32 MUST TRY Vegan Appetizers - ushfc

32 MUST TRY Vegan Appetizers

From dips, dessert treats, finger foods, and spreads, we’ve got you covered on you’re next big event! Perfect classics and surprising additions to your dinner party, these vegan appetizers are sure to be a crowd-pleaser for any occasion.

Whatever event you are celebrating, whether it’s a wedding, birthday party, New Year, or any festive event, there’s sure to be some recipes here to add to your repertoire and turn your store cupboard staples into a gorgeous selection of party foods for you and the whole family to enjoy. 

There’s nothing more enjoyable than sitting down with friends or family and digging into a big selection of small delicious nibbles. There’s something for everyone and there’s a lot to be said for having all the variety in one place! Especially when you’re faced with picky eaters, smaller guests, or anyone with food preferences, it can be tricky to cater to them all! 

We’ve gathered a selection of the top vegan starters and appetizers to suit all pallets, big and small so you can focus on your event and know you’ve got the food in the bag.

You don’t even need to have a big celebration or party to bring you a few cheeky nibbles. During the festive season, it’s great to have a few plates dotted about the lounge for anyone coming and going, and chips and dip never go out of season!

Read on to see our top picks for crowd-pleasing vegan appetizers. 

32 MUST TRY Vegan Appetizers

These appetizers will be big hits because:

  • They are vegan
  • They are dairy and lactose-free
  • Kids will love them- no super spicy flavors here!
  • There’s a huge variety- there’s sure to be something everyone can enjoy
  • Perfect for parties- even if the gathering is just you and a friend!
  • Simple and delicious
  • Easy to make so you’re not stuck in the kitchen all day long

Events you can serve these vegan appetizers at:

  • Superbowl games
  • Boardgame nights
  • Family gatherings
  • New Years celebrations
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas
  • Over the festive season
  • Hannukah
  • Easter parties
  • Summer grills/cookouts
  • Birthday parties
  • Kids celebrations
  • Potlucks
  • Any night or day of the week that you want to feel like a special celebration

To make it easier to find what you’re looking for, we’ve grouped together all the vegan appetizers into their own category for easy browsing as follows:

  • Vegan dips
  • Vegan Cheese Boards
  • Roasted Snacks
  • Finger Foods
  • World Foods
  • Vegan Bruschetta

Amazing Vegan Dips and Spreads

There’s nothing more tasty or versatile than a glorious bowl of vegan dip for your finger foods or just scooping up to enjoy! Most of these dips are perfectly vegan as they come, such as hummus or artichoke dips, but be on the lookout for anything with hidden dairy!

This is usually easily replaced with a little forethought and there are some incredible vegan alternatives for cheese and other dairy products now available that will make your job of ‘veganizing’ so much more enjoyable these days!

Vegan French Onion Dip

This incredible french onion dip gives you all the creamy tang of sour cream and chives, with a french twist- and it’s vegan! If you can’t find vegan sour cream, you can try it with a thick vegan yogurt as long as t’s not flavored. This is great with breadsticks or other finger food nipples to dip as you please.

You can make this a few days ahead to keep yourself prepared and this recipe also makes enough for 4-6 people though it is easily halved or doubled as needed. A great centerpiece with tangy-sweet caramelized onions stirred throughout. 

Smoky Vegan Cheddar Cheese Dip or Sauce

This versatile sauce makes a great dip and is also a great one to add to the repertoire for a cheesy pasta sauce or for an amazing vegan lasagne. This dip is made with raw cashews and red bell peppers so you won’t need to buy anything too out of the ordinary to prepare this amazingly cheesy tasting sauce, sure o convert even the most die-hard of cheese lovers.

There’s no actual vegan cheese in this one, but the combination of nutritional yeast (available in most large supermarkets), spices, cashews for creaminess, and roasted red peppers creates an amazingly smoky and cheesy-like substitute! 

Caramelized Onion White Bean Dip

White bean dips are an amazing base as they are so easily flavored! The thickness of the beans makes them an excellent choice for dips and unlike cashews or chickpeas, you don’t need to de-skin them or soak them, making them a great easy option!

White bean dip is great to make for a crowd as it’s cost-effective, super tasty, and very filling too! This recipe incorporates caramelized onions for their sticky sweetness. To minimize prep, make a big batch of caramelized onion so you can use some for chutneys or other dips too! They’re a great staple to have on hand. 

Sweet Potato Harissa Hummus 

This versatile sweet potato hummus dip has added harissa spices for a rich, smoky flavor profile. It’s simple to make and the addition of roasting the veg adds a bold creamy flavor to the dip with minimal effort!

