5 Easy Plant-Based Holiday Appetizers

December 23, 2015

If you're like us, you're wondering how it's late December already. Last we checked we were carving jack-o-lanterns and planning which of our favorite dishes we'd be bringing to our family's house for Thanksgiving. Now we're wrapping gifts and making sure we've got the perfect party outfit for the upcoming New Year celebration!

If late December caught you by surprise, odds are you might not have had time to plan which dishes you'll be bringing to your peak holiday season get-togethers. We're not judging! This is exactly why we have a list of go-to, easy-to-throw-together dishes that we end up making for at least one party every year. The best part: These dishes are pleasing for all palates, from the veteran vegans to those who aim to add more veggies to their plates in 2016. We've had no complaints!

Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Pinwheels

Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Pinwheels Vegan

Minimalist Baker does it again. Pinwheels are a party spread staple, but most of the time the stuffing of choice is animal-based so we're left skipping these appetizing and aesthetically pleasing wraps. This version not only means that you can get in on the pizza-flavored goodness of tomato and basil, but you can also try your hand at a four-ingredient vegan "parmesan cheese" that we're sure will make your list of pantry staples for 2016 and beyond.

Potato Skins

Potato Skins Vegan

Vegans like to get their potato skin fix, too! This recipe from Healthy Happy Life uses store-bought veganized versions of staples—sour cream, buttery spread, almond milk, and cheese shreds, specifically—but also gives you a chance to try making your own tempeh "bacon" bits so you can head into the new year with a way to get your smoky, salty, crumbly topping fix, too.

Caprese Salad with Tofu

Caprese Salad Tofu Vegan

Don't get us wrong, we love a massaged kale salad or a good ol' traditional lettuce, tomato, and cucumber with olive oil dressing. The holidays, however, are a good excuse to get all fancy with your salad, too. Introducing: the Vegan Caprese Salad with Tofu from Vegan Family Recipes. We're pretty certain that your dinner guests won't notice that the animal-based cheese is replaced by firm tofu, especially since they won't be able to focus on anything other than the amazing cashew-based pesto that covers this amazing dish.

Sticky Sweet Meatballs

Sticky Sweet Meatballs Vegan

Sometimes all you've got time to do is grab some prepared meatless meatballs from your local grocery store. We get it. We're often left grabbing a package of gardein from the local Kroger. Here's the thing: Your dinner guests don't have to know that! Just whip up this sweet and salty sauce that uses ketchup, maple syrup, agave, and apple cider vinegar, to name a few ingredients. It'll seem like you spent all night making these 20-minute meatballs. We won't tell anyone, promise.

Kick Ace Extra Sharp Vegan Cheese Ball

Kick Ace Extra Sharp Raw Vegan Cheddar Cheese Ball

What if we told you that you could whip up a vegan cheese ball from scratch? We know, we know—you're incredulous. You won't be after you check out Vedged Out's easy cashew-based cheese ball. Throw in the fact that most of her ingredients are vegan pantry staples or can be picked up from your local grocery store and we're thinking this is a winner for the procrastinator who wants to show their family and friends the magic that is nut-based cheese.

Of course you don't have to stick to appetizers or savory dishes to contribute a plant-based dish to the holiday meal! What easy entrees are your go-to when the holiday sneaks up like it has this year? And desserts? Share with us in the comments below!