Picnic season is upon us! Looking for some tasty ideas for vegan salads that will pack well for a picnic? I’ve got 15 vegan picnic salads that run the gamut from a classic vegan pasta salad to a creamy dill pickle salad and a delectable cold soba noodle salad with an almost drinkable ginger sesame dressing!
I LOVE picnics. Food just tastes better outdoors, it’s scientifically proven, ha!! Plus, when you’ve got kids, it’s a lot more enjoyable to eat and chat with friends when your kids can run around on hop on a nearby swing set instead of squirming in their seats constantly. When it’s hot out, I love a salad-heavy picnic so you can enjoy plenty of different flavours and keep your cool. But not all salads travel well: leafy salads can be a challenge…so the picnic salad is a definite thing.
What to pack for a vegan picnic
I like food you don’t have to fuss with too much. Nothing too messy. Or too melty. This is what we like to pack:
- plenty of salads (duh! hence the round up ha ha)
- easy to pack plant-based proteins like roasted chickpeas or baked tofu
- some whole or chopped fruit (watermelon is always a fave)
- a dip like salsa or hummus
- chips or crackers
- a water bottle for each of ice, filled half with ice
- canned flavoured bubbly water
And of course, unbreakable plates and utensils – either melamine or compostable as well as plenty of paper towels in case something spills!
How to keep food safe at a picnic
Eating plant-based meals takes a bit of the worry out of packing a picnic! No raw meat or egg-based mayo to worry about…but you still want to be mindful of picnic food safety.
- Carry everything in a good cooler or cooler bags. Pack the cooler with WAY more ice packs than you think you need. If you can, keep the cooler in the shade and your chill will last longer.
- Make sure everything is well-chilled before you place it in the cooler, so the cooler doesn’t have to work to chill those items.
- Wash or at least sanitize your hands before serving the food.
- Bring all the cold items out so everyone can serve themselves and try to keep food out for a maximum of 30 minutes before placing back in the cooler.
Some more dietitian-y picnic food safety tips here.
16 Yummy Vegan Picnic Salads
As promised, most of these salads are built of either sturdy greens or crunchy vegetables to minimize wilt. However, I did include a couple of leafy salads so the secret to keeping them fresh is to dress them just before serving! Just bring the dressing in a resealable jar and pour it on when you’re ready to eat.
This healthy and refreshing cold soba noodle salad is the perfect summer dinner! It comes together quickly if you use pre-shredded cabbage so you can have a healthy, refreshing dinner without too much effort. I like adding a protein, such as boiled edamame, canned black beans or cubed smoked tofu.
Shake up your BBQ with avocado ranch! It’s everything you love about ranch dressing, with an avocado twist. Creamy, tangy and packed with healthy fats.
Make this tasty new dressing recipe and try it with everything. We love it with freshly blanched spring vegetables, like asparagus, broccoli, or rapini. It’s bright green flavour is punchy enough to shine on cooked grains, like our chewy and delightful Flourist Wheat Berries.
This easy vegan pasta salad comes together in minutes using whatever you have in the pantry. It’s light yet filling, and picnic-ready.
This Marinated Lentil Chickpea Salad is bursting with garlicky lemon flavor, layered with texture and loaded in nutrition.
This healthy vegan Cobb salad has everything you crave: creamy avocado and blue ‘cheese’, crunchy cucumber, a tangy red wine vinaigrette and salty + smoky tempeh ‘bacon’. Comes together in 20 minutes…and low FODMAP friendly too!
This crispy tofu salad recipe is made with a miso sesame tahini dressing. It’s easy, healthy, vegan, and meant to be enjoyed cold!
A vegan version of those bagged dill pickle salads you’ve been seeing…trust me, you want to make this!
If you’re reading this, you’re alive. But if you’re not taking advantage of nature’s most underrated legume, are you really living?
This Simple Homemade Greek Salad is easy, authentic, and so dang delicious. Perfect for your next BBQ, as a side, or a main course.
A flavourful, protein-packed salad that travels super well!
This is one of my forever favourite salads. The combination of highly nutritious Lacinato kale, roasted nuts and vegan feta cheese is addicting!
Easy, 30-minute grilled corn salad perfect for summer gatherings. Pair with just about any main and top with our Easy Vegan Chipotle Ranch Dressing!
Serious slaw upgrade right here!!
This colorful black bean and corn salad is loaded with veggies and takes only minutes to prepare. It’s the perfect side for your next BBQ.
Vegan Picnic Salads: Sugar Snap Pea Salad
This sweet, creamy, crunchy sugar snap pea salad with creamy cashew ginger dressing and crunchy roasted buckwheat takes only 20 minutes to prepare…and punches WAY above its effort class in how delicious it is.
Servings: 4 Servings
- 1 pound Sugar Snap Peas finely sliced
- ¾ cup dry buckwheat groats
- ⅓ lightly packed cup fresh mint leaves finely sliced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Ginger Cashew Dressing
- ¼ cup cashew butter
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 4 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon salt
- dried chile flakes to taste
Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit (175° Celsius). Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, toss buckwheat with olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread on baking sheet and place in oven.
Roast for 15-16 minutes, until buckwheat is a deep golden colour, stirring half way through cooking as the edges will roast faster than the middle. Remove from oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, mix up the dressing. Add the cashew butter, lime juice, water, ginger, sesame oil, maple syrup, salt and chile flakes to a wide mouthed jar and blend with an immersion blender until smooth.
To assemble, arrange the snap peas, buckwheat and mint in a shallow serving dish. Drizzle with dressing and serve.
The peas and buckwheat will keep well, so feel free to prep up to 24 hours in advance. Add mint and dress just before serving.