It's easy enough to find vegan snacks; after all, things like store-bought hummus, fruit, and some crackers come that way naturally. But when a real craving hits, we tend to want something packed with tons of flavor—like a sweet-and-sour eggplant caponata for dipping, a batch of hearty homemade Wheat Thins, or a piece of avocado toast that's gussied up with sweet baby peas and spicy radishes. Because there's a time and a place for everything, including junky snacks, we also have recipes for saucy Korean-style fried cauliflower and fully loaded nachos covered in a vegan queso-style sauce. Keep reading for 14 of our favorite vegan snacks that will fend off any attack.
Homemade Wheat Thins
As with the originals, a formula of all-vegan ingredients is actually key to homemade Wheat Thins—use butter instead of oil, and the crackers will take on a nutty flavor that covers up the malt and wheat. We use toasted wheat germ to nail the grainy texture, and turmeric to give the crackers their signature color and aroma.
Roast Chicken Dinner Potato Chips With Mushrooms, Lemon, and Thyme
Making homemade potato chips is surprisingly easy—just slice the potatoes thin, boil them in vinegar-spiked water, and fry until crispy. The vinegar keeps the chips from getting too dark as they fry. All of our custom potato chip seasonings are vegan, and this one, despite the name, is no exception. Savory nutritional yeast helps mimic the taste of the roasted bird; we grind it up along with granulated garlic, lemon zest, dried thyme, and dried mushrooms to round out the flavors, then toss the spice blend with freshly fried chips to coat.
Za'atar (Thyme-, Sesame-, and Sumac-Spiced) Popcorn
It's as simple a snack recipe as can be, but unusually satisfying: For a twist on plain homemade popcorn, try drizzling it with olive oil and sprinkling it with za'atar, the heady Middle Eastern spice blend of oregano, thyme, sesame seeds, and tart sumac. You can check out all our popcorn flavors here, including Thai coconut curry, miso soup, and roast chicken dinner; those three are vegan if you swap out the butter.
Oven-Roasted Tomato Bruschetta
When tomatoes are out of season, you can still make great bruschetta by breaking out a can. Slowly roasting canned whole tomatoes concentrates their flavors, and mixing them with basil and red wine vinegar as a topping for toast produces a delicious year-round snack. We like to rub the toasts with garlic before spooning on the tomatoes to get an extra layer of flavor.
Oven-Dried Grapes (a.k.a. Raisins)
Oven-drying grapes at home might sound silly, but these are a cut above the sad, shriveled raisins you buy in a box. Plumper and juicier, they have a flavor that's more similar to fresh grapes—just concentrated, with a little caramelization. Try playing around with different varieties and cooking times to find the flavor and texture that you like.
Avocado Toast With Radishes, Baby Peas, and Fresh Herbs
Though avocado toast has become a bit of a cliché, it's popular for a reason—a slice of hearty toast spread with creamy avocado, drizzled with a bit of olive oil, and sprinkled with salt makes a simple, filling, and tasty snack (or breakfast!). If you need a little more excitement than what the basic formula offers, we've got plenty of different ways to give it a twist. One of our favorites is this bright vegan version, which gets its springtime vibe from sweet baby peas, slivers of crisp radish, and fresh basil.
Easy Vegan Crispy Tofu Spring Rolls With Peanut-Tamarind Dipping Sauce
Perfect spring rolls are all about balance. Here, a rich, tangy peanut-tamarind dipping sauce doubles as the marinade for crispy fried tofu matchsticks. Tender pea shoots, julienned carrots, sliced chilies, and bright fresh herbs, stuffed into stretchy rice paper wrappers along with the tofu, help to lighten things up.
Korean Fried Cauliflower
For this saucy Korean-style cauliflower dish, you can toss the golden-brown nuggets in either a sweet soy-garlic sauce or a sweet-and-spicy chili sauce, depending on your taste. The cauliflower florets' thin, shatteringly crisp crust is thanks to the cornstarch, flour, and vodka batter we use for our Korean fried chicken—it's perfect for soaking up either sauce. We add sesame seeds and coconut flakes to the batter to give it a nice nuttiness and extra crunch. Leave out those ingredients and your fried cauliflower is great for serving Buffalo-style.
Israeli-Style Extra-Smooth Hummus
Store-bought Israeli-style hummus has a wonderfully smooth texture but tends to be bland; homemade versions often taste much better, but it's hard to achieve that silky consistency. We use a homemade tahini sauce, poached garlic, and overcooked chickpeas, puréed in a blender while still hot, to make a hummus that's both creamy and flavorful.
The Best Baba Ganoush
Hummus might get all the love, but we're big fans of baba ganoush, with its smoky flavor of charred eggplant—and it's actually faster to make, too. In this recipe, we drain the slow-roasted eggplant in a salad spinner to get rid of extra water, then slowly whisk in tahini and olive oil so that everything emulsifies into a creamy dip.
Silky-Smooth Vegetarian Pâté With Roasted Cauliflower and Pecans
Instead of meaty mushrooms, this vegetarian pâté relies on nutty pecans and the deep umami flavor of roasted cauliflower. The recipe calls for butter and cream to get a smooth consistency, but you can easily replace those ingredients with oil and vegetable stock in the same quantities. The result is a dip that's slightly less pâté-like, but just as tasty.
Sicilian Eggplant and Pine Nut Caponata
This classic Sicilian eggplant dish, terrific as a spread, a dip, or a pasta sauce, is proof positive that vegan food doesn't have to be bland. The sweet-and-sour mixture packs in all sorts of intense flavors, including pine nuts, mint, raisins, capers, and vinegar. Even with the long ingredient list, it's not that hard to make: By cooking the ingredients in a particular order, we've engineered this recipe to use just one skillet.
Fully Loaded Vegan Queso Dip
Want to try fooling your omnivore friends with a vegan recipe? This is the one to do it. The combination of a gooey potato- and cashew-based nacho cheese sauce and spicy soy-lentil chorizo hits all the right notes. We load the dip up with avocado, black beans, tomatoes, and scallions.
The Ultimate Fully Loaded Vegan Nachos
That same vegan nacho cheese sauce makes for a serious plate of nachos. We use freshly fried tortilla wedges (they're sturdier than store-bought chips) as the base for vegan refried beans and chili, Roasted-Tomato Salsa, guacamole, and tons of fresh and pickled veggies. Layering the chips and toppings for even coverage is a little extra work, but it's worth it for the many more balanced bites you'll get out of it.