: Paneer is a non-melty cheese with a chewy texture and mild flavor. Here, it’s marinated in yogurt and tons of spices for a vegetarian kebab that’s immensely satisfying. Give yourself enough time to marinate overnight (and, again, grind those spices fresh) for an easy and delicious meal!
Hero Ingredient: The marinade is key in this dish. And don’t forget to hit ’em with a squeeze of lime right off the grill.
Get the recipe for Paneer Tikka Kebabs.
Pesto Pasta Primavera
Why We Love It: This is one of those “once a week” meals and Camille’s own go-to. An ultimate one-pot pasta recipe that’s quick and easy, so delicious, and brimming with all the fresh summer vegetables. Grab whatever veggies are in your fridge and eat up!
Hero Ingredient: It’s all about the summer produce in this one. You really can’t go wrong with pairing your favorite pesto with a killer al dente pasta. This recipe is proof.
Get the recipe for Pesto Pasta Primavera.
Fruit-Forward Vegetarian Desserts
Berries & Cream Layer Cake
Why We Love It: This cake is your shortcut to summer treats—both in flavor and aesthetics. An easy, berries and cream cake that relies on a store-bought cake mix and a few simple styling tricks. Perfect for a birthday celebration or simply a Wednesday in July.
Hero Ingredient: Fill up on those macerated berries for a natural syrup that adds major flavor.
Get the recipe for Berries & Cream Layer Cake.
Why We Love It: Tiramisu gets a cheeky glow-up with the brilliant addition of raspberries. This is an easy, no-cook summer dessert that’s perfect for an Italian dinner party. Just layer and chill (an ideal make-ahead treat). No oven required.
Hero Ingredient: Isn’t it obvious? Don’t skip the raspberries!
Get the recipe for Raspberry Tiramisu.
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