Going plant-based won't stop you from inviting friends over for delicious meals. Follow these top tips on how to host a vegan party that everyone will enjoy.
Firstly, you don’t have to mention to your meat-eating friends that there will be no animal products such as meat, dairy, eggs, or honey on the table. Throw a dinner party that just happens to have no animal products! Believe me, sometimes it is smartest to not make the vegan aspect of it a big deal. If the served food is delicious and filling, they might not even notice.
Make sure to outline your party before inviting your friends. This includes picking a date, and time. Make a list of your guest and try to invite people you think will get along. That way you can ensure everyone has a good time, including you! Next, you have to choose your theme.
Once that is all settled send out your invites! Always include ‘Who, When, Where, Why’ into your invites.
How to choose a theme
Next, you have to choose your theme. Firstly, decide on what kind of party are you hosting. Is it a dinner party, a BBQ, movie night or are you inviting for brunch? Then specify your theme! Themes can be related to:
- Countries and ethnics (eg: Asian, German, Mexican)
- Holidays (eg: Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentine's)
- Movies and books (Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the rings)
- A signature dish (pizza, tacos, pasta, pancakes)
- Celebrations (birthdays, anniversaries, baby shower)
- And more!
This is just a small selection of theme ideas, the possibilities are endless! One of my absolute favorite ways to host is with a raclette dinner party. It is suitable for any diet and requires minimum effort from you when your guests arrive. To learn more about it, read my raclette dinner party guide. For casual hangouts, without a big main meal, I like to prepare a vegan charcuterie board for my guests.
Plan the menu
No matter what theme, or how many people you invite, you have to decide on a menu. It often makes sense to provide more than one option for appetizers, entrées, and side dishes.
Remember to consider your guests’ dietary preferences when planning your menu. Does anyone have intolerances or food allergies that need to be considered (eg gluten free)? Plan and prepare your menu accordingly. It will make your guests feel so much more welcomed!
Keep it simple!
Sometimes less is more! Feeding a crowd takes effort and keeping it simple will help you a bunch. As vegans, we are used to making most meals from scratch. Make use of vegan products such as vegan cheese, faux meat, plant-based snacks, and so on. There are so many fantastic tasting vegan brands nowadays that can truly save you some time!
Vegan party food ideas
Always test the planned dishes beforehand. It's good to know how a recipe works and tastes in advance. You don't want to end up with a disaster on the day of your party with no alternatives!
If you are new to veganism you may have trouble finding ideas on what to serve. Thankfully, I have a fantastic article on vegan party food with lots and lots of ideas for you. If you need even more inspiration browse our recipe roundup page!
Choose your drinks
Whether you decide to serve alcoholic beverages or not, make sure your guests have something to drink right away. Depending on your crowd cold beer, wine, or cocktails are great options for hosting. Despite that, it’s always nice to have some regular drinks such as water, soda pop, juice, coffee, or tea on hand.
What if 'veganism' comes up?
When someone asks about you or the food being vegan be polite. Not everyone understands what vegan is, so if they don't know, help your friends out by explaining it as simply as possible. I know that for most of us, veganism is more than just a diet. So I totally understand that it may be hard not to start a huge discussion on ethics and why one should go vegan.
However, a party involving food isn't always the right time or place for a moralizing lecture! These kinds of conversations can get heated and controversial pretty quickly.
You don't want to find yourself cornered by offended and angry friends during your own dinner party. Instead, if someone keeps asking questions, invite the asking party to talk about this topic in more detail at a different time. Offer to provide them with information (books, movies, youtubers, bloggers etc) via text or email.
No matter what kind of party you end up hosting. Always remember to enjoy yourself and have fun!