Creating the perfect wedding menu is stressful for any bride, but it can be especially tricky if you or your guests are vegan. Fortunately, there are many couples in the same boat, and the recipe options are seemingly endless. According to Pinterest’s Wedding Report 2018, the number of users searching for vegan wedding foods is up 186%!
Despite what most meat eaters think, vegan recipes are colorful, complex, and just as satisfying as their meat-based counterparts. Ready to prove it with some delicious, vegan-friendly appetizers on your big day? The impressive use of ingredients, flavors, and textures will have your non-vegan guests raving about the menu for years to come!
Here are the best vegan-friendly finger foods for a wedding menu, hands down.
10. Grilled Ratatouille Kebabs
Ratatouille is traditionally a stewed vegetable dish consisting of onions, zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers (usually served cold), but why not reimagine it as a finger food? According to onegreenplanet.org, this grilled ratatouille kebab recipe is a skewered version of a classic French recipe using summer zucchini, squash, and eggplant. This would be an amazing complement to a French-themed wedding (or a wedding in France)! I can just imagine enjoying this on a warm summer evening in Provence with a glass of rosé in my hand. Ah, a girl can dream.
9. Mushroom Bruchetta
It is 100% possible to keep the integrity, flavor, and textures of classic foods without the meat, and this recipe proves it! Bite-sized garlicky crostini is topped with a mixture of caramelized scallions and savory mushrooms glazed with balsamic vinegar. Oh my god, I can taste it now. Due to the short list of ingredients you can afford to get the best mushrooms, olive oil and balsamic vinegar you can find (go on, make Ina Garten proud)! A tip? Make sure your balsamic vinegar says “Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena” on the label, otherwise you're most likely getting red wine vinegar sweetened with corn syrup. The more you know!
8. Kung Pao Cauliflower Bites
Don't let the simplicity of this recipe fool you! The sauce on these Kung Pao Cauliflower Bites is spicy, sweet, and completely life-changing. Think outside of the box and offer a variety of options for dipping, or just serve them on their own (the sauce is delicious enough). Either way, both the vegans non-vegans in your life are sure to enjoy them and ask for the recipe. Garnish with some sliced spring onions and sesame seeds, and VOILA! A perfect, inexpensive crowd pleaser.
7. Chili Wonton Cups
Despite what some of your non-vegan wedding guests might think, vegan finger foods aren't just limited to carrot and celery sticks! These chili Wonton cups are crispy, crunchy and packed with smoky chili made with beans, quinoa, and meat-free crumbles. Trust me, your meat-eating friends won't even be able to taste the difference. Add a sprinkle of vegan cheese shreds and a dollop of dairy-free sour cream and your guests will be gobbling them up in no time (just don't let them eat too many, these can be deceptively filling).
6. Crispy King Trumpet Mushroom Calamari
Nothing adds sophistication like a plate of calamari, and this Crispy King Trumpet Mushroom Calamari is nothing short of a vegan masterpiece. King trumpet mushroom are coated in batter and deep-fried until they are perfectly crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. These can be served with lemon juice, marinara, or whatever vegan sauces your heart desires. For a Mediterranean flair, serve with lemon, vinegar, and parsley. Honestly, your guests won't even realize they're eating mushrooms. These are also great as a beer pairing, so keep that in mind.
5. Parsley Sesame Pizza Dough Twists
Who in their right mind doesn't like pizza dough? These Parsley Sesame Pizza Dough Twists are the perfect vegan crowd pleaser because honestly, you can't go wrong with a combination of bread, garlic, and herbs. These twists can be basted with warm butter, garnished with sesame seeds or sea salt, or sprinkled with a fresh coat of green parsley (or whatever herb you're into). Feel free to pair them with a tasty dip, but these are buttery and fluffy enough to serve on their own. Your only concern will be making a big enough batch.
4. Crispy Polenta Balls
Anything that's crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and paired with warm marinara sauce is a HELL YES for almost everyone alive, vegan or not. These crispy polenta balls or perfectly portable, tasty, and easy to make. Garlic, fresh herbs, chickpea flour, and creamy polenta are rolled into balls and fried in canola oil until golden brown (seriously, who doesn't love fried food)? Enjoy with spicy marinara, sweet chili dipping sauce, or vegan garlic mayo. Regardless of what condiment you serve, you can't go wrong with these.
3. Cucumber Pinwheels With Sundried Tomato Avocado Pesto
Cucumbers can be surprisingly versatile, as seen in this easy recipe for bite-sized Cucumber Pinwheels With Sundried Tomato Avocado Pesto. It might look complicated, but it's totally not. Each cucumber is sliced thinly with a mandoline, stuffed with savory sun-dried tomato spread (store bought or prepared yourself), rolled carefully and then topped with almonds for a bit of crunch. Not a fan of almonds? No big deal, any crunchy nut or seed will do. These are refreshingly light and simple and make great finger foods on a hot summer day.
2. Loaded Smashed Potatoes
I dare you to find one vegan friend who doesn't appreciate a good loaded baked potato (you can't). If you're looking for an appetizer-friendly version of a comfort food classic, then this is the vegan recipe for you. These Loaded Smashed Potatoes are straight-forward and taste like the real thing, so even Grandma will be happy. Simply smash some baby red potatoes, drizzle them with olive oil, and bake them in an oven. Once they're perfectly warm on the inside and crispy on the edges, melt some cashew mozzarella on top, add a dollop of zesty chipotle cream, and garnish with chives or smokey tempeh bacon bits! Yummo.
1. Shiitake Nigiri
Looking to add some Japanese flair to your wedding menu? Try some Shiitake Nigiri, which are surprisingly easy to prepare and will please even the snobbiest of sushi lovers. Coat fresh shiitake mushroom caps in some thickened Everything Sauce (or just prepared teriyaki) and form the nigiri by shaping the cooled rice (mixed with sesame seeds) into football-shaped pieces. Once everything is assembled, tie together with flowering chives and sprinkle with toasted nori or black and white sesame seeds (just don't forget the soy sauce).