Vegetarians Coming to Your Holiday Dinner?

by | Updated: December 3rd, 2016 | Read time: 2 minutes

Restricted diets are common these days, but accommodating guests with special needs at a party can be tricky. According to a Vegetarian Times study, 7.3 million Americans are vegetarian, meaning they don’t eat beef, chicken, pork or fish. If a vegetarian is coming to your holiday dinner this year, there are plenty of easy-to-prepare appetizers and meals that will satisfy your guest and make him or her feel welcome.  


There are endless meatless apppetizers vegetarians can enjoy before dinner. One simple but elegant option is a tray of mixed nuts and dried fruits.


Falafel, a worldwide vegetarian favorite, is a spicy Mediterranean chickpea mixture shaped into walnut-sized balls and served with a light cucumber dip. Falafel is a filling, tasty finger food that can be prepared ahead of time and kept refrigerated until the party. Other finger foods like bruschetta, mini-quiches, twice-baked potatoes and vegetable platters will be a hit among vegetarians.


Vegetarian dinner options might include rich, organic vegetable-based soups or fresh salads topped with chopped veggies and tempting dressings. You could serve a hearty tomato, garlic and onion risotto, or delicious, aromatic rice-and-grain pilaf. Other main dish options might include vegetable lasagna, a tossed-vegetable pasta primavera, vegetable casseroles and more. Slices of crusty, French bread or butter-topped dinner rolls are always an appreciated dinner accompaniment for vegetarians, as well.


For dessert, your vegetarian guests will most likely be able to eat the same dishes as your non-vegetarian guests, as long as they are not vegan. Vegans do not eat dairy products or eggs, which are common ingredients in dessert foods. When in doubt, a fruit platter with a variety of cut-up seasonal selections or pure, dark chocolate bars (or fruit dipped in melted dark chocolate) are always a good bet.