Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Holiday Appetizers

Make sure there are plenty of meatless munchies to enjoy with your holiday cocktails: volunteer to bring one of these make-ahead, vegetarian appetizers to the part
By: Michelle Buffardi
Related To:

Hummus Dip; Dave Lieberman

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

For every holiday party I've been invited to, the host instructions are to bring "an appetizer or dessert." As much as I love baking, I prefer to bring the former. There are always plenty of sweets at a holiday gathering, but no guarantee that there will be meatless pre-dinner snacks. If I bring one or two vegetarian appetizers, it guarantees that I'm able to snack while I'm mingling and if dinner happens to be a whole bunch of ham and prime rib, then at least I can continue to nibble on my own apps.

The best bring-to-a-party appetizers are those that pack well so they won't get all mangled in your travels and that can be made ahead -- don't count on being able to do a lot of last-minute prep or assembly at the party. If you're bringing a hot dip or something that needs to be cooked (even re-heated) before serving, check with the host to make sure you'll have access to the stove, oven or microwave.

The Best Vegetarian Holiday Appetizers to Bring to a Party

Hummus: Hummus may be the quintessential vegetarian food, but it's adored by meat-eaters as of late (maybe because you can buy it in stores in millions of different flavors and we're all pretty used to it by now?) so bringing hummus to a party isn't a faux pas (like say, bringing packaged veggie burgers to a cook-out). Make it ahead of time and pack it in a container you won't mind forgetting at the party, and bring lots of crudite and pita chips for serving. Go traditional with the old-fashioned kind, made with canned chickpeas whizzed up in the food processor for a few minutes, or fancy it up a bit with sun-dried tomatoes and smoked paprika, use white beans instead of chickpeas (for a change of pace or because you're out of chickpeas) or make a lighter-but-still-super-creamy version with Greek yogurt and artichoke hearts.

Photo by: Stephen Murello

Stephen Murello

Deviled Eggs: Everyone loves deviled eggs, whether they choose to admit it or not. Make them at home and pack them in one of those cute little deviled egg carriers if you're headed straight to a party, or if you're arriving long before the appetizers will be served, make the deviled filling and pack it separately and stuff the eggs before you serve them. Deviled egg best bet: Alton's 4-Pepper Deviled Eggs (above) or Nadia's Truffle Deviled Eggs.

Crostini: Prep the toppings at home and bring the bread along; assemble the toasts at the party and broil or bake just before serving. (Make sure you ask about using the oven ahead of time or you won't be invited back next year.) If you're really looking to impress, make it two appetizers in one. Make two different toppings and top half of the bread with one and half with the other. Fill your tray with Giada's Sweet Pepper Crostini plus the unexpected flavor combination of Bal's Crostini With Spiced Chevre.

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip; Alton Brown

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Hot Dip: Spinach-artichoke dip is the ultimate crowd-pleaser, whether you go meatless or not. Alton's super-easy hot spinach dip is made in the microwave so you can mix it all together at home and microwave it just before serving. But if you're over spinach-artichoke or just looking for something a little different this year, try the Beekman Boys' Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Dip or Kelsey's Roasted Artichoke Dip.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Thanksgiving Appetizers

Serve a few simple snacks before your Thanksgiving feast to keep guests happy and out of the kitchen.

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Thanksgiving Appetizers

Make the first course at Thanksgiving a meatless one; vegetarians will be happy and meat-lovers won't miss the meat one bit.

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Pot Pie

The Meatless Monday cure for the rainy-day blues: Aida Mollenkamp's Vegetarian Pot Pie.

Meatless Monday: 8 Vegetarian Pasta Recipes

Keep your cabinets stocked with dried pasta and whip up easy, meat-free dinners in minutes.

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dishes

It may be Turkey Day and all, but everyone knows Thanksgiving is all about the sides, and many of the best ones are meatless.

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Thanksgiving Sides

The great news is that most side dishes are either meatless or can be made without meat very easily (and just as deliciously).

On TV

Food's Greatest Hits

7:30am | 6:30c

Food's Greatest Hits

8:30am | 7:30c

Food's Greatest Hits

9:30am | 8:30c

Food: Fact or Fiction?

10:30am | 9:30c

Food: Fact or Fiction?

11:30am | 10:30c

Good Eats

12pm | 11c

Good Eats

12:30pm | 11:30c

Good Eats

1pm | 12c

Good Eats

1:30pm | 12:30c

Good Eats

2pm | 1c

Good Eats

2:30pm | 1:30c

Cheap Eats

3pm | 2c

Cheap Eats

3:30pm | 2:30c

Cheap Eats

4pm | 3c

Cheap Eats

4:30pm | 3:30c

Burgers, Brew & 'Que

5:30pm | 4:30c

Big Bad BBQ Brawl

6:30pm | 5:30c

Big Bad BBQ Brawl

7:30pm | 6:30c

Burgers, Brew & 'Que

8:30pm | 7:30c

Burgers, Brew & 'Que

9:30pm | 8:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Cheap Eats

10pm | 9c

Good Eats

11pm | 10c

Good Eats

11:30pm | 10:30c

Burgers, Brew & 'Que

12:30am | 11:30c

Burgers, Brew & 'Que

1:30am | 12:30c

Cheap Eats

2am | 1c

Good Eats

3am | 2c

Good Eats

3:30am | 2:30c
What's Hot
What's Hot

The Best Thing I Ever Ate

New Episodes Sundays 8|7c

Pick a Side!

The Snackdown

In our new animated series, we debate the most-pressing food matters of our time, like is cereal a soup?

So Much Pretty Food Here