‘Tis the season for holiday parties and family gatherings, and what goes better with get-togethers than tasty goodies and lots of things to eat? With so many finger foods, sweets and savory bites there are plenty of vegan-friendly options that can look appetizing and colorful on the table and… be enjoyed by everyone — yes, even the meat-eaters! Here are six of our favorite vegan recipes that we’ve made for our celebratory office parties at SportPort that our vegetarians and meat-eaters weren’t able to resist eating. Enjoy!
Spinach Dip Rolls
Sure, dairy-free spinach dip is utterly delicious, but if you want to make a fantastic dish even better, stuff it in a crescent roll, season it with onion and garlic powder, and coat it in crunchy bread crumbs! These spinach dip rolls are easy to make and even easier to eat, so think about doubling up on the batch if you’re planning to bring it to your next holiday party. True spinach dip fanatics can even dip the rolls in any leftover filling. Yum!
● 1 8-ounce container vegan cream cheese
● 1/4-1/2 cup vegan sour cream
● 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
● 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
● 2 handfuls of chopped spinach
● 1 container crescent rolls
● 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs* (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Either hand whisk or use a food processor to combine 1 container vegan cream cheese, 1/4-1/2 cup vegan sour cream, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder. Chunky or smooth is fine with the mixture, but the less sour cream you use, the less messy it may be.
3. Mix in two handfuls of chopped spinach. Mix well.
4. Unroll dough from the package. Divide the filling into four parts. Put half of each part inside of the dough. Roll the dough over the filling.
5. Roll the prepared dough in bread crumbs for added texture.
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Notes: *Make sure the bread crumbs and crescent rolls are vegan as many brands contain milk.
Spinach and Ricotta Puff Pastry Triangles
Savory puff pastry hand pies are a tried-and-true favorite, and for good reason! They’re perfectly portable, warm, flaky, quick for an easy dinner, and fantastic for entertaining guests. In this recipe, the spinach and ricotta puff pastry triangles are filled with a tofu “ricotta” and deliciously creamy spinach mixed with simple seasonings like salt, pepper, and garlic. If you happen to use up all of your pastry sheets and still have filling left over, don’t worry! You can use it as a dip with vegetables and vegan-friendly crackers, as a stuffing in tomatoes, or even swirl it into your favorite pasta. Let your creative juices flow!
For the Pastry:
● Vegan whole-wheat puff pastry sheets
● Soy milk
● Sesame seeds
For the Spinach and Ricotta Filling:
● 1 tablespoon olive oil
● 1 small onion, chopped
● 2 garlic cloves
● 1 14-ounce package organic firm tofu
● Juice from 1 lemon
● 2 teaspoons salt
● A pinch of pepper
● 2 cups baby spinach
1. Lightly fry your onion and garlic in a little olive oil.
2. Add your tofu to a food processor with the spinach, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
3. Add the cooked onion and garlic and pulse a few times until the mixture comes together. You want it to have a ricotta texture, so do not overdo it so that it becomes a paste.
4. Cut your frozen puff pastry sheets into squares.
5. Spoon in a couple of teaspoons of the ricotta mixture into the center of your pastry square and fold it over to create a triangle. Be careful not to overfill.
6. Pinch the edges together with the edge of a fork so that the triangles have closed. The ricotta recipe makes a large amount, so repeat the process until you get as many triangles as you like and keep the leftovers to use as a normal ricotta.
7. Brush a little bit of soy milk over your triangles and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.
8. Bake at 356°F for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown and puffy.
Not only are these pumpkin muffins delicious and moist, they are also dairy-, flour-, oil-, and gluten-free, making them the perfect seasonal vegan appetizer, fall snack, or prep-ahead breakfast! If you prefer a sweeter muffin, add some vegan chocolate chips or dried fruit.
● 1 3/4 cups rolled oats (make sure they say gluten-free if you have an intolerance because some oats can be contaminated with gluten)
● 1 teaspoon baking powder
● 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
● 1/4 teaspoon salt
● 1 teaspoon cinnamon
● 1/2 teaspoon ginger
● 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
● 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips, chopped dried cranberries, or chopped nuts (the dried fruit or chocolate chips will add a little more sweetness)
● 4 tablespoons aquafaba liquid from cooked chickpeas or 2 ground flax eggs* (recipe below)
● 1 cup pumpkin puree**
● 1/2 cup maple syrup
● 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin with vegan butter or oil.
2. Pulse oats in a blender until finely ground. Add baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Pulse once or twice to blend.
3. Add all wet ingredients and puree until smooth.
4. Stir in vegan chocolate chips, cranberries, or nuts. Fill the prepared muffin cups until they are two-thirds full.
5. Bake the muffins until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (20 to 25 minutes).
6. Cool in the pan or on a wire rack.
7. Make sure they are completely cool before freezing individually for a healthy grab-n-go snack. You can also serve them with jam.
