Flaky puff pastry makes quick work of these fun hand pies. Each savory pocket is stuffed with a plant-based meat filling for a hearty, healthy bite. The simple and savory flavors have universal appeal so everyone will feel like a winner at the end of the game.
Finger food is always your best bet when it comes to party starters. Forget the forks and fall in love with this catch!
Just eight ingredients, not counting water, stand between you and snacking satisfaction. Here are the essentials you need to stock up on:
Vegan ground meat: One of the most popular meat alternatives on the market, there’s no end to vegan options for ground beef! Use any brand you prefer, fresh or frozen and thawed, or make your own from TVP, crumbled tempeh, seitan, lentils, and/or nuts.
Onion: Start by sautéing an onion and your kitchen will instantly smell amazing. Yellow is fine here, but you can use white or red, or switch things up with shallots or leeks for a change of pace.
Garlic: There’s no thing as too much garlic. Consider the two cloves listed here as a starting suggestion; add to taste.
Green peas: For a pop of color and vegetable infusion, frozen peas are the perfect mix-in. Kids won’t even know they’re eating their veggies hidden inside these vegan super bowl snacks!
Puff pastry: The real star of the show, frozen puff pastry takes all the hassle out of prep work. Read on to learn more about this essential staple.
Flour: Regular all-purpose will do the trick here unless you need a gluten-free option. You can use white rice flour or potato starch in that case, since it only takes a small amount to prevent the pastry from getting too sticky.
Coconut oil: Add richness and shine with just a little dab! You could substitute melted vegan butter or simply olive oil if you’d prefer.
Traditionally, puff pastry is a type of laminated dough, made with many thin layers of butter. This is still true for some high-end bakeries and gourmet grocers, but many more storebought options are now “accidentally” vegan! Always read labels to verify, since formulas are liable to change at any time.
Availability will vary depending on your location and the season, since some view puff pastry as a holiday item only. Here are the best vegan choices found in the US:
Most mainstream grocery stores should have at least one option readily available in the freezer section, while more specialized varieties and brands can be purchased online. When in doubt, start your hunt here:
Here’s the rundown on how to make these vegan game day puff pastry footballs!
Step 1: Prepare the vegan ground meat according to the package instructions. In a sauté pan, heat oil, sauté onion and garlic until translucent, then add frozen peas and cook until warmed. Add the vegan ground meat, cook for 4 minutes, remove from heat, and set aside.
Step 2: Sprinkle flour over a flat surface, and using a rolling pin, roll puff pastry sheets until they are twice their original size. Cut out football shapes of uniform size and place half on a lined or greased baking sheet.
Step 3: Brush a thin layer of melted coconut oil along the edges of the dough on the baking sheet. Spoon taco meat onto the center of each pastry piece, leaving a 1/2-inch border for sealing.
Step 4: Cut lace marks into the remaining football-shaped pastry pieces (these will be the tops). Place them atop the bottom dough, covering the plant-based meat filling, and seal tightly using a fork to crimp the edges together. Brush the tops with coconut oil and bake for 20 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and enjoy as soon as they cool!
Puff pastry is the Swiss army knife of appetizers and desserts, savory and sweet. You don’t need any baking experience to transform it into impressive treats! If this is your first time working with it, here’s how to use puff pastry like a pro:
The real beauty of such a simple, foolproof formula is that it’s ideal for putting your own unique spin on. Here are a few winning ideas to pump up the flavor:
If it’s not game day, you can use any cookie cutter shape you like, not just footballs! In fact, you don’t need cookie cutters at all. You can simply cut squares with your knife or use a drinking glass as a template to make circles. For more festive ideas, consider:
Photos by Michelle Cehn, all rights reserved.