10 Plant-Based Finger Foods for Any Occasion

A get-together simply isn’t the same without appetizers. Whether you’re hosting a game-day celebration, TV watch party, or good ole fashioned soiree, the finger foods and dips are typically the star of the show.

When creating the proper appetizer platter, you need to consider things like timing, temperature, ease of preparation, food preferences, and balance. Don’t drown guests in too many dips or saturate them in salty snacks. Diversify your offerings. Include some fresh items, some crunchy, some gooey. Maybe add a dessert in there as well?

But a party is also an opportunity to experiment with new plant-based recipes. A lot of people are not familiar with the potential of vegetarian and vegan cooking, often pigeonholing it as bland, unexciting, health fare. Yet with our list of plant-based finger foods, you can broaden your guests’ horizons by whipping up some delicious dishes that are sure to surprise and impress.

Sure, we’ve included some classics: hummus, nachos, dips; but there are also some more provocative ideas, like falafel sliders, cowboy caviar, and vegan chorizo quesadillas. Let these dishes serve as a starting point or inspiration for future dishes. Who knows? A bunch of new appetizer ideas may be the only excuse you need to throw another party.

Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

No game-day spread is complete without some sort of fiery finger-food. These cauliflower wings fit the bill. Dip the cauliflower nuggets into a batter of milk or milk alternative, spices, and chickpea flour. Put the coated cauliflower into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. During the last five minutes of cooking, remove the cauliflower and lather with your favorite hot sauce. For the Cauliflower Buffalo Wings recipe, click here.

Cowboy Caviar with Italian Dressing

You don’t have to ride a horse or wrangle a herd of cattle to enjoy the simple, bright flavors of cowboy caviar. It’s basically a chunky salsa, but with bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, corn, black beans, and avocado. Did we mention you douse the ingredients in a homemade Italian dressing? For the Cowboy Caviar with Italian Dressing recipe from Blondelish, click here.

Double Decker Falafel Sliders

An ideal beef burger substitute, these falafel sliders are filling, flavorful, and sure to satisfy your burger fix. This is another recipe where everything pretty much just goes into the food processor. Once the mixture is sufficiently pulsed, form into little patties and bake on a sheet tray until nice and brown. Then build your sliders with some lettuce, tomato, and  tahini sauce. For the Double Decker Falafel Sliders recipe from Jackie Newgent, click here.

Everything Bagel Roasted Chickpeas

A quick crunchy for your guests to  munch on while the hot appetizers are cooking, these roasted chickpeas are a protein-packed alternative to potato chips or cheese puffs. They’re also a breeze to make. Just drain the chickpeas and pat dry, before sprinkling with olive oil and seasonings and roasting in a hot oven until crispy. For the Everything Bagel Roasted Chickpeas recipe from Aymara Lucero, click here.  

Loaded Vegan Queso Skillet

Nachos and queso are often synonymous with junk food—but they don’t have to be. When you load the baking tray (or skillet) with vegetables, beans, plant-based crumbles, and cheese (non-dairy or traditional), you’ll actually find it to be a healthy-ish/satisfying little meal. This recipe calls for a vegan queso made using a blend of cashews, nutritional yeast, and turmeric powder, but you can use any vegan or non-vegan queso that you like. For the Loaded Vegan Queso Skillet recipe from Orchids + Sweet Tea, click here.

Quick and Easy Hummus

It’s much more cost-effective to make hummus yourself, rather than buying it at the grocery store. This recipe doesn’t require tons of culinary-know-how. Dump all the ingredients into the blender or food processor and start pulsing. Add water incrementally to get the hummus to be your desired consistency. For the Quick and Easy Hummus recipe, click here.

Roasted Potato Wedges and Chimichurri Dip

No need to deep-fry your potatoes when you’re going to be dipping them in chimichurri! If you’re not familiar with chimichurri, it’s an herby Argentinian condiment that’s loaded with fresh cilantro, garlic, onion, and parsley. There’s a pinch of red pepper flake for an added kick. With the roasted potato wedges, it’s a match made in snacking heaven. For the Roasted Potato Wedges and Chimichurri Dip recipe from Robin Asbell, click here.

Vegan Chocolate Brownies

Any savory spread needs some sweet relief. And these vegan chocolate brownies certainly do the trick. Together, coconut milk, vegan dark chocolate, and raw cocoa powder, make for a rich and decadent brownie that will subdue the saltiness of all the other snacks. For the Vegan Chocolate Brownies recipe from Blondelish, click here.

Vegan Chorizo Quesadillas

These handheld snacks are ideal for TV snacking. The sweet pop of corn and cooked bell pepper balances out the inherent spiciness of the vegan chorizo. Spread all the ingredients onto your tortilla and add your cheese and sour cream mixture (non-dairy works, too) for an appetizer that’s sure to please everyone. For the Vegan Chorizo Quesadillas recipe from Chef Jumoke Jackson, click here.  

Zippy Black Bean Dip

If you’re tired of the traditional ranch dip and crudité, try this protein-packed black bean dip. The flavor for this zippy concoction comes from a combination of red onion, garlic, fresh cilantro, jalapeño, and cumin. Serve with chips or spread the mixture onto some warm tortillas for a quick, black-bean rollup. For the Zippy Black bean Dip recipe, click here.  

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