11 Great Vegan Appetizers
For your next party or gathering, keep your guests happy with these delicious starters. Becuase these platters are all plant-based, dairy-free, and completely vegan, more of your guests will be able to dig in and enjoy them. These dishes are a fantastic array of different flavors and ingredients that come together in a snap to create some truly remarkable and easy vegan appetizer options.
This creamy and dreamy queso dip is something that even the greatest non-vegans will appreciate. This queso is made with a blended puree of nutty and earthy cashews which lend a hearty flavor to this "cheese." The cashews are soaked for a few hours in water until they soften, and from there get blended up to make a rich and creamy base to this flavorful queso. With spices added in like cayenne pepper and cumin, this dip is the perfect flavorful addition to the appetizer table.
This nubbly hummus has a citrusy tang from reddish ground sumac berries, which grow wild on bushes throughout the Mediterranean. It's very good made with our made-from-scratch Herbed Chickpeas, but canned rinsed chickpeas will work just fine.
This recipe goes with: Sumac Hummus with Kale Ribbons and Roasted Delicata Squash
Tofu + a handful of kitchen staple ingredients are all you'll need to prepare this delicious vegan snack. Before serving, let jerky cool completely. (Slices will get a bit crisper as they cool.) The leftovers will keep refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 1 week.
Cashew-Lime Cilantro Hummus
"Invited to a party at the last minute, I invented this hummus from what I had on hand," says reader Maria August, of Boulder. "To my surprise, I liked it better than the traditional tahini version." Serve with fresh-cut vegetables, such as jicama, carrot, red pepper, and celery sticks.
Grilled Polenta and Radicchio with Balsamic Drizzle
Chef Ryan Poli of the soon-to-open Tavernita in Chicago became interested in vegan cooking because his girlfriend follows a mostly vegan diet. "It was difficult to cook for her at home," he says. "I couldn't just open the fridge and make something. I had to really think." This relatively simple dish of grilled polenta and radicchio proves it's possible to create something deeply delicious, substantial and vegan with just a handful of ingredients.
Smoked-Almond Butter with Crispy Rosemary
Almond butter is easy to find in stores, but making it with smoked almonds in the food processor is crazy easy, and the savory flavor is really unusual. Spread the butter on apples, pears, fennel and celery.
Split Pea Hummus
This fun Southern twist on traditional hummus is inexpensive and tasty. Serve it as an appetizer with fresh vegetables and pita chips.
Garden Vegetable Platter
For color, Doug Lipton and Cindy Daniel of Healdsburg Shed in Northern California like to keep a little of the tops on the homegrown vegetables they serve as an appetizer for Thanksgiving alongside Roasted Beet Hummus and freshly pressed olive oil (olio nuovo). Soaking the vegetables in ice water makes them crisp and they last longer on the table.
Korean Sushi Rolls with Walnut-Edamame Crumble
David Chang was inspired to make these playful rolls by a snack he had at Yunpilam, a temple in South Korea, where the nuns served him edamame mixed with walnuts and molasses. His rolls have an edamame-and-walnut filling; unlike other sushi rolls, they can be served warm.
Thai Sesame Edamame
Enjoy a favorite bar snack at home in a matter of minutes. Salty and satisfying, edamame is a nutrient-dense, between-meals bite you can feel good about. Look for whole edamame pods in the freezer section of your grocery store
Spicy Crunchy Chickpeas
These spicy and crunchy chickpeas provide plenty of snacking texture and satisfaction when it comes to keeping it light, easy, and tasty at your next party or gathering.