Football season means lots of weekend parties and no party is as important as the Superbowl. Hosting a Superbowl party means tons of food, especially finger foods, for a crowd of people. If it’s your turn to host the party, you might wonder how you can serve food that is vegan and still blow all your friends away. Making an entire party’s worth of plant-based dishes can be downright intimidating. The good news is that you can serve all the usual favorite foods everyone is used to having at parties in plant-based versions. With these amazing tips and mouthwatering recipes, you are sure to score a touchdown with your friends and show them that vegan food is a definite win. Goal!!
When it comes to football party food, just remember the 7 F’s:
You don’t want to spend all your time in the kitchen and miss the fun so make foods that don’t take that long to prepare or that you can prepare in advance and just heat up that day. Anything you can make in a big pot like chili, soup or stews taste even better the next day. Make a big pot of Beef-Style Vegan Stew, Seitan Pot Roast, “Chicken” Green Chili and Hominy Posole, Sweet Potato and Quinoa Chili or Mexican Black Bean Soup.
Cheese plates can be made in advance and put out right before the guests arrive. Impress everyone by making an artisanal cheese plate that just happens to be vegan. Fill a platter with Vegan Cashew Dill Cheese, Vegan Baked Nut Cheese, Kick Ass Extra Sharp Raw Vegan Cheddar Cheese Ball, Vegan Macadamia Nut Brie en Croute, Pepper Jack Cashew Cheese, Smoked Vegan Coconut Gouda, and an Herb and Nut-Encrusted Cheese Log.
When you’re having a party, you want to make dishes that can feed a crowd and with minimal work and clean-up. Casseroles are perfect dishes that can feed a crowd with just one pan. They can also be made ahead. Try serving up this Sweet Potato “Rice” Casserole, Broccoli Mushroom Rotini Casserole, Vegan Tuna Casserole, The Best Fall Casserole, Tofu Pot Pie Casserole and this Butternut Squash, Portobello and Spinach Casserole with Vegan Sausage.
If any food can feed a lot of people in little time, it’s Italian food. Pasta tastes good hot, room temperature and cold so it’s always ready to be eaten. Dishes can be made ahead, frozen and warmed up but even fresh Italian dishes don’t take long to pull together. Make this Spicy Alfredo with Greens, Baked Penne with Spicy Rose Sauce, Pasta Puttanesca, Ooey-Gooey Baked Ziti, Creamy Pumpkin and Spinach Lasagna, Pumpkin Gnocchi in Spiced Butter Sauce with Lemon Cashew Cream, Gnocchi with Butternut Squash, Kale and Vegan Mozzarella and Butternut Squash Lasagna.
3. Finger Food
Everyone is probably eating in the living room with one hand holding a drink and the other near the remote control. This is not the time for forks, knives and complicated foods. Go for foods you can eat with your fingers and that only take a few bites to finish. Serve these Vegan Mozzarella Sticks, Super Flax Green Bean Fries, Sweet Potato Bruschetta, Ultimate Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms, Puttanesca Panzarottis, Veggies and Mushroom Mini Bites, Chickpea Fries, Baked Eggplant Fries, and Cheesy Roasted Tomatoes.
One of my favorite appetizers is Jalapeno Poppers. I keep them lighter by baking instead of frying them and cutting out the breading. This way, they taste fresher, lighter and you can really taste the peppers. To make my Baked Jalapeno Poppers: cut the stems off 12 jalapeno peppers and slice them in half. Remove the seeds and ribs to make little boats. In a bowl, combine 6 oz. vegan cream cheese, 1 cup vegan cheese shreds, 4 finely chopped scallions, 2 tsp. Mexican chile powder, 2 tsp. garlic powder and ½ tsp. kosher salt. Mix it well to make sure the spices are evenly distributed. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and spray with the cooking oil spray. Add about 1 Tbs. of the cheese mixture to each pepper half. Lay the filled peppers onto the baking sheet. Spray the tops of the peppers with the cooking oil spray. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. When the cheese is melted and the peppers are softened but still have their structure and some crunch, they are ready to eat. Serve while hot.
When trying to share your vegan food with non-vegan friends, you want to show them that you’re not missing anything so make sure your food is packed with flavor. Remember, it’s not really about the meat or dairy so much as it’s about the spices and flavors so go bold! Everyone loves nachos, chili and pizza – all foods that allow you to be as creative as you like with flavors. Wake up everyone’s taste buds with Three Bean Chili, Spicy Vegan Nachos, Thai Pizza, Armenian-Turkish Pizza, Caramelized Vegan Onion Tart with Olives, and Artichoke and Olive Pizza.
