Magazine Recipes

Vegan American Recipes for the 4th of July

By  Diane Small

Of course, here in the UK, we don’t celebrate the 4th of July much. Or at all, for that matter. But the thousands of ex-pats in the country do, and they do it large! Fireworks, picnics, BBQs and house parties will all be happening in a few days, and most of the guests will be Brits. But what to bring to such a shindig?

Ask most people what they believe constitutes ‘American Food’ and they’ll almost invariably answer: hamburgers, hotdogs and fries. All of which actually have European origins, with two being named after German cities (Hamburg and Frankfurt, home of the frankfurter, aka ‘hotdog’). But the truth is, there’s plenty of indigenous American food that’s made its way across the pond – think: pumpkin pie, popcorn and pancakes – and plenty that hasn’t yet, like succotash and okra.

But it’s time for all that to change. Here, I’ve come up with a bunch of Vegan American Recipes  that are perfect not only for the 4th of July, but any time you’re planning a picnic, BBQ, or just feeling some love for the red, white and blue – be that for the American, French, Australian or British flags, too!

1.  Smoky BBQ Carrot Dogs  with Creamy Chickpea Salad

These look like real hotdogs, don’t they? But they’re a bit sweeter and mushier…because they’re actually carrots! If you love the explosion of textures and flavours that come along with traditional hotdogs, then you’ll love this recipe, which combines crunchy, chewy and creamy textures on a bun. No hotdog buns where you live? Never fear: there’s even a recipe for homemade buns in this one too!

Get the recipe here.

Vegan hot dog carrot dogs 8

2.  Veggie Stuffed Potatoes

Who doesn’t love a potato? It’s like the blank canvas of the cooking world: you can do just about anything with them and don’t these look amazing? Stuffed with broccoli and garlic, they’re full of flavour. These are vegetarian, not vegan, but you can easily sub the butter and parmesan in the recipe for vegan versions.

Get the recipe here.


3.  Vegan Fried Okra

Okra is a Southern favourite vegetable that kind of looks a bit like a teeny tiny zucchini. It’s normally stewed up with meat or chicken, onions and tomatoes. But it’s pretty tasty on its own, especially when breaded and fried!

Get the recipe here.


4. Summer Succotash Salad

‘Sufferin’ succotash’! That phrase, uttered in frustration by Sylvester the Cat in Looney Tunes, was the first time I had ever heard about succotash. In fact, being British, I had no idea what it actually was until I researched this recipe. But as a vegan, I must say: it looks pretty tasty! Chock-o-block with summer veggies and easy to whip up, too – just a note to our North American friends: if you are making any recipe with corn or tofu, PLEASE buy organic! In your country, these two foods are normally GMO, and that’s not good at all.

Get the recipe here.


5. Black Bean Burgers

There are lots of different vegan burgers: chickpea based ones, tofu and even nut. But black beans have the meatiest texture, are full of nutritional goodness, and taste wonderful with a tomato based sauce (that could be something you make yourself with cilantro, tomatoes, onion and pepper, or simply ketchup!)

Get the recipe here.


6. Vegan Mac’n’Cheese

For many, one of the hardest things to give up when going vegan is: cheese. There’s just something irresistible about the combination of salty and creamy and hot that’s sooo delicious. Luckily, this vegan recipe plays with all of those textures and flavours that we so love, and results in a hearty, healthy twist on an American classic.

Get the recipe here.


7. Lemony Kale Popcorn

The native Americans introduced our European ancestors to the notion of popped corn, and it’s been a favourite ever since. In commercial popcorns, these healthy kernels are coated in sugar, hydrogenated fats and MSG but there’s really no need for that! This delicious recipe just involves a bit of olive oil, lemon and kale. Oh, and popping corn, of course! Make a huge batch, throw it in a bowl and watch it disappear as your guests dig in.

Get the recipe here.


8. Broccoli Cornbread

Cornbread is essential a twist on Italian polenta – in fact, instead of saying ‘polenta’, many Americans refer to this as ‘grits’. But no matter what you call it, it’s tasty and filling and easy to share. Added broccoli gives this a nutritional boost. Normally, this recipe calls for loads of butter and cheese, but after a huge search, I finally found a vegan version. Woohoo! Just remember: American corn is normally GMO, so please ensure you buy organic or Italian polenta, or grits, or cornmeal, or whatever you want to call it!

Get the recipe here.