Notes: *Ground flax eggs: Whisk 2 tablespoons ground flax with 5 1/2 tablespoons of water. Place in refrigerator for 10 minutes to thicken.
**To use fresh pumpkin: A 1 1/2- to 2-pound pumpkin should give you a cup of puree. It may be a bit over, but you can use the puree for a quick soup. Puree can also be frozen for approximately 6 months. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Clean your pumpkin by thoroughly scrubbing the pumpkin. Then, cut the pumpkin in 5-inch square pieces, discarding the stems. Remove the seeds and fibrous strings. Save the seeds for roasting. Put the pumpkin pieces on a lined baking sheet in a single layer, skin side up. Roast, covered, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until tender. When cool enough to handle, scoop the pulp from the rind. Blend into a puree in a food processor.
Cauliflower Buffalo Bites
Regardless of your holiday event, these cauliflower buffalo bites are a crowd-pleaser! Addicting and spicy, serve them with vegan blue cheese dressing, carrots, and celery sticks.
● 1 cup non-dairy milk
● 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
● 1 teaspoon garlic powder
● 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
● 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
● 1 teaspoon paprika
● 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
● 1 cauliflower head, broken into florets
● 10 ounces oil-free Buffalo wing sauce
● 1 cup vegan blue cheese
● Carrot sticks, for serving
● Celery sticks, for serving
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, flour, and spices.
3. Place all the cauliflower pieces in the milk mixture and coat thoroughly.
4. Spread the cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet.
5. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until light golden brown.
6. Once the cauliflower is crisp and golden, coat them with the Buffalo sauce and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
7. Serve with the vegan blue cheese and carrot and celery sticks.
Baked Mac and Cheese Bites
Looking for the perfect comfort-food appetizer? Enter the baked mac and cheese bites. Made by stuffing a muffin pan with decadent mac and cheese, simply sprinkle a little (or a lot!) or cayenne pepper on top. Just pop the tray in the oven, and in 20 minutes, you’ll have a whimsical, cute appetizer that family and friends are sure to love!
● 3 cups medium-sized macaroni noodles
● 1/4 cup vegetable oil
● 3/4 cup flour
● 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
● 3 cups almond milk
● 2 teaspoons liquid aminos
● 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
● 2 teaspoons salt
● 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
● 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425°F and grease a 12-cup muffin pan.
2. Bring a medium pot of water to boil over low heat. Once the water has reached a boil, add in the macaroni and allow it to cook for about 5-7 minutes. Strain and set aside.
3. While the pasta is cooking, begin preparing your cheese sauce. In a separate saucepan, whisk together flour and oil over high heat. The flour may not combine all the way, but don’t worry. It will dissolve in the milk later.
4. Whisk in almond milk, nutritional yeast, salt, cayenne, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, and liquid aminos until combined.
5. Continue to whisk the cheese sauce as it reaches a boil and starts to thicken. Allow the sauce to thicken and remove from heat.
6. In a large bowl, stir together cooked pasta and 3/4 of the cheese sauce. Taste test and add more salt or spices if you choose.
7. Spoon the mac and cheese into the muffin pan. Be sure to stuff each dish a little higher than the top of the pan.
8. Once all the mac and cheese is in the muffin pan, drizzle the remaining cheese sauce onto each pile.
9. Bake for 15-18 minutes. After removing from the oven, let the pan cool for about 5 minutes, allowing the bottom portion of the mac and cheese to cool down and bind to the top.
Rosemary Oven-Roasted Mushrooms
These rosemary oven-roasted mushrooms are a fantastic go-to side dish for any type of gathering. Cremini mushrooms are tossed in a garlic olive oil-white wine sauce, sprinkled with rosemary, and popped in the oven. The result? Savory, tender mushrooms that complement nearly any course!
● 32 ounces mushrooms, cremini or button
● 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
● 1 large shallot, finely diced
● 4 garlic cloves, minced
● 2 tablespoons olive oil
● 1/4 cup white wine
● Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat your oven to the roast setting at 450°F.
2. In an oven-safe bowl, combine mushrooms with 1 whole chopped shallot, 4 minced garlic cloves, salt, pepper, a few drizzles of olive oil, some white wine, and rosemary.
3. Toss to ensure the mushrooms are fully covered and and place in the oven.
4. At the 10 minute-mark, shake the mushrooms a bit to ensure they are browning evenly. Place back in the oven for another 5-7 minutes.
5. Add some fresh rosemary on top and serve.
The formula for a wonderful gathering is good music, friends, family, and, of course, food! And with appetizers this delectable, be prepared to end up with lots of smiles — and leftovers from the main course and sides. Happy holidays!
References & Resources:
Special thanks to One Green Planet for these great ideas and more vegan recipes found here: https://www.onegreenplanet.org/channel/vegan-recipe/