Most people love Buffalo sauce. I know I would eat a shoe if it was covered in this delectable hot sauce. Make Buffalo Tofu Fries, Buffalo Roasted Chickpeas, Vegan Buffalo Tempeh Meatballs and Grilled Buffalo Tofu Po’ Boys with Apple Slaw. Make my Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower Bites for an addictive treat that is delicious without frying. I toss the cauliflower florets in a bit of oil and season them with garlic, salt and pepper. Then they get roasted in a 450 degree oven for 35 minutes until they are browned, firm and even a little blackened. Melt 2 Tbs. vegan butter into ¾ cup of hot sauce, and toss the cauliflower in the Buffalo sauce to coat. Arrange the florets on a parchment-lined baking sheet and put them back in the oven for 10 minutes to “seal” the hot sauce onto the cauliflower. Serve with carrots, celery and your favorite dipping sauce.
Of course you can buy lots of great snacks and foods already prepared but make sure there’s fresh food too like crudités and dips. Serve up this Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Spinach Artichoke Dip, Warm “Vegeeta” Cheese Dip, Tremendous Papaya Salsa, Homemade Salsa Verde, Smoky White Bean and Yellow Pepper Hummus, Red Guacamole, Tomato Olive Tapenade, and Queso Cheese Dip. Scoop up the dips with these Lotus Chips, Raw Parmesan Pita Chips and Corn and Black Bean Chips.
And while you can buy frozen vegan meatballs in a bag or vegan ribs and wings in a box, why not make your own and introduce your friends to new ideas like these Vegan Mozzarella-Stuffed Eggplant Meatballs, Balsamic BBQ Seitan and Tempeh Ribs and Epic Vegan BBQ Tofu Wings? Feel like you’re at the stadium when you bite into these Homemade Seitan Hot Dogs, Vegan, Gluten-Free Italian Sausages, and Sourdough Pretzels.
Parties are all about fun so make sure your food is colorful, arranged nicely on platters and has all the familiar and decadent foods people crave. Set up a “make your own” taco or burrito bar or for dessert a “make your own” ice cream sundae bar. Serve snacks like Bourbon Caramel Popcorn and Peanut Butter Popcorn Fudge. Have desserts that are fun and easy to eat like Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes, Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts and Grilled Fruit Kebabs. None of your favorite snacks need to be sacrificed when you can make your own Healthy Vegan Cheeze-It Crackers and even Vegan Goldfish Crackers.
One fun dish that always makes me happy is Vegan Poutine. Poutine is a Canadian dish of French fries with cheese and gravy. My vegan version has oven-baked fries, vegan mozzarella and a thick, vegan gravy. To make the French fries: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice 4 large Russet potatoes into fries. Divide the potato slices onto the 2 baking sheets. Toss them with 2 Tbs. arrowroot, 1 Tbs. paprika, 2 tsp. garlic powder, 1 ½ tsp. salt, 1 tsp. black pepper and 3 Tbs. vegetable oil. Make sure the fries are all well coated and that the spices are evenly distributed. Separate the fries so that they are in a single layer on the baking sheets. Bake the fries for 20 minutes. Flip the fries on each baking sheet. Turn the baking sheets around and put the one that was on the lower rack onto the upper rack and vice versa. Bake for another 20-25 minutes or until the fries are very crisp but not burnt. Distribute 1 ½ cups vegan mozzarella cheese over the fries and put them back in the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese melts.
To make the gravy: In a small saucepan, melt 2 Tbs. vegan butter over medium heat. Add 2 Tbs. chickpea flour and whisk until you have a roux. Add 1 tsp. ground thyme, 1 tsp. kosher salt, ½ tsp. paprika, ½ tsp. black pepper and 1 Tbs. vegan Worcestershire sauce and whisk well. Let the roux cook for a minute. Add 2 cups vegetable broth and whisk until smooth. Bring the gravy to a boil, lower the heat and let it simmer and thicken. It should be able to coat a wooden spoon. Taste for seasoning adjustments. To assemble: Using a wide spatula, put the cheesy fries onto a plate and top with hot gravy.
A football party might not be the time to introduce your friends to daikon or sprouts. Keep it familiar and fear-free. For instance, everyone loves stuffed potato skins. All you need to do is swap out the toppings with vegan versions like vegan butter, vegan sour cream and vegan cheese. You can even introduce everyone to vegan bacon. Try these Healthy Stuffed Potato Skins. Pretty much any food you would make with chicken or pork can be made with tofu or tempeh. If you want a “beefy” taste, go for seitan. Using these delicious vegan ingredients, you can make Buffalo wings, ribs, meatballs, burgers, and whatever foods you always loved. Try making vegan Pizza Rolls, Crispy Tofu Nuggets, Jackfruit Philly Cheesesteaks and Vegan Pigs in a Blanket. Serve up your version of Vegan Burger King, Chipotle-Style Burritos, Taco Bell-like Tacos, Cinnabon-like Cinnamon Rolls, Pizza Hut-like Vegan Cheese Pizza, and Dairy Queen-Style Ice Cream Cake.
If you feel like you’re fumbling for ideas and are ready to tackle some delicious vegan recipes (all puns intended), following the 7 F’s will help you have the best Superbowl Party ever! Touchdown! Also, check out our Ultimate List of Super Bowl Party Recipes!
Lead Image Source: Vegan Buffalo Tempeh Meatballs