Everyone loves a quick and easy vegetarian chili cheese dip, but sometimes your night needs a touch more sophistication. Here are some more elegant alternatives to your typical vegetarian and vegan appetizers and hors d'oeuvres—these creative dishes are a work of art in and of themselves.
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Forego the cheese people often use to make basic bruschetta and go vegan by using fresh ripe tomatoes and basil drizzled in olive oil. Add a bit of cracked pepper and artisanal salt to further tantalize your taste buds.
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Nothing says "classy" quite like a pate, so try making this vegetarian version using fresh mushrooms and plenty of fresh herbs for flavor. This dish is best chilled before serving with sliced French bread or whole grain crackers.
See also: Vegan Walnut and Mushroom Pate
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Add a bit of kick to traditional bean dip by using garbanzo beans and adding a prepared pesto sauce. Serve with toasted pita chips or spread on crackers.
See also: Sun-dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Bean Dip
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Stuffed mushrooms always have a place on the appetizer platter, and when making a meatless array, this recipe fills in nicely. Vegetarian sausage is pan-fried with onions, peppers and fresh parsley then stuffed into oven-roasted mushroom caps for a delightful and savory finger food.
Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Fruit Spring Rolls with Lemon Yogurt Sauce
These beautiful and colorful fruit-filled spring rolls with a simple yogurt-based sauce are a light, cool, and refreshing appetizer or dessert. For a vegan version, use a non-dairy yogurt. Try adding exotic fruits like ripe persimmons, jackfruit, mangosteen or lychees, for an even more unusual dish.
See also: How to Wrap Spring Rolls (It's easy!)
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Ginger, Lime and Apple Salsa
This fruit-filled version is just as easy to make as a more traditional vegan salsa, but the unusual ingredient combination adds an elegant twist. Serve your apple salsa with flaxseed crackers or blue corn tortilla chips.
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Fingerling Potatoes with Dulse Flakes
This miniature take on the twice-baked potato has a bit more upscale flair. Fingerling or new potatoes with cashew cream and horseradish mayonnaise are topped with crisped dulse flakes and fresh chives. From The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen.
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Roasted Artichoke with Chipotle Spiced Aoili
In this easy vegetarian appetizer, the sweet tangy richness of the artichoke is complimented by the smoky flavor of chipotle aioli dip. To make it vegan, simply use vegan mayonnaise instead of regular.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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Onion and Apple Tarts with Goat Cheese
For an elegant fall appetizer, try these savory onion and apple tarts, made with either feta or goat cheese. These little onion apple tarts are vegetarian, but to make them vegan, you can use vegan dough and omit the cheese.
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Baked Plums with Sweetened Vegan Ricotta
Fresh plums are baked in a vanilla sauce, then filled with a sweetened dairy-free ricotta mixture in this vegan dinner party appetizer doubles as a brunch item. And, if you weren't already tempted, these baked plums are also gluten-free.