Themed parties are everyone's favorite, and what could be more fun than a fiesta with its accompanying colorful clothing, salsas, and margaritas? That is, of course, unless you're a vegetarian and show up to chicken tacos, carnitas, and nachos piled sky-high with beef. While considering vegetarian diets on your menu always requires a bit of forethought, it's well worth the effort: Any plant-based eaters will greatly appreciate having some choices, and the omnivores may not even miss the meat!
Here are a few of our favorite Mexican-inspired vegetarian recipes, plus some simple ideas for adding a little festive flair to your next fiesta. Check them out, whip them up, and get started on your acceptance speech for Hostess of the Year.
It wouldn't be a proper vegetarian list if there weren't some mention of tofu. This nacho-style dish combines the protein powerhouse with Ro*Tel® Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, corn, onions, and a host of spices for a Southern-style, convenient, and vegan main course. Set up a walking taco station where guests can make their own—and come back for seconds. Create brightly colored, folded label cards to distinguish which ingredients in the taco bar are meatless so your vegetarian friends don’t have to ask. It’s a small hosting courtesy that makes a big difference. Bonus: You can decorate the label cards with stickers, drawings, or little borders for an even more festive feel!
If there's no queso, is it even a fiesta? Finally, there's a queso everyone can enjoy—meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans alike. Have this dip ready to go with Frontera® Blue Corn Tortilla Chips for guests to enjoy while you're finishing up the main dishes, or serve it alongside the main course. No matter when you serve it, chips and queso give you the opportunity to pull out that special chip-and-dip serving set you’ve been saving. Whether it’s a brightly colored combination platter or a wooden chip bowl and pepper-shaped queso dish, this is your chance to show your personality and your queso chops at the same time.
Stuff bell peppers with rice, vegetables, and Hunt's® Tomato Sauce, then top them off with melted cheese for a side that's festive in both taste and appearance. Arrange the peppers on a round platter in rows of circles according to color and your dish becomes a decoration on its own. Top each one with a brightly colored toothpick flag and your peppers will transform into a delicious, edible centerpiece. Bonus: They're easy to grab and already in individual portions!
To satisfy your need for spice, try this vegan dish with corn, onion, and Hunt's Petite Diced Tomatoes. An avocado provides some healthy fats, while chipotle pepper gives it that south-of-the-border kick. Don't be surprised if it ends up in some tortilla shells as an entrée all on its own! This dish is so beautiful and brightly colored that understated presentation is key. Serve it in a clear glass or a plain white bowl and let the bright yellows, reds, and greens of the fresh corn, tomato, and avocado speak for themselves.
It may be one of the easiest main dishes out there, and it's also vegan, gluten-free, and downright delicious. This skillet combines super grain quinoa with tomatoes, onion, corn, spices, and Rosarita® Premium Whole Black Beans. This dish is all about the sizzle, so be sure to use your cast iron skillet. When it’s all combined and ready to go, grab those potholders and bring it out sizzling to the table. The sound and aroma will wow your guests and let them know that dinner is served. Just be sure to keep little hands off the skillet until it’s had time to cool.
Your guests will never see this dessert coming: Traditional chocolate truffles meet chipotle chili powder for a mind-blowing mix of spicy and sweet. Swiss Miss® Simply Cocoa Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa makes this an easy treat to prepare, and you could even substitute the dark chocolate variety for an extra intense flavor. Once your truffles are powdered and ready to go, pop each one into a brightly colored mini cupcake wrapper. The thin paper wrappers will make your chocolate dessert look much more festive and will help keep the truffles from sticking together if your party heats up.