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.

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.

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 vegan 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?

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Vegan Party Food: BBQ & Cranberry Bean Balls

Makes approximately 24 bean balls.

Ingredients:

For the bean balls-

For the sauce-

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375º.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
Vegan Party Food: BBQ Cranberry Bean Balls
Serves 24
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. For the bean balls-
  2. 26.8 oz black beans (that's 2 boxes OR cans), drained and rinsed well
  3. 1 C gluten-free rolled oats
  4. 1/4 C whole berry cranberry sauce (no gelatin!)
  5. 3 Tbsp mixed nuts (no peanuts), finely chopped (or substitute ground flaxseed)
  6. 2 Tbsp BBQ sauce
  7. 2 tsp liquid smoke (natural hickory flavor)
  8. 2 medium fresh sage leaves
  9. For the sauce-
  10. 2/3 C whole berry cranberry sauce (no gelatin!)
  11. 3/4 C BBQ sauce
  12. Extra fresh sage, for garnish.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375º.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
Beautifully Bohemian https://www.beautifullybohemian.com/wordpress/

 Thank you for taking the time to invest in your heath and happiness!

This post was shared on I Am Pinnable

Want to Save Time + Get Healthy?

Learn how YOU can be a SMART VEGAN while saving time (and money) with my FREE GUIDE, PLUS get easy vegan recipes and fun announcements in your email inbox when you join the Boho mailing list!

DAMN THE SPAM! Your privacy is important and the email you provide is under lock and key! Powered by ConvertKit

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16 comments

Reply

Great song! And these bean balls look so delicious! I may need to bring them to a party!

Reply

Thanks Amy!! These always go so fast at my house- I’m sure they would love them!

Reply

I never knew bean balls could look SO festive! I’m definitely pinning this to make it during the holidays 🙂
also: the Ramones singing Merry Christmas are ♥

Reply

Lol, YES ♥ to the Ramones. Thanks so much for pinning! I’d love to hear how they turn out:)

Reply

Wow, the flavors and textures in these bean balls sound incredible! I need to try these.

Reply

Thank you Linda! Yes, the flavors are totally on point and delicious! I hope you get to try them!

Reply

Love the song, so perfect for this post!

I hear you, I’ve had my share of comments as well but more and more people (at least in my family) are beginning to open up with vegan food which makes me so happy.

These look delicious and I know everyone would love them!

Reply

Thanks Mary Ellen! I’m sure you have made some believers with your food- everything you do looks (and tastes) so good!

Reply

Randi, these look phenomenal – and I don’t think anyone would know they aren’t meat at a glance!

Reply

Thank you Dreena! Presentation is everything right? Lol.

Reply

My family is having an appetizer get together this year and this is going to be on the table! YUM!

Reply

Awesome! Thanks Cindy, I hope you all enjoy it!

Reply

These look really delicious Randi. I am going to feed my bunch this and not say anything about them being meatless. Looks delicious.

Reply

Sweet! I hope they enjoy them- I love cranberry and BBQ together:) I’d love to hear how it goes!

Reply

These look so incredible Randi that I actually PInned them twice lol – Honestly I love the look of these

Reply

Awesome! Thanks so much Amber, I hope you enjoy them!

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