It’s easy to pull together a bunch of the most beloved appetizers for a party, but a really awesome host will offer some tasty vegetarian appetizers, too.
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If you entertain frequently, you need to have a good collection of vegan and vegetarian recipe ideas. More and more people are following a cruelty-free and plant-based diet, and your vegetarian friends and family members will greatly appreciate your efforts to make sure they have something yummy to eat.
Vegetarian party food can take a little more creativity, but the good news is that there are tons of vegetarian appetizer recipes online.
Whether you’re looking for vegetarian finger food or vegetarian party food such as veggie dips that will please a crowd, there’s something on this list for you and your guests.
Vegetarian appetizers often showcase the beauty and deliciousness of plant-based ingredients in creative and enticing ways. These delightful starters can be both satisfying and guilt-free while tantalizing the taste buds of vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. With an array of colorful vegetables, fruits, legumes, and grains as the primary building blocks, a world of unique and delectable dishes awaits exploration.
From simple and minimalistic to elaborate and intricate, vegetarian appetizers cater to various culinary preferences and dietary restrictions. Nutrient-rich ingredients not only offer a myriad of health benefits, but they also foster environmentally conscious cuisine choices. Utilizing seasonal and locally sourced produce can further enhance the nutritional value and flavor profile of these appetizers.
Experimenting with different spices, cooking techniques, and presentations can elevate vegetarian appetizers to impressive levels. With endless inspiration available, these starters prove that plant-based food is anything but monotonous. Embracing vegetarian appetizers can lead to the discovery of novel, scrumptious combinations that appeal to all food enthusiasts.
In the 19th century, vegetarian appetizers became popular in Europe, with dishes such as stuffed mushrooms, eggplant caviar, and vegetable pâtés. In the 20th century, vegetarian appetizers gained popularity in the United States, with dishes such as stuffed peppers, guacamole, and spanakopita becoming popular. Nowadays, vegetarian appetizers can be found in restaurants, at potlucks, and in grocery stores, with a variety of flavors and ingredients. Vegetarian appetizers are a delicious and nutritious way to enjoy a meal.
Let’s dive in and check out these delicious and easy vegetarian appetizers and delicious vegan appetizers!
Mexican food and Tex-Mex appetizers are always a hit with any crowd.
One of our favorite Mexican appetizers is the popular seven-layer dip.
This dip usually has ground beef with taco seasoning in it, but you can make it just as well when you need vegan appetizers.
We love how the creator of this recipe spreads it all out on a flat dish!
This recipe has fat free refried beans, guacamole and diced avocado, diced bell pepper, pico de gallo, black olives, and green onions.
Serve this dip with your favorite tortilla chips and get ready for a fiesta!
We all love grabbing some edamame when we’re out to dinner enjoying vegetarian appetizers, but it’s easy to make this wonderful vegan appetizer at home, too.
To make this spicy and sweet edamame, you need frozen edamame, soy sauce, rice vinegar, crushed red pepper flakes (or chili oil), brown sugar, garlic, and fresh ginger.
When it’s finished cooking, sprinkle your edamame with toasted sesame seeds and enjoy!
Ever since we first had baked potato skins at a restaurant years ago, we have been in love with this delicious vegetarian appetizer that is hearty enough to be a meal.
For your vegan baked potato skins, you need vegan mayonnaise and vegan sour cream, along with almond milk.
Spices in this recipe are garlic powder, dried dill, and fresh chives.
This recipe for potato skins uses TVP, but you can skip that if you want to and just keep it with your vegan cheddar cheese, green onions, and chives.
A veggie platter is one of our favorite vegetarian snack ideas because it’s so easy and requires no cooking whatsoever.
When we make veggie platters, we like to use a lot of different colored veggies. The more variety you have, the better!
A veggie platter should have some of the basics, including cherry tomatoes, celery sticks, sliced cucumber, green beans, sweet green peas, snow peas, sliced bell pepper in different colors, cauliflower, radishes, and asparagus spears.
In addition to cauliflower, you can add broccoli, artichoke, zucchini to your fresh veggie platter. Serve your veggie tray appetizer with whatever dips you like.
5. Garlic Bread
We are so in love with garlic bread because when you top it with cheese and serve it with a salad, garlic bread becomes a delicious full meal.
The best garlic bread appetizer is made with a loaf of French bread.
With softened butter, garlic powder, minced garlic, grated parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning, you have the perfect garlic bread.
