This holiday party appetizer with apples, cream cheese, balsamic glaze, and arugula wrapped with carrot bacon is the perfect vegan hors d’oeuvres to serve at any event. It's full of flavor, easy and can be made in less than 30 minutes.
I was inspired to make this after one of my friends shared a picture of something similar made with fromager d'affinois wrapped in prosciutto. It looked absolutely incredible so I was determined to make it vegan.
The first order of business was the cheese. I've never seen a veganized version of fromager d'affinois which is a double-cream soft cheese. I wanted to keep this simple so I chose to go with a vegan store-bought cream cheese. I found this plant-based one made with a base of butter beans (yay fiber!) that works well. This homemade vegan burrata would also work well.
To replace the prosciutto I knew right away that I wanted to use Carrot Bacon. It's bacon flavored carrots that resemble bacon when marinated and cooked. They provide that perfect smoky flavor to this appetizer. They also make a great side dish on their own or a tasty snack!
I'm super happy with how this easy vegan appetizer turned out. They have so much flavor and texture and provide that wow-factor to impress guests.
Just 5 simple ingredients—it doesn't get easier than that! Here's what you'll need:
- Vegan bacon—I like making my own Carrot Bacon but you could also use a store-bought vegan bacon. This vegan carrot lox recipe would also make a great option!
- Vegan cream cheese—I like this one from Simple Truth Organic or your can make your own really easily with this vegan cheese ball. Omit the cranberries for this recipe.
- Balsamic glaze
- Baby arugula
How to make these easy vegan appetizers
The first order of business is making the carrot bacon if making your own. You'll want to peel your carrots and marinate as the recipe calls for. A few minutes will do but the longer the better. You can even let them marinate for up to 2 days.
When ready, bake them in an oven or air fryer until soft but not crispy. They need to be able to wrap around the apple without breaking.
Core and slice your apples. ¼-1/2 inch thick slices are best. Spread the cream cheese onto one side and drizzle with some balsamic glaze. Top with a baby arugula leaf and wrap the carrot bacon around all of it, gently pressing it down onto the toppings to hold it in place.
You can prep the carrots ahead of time by slicing and marinating for up to two days in advance. I don't recommend cooking them until right before you're ready to assemble.
If you don't have a balsamic glaze you can also prepare that in advance. Simply heat balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan until boiling, then turn down to a simmer until it thickens slightly. It should reduce by half. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
These appetizers are best served the same day they are assembled but luckily it only takes a few minutes to put together a whole platter.
Need more holiday inspiration?
This Easy Vegan Lasagna is a classic main dish that everyone can enjoy.
These Vegan Snickerdoodles are the most soft and chewy!
And these Mashed Potatoes and Gravy make the perfect side dish!
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Vegan Carrot Bacon Wrapped Apple & Cream Cheese
- ½ batch carrot bacon, or use store-bought vegan bacon
- 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze, or balsamic vinegar, see notes
- ½ cup vegan cream cheese
- 1 apple
- baby arugula
- Start preparing the carrot bacon if making your own. Wash and peel the carrots and marinate it for a least a few minutes. You can even let them marinate for up to 2 days.
- When ready, bake them in an oven or air fryer until soft but not crispy. Using an air fryer, bake for 3-4 minutes. In a regular oven bake for 7-8 minutes. They need to be able to wrap around the apple without breaking.
- Core and slice your apple. ¼-1/2 inch thick slices are best. Spread the cream cheese onto one side and drizzle with some balsamic glaze. Top with a baby arugula leaf and wrap the carrot bacon around all of it, gently pressing it down onto the toppings to hold it in place.
- Serve immediately.
Nutrition Per Serving
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