Want to party? Here are all our top vegan appetizers that are great for entertaining and parties…or even a late night snack!
Love eating plant based, or cooking for someone who’s vegan? Don’t worry: there are plenty of vegan appetizers that are perfect for parties (and late night snacks). In fact, some of the most well known of all appetizers are actually vegan. Think: Hummus? Salsa? Guacamole? French fries? All vegan! Meat and cheese are not required for delicious, flavor-packed finger foods.
With that in mind: here are all our top vegan appetizer recipes to try! At the very top is Cowboy Caviar, that insanely delicious part dip with black eyed peas, veggies and jalapenos, full of plant-based protein and flavor. Then pick from lots more: vegan wings, fries, vegan queso…heck, we’re already hungry.
At the top of our vegan appetizers: Cowboy Caviar! Texas caviar, as it’s also known, was invented in Texas and has now spread all over the US. This combo of black eyed peas, veggies and a vinaigrette dressing is equal parts zesty and comforting: and you can use it as a dip or healthy side dish. This recipe has loads of colorful veggies, cilantro and jalapenos, and a simple zingy dressing with the perfect flavor. Even better: this vegan party dip is full of plant-based protein. Serve with tortilla chips.
This vegan appetizer recipe is a huge treat: so much so, you may want to save it all for yourself. Buffalo cauliflower wings! These tasty morsels are crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and tossed with spicy, tangy buffalo sauce. You’ll see these in restaurants here in the US these days…and this recipe? It tastes just as good as restaurant-style. Better, in fact! This one requires a bit of time and effort: so we prefer eating them all on our own vs making them for a party. If you’re craving vegan wings: this is your recipe!
What's a better vegan appetizer than hummus? There many delicious store-bought brands of hummus out there. But why not make this healthy snack at home? It’s loads cheaper and WAY tastier.This is our best homemade hummus recipe that we make on the regular. It takes just 5 minutes to make! Serve with pita chips, flatbread, or pita bread.
You know love French fries, but have you tried…avocado fries? They’re crispy and crunchy, a little tangy, and full of rich avocado flavor. Ideal for mixing up your vegan appetizers routine! These crispy numbers are absolutely irresistible. They’re high in good fats and a healthy alternative to the standard fry.
Guacamole is like potato salad and coleslaw: everyone has their family favorite recipe. And this simple guacamole is ours. It’s a home run every time! When we serve it, a chorus of “Wow’s” fill the room. (Really. Not hyperbole!) What makes it so great? It’s classic and has the perfect balanced flavor: perfectly savory, creamy, and tangy. Serve it up with tortilla chips and your guests — and you — won’t be able to stop eating it.
Here’s a favorite party trick of ours that makes a tasty and versatile vegan appetizer in just 5 minutes of hands on time. It’s Marinated Olives! This dish will make an olive lover out of anyone. Using the right olives here results in smooth, rich flavor: not briny or overly salty. The garlic, lemon and herbs make a symphony of flavor! Every time we make these and set them out on the table, people go crazy for them! They’re also great for an appetizer dinner at home: bread, cheese, marinated olives and wine.
Another stellar vegan appetizer: shishito peppers! These little peppers have quite a cult following. Because here’s the thing: they’re just as irresistible as French fries. Cook them at high heat until they’re tender and their skin is blackened, then sprinkle with salt. Each bite is a mini-explosion of sweet, salty and charred flavor! They make the perfect snack: you'll scarf them down in minutes.
Salsa is an easy vegan appetizer that you might not immediately think of as plant-based! And what's the best salsa recipe? This one, we think. There are so many different types — and as avid salsa lovers, we're are fans of all of them. We’ve made just about every type of salsa imaginable: fresh salsa, red salsa, tomatillo salsa, mango salsa, peach salsa: you name it! This one, though is the BEST, starring fresh ripe tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, cilantro, and lots of lime.
You know you’re a salty snack person when your ultimate splurge is a bag of salt and vinegar potato chips. Or a soft pretzel with nacho cheese. Or maybe french fries. OK, you get the idea! Of course, none of these are quite healthy snacks. That’s why we created this roasted chickpeas recipe. They’re crispy, crunchy, perfectly spiced, and they stay crunchy in the pantry for days. Ready to make a batch?
Another great vegan appetizer recipe: queso! This queso sauce tastes so creamy and delicious, no one will believe it’s got no actual cheese. It will have you swearing off processed queso forever (who knows what’s in that stuff!). We think you need to add this one to your repertoire...you’ll thank us later.
Perhaps the ultimate in vegan appetizers is...French fries! And did you know you can make the best fries of your life…homemade? Yes, we’re pretty confident that these seasoned fries will blow you away! Now, they do take a bit of time. But if you have to work for your treat food, it makes it that much more special: right? These are baked in an oven until crispy and coated in the perfect seasoning blend. Serve them with Mayo Aioli (with vegan mayo) or Basil Aioli.
It’s green, it’s healthy, but no joke: everyone we’ve served it to simply raves about it! So much so that we hear the refrain: “Can you make that pea dip again?" It’s one of our favorite party dip recipes because it’s easy, healthy, and delicious. Even self-avowed pea haters love it!Blend up green peas and cilantro with a bit of salse verde and it’s pure magic as a party snack. Serve it with tortilla chips or pita chips and your guests will park themselves in front of the bowl.
Last but certainly not least in our vegan appetizers: roll ups! These roll ups are our take on the classic party roll up, but they use hummus instead of cream cheese and stuffed with colorful veggies! These vegetarian and vegan veggie roll ups are both delicious and healthy, and a crowd pleasing, kid friendly recipe. Stuffed with hummus, brocolli, cauliflower and carrots, they’re seriously easy to make.
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.