8 Vegan Recipes for Your Next Dinner Party

vegan bowl

Dinner parties are always fun. But they can come with a lot of stress as well, especially if you’re catering to special diets, like veganism. It’s always good to have an array of different dishes for special diets so that your guests who have dietary restrictions feel like they have options. And yummy ones, too!

Here are eight easy vegan recipes for dinner—feature them at your next dinner party for your vegan guests. Make the entire dinner vegan or pick and choose some of these recipes to include among your other dishes that include meat and dairy. Vegan or not, these recipes are sure to satisfy anyone at your next dinner party!

Vegan Appetizers and Finger Foods

Roasted Sweet Potato Bites with Herb Pesto

Food just tastes better when it’s all in one bite! And when you’re at a party, convenience is key. Finger foods that you can pop in your mouth in one bite make it easy. These sweet potato bites are just that. Easy to consume and totally tasty. And, of course, vegan! The sweetness from the roasted sweet potato and the herby freshness of the pesto is a winning combo. Your guests will love it.

Ingredients:

Potatoes—

  • 2 sweet potatoes, cut into 1/4” slices (try to find long and thin sweet potatoes that are uniform in size to make the rounds even)
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoons Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Pesto—

  • 1 jalapeno, seed and flesh removed
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 tablespoons raw pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4–1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and add your sweet potatoes. Brush with the coconut oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides.

Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes. The sweet potatoes should start to brown and that’s when you know they are done.

While the sweet potatoes are roasting, make your pesto.

Add the jalapeno and garlic to a food processor or blender. Process to break them down into smaller pieces.

Add in the remaining ingredients (except the olive oil) and process again so the ingredients break down and mix up.

Turn the food processor on and stream in the olive oil until desired consistency is reached.

Take your sweet potatoes out of the oven and top with a dollop of pesto. Top with microgreens of your choice to complete the bite.

Serves 4

Cucumber and Lemon Hummus Bites 

This appetizer is fresh and light and the perfect finger food for a dinner party. And who doesn’t love hummus? It’s creamy and flavorful. The lemon juice gives it a citrus kick and fresh herbs like dill always help turn it up a notch. When you’re having appetizers sit out at a party, you want it to taste as fresh as possible, so this recipe is perfect! And bonus, it’s super quick and easy to put together.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large English cucumber, sliced into 1/4” slices
  • 1 cup hummus
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped

Directions:

Add your cucumbers to a serving platter.

Mix the hummus and lemon juice until incorporated and add a spoonful of hummus to each cucumber slice.

Sprinkle with fresh dill and you’re done!

Serves 4

Vegan Soup and Salad

Spicy and Creamy Carrot Soup

A flavorful, pureed soup is a perfect addition to any dinner party. It’s easy to consume and not too filling. This one-pot soup is easy to make and has a spicy kick to it! You can serve it in bowls or make little shot glass shooters of hot soup for your guests—the choice is yours!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 7 carrots, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds and flesh removed and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Directions:

In a large pot, add olive oil over medium heat. Add in all the rest of the ingredients except coconut cream and lemon juice.

Cover with a lid and let the soup simmer for about 30 minutes until the vegetables become soft.

Remove from heat, add in your coconut cream and lemon juice.

Pour soup into a blender and puree until smooth. Make sure there is room for the heat to escape from your blender. (You can also use an immersion blender straight in the pot.)

Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.

Serves 4

Chopped Kale Crunch Salad

This salad shouldn’t even be called a salad. It’s so indulgent that you will want this salad at every meal! It’s full of greens but also roasted sweet potato, raw veggies, nuts, and seeds. It has a creamy tahini dressing that you’ll want to drink from a glass! It takes a little more time because you have to roast the sweet potato. But while that’s roasting you can put together the rest of the salad. The extra time is totally worth it. When your dinner guests try this salad they will definitely ask you for the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes, diced
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 cups shredded kale (about 1 large bunch of curly kale, stems removed and chopped)
  • 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup broccoli slaw
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

On a large baking sheet, add diced sweet potatoes with coconut oil, salt, onion granules, garlic granules, and pepper and mix well so all the potatoes are coated.

Bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes until the potatoes start to brown and crisp on the edges. You want them nice and crispy so they hold up in the salad.

As the potatoes cook, prepare the salad. Start by adding the kale and cabbage to a large bowl. Next, add in the juice of 1 lemon and 1 tablespoon olive oil and massage the kale mixture with your hands until all the lettuce is coated. Add in the remaining ingredients and toss to combine.

When the potatoes are finished cooking, let them cool before adding to the salad.

Lastly, make the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients.

If you are prepping this recipe ahead, package the dressing separately until ready to serve, then toss everything together. If you are serving immediately, toss the salad in the dressing and then serve.

