Vegan Christmas Starters
Sun-Dried Tomato Palmiers
You can either thaw the puff pastry in the fridge overnight or leave it out at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours until it's pliable. These palmiers look a bit more complicated than the tarts, but don't be alarmed. Just roll each side in a jelly-roll fashion until they meet in the middle. Be sure to chill dough for 20 minutes before cutting.
Carrot Hummus With Cumin and Almonds
Bright, beautiful carrots give this dip its gorgeous hue, while a pinch of paprika adds a slight kick of spice.
Low and slow is the key to drawing out all of the moisture without burning the chickpeas or seasoning. It may seem tedious, but removing the skins before roasting is essential to obtain the deepest level of crunch on this tasty snack, which is a much healthier alternative to deep-fried chickpeas. As they cook, the spices mingle and mellow for a rounded flavor. You'll surprise and delight the crowd with how satisfyingly crunchy these light nibbles are. Use leftovers for salads, snack mixes, or to top casseroles, soups, and stews.
Warm Spiced Cashews
Chinese five-spice powder lends a distinct toastiness to these sweet and savory nuts. They're perfect to whip-up as a quick make-ahead, crowd-pleasing appetizer for holiday entertaining.
Citrus, Fennel, and Rosemary Olives
Smoked and Spiced Pecans
Try this recipe sprinkled on top of a simple green salad.
Catalonian Pepper and Nut Sauce (Salsa Romesco)
Making this recipe is time well spent: You'll be rewarded with lots of smoky-garlicky-peppery sauce, which keeps in the fridge for up to two weeks or in the freezer for a couple of months. There are lots of delicious ways to use it: Dip veggies, thin it with a little vinegar and water for salad dressing, try it as a sandwich spread, or smear it over pizza dough for a Spanish pie.
Roasted Beet Hummus
There’s no credible way to lighten guacamole since the main ingredient–avocado–is high in fat. But it’s heart-healthy and a worth-while splurge occasionally!
Sweet and Spicy Pepperonata
Use a variety of hot and sweet peppers in red, orange, and yellow for superior flavor and color in this dish. Serve as an appetizer spooned over grilled bread.
Cauliflower Hummus with Green Olives
Adding curry-roasted cauliflower to creamy, dreamy hummus makes for a flavor-packed dip that's good for you, too.
Sweet and Spicy Pumpkinseeds
Hulled pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas) are packed with protein, iron, heart healthy fats, and fiber. This spiced up version makes a delicious snack that delivers a slight sweetness with a subtle kick thanks to the chipotle chili powder and red pepper. For even more kick, add an extra 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper. Not just for snacks, these toasty seeds are delicious over yogurt, tossed into salads, sprinkled over whole grains (bonus crunch!), or stirred into your favorite homemade granola mix. Make a double batch and store in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days; these seeds are so good you'll never want to run out!
White Bean and Pumpkin Hummus With Pita Chips
If you think you've seen pumpkin spice in every food, think again. This lightly sweet and smoky take on hummus is the perfect snack or a fitting starter for any autumn gathering. Without being overly sweet, this festive dip is the perfect addition to your next Halloween or fall-inspired spread.
Microwave Sweet Potato Chips
You won't want to miss these easy-to-make sweet potato chips. You'll need a mandoline to slice the potato thin enough to crisp. The results are delicious and easy, sans the hassle of the oven.
Spicy Stir-Fried Mushroom Bruschetta
Fenugreek really highlights the earthiness of the mushrooms in this dish, an ingredient found in many curry powders. Omit if you can't find it. Even though the jalapeños are seeded in this appetizer, the dried chiles and ground red pepper deliver plenty of spicy heat. This dish is inspired by flavors from the northern mountainous region of India (Kashmir), whose people brought their love of mushrooms with them when they settled in Delhi. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves. Make a double or triple batch of the mushroom mixture and serve over warm chickpeas for a cozy, flavor-packed entree.
Serve cold or at room temperature with toothpicks.
Windowpane Potato Chips
A mandoline will help you create picture-perfect chips. Tip: Buy an extra potato to practice with beforehand.
Roasted Garlic, Sun-Dried Tomato, and White Bean Dip
Creamy beans and sweet sun-dried tomatoes offer the perfect texture and flavor combo in this simple dip. You can prepare a day ahead and bring to room temperature before serving. For a more formal presentation, serve on bagel chips garnished with rosemary sprigs. For a casual gathering, serve in a bowl with crackers or bagel chips for dipping.