When we entertain, we often find ourselves serving a mix of omnivores, vegetarians and vegans, and it always takes a little planning to come up with dishes that everyone will enjoy. When it comes to appetizers, we've found it's easiest to go with an almost all-vegan spread, and we follow one simple rule that ensures everyone's happy eating ...
Our trick? We stick with recipes that are traditionally made with no animal products instead of vegan versions of meat or cheese dishes. We'll swap out vegetable stock for chicken stock or olive oil for butter, but we steer clear of fake meat and faux cheese. Like it or not, these things have bad associations for a lot of people.
Instead, we let vegetables, grains and lentils shine. Serve falafel with tahini sauce or vegetable spring rolls with peanut sauce, and you won't get any raised eyebrows from anyone – they'll be too busy filling their plates. There are plenty of dishes that most guests will be familiar with that just happen to be vegan. Set out a real cheese plate for the non-vegans, and no one knows the difference.
We've rounded up a few favorite vegan appetizer recipes and recommendations from our archives.
Serve dips and spreads that everyone can love.
- Fresh Shell Bean and Sage Spread
- DIY Baba Ghanoush
- White Bean Spread with White Truffle Oil (substitute vegetable stock)
- Olive Tapenade
- Roasted Garlic
- Ful Medammes
Never underestimate the appeal of homemade salsa and good tortilla chips.
Everyone loves finger food.
- Crab Apples Poached in Sweet Wine
- Peppadew Peppers (an ingredient that can stand alone)
- Spicy Oven-Roasted Chickpeas
- Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Rosemary Roasted Cashews
- Vegetable and Mint Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce
When in doubt, do shots (of soup!)
- Let's Do Soup Shots
- Pumpkin Tortilla Soup
- Zucchini Garlic Soup (substitute for butter)
- Pomegranate Lentil Soup
- Cashew Tomato Soup
Do you have any vegan appetizer favorites?
Related: 101 Vegan Meals in 10 Minutes