Sometimes, instead of serving a traditional sit-down dinner, my family likes to serve appetizers for the holidays. In fact, I like making an array of appetizers, so I offer a variety of foods without overeating.
For a fun change of pace, I favor a menu with appetizers only. When I serve delicious finger foods, it's less stressful and inexpensive. The trick, however, is to choose delicious appetizer recipes that mimic a traditional menu.
My daughter, also vegan, hosted Christmas last year, requesting everyone bring a vegan appetizer or dessert to share. Not only was her party a huge success, but everyone enjoyed trying a variety of foods and later exchanged recipes.
Tips and ideas for selecting a variety of appetizers for a holiday:
Even though I enjoy serving my favorite appetizers, it's important to provide various vegan appetizers your guests love.
For that reason, when planning all appetizers for the holidays, keep these categories in mind:
- Dips and spreads: Everyone loves to dip regardless if it's vegetables, fruits, or crackers. Some of my family's favorite dip recipes are Vegan Layered Greek Dip, festive Vegan Pepper Jelly and Cream Cheese Spread, Spinach Artichoke Dip, and Vegan French Onion Dip.
- Vegetables and fruits: A vegan appetizer party isn't complete without a variety of raw, cooked, and stuffed vegetables. My kids love Vegan Baby Portobello Mushroom Bites Recipe, Asparagus Wrapped in Dough dipped in Mustard Dipping Sauce, and raw veggie trays are always a hit.
- Snack Mixes and Nuts: I always set out nuts, popcorn, or Vegan Chex Mix for my guests to nibble on. Salty snacks are always a crowd-pleaser.
- Plant Protein: Where do we get our protein? Veggies, of course, but also from tofu, lentils, and beans. So, I like to serve Vegan Quiches and Vegan Tangy Crockpot Meatless Meatballs.
- Starches: Don't forget the vegan crackers, or Vegan Bruschetta, or Sweet Potato Chips.
- Mini Desserts: Although not typically appetizers, I consider bite-sized or mini desserts as a must for an appetizer for the holidays' menu. Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls and Simple Vegan Chocolate Covered Strawberries are two of our favorites.
Serving appetizers for the holidays: A party planning guide
First, consider the colors of the appetizers for a colorful and festive table.
You want to relax and enjoy the party, too. So plan a menu ahead of time. That does shopping for and preparing the appetizers much easier.
For instance, a couple of weeks to a month before my party, I create a shopping list. All non-perishables can be purchased ahead of time, while I buy perishables closer to the party date. As a result, shopping during the holidays is less stressful.
Then, about a week before the party, I make any food ahead of time which I can freeze, easily thaw, and reheat the day of the party,
A day or two before my holiday party, however, I prepare appetizers that can be stored in the refrigerator and buy any perishables.
Once the holiday party day arrives, I only prepare the last-minute dishes and set my table. Of course, it always helps to assign friends and family to bring a dish to share.
Favorite dips and spreads:
- Layers of hummus, roasted chickpeas, and vegetables are perfect for grilled pita bread, vegetables, or crackers.
- A festive dip made of Vegan Cream Cheese topped with sweet and spicy pepper jelly. This recipe is so simple and very tasty.
- A simple dip made of beets and cashews, this dip takes minutes to make and will disappear from the appetizer table in seconds. Served with raw vegetables and vegetable chips.
- Served with homemade oil-free potato chips or Sweet Potato Chips, this onion dip recipe is always a great addition to any holiday table.
Vegetables and Fruits:
- Simple yet elegant, this appetizer is always a conversation starter! Easy to make, yet impressively aesthetic, everyone is amazed by this beautiful tapa's looks and taste.
- These savory bite-sized mushrooms are stuffed with a savory stuffing that pleases everyone, including meat-eaters.
- Another easy yet satisfying appetizer, this cauliflower appetizer has very few ingredients but is packed with flavor. Eaten on a plate or crackers, the dill and Marcona almonds create a delicious addition to any appetizer table.
- These bite-sized, festive mini quiches are full of vibrant holiday colors to adorn any table. These baby quiches can be made ahead of time and frozen, thawed, and reheated right before the party begins.
- Made with lentils, these vegan meatballs are cooked in a crockpot with a tangy sauce. Again, make the lentil meatballs ahead of time, throw them in the crockpot, and they are ready when the guests arrive.
- Create a beautiful, colorful platter of vegan bruschetta: Greek, Italian, Mexican, and Asian flavors with simple ingredients.
- Who doesn't love a little peanut butter dipped in chocolate. These mini peanut butter balls are a perfect bite-sized dessert.
- Similar to peanut butter and jelly, strawberries go harmoniously dipped in chocolate. These vibrantly red strawberries look fabulous on the table and can be made ahead of time for easy party planning.
With the holidays just around the corner, consider one of these appetizers for the holidays. Or, mix it up a little and have a party with all appetizers for a change of pace. Check out my other appetizers for a variety that suits your holiday and table.
Regardless of your plan, I wish you all a happy and healthy holiday!
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