Party Season Recipes to Have On Hand

As I write this, it’s the day after Thanksgiving here in the United States. Some people feel that the final two months of the calendar year are a party season (starting at Halloween), but I’m sure most people here in the U.S. say that season starts with Thanksgiving, which is the fourth Thursday in November. So starting now, and going until the beginning of the year, many of us may be planning some kind of holiday gathering with their social circle: family, friends, business acquaintances, or a blend of these.

It shouldn’t surprise you that at least one person you invite can be a vegetarian, so why not keep some party season recipes on hand so that person won’t feel left out? You’ll be extending an exceptional hand of hospitality, and it’ll be sure to impress your guests. Perhaps you can think of a way to mark or indicate the various vegetarian choices to your guests and let them know, whether by telling them yourself or by putting up a sign of some kind.

Smorgasbord

One suggestion you can use is something I referred to in another post on this website: Basic Vegetarian Menus for Easy Meals

The section entitled “Smorgasbord” gives you a good foundation for choices to present to your guests. You could get kind of fancy, too, by going a bit outside of the norm. For example, you can arrange bell peppers in any variety of colors you can find.  You will find green, red, orange, and yellow are the most common, but occasionally others can be found, too. In addition, there are many different types of olives, including black, green, kalamata, and don’t forget stuffed olives, too!  Make an easy hors d’oeuvres by cutting a salty cheese into small cubes; use toothpicks to attach olives to them. My favorite combo is cheddar cheese with stuffed olives!

If you have children, get them involved in the preparation for your party.  First of all, have your children wash their hands.  Then you can slice different types of cheeses. They can place one or two of the cheese slices on any of a wide selection of crackers.  After they’re helped, arrange these on plates or platters.

Dips

One kind of dip that many people like is spinach dip. The night before your party, place a 10 ounce package of frozen spinach into your refrigerator to thaw. The next day, simply combine:

  • a cup of mayonnaise
  • 16 ounces of sour cream
  • one packet of dried onion soup
  • a 4 ounce can of water chestnuts (drained and chopped), and
  • the thawed and drained spinach

You can use a round loaf of sourdough bread as the bowl–simply remove the top of the bread and hollow it out. Fill the “bowl” with your dip and present it with chips, crackers, and pieces of the bread you removed from the “bowl.” Here is a link to the original recipe: Best Spinach Dip Ever

If you want to keep it really simple, of course, you can simply pick up some dips at the grocery store. The trick here is to be sure to check the product ingredients for any meat-based items. Keep in mind that gelatin is a pork-based item, so any product that contains gelatin shouldn’t be marked as vegetarian.

Layered dips can be fun. You can use your choices of sour cream, shredded cheese/s, guacamole, and sliced vegetables such as mushrooms, scallions, salsa, and you can also let your imagination go and add other things to your liking.
You may also want to consider one or two salsas for your party presentation, along with (of course!) tortilla chips.

Soups

For soups, of course, you would need to have some kind of bowls and some spoons available for your guests. You may even go informal and instead only have cups–no spoons–for your guests to put their soup into.

Here is one soup idea; it, too, is available on another page on this site: Black Bean Soup

Here’s another tasty recipe. You’ll notice that one of the ingredients is chicken broth; you can substitute the same amount of vegetable broth in this recipe, or any other recipe that asks for chicken broth. Five Ingredient Soup

Maybe you live in a warm climate. Here is a recipe for Easy Gazpacho

Other Easy Party Offerings

I’m sure that, by now, you’ve already thought of deviled eggs, and you’ve probably also thought of at least two variations on the basic version. I normally take the hard boiled eggs (remember that for every egg, you’ll have two appetizers), cut them in half long-ways, separate the yolks into another bowl, and mash them with enough mayonnaise for my preference. Then I add finely chopped veggies, based on my whim at the time: onions, scallions, garlic, pickles, celery–you name it! I’ve never tried it myself, but I’ve seen a version where avocado is blended into the egg yolk; I’m sure it’s worth a try!

If you have a favorite version of potato salad that doesn’t include any meat products, this tends to be a favorite with quite a few people. You can make it fancy by presenting it in some kind of lettuce, such as leaf lettuce or butterhead lettuce.

Conclusion

As you can see, making vegetarian choices available at your party can be a snap. With some research ahead of time and a good shopping list, you can easily put together some great choices to offer your non-carnivore guests a nice choice of items to make them feel welcome and to let them know you respect their lifestyle, too.

Here are some basic “Google” search phrases you may use to find other ideas. Of course, feel free to vary those basic terms to your own needs.

  • easy veggie (or vegetarian) appetizers
  • 5 ingredient veggie appetizers
  • easy veggie party recipes

Do you have any simple vegetarian party favorites? I’d love it if you’d share them in the comments below. Or if you need clarification on anything I’ve talked about above, please let me know in the comments and I’ll explain further.

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