To make your garlic bread crispy on the outside, don’t wrap it in foil. If you want it softer, you can use foil.
Do you ever find yourself craving a Chipotle burrito or bowl just so you can get some of their yummy guacamole?
You’re not alone!
Chipotle guacamole is a hugely popular appetizer and this copycat Chipotle recipe hits the spot.
This guacamole has only seven ingredients and it’s ready in just a few minutes.
Make sure your avocados are nice and ripe.
One thing that sets this guacamole recipe apart is that it has both fresh lemon juice and fresh lime juice.
The red onion gives this guacamole tons of color, and you don’t want to skip the jalapeno pepper.
Flatbreads can be excellent vegetarian appetizers, but they can also serve as a full meal when you pair them with a salad.
We love this recipe, and you can modify it by spreading your flatbread with tahini.
To make this flatbread appetizer, you can make homemade pizza dough or use a store-bought version.
If you can’t grow or find heirloom tomatoes for this flatbread, that’s no big deal. Just buy some of the different colored gourmet cherry tomatoes that you can buy at the store.
In India, you can enjoy a variety of different pakora that are made with various veggies. However, you can also gobble up this pakora appetizer that’s made with cheese and paneer.
Pakora (sometimes called pakoda) is the Hindi word for fritters that are fried.
Traditionally, Indian pakora is made with gram flour, which is flour made from small black chickpeas.
Paneer is a fresh firm Indian cottage cheese that is non-melting.
For super-crispy pakora, fry it twice as directed in this excellent and authentic Indian recipe.
When you want a fruit dip for an appetizer, you can make the popular cream cheese fruit dip as an appetizer. However, we have fallen in love with this unique apple brickle dip recipe.
This apple brickle dip is made from toffee and cream cheese and it’s positively decadent.
For sweetness, this apple brickle dip gets so much yumminess from brown sugar, white sugar, and toffee baking bits.
Vanilla adds some delightful notes, too.
For optimal results, serve this apple brickle dip with different colors of apples, including Granny Smith apples, Gala apples, and Honey Crisp apples.
When you want the perfect light vegetarian salad or appetizer, go with Italian tomato salad, or Insalata di pomodori.
This simple salad is so gorgeous when it’s made with fresh tomatoes from the garden.
The key to the perfect Italian tomato salad is to have the freshest ingredients.
Also, be sure to use the best quality extra virgin olive oil.
Red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar is totally optional.
Your herbs for this salad are fresh mint leaves, fresh basil leaves, dried oregano, fresh marjoram, and chopped chives.
Some feta cheese, blue cheese, gorgonzola cheese, fresh mozzarella cheese, or goat cheese is great on this salad, and it can be similar to a Caprese salad.
When you’re looking for a sophisticated dip recipe appetizer, you can’t go wrong with a vegetarian eggplant caponata.
This roasted eggplant recipe is loaded with flavor and you can pull it together quickly.
Eggplant caponata is loaded with veggies, including black olives, green olives, diced tomatoes, garlic, capers, bell pepper, and onion.
If you can get your hands on some Italian eggplant, that would be great. They have a thin peel and roast perfectly.
Here’s some more good news: eggplant caponata freeze wonderfully, so you can make a double batch and have some ready for another day and another party.
When it comes to vegetarian snacks or vegan snacks, there is nothing more ubiquitous, beloved, and easy than homemade potato chips.
These homemade potato chips have the signature crunch we all love in our chips, but they don’t have all of the nasty preservatives found in store-bought potato chips.
Best of all, you can make homemade potato chips in about 10 minutes.
To make these homemade potato chips, it’s nice if you have a mandolin so that your sliced potato chips are perfectly even.
We love a zesty cream cheese dip like onion dip and this dill pickle dip hits the spot.
To make this recipe a vegetarian appetizer, leave out the ham that is listed in the ingredients.
This recipe is made with chopped dill pickle, cream cheese, dry ranch dressing seasoning mix (or dip mix), and diced green onion.
To make this dip, mix the ranch dressing mix and cream cheese together until it’s super smooth.
Then, gently stir in the chopped pickles and green onions.
Serve your dill pickle dip with veggies, tortilla chips, crostini, pita chips, toasted bread, or crackers.
14. Vegetable Pakora
Sometimes an occasion calls for a vegetarian appetizer that’s a little more sophisticated, and that’s where these Indian vegetable fritters (vegetable pakora) come into play.
Besides being a vegetarian appetizer, these veggie fritters are also gluten free and vegan.
