Eat Your Veggies

Getting your greens is fun and delicious with these simple snacks.

Photography by Tyler Darden

More people seem to be looking for meatless options these days; thankfully, modern vegetarian recipes go far beyond a veggie tray with dip. Whether you’re making a snack for yourself or preparing food for a crowd, try one of these easy meatless recipes. From spicy jalapeño cornbread muffins to crispy zucchini chips, these recipes will be hits with vegetarians and meat-eaters alike! 

Antipasto Skewers 

These antipasto skewers make a colorful and easy appetizer. They can be made up to a day in advance, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen while you’re entertaining—just wait to add the balsamic glaze until you’re ready to serve.

1 9-ounce package cheese tortellini

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1 cup yellow tomatoes

1 cup mozzarella balls

1 handful fresh basil

1 tablespoon balsamic glaze (bottled or your favorite recipe)

16 small wooden skewers

Cook the tortellini according to the package instructions. While the tortellini is cooking, wash and dry the tomatoes. Let the tortellini cool, then assemble the skewers. On each skewer, thread one tortellini, one of each tomato, one mozzarella ball, and one basil leaf. Drizzle with balsamic glaze just before serving.

Makes 16 skewers

Pear and Goat Cheese Crostini

I love the combination of textures with the crunchy toasted bread, creamy goat cheese, and crisp slice of pear. This recipe only takes a few minutes to assemble, so it’s a perfect last-minute appetizer!

Tip: If you don’t have pistachios, you can substitute chopped almonds instead. 

1 8-ounce loaf ciabatta bread, cut into ½-inch slices (about 12 pieces)

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 ounces goat cheese

1 large pear, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced

2 teaspoons honey

¼ cup shelled salted pistachios, roughly chopped 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread the ciabatta slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Lightly brush the top of the ciabatta with olive oil. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, or until lightly browned. Spread 2 teaspoons of goat cheese onto each slice. Top with a slice of pear and drizzle with honey. Sprinkle with pistachios and serve.

Makes 12

Zucchini Chips with Aioli Dipping Sauce

These zucchini chips are oven-baked until they’re deliciously crispy: No frying required! Try them with a simple garlic aioli dipping sauce. For a lighter option, serve them with a side of marinara sauce.

Tip: Look for smaller zucchinis, which have fewer seeds and are less watery. You’ll end up with crisper chips!

Zucchini Chips

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon dried parsley

¼ teaspoon salt

1 pinch black pepper

2 medium zucchini, sliced into ¼-inch rounds

2 tablespoons flour

1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper, or apply nonstick spray, and set aside. In a shallow bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, garlic powder, parsley, salt, and pepper. Working with two to three slices of zucchini at a time, coat the zucchini slices with flour, then dip into the beaten egg. Let any excess egg drip off, then dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Place in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Aioli Dipping Sauce

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon lemon juice

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

1 pinch salt

Whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Serves 4

Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins

These cornbread muffins are sweet with a hint of fiery flavor. You can add a slice of jalapeño on top to let your guests know that these cornbread muffins have a spicy kick. 

Tip: To make these muffins less spicy, remove the jalapeño seeds before mixing the peppers into the batter. If you like things extra spicy, keep the seeds. 

1 ½ cups coarse ground cornmeal

¾ cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup skim milk or almond milk

2 tablespoons white vinegar

¼ cup butter, melted

1 large egg

½ cup plain whole milk yogurt

¼ cup honey

2 jalapeño peppers, 1 diced and 1 sliced for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray. In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir until combined. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, vinegar, butter, egg, yogurt, honey, and diced jalapeño. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Scoop ¼ cup of batter into each muffin tin. Top each muffin with a slice of jalapeño if desired. Bake for 19 to 22 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack and serve with butter, honey, or a drizzle of AR’s Hot Southern Honey, made in Richmond.

Makes 12

Elizabeth Thomson is the creator of the vegetarian food blog I Heart Vegetables. She enjoys sharing simple, delicious recipes with her readers and coming up with new ways to help people live a healthier life. When she’s not in the kitchen, she can be found exploring the restaurant scene in Richmond or working on her 1920s row house with her husband, Alex. See more of her recipes at IHeartVegetables.com or on Instagram at @iheartveggies.


This article originally appeared in our February 2020 issue.

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