Let’s be real: the heart of any party is the food. To keep your crowd happy, make sure the apps are flowing, which as it turns out, is a bit of an art form. For instance: appetizers should look “appetizing”, they should be finger-friendly, mess-free (preferably to avoid tzatziki stains on new holiday outfits) and should only require a few bites to consume.

That’s why vegan antipasto skewers make for the best holiday appetizer. They’re user-friendly, not to mention a beautiful addition to your holiday table. Plus, they’re a cinch to make. And since dietary restrictions are commonplace these days, it’s important to accommodate. These two dairy-free plant-based beauties are the perfect place to start.

Olive, Artichoke, Tomato & Balsamic Skewers

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 3-4

Ingredients:
Small wooden skewers (or toothpicks)
Artichokes, from a jar
Kalamata olives, pitted
Cherry tomatoes (extra points for multi-colour!)
Basil leaves
1-2 Tbsp balsamic reduction or syrup

Directions:
1. Remove the artichokes from the jar and cut them slightly so they’ll fit onto the skewers and are manageable to eat.

2. In any order, thread the ingredients above through the wooden skewers. We like to ribbon basil leaves between the ingredients to create more vibrant colour throughout and to get that punchy taste of raw basil with every bite.

3. Once all ingredients are on the skewers, take your balsamic reduction and lightly drizzle it over top. You can pour the balsamic on a spoon, hover about 10 inches above the skewers and drizzle away.

Eggplant, Tofu, Zucchini & Pesto Skewers

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 3-4

Ingredients:
1 eggplant, chopped into 1 ½ inch cubes
1 brick tofu, patted dry and chopped into 1 ½ inch cubes
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
¼ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper
1 zucchini, peeled into ribbons
8 sundried tomatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
Small wooden skewers (or toothpicks)
2-3 Tbsp pesto

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Chop the eggplant and tofu into cubes, they should be around the same size.

3. Season both with oil, salt and pepper. Place them on separate baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

4. Roast the tofu for 15 minutes and the eggplant for 20-25 minutes. Both should be lightly crisp.

5. While the eggplant and tofu are roasting, peel the zucchini into thin ribbons and make your pesto, if you’re not buying it pre-made.

6. Once all veggies are prepped, begin threading them through the skewer in any order you desire.

7. Place them on a tray or plate and lightly dollop a few spoonfuls of pesto over areas of the skewers.

For more plant-based bites, try these five other creative meatless skewers and 20 party-perfect vegan appetizers.