Tasty Vegan Appetizers

White Bean and Sun-Dried Tomato Pâté

White bean and sun-dried tomato pate

Here’s an old standby that never fails to please — a savory spread based on creamy white beans, accentuated with sun-dried tomatoes. Serve with raw vegetables and crispbreads. Make the sliceable version of Smoky Cheddar Cheez and serve with crisp red grapes for a lovely array of appetizers. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.

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Green Pea and Arugula Spread

Green pea and arugula spread

This bright green pea and arugula appetizer or sandwich spread will bring springtime to your palate, but it can be enjoyed year-round. Serve as an appetizer with sliced baguette or bruschetta; as a sandwich spread with sliced cucumber and/or radish. Alternatively, you can also use this is a dip for raw vegetables — try a mixture of cauliflower florets, red bell pepper strips, baby carrots, and snap peas. This makes about 2 cups.  more→

Nut-Stuffed Mushrooms

Nut-stuffed mushrooms

There’s a well-known aphorism that states; “Life is too short to stuff mushrooms.” One can make that argument, but honestly, stuffing a couple dozen mushrooms is not really a lot of work and it produces a perennially pleasing appetizer. This makes two dozen mushrooms; 3 or so make a nice appetizer serving, especially if serving with other appetizers. more→

Teriyaki Eggplant

Eggplant Teriyaki recipe

Similar to the delectable appetizer often found on Japanese restaurant menus, this pan-sautéed teriyaki eggplant couldn’t be easier to make. For heartier appetites, allow more than just one mini eggplant per serving, as this has an addictive flavor and goes down easy! Serve as an appetizer or side dish. Photos by Evan Atlas.

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Green Bean Fries

Green bean fries with ranch dressing

Green bean fries are a less starchy but equally fun and tasty alternative to potato fries. Using fresh slender green beans in season is the way to go, even though trimming them is a bit of work. Off season, use partially thawed whole baby green beans. These are tasty with our dairy-free ranch dressing, but they’re good on their own, too. Use as a snack, appetizer, or side dish. Photos by Evan Atlas.
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Potato & Pea Samosa Cakes with Tamarind Sauce

Pototo & Pea Samosa Cakes with Tamarind Sauce from But I Could Never Go Vegan.

Samosas are a traditional savory Indian pastry, usually stuffed with spiced potatoes and other vegetables. These cakes are basically samosa filling without the pastry. The tart and sassy tamarind sauce makes the perfect accompaniment. The patties would be well received as finger food or as a side, but you could also pile four or five (or nine) on your plate for an unforgettable main course. Recipe from But I Could Never Go Vegan!: 125 Recipes That Prove You Can Live Without Cheese, It’s Not All Rabbit Food, and Your Friends Will Still Come Over Dinner,* copyright © Kristy Turner, 2014. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. more→

Spinach or Arugula Strudel

This spinach or arugula and potato strudel makes a lovely, easy appetizer for special occasions. I say special occasions, as puff pastry isn’t the kind of thing you’d want to eat every day—a bit high in fat, and not all-natural. But some major brands are vegan (including Pepperidge Farm) and anything made with it is festive and delicious. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky. more→

Farinata with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Olives

Farinata with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Olives

Made with chickpea flour, farinata is actually more of a savory pancake than a bread. It’s easy to make this Ligurian specialty that can be served as an appetizer or as part of the main meal. Farinata is often prepared without embellishment, but I sometimes add a fresh herb such as rosemary or sage, or chopped olives and sun-dried tomatoes, as in this recipe. Recipe from Vegan Without Borders* by Robin Robertson/Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC ©2014, reprinted by permission. Photos by Sara Remington.

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Forbidden Rice Spring Rolls

Forbidden Rice Spring Rolls from Leslie Cerier

Colorful carrots, black ramen noodles, sliced avocado and garden fresh herbs makes for a beautiful and satisfying appetizer. Serve with peanut sauce for a special gluten-free, vegan lunch for two. Recipe contributed by Leslie Cerier; photo by Tracy Eller. more→

Spicy Olives

Olive varieties

You can use a combination of black and green olives, if you like. Just make sure the olives are good-quality imported olives, as they have the best flavor. From Hot Vegan: 200 sultry & full-flavored recipes from around the world by Robin Robertson/Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC © 2014, reprinted by permission.

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Vegan Nachos with Chile con Queso

Vegan Nachos with Chile con queso

A southwestern appetizer that’s become popular everywhere, this is an enticingly rich dish of melted cheese and chiles enveloping crisp tortilla wedges. Though customarily made with jalapeños, you can substitute mild green chiles if you prefer a tamer flavor. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→

Eggplant and Tomato Spread

Bruschetta with Eggplant and tomtato spread

This spread featuring eggplant with a hint of tahini is reminiscent of baba ghanouj, but gives tomatoes a starring role as well. It makes a lovely late-summer appetizer. Serve with Bruschetta, wedges of whole grain pita bread, or pita chips.

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