Let’s be honest: The idea of a summer dinner party with friends is lovely, but planning and prepping a dish to bring along with you can be crazy overwhelming. I mean, everyone’s eating something different these days, from vegan to primal to gluten-free—how do you please your entire squad with one recipe?
Well, say hello to five dishes that you should add to your summer potluck arsenal, stat. They’re all super easy to prep and tweak for different diets. BFF’s recently vegan? Boyfriend’s keto? No worries—there’s something for everyone here.
Avoid resorting to the deli case at Whole Foods and whip up these dishes the morning of your summer soirée—or the night before—so the last thing you have to worry about before having fun is stressing in the kitchen.
Scroll through the slideshow for 5 healthy, make-ahead recipes for BBQs and summer dinner parties.
Just because you follow a plant-based lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to miss out on one of the best flavors of the season: BBQ. Fit Mitten Kitchen’s vegan bowls boast smoky marinated tempeh and creamy avocado ranch dressing—just make all the bowl elements individually, and combine when you get to the party.
Pesto is a favorite summer sauce that pairs well with just about anything. Add it to zoodles or spaghetti squash, à la this recipe from Candice Kumai, for a keto- and Paleo-friendly take on your fave pasta dish. Top it off with smoked salmon or grilled chicken for some extra protein, or serve as-is for a plant-based side.
This tabbouleh salad by nutrition pro Julie Montagu is light, fresh, and incredibly easy to throw together. It’s a perfect side to bring along to a friend’s BBQ, or it can stand alone as a light and healthy meal for summer stargazing dates.
Oh She Glows’ crunchy and creamy chickpea salad is as versatile as it is easy to make. Even better—the recipe is eggless, dairy-free, and vegan-friendly, so it’s a great choice for a dinner party when you’re not sure what everyone’s dietary preferences are.
Sometimes when you’re craving comfort food, a salad just won’t do the trick. Save the pasta salad for another time, and whip up Pure Ella’s spaghetti squash boats instead. Prep the squash a day or so in advance, then sautée the other ingredients for a quick 5 minutes when you’re ready to serve them.
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