Party Food That Works No Matter What You Can’t Eat – Caitlin O’Malley

Party Food That Works No Matter What You Can’t Eat

Party Food That Works No Matter
What You Don’t Eat

Your celiac best friend, your vegan sister-in-law, and your neighbor who just can’t do sugar are all coming over for drinks. Pleasing them all is easier than you might think with an eclectic assortment of hors d’oeuvre recipes. We picked favorites—including paleo-friendly yellowfin lettuce wraps, gluten-free tostadas, vegan butternut squash dip, and sugar-free espresso truffles—to suit all kinds of eaters.


Abundant veggies and some clean proteins to satisfy your paleo friends.

Yellowfin Red Romaine Wraps

These lettuce wraps are a warm-weather standby for entertaining. They’re also delicious with grilled rib eye instead of the yellowfin.

Coconut Shrimp

Crispy coconut shrimp, no fryer necessary.

Beet-Pickled Deviled Eggs

A bright, pickled take on a party staple. Use regular mayo, homemade aioli, or vegenaise instead of Kewpie to keep this one paleo-friendly.

Crab Salad in Endive

Put together the crab salad in the morning so all you have to do is plate and garnish before your guests arrive.

Avocado Carpaccio with Smoked Salmon, Walnuts, and Cherries

Use a mandoline to slice underripe avocados thinly. That technique and this simple carpaccio are two of our new favorite things.

Summer Melon with Crispy Prosciutto

Sweet melon and salty prosciutto complement each other so nicely and make a delightfully easy appetizer.


Most party foods are easily adapted to be gluten-free. Some folks with celiac disease can be sensitive to cross contamination, so be sure to set out specific serving utensils for your gluten-free foods.

Avocado Tostadas with Pickled Red Onions

Skip the frying and use premade tostadas for a super simple party app.

Chicken Schnitzel on a Stick

These tenders get dredged in a mustard-beer bath before they’re dipped in crispy, gluten-free panko bread crumbs. Once fried and golden brown, finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Feta, Figs, Thyme, and Honey

Peak-season figs are spectacular on their own, but serving them alongside salty feta really makes them shine.

Tomato and Mint Dolma (Yaprak Sarma)

Making these dolma is a bit of a project, but the recipe yield is high and they can be made a few days in advance. If you’re making them the day of, let them come to room temperature before serving, and plate with thick plain yogurt on the side for dipping.

Parmesan Crisps

Little piles of coarsely grated Parmesan baked to shatteringly crisp perfection.

Smoked Salmon Dip

People go crazy for this old-school smoked salmon dip. Pairs well with potato chips and champagne.


A few iterations of crudités and dip, and plant-based bites that are both tasty and substantial.

Cultured Butternut Squash Dip
with Pumpkin Oil

We’re always looking for great dip recipes, and this pickled butternut squash one is a unique addition to your spread. Heads up: This makes enough dip to feed a crowd, but you can easily halve it for a smaller crew.

Brown Rice Summer Rolls

Summer rolls: basically handheld salads with a delicious dipping sauce.

Vegan Cheesy Popcorn

A bowl of popcorn at a party will never be ignored. This nutritional yeast faux-cheese situation is gloriously snackable.

Marinated Olives and Artichoke Hearts

This gets better as it sits, so try to make it at least a day in advance. We like using Castelvetrano olives, but any mix will work.

Sweet Potato Chips with White Bean
and Basil Dip

A simple pesto-inspired white bean dip with sweet potato chips. Swap in your favorite store-bought sweet potato chips if you don’t feel like making your own.

Vegan Queso

Enjoy it warm with tortilla chips or go fully loaded by adding salsa, guacamole, and cooked soyrizo on top just before serving.


Sugar-free desserts can be tricky, but these four are reliable hits. If you want to keep it simple, though, putting out fresh seasonal fruit and some refined-sugar-free chocolate does the trick.

Espresso, Cacao, and Coconut Truffles

A little coffee-inspired truffle for ending the night on a (not too) sweet note.

The Best Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookie

These babies have it all: the crispy edge that cedes to a chewy center; a rich, buttery flavor; and studs of walnuts, oats, and chocolate chips. And they’re completely grain-free and refined-sugar-free.

Frozen Cherry Bonbons

The recipe yield is pretty generous for a crowd. The size and texture of frozen cherries work well here, but feel free to try with some of your other favorite frozen fruits as well.

Gluten-Free Brownies with Coconut CBD Frosting

These are grown-up brownies—and not just because of their CBD-spiked frosting (which you could, of course, omit): The semisweet chocolate and cocoa powder make the flavors deep, dark, and rich.


goop Home
5QT Covered Casserole
goop, $150

Whether you’re frying schnitzel, simmering vegan queso, or popping corn, every party calls for a big do-it-all pot.


Essential Home Bundle
goop, $44

All you need for successful and painless party cleanup: a solid playlist, a few sets of hands, and these eco-friendly trash bags.


Coltellerie Berti for MATCH
Boxwood Cheese Knife Set
goop, $466

Gorgeous handmade knives that elevate the look of any cheese and charcuterie spread.


Casa Velasquez
Corosal Bolero Apron
goop, $150

A vintage-inspired apron that looks cute enough to keep on long after guests have arrived.


Casa Velasquez
Mompox Tablecloth
goop, $300

Building a tablescape is much easier when you’ve got a stunning tablecloth as your base.


Luisa Vino, set of 2
goop, $110

Stemless glasses are less prone to being tipped over and breaking, so they’re a safe bet for entertaining.


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