We’ve had several discussions about what goes into making a perfect vegan holiday appetizer.
The holidays can become a bit of a stressful time for vegans. While spending time with family during the holidays, some vegans may worry that there won’t be enough vegan-friendly options.
This list includes the best vegan appetizer recipes to ensure a successful holiday dinner.
When looking for vegan foods for Thanksgiving, you can find appetizers, sides, main dishes, and desserts to satisfy everyone. Here are 5 top vegan appetizers that we think are delicious.
1. Stuffed Mushrooms from PlantBasedOnABudget.com
Stuffed mushrooms make an excellent appetizer for your vegan Thanksgiving dinner, and can even be prepared the day before.
That way, they’re ready to bake when needed! Meal prep is a savior during the holiday. However, these tasty snacks are also very rewarding to eat!
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: 4 tablespoons, divided
- Panko Bread Crumbs: ½ cup (breadcrumbs provide that addictive crunch factor. You should not skip this ingredient!)
- Soymilk: 3 ½ tablespoons, (can substitute for water)
- Fresh mushrooms: 16 medium, white button or cremini (creminis are sometimes labeled as baby bellas)
- Lemon Juice: 1 ½ tablespoons
- Italian Parsley: ⅓ cup, chopped
- Salt & Pepper: to taste.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (176 degrees C).
- Lightly oil a small baking sheet or baking dish with a little vegetable oil or cooking spray.
- Place the panko in a medium bowl, add the soy milk (or water), and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Wash and dry the mushrooms.
- Pop the stems out of the caps, and place the caps, gill side up, on the baking sheet.
- Finely chop the mushroom stems, and put in a small pan with the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
- Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the mushroom caps, evenly dividing it among them.
- Put the pan with the mushroom stems on the stove, and turn the heat to medium-low. Put the baking sheet in the oven. Let them both cook for 10 minutes.
- Remove the mushroom caps from the oven and set aside. (Don’t turn off the oven.)
- Add the mushroom stems and the parsley to the panko, and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Divide the mixture among the mushroom caps. Put the now-stuffed mushroom caps back in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove the mushrooms out of the oven, heat the broiler, and run the mushrooms under the broiler for a minute or two until the tops are browned.
- Transfer to a plate. Serve & enjoy your stuffed mushrooms!
2. Cranberry Rosemary Nut Cheese from PureElla.com
Oh yes, we’re going there. This plant-based cheese is made with healthy ingredients and is insanely delicious! This divine looking roll, covered in cranberries and rosemary, will be a huge hit with your guests.
VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE, PALEO
2 cups raw cashews (soaked overnight)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon roasted garlic (optional)
1/2 – 3/4 tablespoons fine sea salt (or to taste)
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper (or to taste)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional if you like a little heat)
parchement paper, cheesecloth or dish towel
TOPPING INGREDIENTS :
handful of mixed nuts (I used walnuts and pecans), chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped fine
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped fine + extra for garnish
Rinse and drain your soaked cashews. Then blend them in a food processor or high speed blender with nutritional yeast, garlic and salt and pepper until smooth.
Place the mixture onto a cheesecloth and squeeze top to drain any liquids. If a log shape is desired, then shape the mixture into a cylinder*, still in the cheesecloth. Place it over a sieve and store in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours.
* a cylinder shape may not hold up well in a sieve – most of them are round. If that’s also the case, then 1/2 way through draining, transfer the mixture onto parchment paper and roll it to make a log. Twist the sides (like a candy) and tuck them underneath to hold the shape in place. Let it sit on a dish towel in the refrigerator to let some extra moisture get absorbed in the dish towel.
Chop the nuts, cranberries and rosemary and spread onto a work surface. Unwrap the cheese log and roll it in the toppings evenly pressing them into the ‘cheese’. Do this just before serving or return back to the refrigerator until serving.
3. Eggplant Rolls with Walnuts from HappyKitchen.Rocks
These eggplant rolls only require three ingredients, a few spices, and less than an hour to make. This healthy plant-based appetizer is a great way to start your holiday meal. It is beautiful to look at and can be served with some colorful and festive pomegranate seeds.
- 3 medium-sized eggplants
- black pepper
- cooking spray
- 150 grams or 1 1/2 cups walnuts
- 100 ml or 1/2 cup very hot water
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon khmeli suneli
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds to serve
Preheat your oven to 180 ºC (350 ºF). Slice your eggplants lengthwise with a sharp knife. Spray the baking tray with cooking spray and arrange eggplant slices on it. You may need more than one baking tray for this amount of eggplants. Lightly spray the tops of the eggplant slices with cooking spray, then sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Bake 15 minutes, then flip them over and bake for 15 minutes more
Meanwhile prepare the filling: crush the walnuts with a mortar and pestle until they look like on the picture above. Add minced garlic, khmeli suneli, ground coriander, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix everything and slowly add hot water in the bowl, stirring constantly, until you like the consistency. Don’t pour in all the water at once, as you may not need that exact amount.
Fill each eggplant slice with 1-2 heaped teaspoons of the walnut mixture and roll. Optional: garnish with pomegranate seeds. Enjoy!
4. Tasty Spiced Snacking Nuts from NyssasKitchen.com
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 1/2 tsp avocado oil or melted ghee / coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- few grinds of black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Toss nuts with avocado oil, ghee or coconut oil, spices and salt and pepper.
- Roast on a baking sheet for about 4 minutes, take out and stir, and return to the oven for another 3 to 4 minutes, until hot and fragrant.
- Set aside to cool and crisp up!
These nuts are a great addition to plant-based cheeses, crackers and dips.
5. Tempeh Sausage Stuffing Balls from TheVeganLarder.com
This tempeh stuffing recipe is easy to make and includes fresh sage and chestnuts for traditional holiday flavors.
You can even add some cranberries! Simply mix all ingredients in a food processor, shape into balls, and bake for 30 minutes before serving.
- Tempeh – see above for details on this great vegan meat replacement, which is high in protein.
- Chestnuts – for that festive nutty flavour! You can also add cranberries if you want, which will just add to the festive feel of this dish. Chestnuts are healthy and high in protein. I always have some in the cupboard (for any time of year).
- Fresh sage – to really create the true Christmas flavour I’ve added lots of fresh sage (also, because you HAVE to have sage in stuffing!).
- Breadcrumbs – I use actual breadcrumbs from leftover bread. You could use breadcrumbs from a packet instead.
- Plant milk – this recipe just needs a bit of vegan milk to loosen the tempeh in the food processor and allow you to shape the tempeh into stuffing balls.
- Garlic & onions – standard in most of our recipes!
- Salt & pepper – add to taste if you want.
- Olive oil – for greasing your baking tray so they don’t stick.
- Pulse all the ingredients in a food processor, except the oil.
- Form the mixture into stuffing balls. I usually make between 20 and 25, and they’re about 1 inch thick. You can choose to make smaller or larger balls – just remember to cook larger balls for longer, and a bit less for smaller ones.
- Bake in the oven. Flip them halfway through.
These are a great treat full of holiday flavor that can be popped in the mouth and eaten without utensils. A fun portable appetizer.
READ MORE: Paleo, Keto, Whole30, Vegan, And Clean Eating Diets: Which Is Your Diet?