The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

How to Eat with Non-Vegan Friends

Posted on July 26, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

By Julia Schoenberg

It might seem stressful to host non-vegan guests. What can you serve them? What will they like? The answer is simpler than you think. Many non-vegan consumers eat vegan products everyday without knowing it. Being non-vegan myself, participating in a vegan meal seemed daunting at first. In reality, however, vegan products are all around us and make up some of our favorite dishes.
Ethnic food seems to be the common denominator when it comes to bridging the gap between omnivores and vegans. Many cuisines, like Mexican, are primarily vegan to begin with. For example, try vegetable fajitas, refried beans (without lard), and taco shells. The great part is that it isn’t “vegan Mexican,” it’s just food that happens to fit the vegan diet.

Another great option is Indian food. Indian cuisine includes a wide variety of meatless dishes and wholesome vegetables. In addition to curried tofu and chickpea flour-based breads, Indian cuisine offers dozens of vegetable based soups and rice dishes.

For a third option, look no further than your own refrigerator. The food you always keep around the house might be vegan! Hummus, carrots, many crackers, and even potato chips. Hors d’oeuvres will be a piece of (vegan) cake.

I spoke with some non-vegans and asked them what vegan foods they would consider eating. Initially, of course, their faces scrunched at the idea, picturing “tofu” and other stereotypical vegan foods. However, after explaining some other, more common options, I got a different response. Almost everyone was open to the idea of a vegetable-based meal. In fact, I spoke with a strict carnivore from Philadelphia who, after having one meal at a new vegan restaurant, now has “Meatless Mondays,” claiming that vegan food is a hidden gem.

Although you may think you have to serve food that is made specifically for vegans, serving any food that fits the criteria works too! The goal is to make your guests forget that what they’re eating is vegan at all. For more suggestions, visit for vegan recipes and restaurants ideas.

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