11 Must-Try Plant-Based Recipes for Easy Entertaining
Spending time with family and friends is one of the joys of the holiday season. Eating is another. So it only makes sense to combine the two and throw your own party this holiday season.
Entertaining can be a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of work. On top of the sprucing, dusting, and preparing, the host is also responsible for assembling a world-class spread that will keep everyone happy and satisfied throughout the night. Sometimes a dinner follows, but often it’s the appetizers that need to do the heavy lifting.
When considering what to make for your holiday spread, you’ll want to include a nice variety of dishes that are simple to prepare and popular with the crowd. A balance of hot and cold, sweet and spicy, and fresh and creamy will usually do the trick. It’s also important to consider ease-of-eating; if the food requires overly-messy finger tips or needs a knife and fork, maybe save it for another time.
Our list of Meatless Monday recipes is here to help you create the ultimate platter of finger foods. We’ve got some classics, new favorites, and fun variations on traditional dishes that will all help to add a little something special to your holiday table.
Stuffed mushrooms are a great appetizer option because you can prepare them in advance and just pop them into the oven right before the party starts. When it comes to filling your mushrooms you’ve got a lot of options, but using a combination of cooked rice, chopped nuts, garlic, and cheese (dairy or non-dairy) is a good place to start to create a blend of tastes and texture.
Whether you’re prepping a game-day snack or a holiday spread, baked potato skins are always a crowd pleaser. These baked potato skins are better for you than the deep fried or frozen variety. Just roast the potatoes in the oven, scoop out the fluffy inside, and add a blend of milk, cheese, and sour cream (dairy or non-dairy alternatives) and add back to those cute potato-skin shells. Top with chives and you’re ready to go.
Nothing gets the mouth going like clusters of sweet-and-spicy cauliflower. Dip the cauliflower in batter and roll in bread crumbs before baking in the oven. After the cauliflower is fully cooked, toss in a sauce of chile paste, maple syrup, and your choice of mayonnaise. Stick in some toothpicks and let your guests go after it!
An oldie but a goodie, this classic appetizer is delicious any time of year and is a good recipe to have in your repertoire. All you need to make bruschetta are some good tomatoes, garlic cloves, balsamic vinegar, and fresh basil. Take the time to do a nice chop, and combine all the ingredients in a bowl to let the flavors meld for a few hours. Serve with some fresh or toasted bread.
The layered bean dip is the ultimate entertaining appetizer. Start with a base of refried beans and then add layers of homemade guacamole, sour cream (non-dairy works too), chopped tomatoes, black olives, green onion, and cheese. You can also top the dish with some diced jalapeños and fresh cilantro for extra pop. The choice is yours!
Hummus is a light appetizer that won’t weigh you down before the main meal. This version swaps out chickpeas for nutrient-dense edamame and uses bunches of fresh cilantro for an herbaceous kick.
Every holiday spread needs something sweet, not dessert, per say, but just something to complement all the salty and savory foods. So, yes, you can eat these fudgy pumpkin brownies along with the appetizers. A mix of cashew butter, pumpkin, and warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves creates a really delicious dessert that’s not overly sugary.
Although they may look intimidating, these little pouches of bliss are easy to make in your home kitchen. This recipe for baked wontons takes advantage of store-bought wonton wrappers, which are then stuffed with diced mushroom, scallion, and fresh ginger. Paired with a tangy sesame sauce, these crispy baked wontons will be gone before you know it.
When the weather is frosty and frightful, there’s nothing better than a warm, gooey bowl of spinach artichoke dip. This recipe uses a plant-based mayonnaise, white beans, and cashews in place of the typical cream cheese-sour cream combo. The result is a light and creamy dip that tastes like the original.
Capture the holiday season in one tasty bite. Layer store-bought crescent rolls in a muffin tin with cooked plant-based sausage, a spicy cream cheese (non-dairy if you like), and cranberry sauce. Place in an oven and bake until dough is golden.
Another toothpick-friendly app, these Swedish “meatballs” get their meaty texture from bulgur wheat, shiitake mushrooms, breadcrumbs, and chickpeas. But everyone knows the best part of the Swedish meatball is the sauce, and this one does not disappoint, using sour cream, Dijon mustard, and vegetable stock. To make it totally plant-based you can opt for non-dairy sour cream and butter.
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