We think you’ll love this simple hummus recipe. It’s perfect with sliced vegetables for dipping such as carrot, cucumber, or celery sticks. 

Vegan Cashew Queso Dip (Oil-Free)

An amazing oil-free and dairy-free queso-style dip that still tastes thick and cheesy? This recipe delivers! Made with cashews for a creamy and nutty taste, the texture of this dip makes it the perfect accompaniment for finger foods or for dipping in your tortilla chips- keep this recipe in your food vault if you’re ever making vegan nachos too!

Creamy Tahini Dill Watercress Dip 

This excellent dairy-free tahini dip is creamy, light, and refreshing. Perfect served with some spicy vegan wings or with some tasty falafel to dip with!

Made with silken tofu, which is super easy to find at larger stores, this dip is thick, rich, and satisfying for a crowd. The watercress adds a peppery dimension and a kick of flavor so you won’t miss the taste of dairy at all. 

Vegan 7 Layer Dip

It’s everyone’s favorite dips in one! When you can’t decide on what to make? Make this beautiful dip to satisfy everyone’s taste buds! This vegan 7 layer dip looks amazing in a glass dish as you can see all the pretty colors of the layers.

Use whatever you have on hand, if you prefer a spicier salsa, go for it! Fresh green guac, refried bean dip, salsa, vegan sour cream, and mixed veggies taste incredible on a crunchy tortilla or with mini pittas for dipping. 

Beet Baba Ganoush (Roasted Eggplant Dip)

No vegan dip selection would be complete without a tasty roasted eggplant dip! Eggplant is amazing for absorbing the caramelizing flavors of roasting and whatever spices you love the most.

With the addition of bright beetroots, this dip is a festive and fun bright pink color sure to draw in a crowd! Serve up with your favorite finger foods for a new classic addition to your snack selection. 

 Charcuterie Selection Boards

Vegan Cheese Boards and Charcuterie Selection Boards

Grab yourself a gorgeous serving dish or a pretty wooden board and layer up some of the best vegan products available. Nowadays, finding great vegan cheeses has never been easier. You would be forgiven in thinking that you’d have to give up your favorite late-night snack of a great meat and cheese picking board- but think again!

With a little forward planning, you can create a beautiful vegan charcuterie board (and it doesn’t need to break the bank either). 

How to design the perfect vegan charcuterie board

The same underpinning principles apply from a regular meat and cheese board- it’s all about variety! A good basis to work from is by following this simple list:

  • A soft cheese- think a cream cheese substitute
  • A hard cheese
  • A brie-style soft cheese- something that’s still sliceable for a cracker- cashew cheese works wonderfully for this!
  • Nuts- a good selection of snacking nuts such as almonds or walnuts works great here and looks very decorative
  • Grapes, apples, pears, or blackberries- try grabbing whatever is the best in-season
  • Vegan honey or chutney- sweet dipping sauces are an absolute game-changer with vegan cheese and fruit! They might sound like an odd combo, but you and your guests will be instantly converted after you try it!
  • Thin salami-style slices- they look great on a plate and add some color to your board
  • Vegan cocktail sausages- or you can cut up larger vegan sausages- anything that fits nicely on a cracker!
  • A good cracker selection- be aware to check the ingredients before serving with your vegan starters as some contain milk and other dairy ingredients

Caciotta Vegan Cheese (Nut-free and Low Fat)

A brilliant addition to any vegan cheese board, this nut-free cheese is perfect for any allergy sufferers and is also surprisingly low in fat. Made with chickpea flour, soy yogurt, a touch of oils, and seasoning, this firm vegan cheese is sliceable and creamy with a nice tang to satisfy any die-hard cheese lover.

The creators of this recipe are a Frenchman and an Italian so they know a thing or two about cheeses from their pre-vegan days and claim this is their new go-to! That’s a pretty good place to start in our books. 

Smoky Vegan Cheddar Cheese

Looking for a vegan replacement for cheddar cheese? This one not only looks the part, but it also tastes it too. Cheddar is one of those staples on the cheese board line up especially when it’s a rich color like this. It adds a bit of warmth t the cheese board and this veganized version is sure not to disappoint.

The trio of cashews, non-dairy yogurt, and soy milk makes w=this cheese creamy and rich. It’s a perfect way to impress your guests or for late-night snacking post-party straight out of the fridge…

Spicy and Smoky Vegan Pepperoni

Want something meaty with your board? This vegan pepperoni-style slice is the perfect addition. Feel free to adjust the spice levels for smaller guests as this one packs a bit of a punch! Slice this lovely vegan sausage up to wow guests and create a beautiful-looking plate that everyone can enjoy.