To make this vegetable pakora, you fry your veggies until they are crispy and golden brown.
Vegetable pakora is made with cauliflower, potato, onion, red chile, butternut squash, and fresh ginger.
The flour that binds it all together is chickpea flour.
Spices needed for this cauliflower recipe are turmeric, cumin, coriander, fenugreek, and chili powder.
If you need to take vegetarian appetizers to a holiday party, the guests will love this cranberry cream cheese dip.
This cranberry cream cheese dip is super festive during the holidays and the holiday season is the perfect time of year for this dip.
You can make fresh cranberry sauce or buy a store-bought version.
The lemon juice adds a delightful zing to this cream cheese dip, and the cumin makes this dip interesting.
Garnish your cranberry cream cheese dip with cilantro and green onions.
Serve this yummy and colorful cream cheese dip with crackers, crostini, or tortilla chips.
Bruschetta is so versatile and there are tons of ways to make it.
This simple bruschetta recipe features fresh tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and fresh basil leaves. This bruschetta is so simple but so perfect.
Bruschetta is best when it’s served on a French baguette, but any sturdy French bread will work.
For other vegetarian and vegan bruschetta toppings, consider mushrooms with thyme, olives and oregano with lemon juice and lemon zest, mashed green peas with fresh mint leaves, and sun dried tomato with olive oil.
This vegan spinach dip is a version of the classic spinach artichoke dip that is completely plant-based.
To make this vegan spinach dip, you need just nine ingredients, including vegan cream cheese.
We love how smooth, cheesy, and creamy this dip is. To make it creamy, you can use your choice of unsweetened plant milk, soy milk, or almond milk.
When you’re preparing your vegan dip, be sure to squeeze all of the water out of the spinach before adding it to the bowl.
Feel free to add some artichoke to this dip.
Who doesn’t love a rich and creamy tomato soup?
This recipe for Indian tomato soup uses real heavy cream and zesty fresh tomatoes to make the perfect soup completely from scratch in less than half an hour.
If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, or if you want to make this recipe even easier, you can use canned tomato puree or canned tomatoes.
Don’t use milk in this recipe. It doesn’t do well with the acidity in the tomatoes.
The roasted garlic makes this tomato soup divine.
To make this soup slightly sweet, blend in some beets or carrots.
19. Cowboy Caviar
Cowboy caviar was originally known as Texas caviar because it was first served at a New Year’s Eve party in Houston, Texas.
However, because it has become beloved by people all over the U.S., this wonderful vegetarian appetizer and side dish is now called Cowboy Caviar.
It only takes about 15 minutes to pull this vegetarian appetizer together and it’s perfect for a party, picnic, or potluck.
The secret to the best cowboy caviar is to dice the veggies (tomato, pepper, avocado, and onion) as small as possible so that it’s truly like a dip.
Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.
Fritters are always gobbled up quickly when they’re served, and these broccoli fritters pack a powerful nutritional punch.
Here’s something that makes this recipe even more awesome. These broccoli fritters freeze up beautifully.
To make broccoli fritters, you can use the broccoli florets and stems, so this is a good recipe for using up the nutritionally-dense broccoli stems.
These fritters contain garlic, parmesan cheese, an egg, and milk.
Serve these broccoli fritters with sour cream or make the Greek yogurt sauce that’s in the recipe.
In recent years, hummus has become a beloved favorite dip for veggies, crackers, crostini, bread, and more.
Traditionally, hummus is made with chickpeas, pine nut, lemon, tahini, and various spices.
However, you can make many different varieties of hummus. For this hummus recipe, we will focus on the traditional version.
You can use chickpeas or garbanzo beans for your hummus.
Tahini is basically sesame seeds ground into a paste.
To make hummus, you need fresh lemon juice. For some reason, lemon juice from a bottle isn’t quite the same.
Garlic, salt, olive oil, and cumin complete this hummus recipe.
Want more easy vegetarian appetizers? Watch the Tasty video below.
Our 20+ BEST Vegetarian Appetizers (Plus Veggie Platter Recipe)
- 1 cup short celery stalks
- 1 cup peeled carrots
- 1 cup sugar snap peas or green beans
- 1 cup sliced cucumbers
- 1 cup tender asparagus stalks
- 1 cup whole cherry tomatoes
- 3-4 cups assorted dips including ranch or hummus
- Arrange all of the veggies on a platter.
- Put the bowls of dip in the center of the platter.
Organize all the required ingredients.
Enjoy the food.