When thinking about interesting vegan picnic food ideas, great vegan salads don’t have to mean bland old rabbit food.
Whether you are old school vegan, changing your diet to plant-based eating or just looking for healthy salad alternatives, these vegan salad ideas show that eating your greens doesn’t have to be boring.
We’ve got nutritious, delicious and satisfying salad ideas to give you plenty of interesting vegan salad recipes to help expand your picnic salad repertoire.
Fabulous Vegan Salad Ideas
We have rounded up some of the best vegan salad recipes from tasty vegan potato salads – creamy and non-creamy, unique and delicious takes on coleslaw and quick and easy ways to make pantry staples sing in a salad.
We've got hearty salads that can take centre stage as a main dish and versatile salads that work just as well on a plate as they do in a sandwich or wrap.
Whether vegan or not, these plant-based salad recipes are super delicious, nutritious and picnic perfect.
Moroccan Sweet Potato Salad
Most people don't think of sweet potatoes when they think of potato salad but sweet potatoes make a fabulous base for a salad.
Bold and flavorful, this Moroccan sweet potato salad is filling and refreshing. Using roasted sweet potato for extra flavour, slivered almonds for crunch and dried fruits as a sweet compliment to a zesty dressing, this gorgeous vegan potato salad will brighten any picnic spread.
Roasted beets marinated in balsamic, olive oil and thyme make a fabulous foundation for this super simple vegan salad. This vegan beetroot salad is loaded with nutritious flavour using every part of the beet, including the stems and leaves.
Easily adaptable, you can play with different ingredients, use vegan feta or no cheese at all. It requires very little preparation, there isn’t even really a dressing as such as the beets in balsamic do all the work. This really is one of those simple salads you will make time and again.
Tossed with fresh herbs and summer vegetables, finished with a light lemon dressing, this Herbed Couscous and Tofu Salad is an easy and tasty salad with so many possible variations. Add olives and red peppers for more Mediterranean flair or add the veg of the season.
Italian Lemon Orzo Salad
Pasta Salad is such a great picnic dish we put together an entire list of pasta salads for every picnic occasion.
This vegan Italian lemon orzo salad is fresh and zesty and everything we love about the Mediterranean – juicy cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs, orzo pasta, and olives in a gorgeously fresh dressing. Whip this slice of Italy up in around 15 minutes.
Bursting with ripe fresh tomatoes, this substantial chickpea pasta salad makes a great main picnic dish. Serve with or without vegan feta or add chunks of avocado for a creamy version without a heavy creamy dressing. It is the simplicity of this fresh and easy pasta salad that makes it so great.
Fesh, crunchy, zesty and sturdy, Asian inspired coleslaw is a perfect make-ahead vegan salad for any occasion. A salad that can be made well in advance and will only get better with time.
This slaw comes together with a simple, fresh and healthy Asian vinaigrette full of delicious ginger and sesame flavours. Serve it as a side or main, or add it to sandwiches, wraps or burgers for an Asian twist. It's also a great salad teamed with vegetarian summer spring rolls for an Asian themed vegan picnic.
Mediterranean Vegan Quinoa Salad
Full of healthy and nutritious ingredients, this Mediterranean inspired vegan quinoa salad is like a breath of fresh air to any picnic menu.
A light but satisfying salad, it is the easy to make vegan quinoa salad dressing where the magic happens, adding a delicious depth of flavour.
The best thing about this salad, you can prep it and the dressing in advance, keep it in the fridge for up to four days - just toss the ingredients and add the dressing when ready to serve.
Get a healthier take on traditional potato salad with this no mayo vegan-friendly potato salad.
Roasted potatoes and roast garlic give this potato salad a whole new level of flavour. Add quickly sauteed broccolini, fresh arugula, a sprinkle of nuts – we like pistachio for this salad. Add a garlicky vinaigrette and finish with an optional sprinkle of vegan feta for a touch of salty creaminess.
An easy to make salad you can prep ahead of time and hearty enough to serve as a main dish with sides.
We call this a summer salad because summer is the season when most vegetable growers find themselves inundated with this very versatile vegetable. But this delightful vegan salad can brighten your picnic blanket any time of year.
Cooked or raw, there are thousands of ways to use these summer beauties, but it is courgette salad recipes where this veg comes into its own. So easy to make because you marinate the zucchini rather than cook it, you can whip this veggie delight up in under 15 minutes. This salad makes a lovely vegan picnic dish with loads of flavour and crisp and crunchy texture.
Fresh Mexican Avocado Salad
Only five fresh ingredients make the easiest vegan salad or side dish for any time of year – light, refreshing and delicious Mexican avocado salad.