It’s actually made much like a dough with vital wheat gluten to give it that sausage texture. It works great sliced up but could also work well as a topping for potatoes, as part of a sausage pasta bake, or on top of any number of canapes such as mini vegan pizzas. 

5 minute Vegan Cream Cheese

This recipe is great if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands! In 5 minutes you can whip up a hearty and cheesy cream cheese that’s a perfect cheese board staple (and great on bagels every other day too!) Whilst this isn’t going to fool any cheese lovers, it’s a wonderfully rich ‘schmear’ made primarily with cashews for a rich, creamy and nutty flavor.

Use a high-powered blender or food processor with this one if you want that ultra-smooth texture of cream cheese. This is also great with extra add-ins like roasted red peppers, spicy chipotle, or chives for a pop of color. 

Vegan Brie

Another staple addition to the cheese board, this vegan brie gives you that soft and spreadable texture that’s still firm enough to slice on your cracker. Perfect with a dollop of caramelized chutney. This brie is incredibly easy to make, and with ten minutes of prep time the day before, you can wake up the day of your gathering with stunning vegan cheese waiting for you in your fridge!

This recipe also comes with soy-free and nut-free recipes for any allergy sufferers. It uses a few out-there ingredients so make sure your pantry is stocked up before you start. 

Vegan Camembert

Creamy, smooth, everything camembert should be. This is a real show stopper on a cheese board and would look fantastic with a dollop of cranberry sauce and some roasted pecans for a festive plate.

You can prepare this camembert in just 10 minutes and chill overnight for a fantastic cheese with a lovely tang. This cheese is also nut-free and relatively low in fat which is great to know as you won’t be able to stop eating it!

1-bowl Vegan Gluten-Free Crackers

If you’ve ever made your own nut milk at home, what do you do with the leftover pulp? Probably chuck it? Well, this recipe is a great way to use it up and it’s gluten-free which is great for anyone avoiding gluten but still wanting to participate in a good cracker.

This recipe uses a lot of store cupboard staples and isn’t as intimidating as it looks! There’s nothing more satisfying than mastering making your own crackers! This one-bowl recipe is also great for those of us who would rather not have a mountain of washing up on our hands (that’s everybody, right?). 

Easy Crispy Vegan Crackers

Another excellent and easy vegan cracker recipe to add to your repertoire. These crackers are only 9 ingredients, and super simple to make. Perfect for snacking on, make sure you keep some spare for your gathering! A lot of store-bought crackers can get really expensive, especially if they are marketed as vegan-friendly.

By making your own, you’ll not only have a bit of fun but you can save a tonne of money too. These are great for all the family and the herbs can be adjusted to your preferences. 

Roasted Snacks

A perfect finger food dipper, and perfect for little party plates, this selection of roasted goodies is sure to pull a crowd! Not always on the top of the priority list but always a hit when served, a quick selection of roasted nuts, cheeky roast veggie chips, or crunchy chickpeas add a welcome crunch to any vegan snack selection. 

Soy Maple Glazed Walnuts

These easy snackers are a great table topper, and perfect for passing out during a game or movie night. The savory soy glaze makes them perfect to snack on at home.

These are seriously easy to make and don’t require any odd ingredients. Simply add all your ingredients for your glaze together, coat your walnuts, and pop into a preheated oven to toast them up! And you have a perfect easy snack with all the balance of salty and sweet.

Be careful! These are so more-ish you might have to make extras (luckily, it’s easy to double or triple batch these if they prove extra popular).

4 ingredient Vegan Candied Pecans

Fancy something a little more on the sweet side? Candied nuts are an absolute festive staple. These also go great on a cheese or charcuterie board too. These have to be the easiest candied pecans out there.

With just 5 minutes of prep, pop these 4 ingredient snacks straight in a hot oven to reveal crunchy, crispy nuts that fill the house up with the smell of autumn and Christmas rolled into one. These wouldn’t look out of place at any gathering though, whether it’s Winter or Summer as they are so delicious!

Oil-Free Baked Veggie Chips (Paleo, Vegan, Gluten-Free)

An excellent way to try out all your tasty dips, these oil-free chips are packed with flavor but much better for you than your typical crisp! For super-easy prep, invest in a mandoline but you can simply slice your veggies very thinly with a sharp knife instead.

If you are making these oil-free, make sure to watch them roast in the oven carefully as an extra minute or two can be enough to turn them from perfectly crisp to a burnt mess! You can alternatively give them a light spritz of oil from a spray mister to give you that perfect crispy chip. 

Roasted Chickpeas 4 Ways (No Oil)

Choose your favorite flavor combo- Vegan Parmesan and Garlic, Maple Cinnamon, Tandoori Lime, or Sweet and Spicy Chili! With no oil, these crispy chickpeas are a great all-around snack that requires almost no effort for a bug flavor hit!