Serves 8 as an appetizer salad size or 4 people for a full-course size.

Vegan Main Courses

Quinoa and Veggie Stuffed Zucchini

This recipe looks and tastes really good for a dinner party. The colors are beautiful and anything stuffed is fancier! It’s simple to put together and you can prep the different elements ahead to save time once your guests arrive. The recipe uses quinoa, which is a great source of plant-based protein as it contains all the essential amino acids needed for building proteins in the body. So not only are you giving your guests a tasty vegan meal, but it is loaded with nutrients as well!

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup dry quinoa
  • 2/3 cup vegetable broth (or water)
  • 4 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 6 leaves fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with foil and parchment paper (for easy cleanup) and set aside.

In a small pot, add the quinoa and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 10–15 minutes until the quinoa has absorbed all the liquid.

While the quinoa is cooking, in a large skillet over medium heat, add the coconut oil, onions, bell pepper, and one teaspoon of salt. Sauté onions and peppers for about 10 minutes—until onions have become translucent and peppers have softened.

While the onions and peppers are cooking, take the halved zucchini and scoop out the inner flesh with a spoon. Save the inner flesh of two of the zucchinis, chop, and set aside.

Next, add in the diced tomatoes, garlic, chopped zucchini flesh, parsley, and spinach. Cook for another 5 minutes until spinach has wilted.

Remove the pan from heat and stir in the quinoa, pine nuts, and fresh basil.

Arrange the zucchini on the baking sheet, season with some salt and onion powder, and scoop filling into each zucchini with a spoon.

Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.

Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Once you remove the stuffed zucchini from the oven, sprinkle with fresh basil leaves and serve.

Serves 4

Cauliflower Steaks with Cashew Cream Sauce

When you think of vegan recipes, you don’t think of steak—unless it’s a cauliflower steak. Cauliflower is the forefront of this recipe and it’s served with a decadent creamy sauce that’s also vegan! Made from cashews and with a cheesy flavor from the nutritional yeast, this recipe is sure to impress your dinner party guests. Even those who aren’t vegan!

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into 4 ‘steak’ slices
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for 30 minutes in warm water
  • 1 cup water or vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium heat. Brush the cauliflower steaks with the avocado oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grill for about 5 minutes on each side.

To make the cashew cream sauce, add cashews, liquid, garlic, nutritional yeast, paprika, salt, and pepper to a blender or food processor. Puree the ingredients until smooth and creamy.

Drizzle the cashew cream sauce over the grilled cauliflower steaks and top with fresh parsley or basil.

Serves 4

Vegan Desserts

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

This recipe is decadent, rich … and surprisingly vegan! It has a smooth texture that makes the perfect finish to your dinner party. The full-fat coconut milk gives it a creaminess to make you feel like you’re eating something unhealthy, so your guests will get the full experience of a sweet and satisfying dessert without any dairy products or unhealthy ingredients. There are only four ingredients in this recipe—how simple is that!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 10 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Directions:

Add all ingredients into a blender or food processor and process until the dates are broken down and a thick consistency is reached.

Refrigerate for 2 or more hours to let the mousse firm up.

Serves 4

Almond Butter-Stuffed Dates with Cinnamon

This might be the easiest dessert recipe you could ever make. And it’s so tasty! Dates have a caramel-like taste—very sweet and the texture is chewy goodness. The sweet date with the salty and creamy almond butter is heaven in a bite. The cinnamon makes it even more indulgent and your guests will wonder how three ingredients can taste so decadent! Dates also contain fiber and almond butter contains protein, so you will be finishing your hearty meal with added nutrients instead of just a pile of empty calories with sugar. It’s a win for your health and your taste buds, too!

Ingredients:

  • 12 dates, pitted
  • 8 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

Slice the date open and spoon some almond butter in each one.

Sprinkle with cinnamon and you’re done!

Serves 4

With these eight vegan recipes, you can host a delicious and totally vegan dinner party for your family or friends. These recipes are simple to put together and many of them you can make ahead to make your life even easier. They are sure to leave your vegan guests happy and full—and your non-vegan guests will be surprised and delighted, too!  

*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Chopra Center's Mind-Body Medical Group; and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.


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About the Author

Lauren Venosta

Clinical Nutritionist & Personal Chef
Lauren Venosta is a Clinical Nutritionist & Personal Chef based in the Bay Area, CA. She runs her practice, total body nourishment , where she helps motivated men and women to regain their energy and feel great in their body. Practicing a food-as-medicine approach, she helps her clients utilize the healing powers of food to nourish their bodies. With nutrition counseling and custom meal plans, her clients experience results that last for the long-term. No crash dieting or feeling deprived, her programs focus on building healthy lifestyle habits and incorporating whole foods. She works with clients all over the country via online...Read more