There’s no shortage of savory snacks to choose from for Super Bowl Sunday, but the most popular options often tend to be heavy, cheesy, and full of meat. Vegans—along with those looking for some lighter fare—are left scratching their heads; surely there has to be more to choose from than popcorn and chips. To help out, we’ve put together a list of vegan snacks to enjoy on game day that are just as good—if not better—as classic non-vegan options. From a fully loaded vegan queso dip to crispy Buffalo fried cauliflower and some jazzed up potato chips, these savory treats will satisfy vegans and omnivores alike.
Classic spinach and artichoke dip goes vegan with the help of cauliflower and cashews. Puréed together, they create a rich, thick, and creamy base for the spinach and artichokes. To mimic the tangy, savory flavors of sour cream and cheese, we add in mustard, lemon juice, garlic, and nutritional yeast. Make sure to serve this treat hot with a bowl of tortilla chips alongside for scooping.
Perhaps you’re a bit skeptical about a quesadilla without any cheese in it, but don’t knock it until you try it. The filling for this recipe consists of roasted sweet potatoes mashed together with cilantro, pickled jalapeños, and scallions. The key when cooking the quesadilla is to get a nice and crispy exterior so that it offers a nice contrast with the soft interior. Don’t forget the salsa for dipping!
Crispy fried cauliflower gets a Korean twist in this recipe. We start by making a batter that incorporates sesame seeds and coconut flakes for an extra boost of flavor, along with vodka—our secret for extra crispiness. Once fried, you can toss the cauliflower with either sweet soy sauce or sweet and spicy chili sauce, then finish with more sesame seeds and sliced scallions before serving.
This vegan dupe for queso gets its creamy, gooey base from cashews, potatoes, and almond milk, and it’s seasoned with spices like cumin, paprika, and garlic powder to give it that queso-like kick. After including add-ins like black beans, soy chorizo, tomatoes, and chiles, the omnivores won’t even know the difference.
Just like vegan queso dip, these nachos make use of our vegan nacho cheese recipe. You can load them up with your favorite vegan add-ons like beans, guacamole, tomato salsa, onions, jalapeños, radishes—the list is only limited by your imagination. For nachos that stay crisp, we recommend making your own tortilla chips, which can easily be done by frying corn tortilla wedges in peanut, vegetable, or canola oil.
If you’re interested in making a worthy copy of Wheat Thins at home, you’ll need a few key ingredients like barley malt syrup, wheat germ, and turmeric. Both the barley malt syrup and the turmeric give the crackers an aroma similar to the original, while the wheat germ mimics its texture. Be sure to keep an eye on the crackers in the oven as they're rolled incredibly thin and are easy to over-bake.
This salty snack—popular in the Caribbean and Central and South America—comes together quickly and easily. The key here is cutting the plantains into uniform slices for even cooking, which can be done with a sharp knife, a vegetable peeler, or a mandoline slicer. Once fried, you can enjoy the chips plain or play around with different seasonings—we even have a Pollo Campero-seasoned version.
Scallion pancakes are a simple yet satisfying snack to incorporate into your game-day spread. The dough comes together easily in a food processor, but you can also stir the flour with a wooden spoon while you add the boiling water, then knead it on a floured work surface. Cook each pancake in a pan until golden brown on each side, then serve with a soy sauce-based dipping sauce.
This classic Niçoise snack gets a Middle Eastern touch with the help of ingredients like tahini, garlic, lemon, and cumin. Crispy on the outside and super creamy on the inside, the fries are best when paired with a spicy, tangy tahini dip, which gives them an extra kick. The dip comes together quickly in a food processor by blending together tahini, hot sauce, garlic, and cold water until it reaches a smooth, creamy consistency.
For a worthy stand-in for Buffalo wings, try this fried cauliflower instead. The florets are battered and fried until crisp then tossed in a garlicky Buffalo sauce; they come together much quicker than wings.
These pan-fried dumplings are stuffed with vegetables like cabbage, carrots, and mushrooms, along with tofu and seitan seasoned with five-spice powder. We use packaged dumpling wrappers to cut down on prep time, filling them and then carefully pinching the edges into pleats. Fry until the bottoms are crispy, then serve them with a quick dipping sauce made of sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and scallions.
Move over Tostitos Scoops—from here out on, we only want to scoop up creamy dips and savory spreads with these crispy potato-skin cups. In lieu of the classic twice-baking method, we deep-fry the potatoes instead, coating them in a potato-starch slurry beforehand to ensure an extra crispy shell.
For falafel with both good flavor and a light, fluffy crumb, use dried chickpeas instead of canned, which eliminates the need for flour and other binders while also offering a superior flavor. Once fried, the falafel should be crispy on the outside and crumbly on the inside. You can serve them packed into pita, but they shine best on their own with simple condiments like tahini and hot sauce.
Just because fresh tomatoes are out of season in February doesn’t mean you have to cross bruschetta off the menu. Since canned tomatoes are packed when ripe, they work much better than out-of-season fresh ones. We gently roast them in the oven to concentrate their flavor and create a jammy consistency, mix them with olive oil, basil, and red wine vinegar, and then spoon the mixture onto seasoned toast. Just one bite will leave you forgetting all about fresh tomatoes.
Flavoring homemade potato chips is the best way to keep the snack table exciting. Here, after frying thinly-sliced potatoes in hot oil, we sprinkle the chips with salt and za’atar while they’re still hot. While the choice of seasonings are endless, flavors like miso soup and Thai coconut red curry are options you won’t find on the supermarket shelf.
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