How to Host a Vegan Dinner Party

Planning a vegan dinner party? Impress your guests with delicious dishes, make your preparations easier, and enjoy the event more with my recipes and tips.

The answers to your top questions about veganism

I’m a huge fan of hosting a dinner party, whether it’s a small gathering of my nearest and dearest, or a larger affair with platters of food that goes into the late hours.

I’m what you might call… a feeder.

It’s great to have lots of smaller dishes on the table centred on a show-stopping piece. This way everybody can help themselves to the dishes they like, and it looks like a giant fantastical feast. I create a large tart or baked stuffed squash that my guests can slice and enjoy, accompanied by three or four side dishes. It encourages guests to try new foods and get involved with the rest of the table to create a sense of community and love.

The hardest part, for me, is getting the quantities correct! I have a tendency to overcook, but that just means there are leftovers, which I’ll use up in the following days by combining into curries, dips, and stews, and always with toasted warm leftover bread to soak up all the goodness!

To save this from happening, plan beforehand and make sure everything is weighed correctly. It takes a little longer, but it saves throwing away food at the end of the occasion.

Another thing that takes a little of pre-planning is timing. So, create a timeline and trial-run dishes so you know exactly how long everything takes to prep, cook, and present. This way nothing will be left waiting around to go cold, or your guests getting hungry.

It’s good to check the timings on a recipe, but ovens and stoves take different times to cook, and your preparation work may be faster or slower than someone else’s – so recipe timings should be taken with a pinch of salt, more as a general guideline.

I always create a timeline of dishes, and prepare like-minded ingredients (even if they are for other dishes) at the same time. Vegetables can take a little time to cook, from washing, peeling, chopping and more, so shave off a few seconds when you can, and try to wash up as you go. Have a sink full of hot soapy water, and when you are waiting for something to heat or cool, quickly wash what you were using to save stress later on!

Many vegan dishes can be made in advance. My Cherry Chocolate Espresso pots for example can be made a few days in advance, popped in the fridge and taken out 10 minutes before serving to come to room temperature. Sauces are brilliant when made beforehand, because this can enhance the flavours. So, make your sauces one or two days before, then gently reheat before serving.

Make sure you’re aware of any allergies ahead of time, so you can prepare dishes suitable for your guests’ needs. Speak to your guests a few weeks before the event, and where possible create dishes that are suitable for all, so you avoid having to create different recipes for each person.

A few of my other tips for hosting a vegan dinner party are:

Try and use seasonal ingredients, they are packed full of flavour and really help enhance your dishes, without very little effort.

Order the food to arrive two days before the event, so you can make a start on the sauces and deserts the day before.

Create a theme – this gives you something to work with and can help you find more focus around your dishes.

And, one pot dishes and tray bakes are the perfect choices for feeding a larger group – think tarts, cakes, roasted veggies, soups, curries and stews.

Good luck with your vegan dinner party, I’d love to hear how it goes.

And most of all, enjoy your event, love Niki xx

Cheap & Very Cheerful

A simple dessert which celebrates the abundance and juicy goodness of berries with a gorgeous crispy topping.

The perfect creamy lemony butternut squash risotto - golden and creamy and totally delicious. Packed full of flavour and easy to make - it’s a winner!

This delicious pumpkin and roast garlic hummus is a great way to use up leftover over pumpkin - wholesome and amazing on charred bread.

Simple & Quick

A stunning dish - fresh, delicious and healthy crispy tofu & veg stacks with pea puree and lemon herb sauce are bursting with flavour, colours and texture.

These lovely little cheesy tarts make a lovely festive starter or tasty lunch. With gorgeous caramelised onions, and a creamy 'cheese' filling.

These delicious heart biscuits combine lovely ingredients–ground almonds, tahini, sticky sweet raspberry jam - and they look so cute! Perfect for Valentine’s Day.

A Little Bit Fancy

This delicious crispy tofu with a crunchy, nutty sticky coating is amazing! Combined with a fresh and super nutty roasted peanut salad - a taste explosion.

Decedent, rich and smooth chocolate cherry expresso pots. Mouthfuls for gooey chocolate with a little coffee hit and sweet cherries - totally dreamy.

This is a stunning stack of roast peppers and aubergine with pesto and roast cherry tomatoes - delicious and perfect for dinner parties or a special meal.

All-time Favourite

Spiced whole cauliflower with smoky tomatoes and salsa - a bit of a showstopper of a dish. Served on a bed of a smoky tomato sauce and fresh and zingy salsa.

Soft and gooey chocolate biscoff almond brownie hearts - utterly delicious and super easy to make. Serve with a zingy raspberry compote for a perfect pairing.

A lovely warming smoky red pepper and lentil soup - rich and earthy and sweet at the same time. A gorgeous soup and wonderful with fresh bread and olive oil.