Vegan party food can be tricky to serve if you are trying to satisfy tastes across the board.
Picky eaters, or guests that think vegan food is “weird” can certainly throw a wrench (or candy cane?) into your holiday festivities. When I first went vegan back in 2010, I can testify that I personally struggled with trying to create dishes that would satisfy both the veg and the anti-veg, in hopes of being spared from any furrowed brows or open attacks.
Thankfully, despite self-doubts that set in minutes before any party, I’ve always had an overall positive reaction to my vegan party food.
Party food that’s so good…they won’t care it’s vegan
Yes, there have been times when someone got a little too sloshed on spiked cider and rolled out their list of complaints about vegans, or got hung up on the letters V, E, G, A, N, written in that exact order on the index card in front of my party dish. But mostly, I’ve been quite successful in my attempts to please the hungry crowd (and avoid the line of fire).
Because at the end of the day, when your food tastes good, it makes people happy, regardless if it’s vegan or not. And I always aim to make people happy, ESPECIALLY when it comes to food.
Which is why I know that these BBQ Cranberry Bean Balls are the perfect appetizer for any holiday party.
Not only are they sweet and tangy with a hint of smoke and fresh herbs, but are gluten-free, soy-free, and can be made from start to finish in less than 30 minutes! And if you’re really pressed for time, it ain’t no thang to make them a day ahead of time, pop them in a travel dish, and heat on arrival.
Giving you more time to pick out the right shoes and ask your husband for his opinion on color swatches 5 minutes before it’s time to walk out the door.
Either way, I’m sure you’ll have a Merry Christmas serving these BBQ “appys”, while singing a little bit of the Ramones. I don’t know about you, but I “don’t want to fight tonight” over what’s being served at the food table.
Let’s just all get along, k?
Allergy-Info & Substitutions
- These BBQ Bean Balls are 100% vegan, meaning they are meat-free, dairy-free, and egg-free. They are also naturally gluten-free and soy-free.
- To make these nut-free, replace the nuts with ground flaxseed or gluten-free panko breadcrumbs.
- Switch it up and use lentils or white beans if you’re not a fan of black beans.
- For another bean ball recipe, check out these 5 Ingredient Mozzarella Bean Balls by clicking here.
- For another cranberry recipe, learn how to make the most delicious Vegan Cranberry Sauce EVER by clicking here.
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This party food is so good, no one will care it’s vegan. Sweet, tangy, with a hint of smoke and fresh herbs, these BBQ bean balls are naturally vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and can be made from start to finish in less than 30 min.
The Best Vegan Party Food: BBQ & Cranberry Bean Balls
For the bean balls-
- 26.8 oz black beans that's 2 boxes OR cans, drained and rinsed well
- 1 C gluten-free rolled oats
- 1/4 C whole berry cranberry sauce no gelatin!
- 3 Tbsp mixed nuts no peanuts, finely chopped (or substitute ground flaxseed)
- 2 Tbsp BBQ sauce
- 2 tsp liquid smoke natural hickory flavor
- 2 medium fresh sage leaves
For the sauce-
- 2/3 C whole berry cranberry sauce no gelatin!
- 3/4 C BBQ sauce
- Extra fresh sage for garnish.
- Preheat oven to 375º. Add all bean ball ingredients to a food processor (I use an 11-cup, but this recipe fills only half), and PULSE until mixed, but NOT paste- you want half of it to be chunky.
- Using a mini ice cream scoop (or your hands, but that can get messy), transfer bean ball mixture one scoop at a time to a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce by heating the cranberry and BBQ on medium heat in a large skillet. Once it starts bubbling, turn the heat down to low and stir occasionally.
- Once bean balls are finished, transfer to skillet and toss gently in sauce, making sure to fully cover each one evenly with sauce. Sprinkle with fresh sage, if desired.
I hope you get a chance to make these BBQ bean balls! If you do, make sure to tag me on Instagram @bohemian.vegan.kitchen, as well as your photo with #bohemianvegankitchen, so I can see your delicious creation!
Thank you for taking the time to invest in your heath and happiness!