Lots of people are vegetarians these days, and even if the bride and groom are serious carnivores, they may well have many wedding guests who abstain from eating meat. If the bride or groom happen to be vegetarians, naturally they will want to plan their wedding menu accordingly, but even if they are not, it is very considerate to include some non-meat options for guests who are vegetarian. Check out these really delicious ideas for vegetarian wedding food…they are so tasty that you might even find the carnivores choosing them over the steak dinner!
Regional and comfort foods are huge wedding trends these days. The great news is that a lot of them can be easily adapted to suit vegetarians. The bar or station works especially well, as it allows each guest to customize his own food. For a Southern style wedding, set up a grits station. Start with plain grits (not instant!) and offer additions like green onions, cheese, butter, grilled vegetables, shrimp, and bacon. This is a crowd-pleasing idea, and including the shrimp and bacon will also make it appealing to the meat-eaters in your family. A similar idea is a mashed potato bar, featuring sour cream, butter, bacon bits, scallions, cheese, and steamed broccoli.
Like each bride, no two weddings are exactly alike. One bride might favor a formal handmade silk gown with crystal wedding jewelry, and another bride might favor a simple linen dress and funky handmade wedding jewelry. If your style runs to informal and fun, your wedding food should be too. A really fun idea which will appeal to vegetarians and carnivores alike is a pizza station at the cocktail hour. Start with unbaked miniature individual sized pizzas dressed only with sauce, and allow each guest to choose their toppings. The possibilities are virtually endless. Classic toppings like pepperoni and sausage will please the traditionalists, and then there are gourmet toppings like goat cheese and carmelized onions, fresh and shredded mozzarella, mushrooms, onions, peppers, pineapples, fresh basil, and on and on. Have a chef on hand to pop the pizzas into the oven and bring them back out to guests as they are ready.
A lot of vegetarians like faux meat and tofu, so you may wish to consider some of them for your vegetarian reception options. A tofu stir fry or curry dish would be a great addition to a buffet reception, and would be a true main dish (since a lot of people assume that their vegetarian friends can make do with salad and the vegetable side dishes). For a winter wedding, you could offer vegetarian chili, with or without a meat substitute. Even a mini-taco station at the cocktail hour would be a fun idea and you could include a fake meat cooked with the taco seasoning for guests to build their appetizer with. Although a mini-taco bar may not sound especially elegant, it is likely to be very popular, particularly with the male guests.
Pasta is always a safe thing to serve vegetarians, and there are so many delicious varieties. In the fall, a hearty squash ravioli would be sure to delight. Then there are the rich cheesy dishes like manicotti or stuffed shells – yum! In the spring, a light angel hair served with fresh seasonal vegetables and drizzled with olive oil would be lovely. And let’s not forget about mushrooms, which are a great tasting way to make a meatless meal feel substantial. Wild mushrooms are fantastic in pasta or risotto, they combine beautifully with goat cheese and herbs to create an elegant tart, and a large grilled portobello mushroom in a sauce is as satisfying as a steak (well, almost). With so many truly delicious options, there is no reason why vegetarian wedding guests have to feel like second-class citizens anymore!