15 Appetizer Recipes That’ll Make ‘Em Say, “Wow, I Can’t Believe It’s Vegan!”
When you're hosting vegan guests for dinner, instead of relying on the same old store-bought hummus, flex your culinary muscles and try something really tasty — all without any meat, dairy, or eggs. Cooking vegan makes you see ingredients in a whole new light, whether that means turning cashews into cheese or chickpea brine, AKA aquafaba, into a fluffy mousse. Starting your meal with a creative and delicious vegan appetizer will send the message that you're a thoughtful host and make your guests feel welcomed. If you're not sure where to begin, these 15 recipes can show you the way.
Vegan Bavarian Pretzels: Soft, chewy pretzels made from scratch are reason enough for celebration in and of themselves. Serve with a variety of mustards. (via Well Vegan)
Roasted Beet Hummus With Hazelnut Oil and Rosemary: Skip the store-bought hummus in favor of this eye-catching spread. It'll add tons of color to your table, and the hazelnut oil and rosemary give it an elegant flair. (via Vegetarian Ventures)
Curried Butternut Squash Fritters: Curry spices and sweet butternut squash achieve a delectable balance of flavor in these fritters. The crispy exterior adds texture against the tender insides. (via A Dash of Megnut)
Chipotle Lentil Taquitos: Taquitos are a little more party-friendly than regular, often sloppy, tacos. The crispy tortillas wrap around a hearty chipotle-lentil filling, and a dash of guac finishes them off. (via The Nut-Free Vegan)
Easy Blender Fire Roasted Salsa: You can make this easy salsa whenever you have last-minute guests. Roasted veggies and canned tomatoes are just thrown in the blender and whizzed together until they reach your preferred texture. (via Get Inspired Everyday!)
Hoisin-Glazed Vegan Meatballs: Sticky sweet hoisin glaze clings to these party-friendly meatballs. Save time by getting frozen vegan meatballs to use as your base. (via Homegrown Provisions)
Maple Dijon Vegan Cheese Ball: It's just not a party without a cheese ball. Make an easy homemade cashew cheese, then add in maple syrup and Dijon mustard to give it a bit of a kick. (via Connoisseurus Veg)
Onion, Apple, and Squash Bites: Sweet butternut squash, caramelized onion, and apple achieve the perfect balance of sweet and savory. Flaky vegan pastry surrounds the filling. (via Dora Daily)
Simple Garlic Smashed Potatoes: Crispy and fluffy smashed potatoes are like the grown-up version of potato chips. Top them with garlic and fresh thyme to give each bite a boost. (via Simply Sisson)
Sticky Chipotle Cauliflower Wings: Wing lovers will go crazy for these crispy cauliflower bites. Drench them in a sticky, spicy chipotle sauce and watch your guests go wild. (via Simple Seasonal)
Eggplant and Hummus Flatbread: Flatbreads are basically the sophisticated answer to pizza, and people love them just as much. Drizzled with balsamic glaze, this tomato and eggplant flatbread gets a touch of creamy luxury thanks to a hummus base. (via This Savory Vegan)
Vegan Lettuce Wraps: Tender lettuce leaves are wrapped around a savory vegan filling to create these fun party bites. Dunk them in a tangy sauce made from soy and vinegar. (via Vegan Huggs)
Vegan Queso Fundido: Gooey loaded vegan queso fundido is so good, you'll want to eat it with a spoon. It's a fun treat to serve on movie or game night. (via Eat Figs, Not Pigs)
Rainbow Sushi Donuts: Whimsical sushi donuts wouldn't be out of place at your next garden party. Each vegetable and fruit nestled atop a circle of rice makes up part of an edible rainbow. (via Healthy Little Vittles)
Vegan Macadamia Cheese Spread: When you're pressed for time, this five-minute macadamia cheese spread will be a huge lifesaver. Unlike cashews, macadamia nuts don't have to be soaked ahead of time if you want to blend them into something tasty. (via Hello Spoonful)
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Justina Huddleston is a food writer living in Los Angeles. When she's not busy writing, she spends her time in the kitchen creating both virtuous and decidedly junky vegan food. Buffalo chickpea pizza, anyone? She's also been known to eat a plain block of tofu or beans straight out of the can for lunch, but somehow those culinary adventures don't make it to her Instagram. You can follow Justina on Twitter or see what's cooking in her kitchen on her blog, A Life of Little Pleasures.