Vegan Finger Food

Vegan Finger Food to Snack On

Perfect for grabbing on the go, this selection of finger foods is great if you’d rather not have paper plates strewn about as they can easily be picked on, or you could pass them around for everyone to graze on as the evening or event goes on.

Whether it’s a vegan twist on a classic childhood staple like pigs in blankets, or a fancy vegan canape, these are sure to be snapped up in a second! It’s a cinch to make a lot of these in advance, so even if you’re not planning a big event any time soon, it’s great to have a couple of these party snacks frozen or preprepared for any occasion or just a family movie night!

Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms

These are the perfect bite-sized snack to tempt the crowd with. Super easy to make and customize with a hearty pop of garlic or chili and great when teamed with any of our lovely dip selections! The secret ingredient in these little morsels is hemp seeds!

They add a healthy protein punch, but they’re really there to add some meaty ‘bite’ and texture. Teamed with onion, garlic, fresh herbs, and a healthy dose of vegan parmesan (you could easily sub this for some roasted chopped nuts), these tiny one-bite wonders are packed with flavor. 

Vegan Popcorn Tofu Nuggets

Great crowd-pleasers and especially good for kids, dip these in ketchup or your favorite dips to satisfy everybody. Tofu has a texture not everyone enjoys but the addition of the crispy coating makes them utterly irresistible!

Vegan Pigs in Blankets

Tuck into this delicious crispy pastry and a tasty sausage-style filling. These can be made with any vegan sausage you prefer, or whatever is available to you. Top tip- these are incredible with a little cranberry jelly for dipping. 

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Cups

These make an awesome alternative to an eggy quiche and the artichoke gives a nice creamy filling. You can use pre-made filo pastry shells to make these for minimal fuss or swap them out for puff pastry instead if you prefer. 

Vegan Italian Meatballs

These filling, tasty little balls are great on a skewer or toothpick, especially when served with some vegan cheese, chutney, or even a dipping marinara sauce. They take a bit of prep but are a great party starter in more ways than one!

Cannellini And Artichoke Vegan Crab Cakes

These fishy crab-style cakes would be amazing served with a squeeze of lemon as a platter addition or on a toothpick with some vegan tartar sauce and a sprinkling of dill or your favorite fresh herbs. They hold together really well thanks to the hearty cannellini beans.

Vegan Appetizers from across the Globe

Whilst sometimes, all you want is the classic comfort of childhood favorites, it’s always great to explore cuisine from around the world and pick a few exciting vegan appetizers from other cultures!

We’re thinking mini vegan samosas, tasty dumplings, or beautiful Thai-inspired spring rolls. 

Punjabi Samosas

This classic Indian street food is packed with flavor and guaranteed to go down a treat. The fragrant spices make them an ideal party snack food and these ones are a good size, so you can keep coming back for more! This recipe is easily doubled if you need it too.

Vegetable Dumplings

Otherwise called gyoza or ‘potstickers’, these make an impressing platter centerpiece and everyone can go to town picking them up with chopsticks and dipping in soy sauce, chili, or any number of tasty dips. This Asian cuisine is soft and succulent with a crispy pan-fried exterior and oh so delicious. 

Fresh Spring Rolls With Peanut Sauce

These beautiful and fresh spring rolls are probably not what comes to mind when you think of spring rolls! They are made with rice paper which means you can see all the beautiful colored vegetables inside.

They are fresh and clean tasting whilst also being healthy to boot! Add a beautiful simple peanut sauce to these for dipping and you have a wonderful appetizer that celebrates Thai cuisine. 

Beautiful Vegan Bruschetta 

Whilst you might consider this to fit under the banner of global cuisine, we love crostini so much it deserves a section all on its own! There’s so much variety you can choose from when it comes to making these tasty bite-sized toasts and you can layer your favorite flavors to create something entirely unique to you!

Here is a range of ideas to get you started, but feel free to try whatever your heart desires. 

Easy Vegan Bruschetta

The classic combination of diced tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and basil makes the ultimate Italian appetizer.

They are easy to eat, full of flavor, and can be leveled up by getting the best quality ingredients you can. As the recipe is so simple, it really makes these basic flavors sing if you get a selection of good quality products for this one. 

Avocado Chimichurri Bruschetta

This is a great Latin-inspired twist on an Italian classic. The popping flavors work great with the crispy toasts and you can adjust the spice for a younger crowd if needed. 

Pesto White Bean Bruschetta

This is another super simple recipe. Simply blitz your oil-free pesto in a food processor, top your crispy crostini toasts, and layer on a healthy dollop of diced tomatoes and seasoned white beans. 

Brandon White