Some may steer away from avocados in a salad for fear of them browning but the lime in the dressing takes care of that. Serve this green beauty as a stand-alone salad, as a wrap or taco filling or as a side to any number of grilled goodies at a bbq picnic. It's avocado, what can't you do with it?
Beet is a fantastic salad ingredient. It's full of flavour, doesn't suffer soggy salad syndrome and is robust enough to serve as a main dish.
Simple to make, this quinoa beet salad works well as a main salad or as a side dish. Crunchy carrot, vibrant greens, and aromatic herbs give the salad a fresh finish yet it still holds it's own as a make-ahead picnic salad.
Tomato and Black Bean Quinoa Salad
Deliciously light and healthy corn, tomato, and black bean quinoa salad, it takes less than 30 minutes to make and is both vegan and gluten-free.
Another versatile vegan salad because this little beauty can be so much more than a salad. Add it to wraps for a great vegan sandwich option or with a few simple recipe tweaks, you have a Mexican flavoured vegan taco topping which is perfect for picnics.
Spice up your picnic salads with this easy to make vegan spiced pumpkin salad, a big winner for fall picnic menu ideas.
Such a versatile salad in that you can switch up ingredients and spices to suit your taste and serve it as a warm or cold salad. We have opted for flavours of the Mediterranean and the Middle East with our spice mix, which you can dial up or down with the addition of chilli.
Simply roast your pumpkin in the spices and toss through with some cooked quinoa, fresh, dark greens, red onion, walnuts for some crunch and drizzle with olive oil - no dressing required, it's that simple and delicious.
Zesty Green Apple & Celery Spinach Salad
Loaded with fresh greens, tart green apple, peppery celery, crunchy walnuts, and sweet cranberries, you'd think this vegan salad already had everything going for it.
The dressing is the secret sauce to this recipe with two ingredients – your favourite vinaigrette and a hearty dollop of applesauce – Voila, Apple vinaigrette. Deliciously simple which is picnic perfect.
White Bean & Cabbage Slaw with Apples & Cider Vinaigrette Recipe
This vegan cabbage slaw with apple cider vinaigrette is super easy to whip up, is fresh and tasty and very portable, which makes it a perfect contender for the picnic basket.
Full of crunch and colour, this salad is loaded with healthy good fats and proteins full of textures and colour thanks to sunflower seeds and white beans, so it can be so much more than just a side dish.
It will also hold up well in the fridge for a few days so you can make it in advance or have it on hand for grab and go impromptu alfresco dates.
Red Kidney Bean Salad (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
Red kidney beans make great salad companions. Most people have some in the pantry and they can be used to make so many different dishes and flavours.
This kidney bean salad meets all the picnic criteria of being quick and easy to whip up – make it in under 15 minutes, and the longer it sits, the better it gets so it's super portable. It's an easy salad to multiply for extra people and you can easily switch up ingredients for a different spin.
Vegan Asian Brown Rice Salad
Want a hearty and filling salad without the stodge? Try this vegan Asian brown rice salad. Loaded with fresh veggies, fluffy brown rice, and a sweet and savoury Chinese inspired sesame soy dressing, this delicious salad is crunchy, light & super flavorful. It is also really filling & satisfying so can cut it as a main dish.
Incredibly versatile, you can serve this salad warm or cold, it will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days, and you can even freeze it in portions.
Vegan Broccoli Salad
A deliciously creamy Vegan Broccoli Salad loaded with tasty add-ins is definitely the best way to eat your veggies. I think broccoli is a terribly underrated salad ingredient, maybe because people feel it needs to be cooked.
This broccoli salad takes tiny broccoli florets in a creamy dressing punctuated with flavourful little add-ins, such as dried cranberries, crunchy toasted almonds, vegan bacon bits, and vegan shredded cheese to make an irresistible vegan salad.
Easy Vegan Chicken Salad
Vegan chicken salad makes a delicious filling for sandwiches and wraps or a flavorful side dish for any picnic occasion.
Whip up this creamy and easy whole food chicken salad made with soy curls, vegan mayo, and seasonings in 10 minutes for a vegan picnic winner.
Quinoa Chickpea Salad Recipe
So many delicious things come from chickpeas, such as our favourite picnic dip hummus. There are also many salads made great by the humble garbanzo bean; this Quinoa Chickpea Salad recipe is no exception.
The perfect dish when you want something light or as a side to other dishes. Carrots, onion, kale, and cilantro add texture and flavour to quinoa and chickpeas, dressed in a good quality olive oil, and a dash of some sassy herbs and spices.
Serve this as a main dish with an antipasto platter of grilled peppers, roast vine tomatoes, olives and dips such as baba ganoush for a Mediterranean style vegan picnic feast.
