Party Menu Idea Roundup: Meatless Tropical Luau

Cook’s notes: A friend of mine who is vegetarian is getting married next year. This happy news inspired me to create several meatless menus based on fun themes. I love planning a good menu almost as much as actually having the party.

This menu sets the party in paradise, because Hawaii is a popular honeymoon spot. It does contain shrimp cocktail as an option, but this could be omitted for a strictly plant-based menu.

For a balanced menu, select the following:

  • 3 to 4 cold hors d’oeuvres: dips, cheese, nuts, or veggies
  • 4 hot dishes (small bites), including 1 to 2 main dishes
  • 2 to 3 sides dishes, pasta salad, or tossed salad
  • 1 or 2 sweet nibbles, served toward the end

Appetizers and Breads
Macadamia nuts
King’s Hawaiian Bread (store-bought)

Main Dishes
Shrimp Cocktail (use Alton Brown’s recipe)
Sushi Rice Salad with cucumber and carrot (link)
Vegetable stir-fry

Vegetables and Side Dishes
Hawaiian macaroni salad (link)
Mixed green salad with mandarin orange and passion fruit vinaigrette (link)
Oven-baked sweet potato fries
Teriyaki snow peas and mushrooms (link)

Champagne with passion fruit juice
Pineapple iced tea
Punch: Combine 2 quarts orange juice (or other kind of juice) and 12 oz can frozen lemonade concentrate (thawed); stir in 1 quart sparkling water
Strawberry daiquiri and other tropical drinks
Fruit kabobs: Skewer strawberry, pineapple, grape, and banana
Sliced pound cake with berries and whipped cream
Coconut pudding (“huapia“)

Sources: Inspired by a shorter menu in Creative Wedding Showers by Laurie Dewberry and online information, including the site; Dede Wilson, Appetizers for Dummies; and Donna Pilato’s cocktail party site