Vegan Party Appetizers Anyone Would Love

Vegan Appetizer Menu - Loaded Potato SlicesLast week we celebrated David’s birthday by having people over for drinks and appetizers. When it came to food, we talked about the possibility of a waffle bar or build-your-own-nacho adventure. However, for the ease of keeping things at their proper temperature as people arrived at varying times, we decided to simplify it by having mostly cold appetizers with a couple of hot items to be made fresh once things got going.  It was hard to pare it down, but this was the final menu:

Birthday Party Appetizer Menu

Stuffed grape leaves
Garlic-stuffed olives
Homemade turnip pickles

Guacamole & chips
David’s signature salsa

Sweet Baby Bell Peppers stuffed with Olive & Artichoke Pâté
Holiday Cheddar Cheese Ball & crackers

Loaded Potato Slices with Cashew Cream & Coconut Bacon
Seitan Bacon Wrapped Cashew Cheese Stuffed Dates

Homemade Turnip Pickles

Vegan Cheddar Cheese BallBefore the big day, I started the turnip pickles and David made a trial run of the Holiday Cheddar Cheese Ball from Somer at Vedged Out since we’d never made it before. (It is fantastically good and was a huge hit with everyone at the party.)

Stuffed Grape LeavesThen the day before the party we picked up the remaining ingredients, plus a few premade things like stuffed grape leaves, garlic-stuffed olives, chips, and crackers.

Vegan Party Appetizer Menu - SalsaVegan Party Appetizer Menu - guacamoleSince we were the only vegans (or vegetarians for that matter) at the party, we wanted to have a variety of appetizers – some that were familiar, some that were new, and some that would be a fun twist on an old favorite. On the day of the event, David made his signature salsa, and I made an easy batch of guacamole.

Raw bell peppers stuffed with olive & artichoke pateRaw bell peppers stuffed with olive & artichoke pateI repurposed my Olive & Artichoke Pâté recipe and used it as a filling for sweet baby bell peppers. I just sliced off the tops (and saved them), hollowed out the inside of the peppers, and then used a piping bag to fill each one with pâté before repositioning the bell pepper tops. Additionally, having the tops on each pepper kept the pâté inside fresh and moist.

Seitan Bacon Wrapped DatesEven though I would be making two appetizers while guests were at the party, I wanted to have everything ready, so that I would be able to mingle as much as possible and not be stuck in the kitchen.

I made the filling for the Seitan Bacon Wrapped Cashew Cheese Stuffed Dates. Then I pitted the dates, stuffed them, and wrapped them with Upton’s Naturals seitan bacon held on with a toothpick, which guests were later able to use to retrieve their date from the platter. No forks necessary!

(I recommend choosing dates that are on the smaller side, as opposed to Medjool dates, so that the bacon easily wraps around them. Plus, the sweet/smoky/salty balance is a little better when the dates aren’t too big.  Also FYI: if you want to fry the stuffed dates in advance, they are still really tasty served cold or at room temperature.)

Seitan Bacon Wrapped DatesSeitan Bacon Wrapped DatesNext, Loaded Potato Slices with Cashew Cream & Coconut Bacon! I chopped all of the toppings for my Loaded Potato Slices. Then I sliced the potatoes and kept them in a water bath in the refrigerator to keep them fresh until they were ready to be dried, lightly oiled, and baked at the party. I decided to use Phoney Baloney’s coconut bacon that night, but fried & roughly chopped Upton’s seitan bacon or Wayfare bacony bits would also be delicious choices.

Loaded Potato Slices with Cashew Cream & Coconut BaconOnce lots of people had arrived and were talking and mingling, I headed to the kitchen to bake the sliced potatoes and shallow fry the stuffed dates. As the appetizers finished, I put them onto serving platters and enlisted David’s help in walking around and offering them to people.

Loaded Potato Slices with Cashew Cream & Coconut BaconThe appetizers were plucked up in no time and were very well received, which always feels really good. (In fact, I completely ran out of the 40 stuffed dates that I made and had to make another batch for these pictures. More for me, darn it all…)

We had such a great time at the party.  It was really fun getting to socialize, celebrate David’s birthday, and share some of our favorite foods with our friends.


  1. Susan says


  2. cookeasyvegan says

    Lots of good ideas here — I especially like the potato slices and stuffed peppers. We’re hosting a party next weekend, and although it will be a dinner, I’m thinking of having lots of small choices like grape leaves, felafels, roasted veggies, etc. We’ll have a couple of soups, too, and the only thing I’ll have to make at the last minute will be the felafels. I love pickled turnips, but I’d like to offer a warning. Never ever include pickled turnips on a snack platter for a high school drama club party. Nope, don’t do that. 😀

    • says

      That sounds like a fun party! I always love lots of little nibbles & appetizers. They are my favorite part of a meal. I was really close to serving my Indian-spiced falafel for the gathering as well, but then decided that we had enough on our plates already. Next time!

      Ha! You’ve got to tell me the story about this high school drama club party. I’m intrigued! I’m surprised that they weren’t a hit actually. My nieces and nephews have been (surprisingly) excited about them in the past when I’ve brought them along for the holidays. But then again, they tend to be more adventurous about trying new things (like stuffed grape leaves or vegan taco pizza) than one might expect.

  3. acookinthemaking says

    What an amazing menu–I want to come to a party at your house!

    I totally hear you on the issue of serving things at the right temperature too…I found this out the hard way at our most recent Christmas party when I couldn’t keep one of the hot dishes hot! Room temperature apps for the win.

    • says

      Absolutely! We don’t entertain nearly as often as we should, and so I have too many ideas for things I want to serve on the rare opportunity. However, for big gatherings like this, the evening is so much more enjoyable if I don’t have to babysit a hot dish all night long. Just one or two hot things to make and serve immediately is more my speed!

  4. says

    Happy Belated Birthday to David! What an impressive bday party appetizer menu – all of the appetizers look and sound fantastic – love the loaded potato slices with cashew cream & coconut bacon, mmmm!

    • says

      Thanks, Rika! I will pass on your birthday wishes! Whenever I make the loaded potato slices, I am reminded that I should make them more often. With a high speed blender, the whole affair only takes about 20 minutes to make!

  5. says

    I think my invite must have got lost in the post! Which is a shame, because I think I would have made short work of all those appetisers! I’m really taken by the look of the cheezball – was it easy to make?

    • says

      Damn you, postal service! 😉 David said that the cheese ball was really easy to make. The only thing that takes time is waiting for the cashews to soak and then allowing the cheese time to set up. (Although, when it was first made and melty, I added it to a breakfast burrito. It was soooooo good. Highly recommended.)

  6. says

    the food looks AND sounds amazing, cadry! i love all of the appetizers and the variety. the stuffed cashew cheese dates with bacon sounds like they were absolutely heavenly. and amazing job coordinating it all!

    • says

      Thanks, Caitlin! I love appetizers, but it’s not often that I’m able to order them because they’re so rarely vegan at non-vegan restaurants. It was fun getting to have a whole array of them. Thanks for all the kind words!! :)

    • says

      You should definitely make it! You would really like it. Plus, with all of those cashews & coconut oil, it has all of those yummy calories a pregnant lady needs. :)

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