Creamy Vegan Chickpea Salad With Probiotics
Kind of like a chickpea slaw, this vegan chickpea salad with fresh vegetables and red cabbage tossed in a creamy vegan dressing is another versatile and incredibly healthy picnic salad winner.
Crunchy, tangy, and creamy, this delicious salad is full of ingredients loaded with vitamins and probiotics to support a healthy gut.
This is another salad that can be served stand-alone or used as a filling in a sandwich, wrap or burger topping.
Avocado Quinoa Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing
Avocado Quinoa Salad with crunchy cucumbers and chopped walnuts, infused with green onions and fresh parsley leaves, finished in a creamy lemon dressing. Yes, it's as good as it sounds.
Really easy to make, (much of it can be made in advance) this delightful little salad makes a hearty and healthy picnic lunch or side salad to a bigger meal.
I'm also a fan of this salad in a wrap or sandwich for an even more portable picnic option.
Easy Cannellini Bean Salad
I am a huge fan of less is more, especially when it comes to the simplicity of preparation and using quality ingredients.
In the case of this Mediterranean bean salad, creamy cannellini beans give us the simplicity of preparation (everyone has some in the pantry) and a platform for quality ingredients to sing - Fresh juicy cherry tomatoes, fragrant herbs, rich olive oil, and a touch of zing from red wine vinegar.
The key to this gloriously comforting rustic dish is to use quality ingredients (please, never scrimp on olive oil for this very reason). Prepare this salad in five minutes and serve with crusty bread or as a side to a main dish.
Asian Vegan Cucumber Salad
Another nod to the seasons with this summer salad – A simple Asian Cucumber Salad recipe is a great way to use all those garden-fresh cukes or take advantage of a seasonal abundance from the market.
This vegan cucumber salad comes together in minutes, is healthy, light, and requires only a few ingredients. A perfect summer side salad that will complement almost any summer picnic menu.
Classic American Vegan Coleslaw (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Allergy-Free)
Classic American coleslaw is a favourite side dish at any summer bbq or picnic. This vegan slaw recipe takes the American classic and, with some minor adjustments, made it gluten-free, vegan, and top 8 allergy-free without losing out on any of that classic slaw taste.
A super easy recipe to whip up ahead of time, serve this vegan coleslaw as a salad, or as a sandwich or wrap filling or addition to your favourite vegan burger.
Vegan Quinoa Salad with Dill & Lime Vinaigrette
Healthy and delicious, this Vegan Quinoa Salad with Fresh Dill & Lime Vinaigrette is light and refreshing yet high in protein, so surprisingly satisfying. Perfect for a light picnic lunch or side dish.
Ready in under 20 minutes, this salad includes juicy grapes for surprising bursts of sweetness with crunchy celery, crisp cucumber, spicy green onion, sweet green peas, and fragrant dill for a fresh and zesty salad.
Pasta and Pea Salad
Sweet green peas are a firm favourite in so many picnic dishes, especially for spring picnics when peas start to come into season. But thanks to frozen peas, we can enjoy great pea salads any time of year.
This tasty vegan pasta salad with a light lemon and chive dressing is so easy to make using mostly pantry (and freezer ingredients) and some fresh, fragrant herbs.
Raw Cauliflower Salad with Lime Recipe
Cauliflower is king in the realms of plant-based eating for its versatility and adaptability. There is so many ways you can use cauliflower in ways you never imagined. So it stands to good reason cauliflower is going to make a killer salad.
This raw cauliflower salad has it all – crunchy, salty, chewy, sweet, satisfying, tasty, nutritious, and easy to make. This great make-ahead salad can be pulled together in around 10 minutes and is loaded with nutrition-rich veggies and a delicious vinaigrette that even non-cauli lovers will swoon over.
Vegan Peruvian Style Coleslaw
Want a different take on traditional vegan coleslaw? Try this easy to make Peruvian-Style Coleslaw. It's a super-portable salad, needs no refrigeration as it continues to marinate in the acidic juices of the dressing, and is packed with flavour.
The secret to this salad is in the dressing which resembles a kind of salsa or Peruvian pesto. Garlic, peppers, onion and cilantro blended together with lime and olive oil to create a delicious salsa-like sauce that marinates the crunchy veg beautifully.
Vegan Southern Potato Salad (Gluten-Free, Allergy-Free, Eggless)
A tried and true picnic classic, you really can't go past a potato salad. This vegan potato salad is just like the classic old-fashioned recipe you love.
A traditional Southern-style mustard potato salad that's eggless, gluten-free, and allergy-free but loaded with taste. A simple, creamy, make-ahead side dish perfect for your next bbq or picnic.