A Vegan 4th of July

Fireworks Image

Non-vegetarian hosts tend to stress when they hear there are vegans (vegans!) coming to their cookout. Or any other holiday party. But creating a vegan-friendly Fourth is usually as easy as choosing one intentionally vegan main and selecting a few accidentally vegan sides. Here are some simple ideas for a vegan Independence Day, complete with vegan-friendly ingredient substitutions, that will suit almost anyone's tastes.


Appetizers & Sides

  • Watermelon pizza
  • Veggie kebobs in your favorite marinade
  • Grilled corn on the cob with vegan margarine instead of butter (like Earth Balance)
  • German potato salad with no bacon, vegan "bacon," or McCormick's Bac'n Pieces (yes, vegan!)
  • Baked potatoes with vegan margarine
  • Grilled asparagus with lemon juice and salt
  • Corn chips and salsa (it's hard to find non-vegan brands of these)
  • Baked beans (Bush's vegetarian, Amy's, and Heinz vegetarian)



  • Yellow split pea burgers
  • Grilled portobello mushrooms, served alone or on burger buns
  • Store-bought vegan hot dogs and burgers are always an option, but most people don't agree on a favorite brand of these. Therefore, we recommend trying your hand at a home-made veggie patty. But here are some widely available store-bought brands to look for if you must:
    • Tofurkey sausages and hot dogs
    • Field Roast burgers and dogs
    • Yves burgers and dogs (verify that the packaging says vegan)
    • Boca burgers (be sure they are labeled as vegan as not all Boca products are)
    • Gardein burgers
    • Beyond Meat Beast Burgers



  • S'mores: buy vegan marshmallows, such as Dandies brand (available at Whole Foods), Nabisco graham crackers (the only widely available brand that's honey-free), and a milk-free dark chocolate 
  • Fruit salad
  • Vegan ice cream: Tofutti brand is, in my humble opinion, the best


Below are a few very common beers. For an exhaustive list and answers to your beer questions (like, "Why wouldn't beer be vegan?") check out Barnivore. 

  • Blue Moon Belgian White
  • Budweiser 
  • Bud Light
  • Carlsberg (but NOT Carlsberg Australia)
  • Corona
    • Goose Island
    • Heineken
    • Lagunitas IPA
    • Michelob (all varieties except those with honey in the name)
    • Stella Artois

    Firework photo by Howard Pinsky.

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