When hosting a vegan wedding, you're likely to sense some apprehension from your attendees. To say nothing of any implied value judgement, people seem to worry that vegan food is just not very good. They've probably, at some point, tried a Daiya substitute or given that prolific Beyond Meat Burger a taste, and maybe, frankly, they hated it. When comparing vegan substitutes directly to an animal product which is well loved, like bacon or steak, vegan food just can't stack up—but that's because people think about switching to a plant-based diet in the wrong way.
It's not about finding a new bacon which is a perfect replica of the real thing, it's about exploring the world of food around us and finding new and delicious things that we prefer to eat more often.
So, when people sidle up to your reception, pockets stuffed with energy bars and treats they brought from home, there's a chance they'll look around and decide that your vegan menu doesn't quite do it for them.
So here's our first tip: don't tell anyone the menu is vegan. Our second tip? Plan an amazing, filling, and dynamic menu that will keep people coming back for more. Here are 8 of our favourite vegan hors d'oeuvres recipes perfect to serve at your reception.
Photo from The Minimalist Vegan.
Cauliflower Wings by Chocolate Covered Katie.
Cauliflower wings, especially those of the beer battered or otherwise breaded variety, are so good. We recommend leaving this up to a caterer, as cauliflower wings can get messy, and frankly, are so tasty when expertly deep fried. But, delicious cauliflower "wings" absolutely can be made in your home kitchen (en masse!) and your guests are guaranteed to love them.
Mushroom Sliders by Create Mindfully.
The great thing about sliders is that you may well not even notice the swap of a juicy portobello mushroom in for a variegated meat patty. Top with ample crunchy red onions, a pickle or two, and a soft, squishy pretzel bun, and you are good to go. This recipe idea pulls its weight because of its breadiness—making sure your guests are getting enough carbs will ensure everyone's energy stays up and everyone feels full.
Photo from Pinterest.
Stuffed cherry tomatoes with chickpeas by Feasting on Fruit.
Everyone loves a stuffed cherry tomato or pepper, especially during a summer wedding. Simply core the tomatoes and top them with this tasty chickpea blend, or stuff them with vegan goat cheese and some delicious basil for a wildly tasty and visually appetizing bite.
Herby gazpacho from Cookie and Kate.
Gazpacho is an Andalusian dish comprising a bunch of delicious blended veggies topped with parsley or some crispy croutons. Gazpacho is also a mainstay at wedding receptions, so this won't set off the radars of any anti-vegan folks. This is an easy to make (and make ahead!) option that can be put together with your trusty old blender and a glass of wine for company.
Photo from Purewow.
Big bruschetta bites from the Minimalist Baker.
Bruschetta is an excellent option for standing receptions—big bruschetta bites will keep your guests full for longer. Use softer but crusty bread with drained tomatoes marinated with garlic and top with cilantro. Easy and filling! (PS—don't skip the garlic and toasting the bread!)
Bread, (vegan) cheese, and crackers
A trend emerges! In our research and our experience at vegan weddings, couples seem to tend towards daintier hors d'oeuvres, because plant based foods have a unique capacity for nuance and subtlety. With ingredient forward dishes that prize the structure and colour of plant based foods, we can wind up with elaborate—but tiny—bites. It's always a great idea to set up a big cheese and cracker board (again—don't mention it's vegan!) with some fresh fruit for your guests to pick at.
Photo from Purewow.
Grilled veggie kababs from Damn Delicious.
All. Summer. Long. Grab some skewers and enlist your Dad to man the barbecue (or your caterer—fair!) to whip up some delicious and filling kebabs finished with tasty, herby sauces. We love layering mushrooms with peppers and onions to maximize the natural flavour of the ingredients, and emphasize their textures with a nice amount of char.
French fries! by From My Bowl.
This may seem like a cop out—it isn't. We swear. Whether it's the kids, or your younger brother, whose tastebuds never matured, having vegan french fries available with a few fixins' will make sure that there really is something for everyone to nibble on.
What recipes will you be serving at your wedding? Tell us below!