Vegan Appetizers Anyone Will Love
Although vegan dining has become more mainstream, providing tasty hearty appetizers and snacks for both carnivore and herbivore guests can be challenging so we put together a list of easy vegan appetizers that just about anyone will enjoy.
Finding a few great vegan recipes that are easy to share and will allow everyone to have a varied, enjoyable meal can be difficult. But with a few good plant-based recipes in your back pocket, simple vegan dishes can be easily incorporated into your next dinner party, game-day party or barbeque.
Here is a sampling of delicious and filling vegan appetizer recipes ranging from Asian to Italian flavor profiles that everyone will love (not just vegans).
If you are craving something crispy, hearty and spicy, go for KFC. We’re talking Korean Fried Cauliflower, not Kentucky Fried Chicken. Korean Fried Cauliflower from Serious Eats incorporates unconventional ingredients like coconut flakes and vodka into their batter to produce perfectly crispy golden-fried cauliflower florets. When paired with a sweet soy or spicy chili sauce, this addictive savory, yet sweet and spicy dish can be served as a vegan appetizer, snack, or side dish.
This easy, no-fuss recipe is proof that home cooks can make a perfect light and crispy french fry at home. Using a two-fry method, you can be sure that the center of fries are completely cooked before the outsides become too brown. By frying at a low heat followed by a cooling process and a second, higher heat fry, you will never get stuck with greasy, undercooked, and limp fries. An added bonus is incorporating a Russet potato option; this low moisture variety makes a perfectly crispy, crunchy fry. For extra savory fries, top this recipe with a sprinkle of vegan cheese.
Middle Eastern Eats
Take your taste buds on a trip to the Middle East with this easy vegan and gluten-free recipe for savory baked falafels. These crispy golden brown treats can be shaped in smaller rounds for bite size hors d’oeuvres and paired with cashew cheese and other vegan cheeses, or made a bit bigger for pita sandwiches with sundried tomatoes. They also freeze well and are perfect vegan and gluten free appetizers to pair with stuffed mushrooms or tortilla chips with bean dip when unexpected guests arrive.
For a spicier taste of Middle Eastern flavor try the Buffalo Hummus recipe from Oh She Glows. This gluten free hummus gets an extra kick with the addition of hot sauce, smoked paprika, and ground cumin. Paired with fresh bell peppers, radishes, carrots, and other cut vegetables, it makes a savory-spicy addition to any hors d’oeuvres plate. If you crave Buffalo chicken wings, this recipe is a great vegan, gluten-free alternative.
Guilt-Free Onion Rings
These vegan onion rings are both easy to make and require no frying. By using sweet onion varieties -- like Vidalia or Walla Walla -- these onion rings have a juicy, tender texture. It’s hard to find a crispy, savory, and healthy onion ring appetizer that eliminates any salty or greasy taste but these baked onion treats with a whole wheat bread crumb crust are addictive.
Guacamole with tortilla chips is a great start to any vegan Mexican meal. This roasted garlic guacamole is a good choice for diners who want a little less bite in their guac. Using roasted garlic instead of a traditional onion provides a less aggressive and slight sweeter flavor but still includes jalapeño, lime and cilantro for strong Mexican flare.
Go Go Garlic Knots
This Vegan Garlic Knot recipe from Food 52 produces the perfect Italian pizzeria appetizer in the form of a soft garlicky chewy bun. The herby olive oil glaze with thyme and oregano provides a nice alternative to a melted butter topping. Serve these fresh out of the oven with a side of marinara dipping sauce.
Creating delicious potsticker vegan appetizers is a deceptively easy process. Once the wrapping technique is mastered, this sweet and savory hors d’oeuvre can be made in batches and frozen for a make-ahead option. Swapping Brussels sprouts for the traditional meat filling provides tons of fiber and vitamins without sacrificing any flavor.
Another satisfying Asian inspired easy appetizer is this Spicy Asian White Bean Dip from White on Rice Couple. Mixing creamy cannellini beans with sriracha, curry powder and soy sauce creates a savory, spicy healthy dip sure to satisfy any hungry crowd. Although multi-dimensional in flavor, this recipe takes only minutes to prepare and can be paired with fresh cut red peppers, carrots, celery, radishes or tortilla chips.
This White Bean Bruschetta recipe from Good Life Eats defines simple cooking. Whir creamy cannellini beans, garlic, lemon juice and parsley combine in a food processor or blender for a delicious high-protein dip in just minutes. The recipe can be further simplified and the flavor intensified by making the dip a few days ahead. These mini vegan bruschettas can also make a great variety hors d’oeuvre platter by finishing them with sundried tomatoes, grilled onions, avocado slices or other toppings.
Whether you follow a plant-based diet or you'd just like to cut down on your meat intake, these recipes are a great place to start. If you want to take plant-based eating a step further, Yummly has hundreds more recipes you can test out!