Take a look through this selection of easy cold and hot vegan appetizers, choose 2 or 3 for your next gathering, and have a blast! You’ll find irresistible bites made from plant-proteins, vegetables, vegan cheeses, mushrooms, olives, and more. Bonus — scroll down to the end and link to a roundup of our best vegan dips and spreads.
Some of these fun vegan appetizers are so hearty that they can easily be your meal (we’re looking at you, nachos). Serve with your favorite wine, beer, cocktail, or mocktail, and let’s get this party started …
“Beefy” Vegan Nachos Grande takes almost no time to make, and is fantastic party fare or even an emergency dinner. It’s also a great way to convince your skeptical friends to take a walk on the veg side.
Fully Loaded Vegan Nachos makes a great appetizer; or it can even serve as an emergency dinner. Piled generously with corn, beans, vegan cheese, and veggies, these tasty nachos can be made with pantry and refrigerator staples in a matter of minutes.
Easy Hot and Cool Salsa Tater Tots: A close cousin of tater tot nachos (aka totchos), this presentation of is even simpler. Baked tots are simply tossed with salsa, avocado, jalapeño, and cilantro.
Patatas Bravas: Crispy potatoes meet umami-rich tomato sauce with just the right smack of chile. No wonder patatas bravas are the tapas everyone loves. Patatas bravas is a classic Catalan dish and the quintessential bar snack of Spain. Contributed by Ellen Kanner.
Smoky Tempeh Peanut Satay: Contributed by Dustin Harder, this tempeh satay is a fantastic hot appetizer. A flavorful and vibrant Thai-inspired marinade paired with hearty tempeh is skewered and lightly charred.
Vegan Peanut Satay Skewers: give your choice of plant protein a wow factor, threaded on bamboo or metal skewers. This surprisingly easy Thai-inspired appetizer is sure to impress!
Baked Tofu Nuggets with Vegan Tartar Sauce: Simple to make, these crispy tofu nuggets disappear quickly! Serve with the vegan tartar sauce given in the recipe, or substitute your favorite condiment.
Miso Eggplant (Nasu Dengaku): A popular Japanese dish, this appetizer is on the menu at Japanese restaurants everywhere. Lisa Dawn Angerame’s rendition of miso-glazed eggplant is an easy recipe to replicate at home.
Vegan Corn Fritters: At the height of fresh corn season, these fritters can be served as a tasty side dish or better yet, as an out-of-the-ordinary appetizer. Made with cornmeal or chickpea flour, they’re good served warm or at room temperature and enhanced with a tasty cilantro and tomatillo salsa.
Crispy Brussels Sprouts made on the stovetop are a fantastic appetizer, made even better with a super-simple tangy-sweet agave-mustard sauce. Make a contemporary bar snack at home, easily and with less oil.
Vegan Crab Cakes with Classic Cocktail Sauce have earned their place as a crave-worthy plant-based appetizer or light main course. Make your own with this easy and delicious recipe by Laura Theodore, aka the Jazzy Vegetarian.
Sautéed Garlic Mushrooms with Sriracha and Parsley: A simple dish of garlic mushrooms made in the skillet is spiced up to your taste with sriracha. Serve as an appetizer or side dish.
Everything Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Bites: Dustin Harder, author of Epic Vegan, says this about this now-classic vegan appetizer: “Cauliflower buffalo bites have swept the nation! Vegan restaurants and non-vegan restaurants alike serve them, and they’re popular among patrons far and wide.”
Roasted Eggplant Caponata is a delightful take on the classic Italian appetizer, making it easy to enjoy year round. Scented with fresh basil, parsley, and oregano, this recipe best made with summer’s flavorful tomatoes and enjoyed on bruschetta or fresh bread.
Crazy-Easy Vegan Hot Bean Dip: This vegan hot bean dip really is crazy-easy — you can enjoy it in 10 minutes total for a filling snack, instant appetizer, or an offbeat lunch served with tortilla chips and fresh fruit.
Fiesta Vegan 7-Layer Bean Dip: This luscious dip is the perfect dish for any party! Make sure to serve it with plenty of chips because it disappears quickly. It’s a fantastic appetizer for game days, casual company gatherings, and Cinco de Mayo.
Texas Caviar: This recipe for Texas caviar (also known as cowboy caviar), a tasty marinated salsa or salad of black-eyed peas and black beans, incorporates other typical ingredients — bell peppers, tomatoes, and corn. It can be used as a salad, but more often, it’s served as a chunky dip with tortilla chips.
Marinated Artichoke Hearts with Mushrooms & Asparagus: In this recipe for a tasty appetizer dish or first course, marinated artichoke hearts and mushrooms mingle with fresh asparagus and herbs. Lemon juice and half-sour pickles add just the right bright, mild tartness.
Vegan Hot Artichoke Dip or Spread is an appetizer recipe that’s kinder to your waistline than the dairy-filled kind, yet no less luscious. A base of cannellini (large white beans) plus a bit of vegan cream cheese, tender greens, and topped with a modest sprinkling of vegan mozzarella adds up to one delicious dip!
Ajillo Mushrooms and Asparagus: This simple combination of mushrooms and asparagus was inspired by the popular Spanish tapas (appetizer) dish, champiñones al ajillo. The original recipe uses only mushrooms, embellished with lots of garlic and parsley. Adding asparagus makes it not only more substantial, but gives it color and heft as well.
Olive Bar Medley with Tofu Feta: Colorful and briny, small servings of this olive-rich appetizer (featuring a tofu feta recipe) go a long way. If you’d like to pair this up with one other appetizer, serve this olive bar medley with tofu feta alongside your favorite dip or spread, plus fresh sliced baguette or gluten-free crackers.
Pan Roasted Chickpeas, 3 Ways: Pan roasting a more efficient way to enjoy this popular snack than oven-roasting, which tends to dry them out. Roasting chickpeas in a skillet on the stovetop is ultimately quicker and more efficient than using the oven.
Sweet Potato Hummus is a mellow backdrop for briny artichoke hearts (or olives, if you prefer the variation). Readymade hummus is available almost anywhere food is sold, but it’s economical and easy to make your own, with a myriad of tasty variations like this one.
Vegan Chickpea Deviled Tomatoes: Combining chickpeas, nutritional yeast, vegan mayo, and a touch of curry, these beauties are rather addictive, so be prepared for them to disappear quickly!
Champagne Vegan Cheese Fondue: Here’s an easy vegan cheese fondue whose a rich flavor is amplified by champagne or dry white wine. The creator of this recipe, Claudia Lucero, writes: “I’m on a mission to bring back the fondue party. I honestly don’t understand why it fell out of fashion.”
And there’s more … delicious vegan dips & spreads
You’ll find a few from this generous selection of delicious vegan dips and spreads, but there’s lots more to explore in this roundup.