12 Vegetarian and Vegan Appetizers for any Occasion
No gathering is complete without some appetizer nibbles. Previously I suggested some make-ahead vegan-friendly sweets to please everyone with a sweet tooth, and now it's time for some savory bites to make the occasion extra special, no matter how small or large the affair. Whether you are looking for starters for a meal or little bites for appetizer trays and spreads to serve at parties or for afternoon or evening hangouts, you'll want to consider these straightforward but especially satisfying ideas.
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Roasted Cauliflower Bites with Sriracha Sauce
Add some spice to any occasion with some roasted pieces of cauliflower tossed in a spicy sriracha and vinegar "buffalo" sauce. This unique, zesty and colorful appetizer really ought to be doubled, as these won't last long. Do serve them alongside a peanut dipping sauce with sliced vegetables for an especially appealing presentation.
Coleslaw Bites with Jalapeño Dip
Coleslaw takes on a new role here. Think outside of the salad bowl and enjoy some simple, sweet and savory golden fried cabbage coleslaw balls served up with a creamy, tangy and zesty yogurt and jalapeño dip. Vegans can easily substitute their favorite dips, salsa and sauces for the yogurt-based one featured in the recipe, but do stick with the jalapeño theme to add some heat to the occasion.
Olive Cheese Balls
No tapas plate would be complete without some plump green olives baked in a slightly spicy and crispy cheese pastry. These little bites of bliss will set the standard for other appetizers in attendance. Olive fans will certainly want to double this recipe.
Potato Patties Stuffed with Spiced Green Peas
If you are hosting an Indian-themed meal, these savory potato patties stuffed with spiced green peas might just be the star of the spread. Soft on the inside, with a spicy pea filling and a delightfully golden crust to complete the experience, resist the temptation to enjoy too many or there won't be room left for the main.
Baked Mini Vegetable Chickpea Samosas
It seems pretty much everyone enjoys samosas, and these mini savory pastries are stuffed with spiced vegetables and chickpeas and baked instead of fried. Served up with chutney, simply irresistible.
Cheese plates are a popular choice for mingles, and these crackers are an elegant and welcome addition. Crisp, earthy and savory, whole wheat and oat mealy-textured biscuits are well suited to enjoy with spreadable cheeses. Consider featuring with grapes too.
Dips are always popular for parties and fun nights, and hummus is often a favorite served with vegetables, flat breads and crackers. For a different twist, serve up an Ethiopian-style version made with ground sunflower seeds in place of tahini and spiced up with aromatic chili spices. It's great served with raw vegetables, pita triangles, crackers or wrapped up in flat breads to make small sandwiches.
Herbed Marinated Mushrooms
A mix of tender succulent mushrooms marinated in a delicious oil and vinegar marinade with fresh herbs, no appetizer plate would be complete without something to delight mushroom aficionados.
Red Lentil and Toasted Walnut Tapenade with Olives and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Incredibly flavor-packed, this nutty and tangy tapenade, or pâté if you prefer, makes for a healthy dip or spread for fresh vegetables, crackers or flat breads. Uniquely pleasing, addictive and guilt-free, this pâté you will not soon forget but it might not last long.
Smoked Gouda Gougères
Light, airy and delicious smoked Gouda cheese puffs are a great hors d'oeuvre or snack, especially when served with red pepper dip. Guaranteed hard to resist.
Lime Biscuit Thins
Add some zesty richness to your palate with some soft and flaky savory biscuit thins. Gently spiced, with a gentle tart lime flavor, it's hard to resist more than just a few nibbles.
Quinoa Dolmadakia (Stuffed Grape Leaves)
Seasoned quinoa with pine nuts and fresh herbs wrapped in grape leaves are a perfect and delicious Greek appetizer. These little bites have a pleasant nutty flavor and slightly crunchier texture.