9. Shredded Carrot, Turnip and Salad

Time to get more pure veggies in this recipe list! Oh, and fruits: the sweetness in this grated root vegetable salad comes from that American favourite: the apple. It’s a simple one to make, especially if you have a food processor (otherwise, just use a cheese grater) and has the texture of coleslaw.

Get the recipe here.


10. BBQ Grilled Corn and Tofu  

Corn on the Cob is something Americans love so much, they even have little knobby things you can stick in the front and butt of the corn cob to enable you to eat it without getting your fingers all dirty. Truth! This recipe gives the veg some Asian zing by adding some miso – ditto for the grilled tofu, which ends up being a little bit sweet and crispy on the outside. Nice! (Note: Hate to bang on about it, but again, please make sure both the tofu and corn are organic to avoid eating GMOs.)

Get the recipe here.


11. Vegan Caesar Salad

It may have been invented by an Italian, but as it was created on the 4th of July, it has to be on our list! The recipe was originally made by restaurateur Caesar Cardini, who moved to San Diego from Italy.  His daughter Rosa claims that her father invented the dish when a 4th of July kitchen rush in 1924  depleted the kitchen’s supplies. Her dad  made do with what there was, and voila – a classic salad was born! This version shuns the original egg, cream and anchovies, making it 100% vegan friendly, but equally tasty.

Get the recipe here.


12. Fajitas + Guacamole

For many, this dish may sound Mexican. But for those in the south, this is pure Tex-Mex American! The fajitas substitute traditional chicken or beef for veggies, all topped off with a nice, creamy guacamole.

Get the recipe here.


13. Pasta Salad

Italians may recoil in horror: cold pasta! What? But pasta salad has become an American summer classic. Whilst this dish is usually quite ‘processed’, with tinned tuna, white pasta and tinned corn being the main ingredients, this recipe calls for lots of fresh veggies like kale and tomato, making it a healthy option. And of course you can sub in gluten free or whole wheat pasta to suit your dietary needs.

Get the recipe here.


14. Hash Brown  Haystacks

This tasty recipe combines the best of two classics: the hash brown, a concoction of grated potato all fried up, and the haystack, a collection of leftovers piled up on each other. Crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside, what’s not to love about this tasty side dish?

Get the recipe here.


15. Peanut Butter Cup Pie

Peanut butter is an American staple; but it’s kind of like the Marmite of North America: either you love it, or you hate it. But if you love it, you love it big time, especially when it’s paired with chocolate or jam! This tastes just as delicious as it looks, and you’d never guess there’s even a bit of tofu in it.

Get the recipe here.


16. Gluten Free Blueberry Pie

Ok, so I know the expression goes: ‘As American as apple pie’ but apples are in season in autumn, right? So let’s go seasonal and make another American classic: blueberry pie! This one is not only vegan, but gluten free, too, making it a guilt-free treat.

Get the recipe here.


17. Smoothie Ice Lollies

Summer wouldn’t be the same without some cold, sweet ice lollies. But added sugar is only going to lead to inflammation in your body and a sharply raised GI. So leave it out and try these instead! Jamie Oliver’s recipe has oats, fruit and chocolate, making these as healthy as they are delish. And we love the idea of serving them with festive sparklers!

Get the recipe here.



18. Rosemary  Lemonade

Lemonade can be super healthy because it reduces acidity in the body. Thing is, as it’s often full of sugar, which is acid-producing, and that’s just not good. This recipe has a whole cup of sugar, but you can replace the sugar in this and most lemonade recipes with something like stevia or xylitol or another sugar substitute, though. Check here for sugar substitutes.

Get the recipe here.


19. Sugarless Mojito Iced Tea

Iced tea is refreshing as it is, but add some lime and mint, and you can combat the heat of just about any July. This one is a sugarless version, using stevia instead of ‘the white death.’

Get the recipe here.


20. Red, White & Blue Popsicles

Watermelon, coconut and raspberry form the three layers of this recipe. Personally, I would rather forgo the blue food colouring in the last layer and use blueberries instead, but you can make your own decision on this one!

Get the recipe here.

21. Vegan 4th of July Cake

How gorgeous is this cake? Impossible not to impress when you present this at your picnic or party! The frosting is all coconut and the base of the cake itself has a slightly lemony zing, which goes so well with the tartness of the fruit topping.

Get the recipe here.

Main image: Wikicommons

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