Plant-Based Holiday Appetizers with 5 Ingredients or Less

| WRITTEN BY: Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN
plant based appetizer with veggie crudites, crackers, and dip

Here are a few of my favorite and best vegetarian and plant-based appetizers that use just 5 ingredients or less to make.

Making plant-based appetizers is not as complicated as you may think. These simple dishes make it easy to eat nutritious and satisfying foods that don’t ruin your appetite before your meal.

Jazzed Up Veggie Trays

We’re taking the classic veggie sticks and dip trays up a level. Make them more interesting and creative by changing up the kinds of veggies and dips you offer. A good rule of them is 3 different kinds of vegetables, and 2 different kinds of dips to give an array of options. Try different textures for the veggies – such as raw, roasted, and dehydrated. For dips, offer up a more traditional flavor, and one unique flavor to appease all kinds of tastes. Here are a few of my favorite veggie tray ideas:

  • Roasted carrots
  • Beet chips
  • Raw jicama sticks
  • Garlic roasted broccoli
  • Tri-color vegetable chips
  • Endive leaves
  • Roasted red pepper hummus
  • Baba ganoush 
  • Muhammara – a roasted red pepper and walnut dip
  • Olive tapenade
  • Lemon tahini sauce

Looking for a kid-friendly holiday appetizer? This Grapeful Fruit Turkey with Cinnamon Yogurt Dip is a fun & festive idea!

3 Ingredient Vegetarian Canapés

Canapés are one of the best plant-based appetizers since they are bite-sized, and require just 3 ingredients to pull together. Here’s how I usually assemble them:

Ingredient #1: Start with a base

I usually opt for a whole grain cracker or a grilled vegetable coin (sweet potato, zucchini, and golden potatoes are my faves). This will hold all the toppings, so make sure it is still sturdy enough, and not too flimsy to make eating them a lot less messy.

Ingredient # 2: Top with a dip

Add some kind of dip or spread to your edible base to add flavor, and to hold your final topping in place. Some of my go-to options are:

  • Hummus
  • Olive tapenade
  • Pico de gallo
  • Soft cheese or cheese spread
  • Prepared bruschetta
  • Basil pesto

Ingredient #3: End with something crunchy

I love having different textures all in one bite, so I will usually top my canapés with something crunchy. Some ideas are:

  • Crushed walnuts or pecans
  • Finely chopped veggies (especially carrot or cucumber)
  • Chopped apple or pear
  • Hemp seeds or sunflower seeds

Always wanted to make a homemade cheese board? Here’s how in just 3 easy steps!

Mini Avocado Toast Bar

plant based appetizer with mini avocado toasts

Who says avocado toast just has to be for breakfast?! Interactive and make-your-own appetizers are always a big hit during the holidays. Turn a favorite recipe into a fun and customizable appetizer with a mini avocado toast bar.

Start by offering different bread options such as slices of a toasted baguette, mini rye toasts, and slices of toasted six-grain bread. (You can even make it gluten-free with this Seedy Low-Carb Bread Recipe!)

Next, you can either offer slices of fresh avocado or opt for the pre-mashed avocado you can find at the grocery store. If serving fresh avocado, you may want to spritz the slices with lemon juice or olive oil to prevent them from browning too fast. 

Avocado Toast Toppings

Last, but certainly not least, is offering a number of topping options. Some of my favorites are:

  • Fresh chopped herbs
  • Hemp seeds
  • Vegetable slices
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Hot sauce
  • Variety of spices (everything bagel, garlic powder, chili powder, etc.)
  • Fresh salsa
  • Nut butter
  • Honey
  • Fresh berries

Other Plant-Based Appetizers, Drinks, and Desserts

Looking for more plant-based holiday inspiration? Try some of my favorite recipes below!

Mini Pecan Pies

Pomegranate Ginger Mojito Mocktail

Sweet Potato Turmeric Soup

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Harvest Salad with Maple Mustard Dressing

Pomegranate Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios

Which of these plant-based appetizers would you try first? Please share, I’d love to hear!

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