Polish Mistakes are easy party appetizers served on cocktail rye toasts with mounds of meat and cheese. And my version is all VEGAN! This is one snack that will please even the carnivores in your life. Make them for parties, holidays, game days, whenever you crave them (because you WILL crave them!).
I grew up eating these party snacks called Polish Mistakes. My dad’s family made them every Christmas Eve and we looked forward to them every year! My dad actually requested that I try to veganize this recipe a few months ago, so you have him to thank for the deliciousness before you now.
So meaty and cheesy on a crispy little cocktail rye toast….you won’t believe they’re dairy free and vegan!
Ingredients you need
Ingredient notes and substitutions
I’ll be the first to admit this isn’t the healthiest recipe on Veggie Inspired. Most of my recipes are made from whole foods and this one is clearly not. Listen, I tried to go the healthy route and trialed this recipe with several variations using healthy whole food ingredients…and it just wasn’t the same. Sometimes you just gotta live a little and go for it.
Vegan “meat” crumbles ~ Store bought vegan meat and cheese have come a a LONG way since they first hit shelves years ago. Nowadays, the vegan versions taste just as good and oftentimes most people can’t even tell the difference.
I use two different kinds of vegan meat for the best texture and flavor. You can use two packages of just one kind if you wish. Beyond Beef and Gardein Beefless Crumbles both taste shockingly similar to ground beef.
If you have a favorite vegan ground “beef” brand go ahead and use that.
Vegan cheese ~ For this recipe, I used Follow Your Heart vegan cheese – one package of American and one package of Provolone. You could certainly use two of the same if you want. Violife and Field Roast are my other favorite store bought brands and they would work great in this recipe too.
Onion and garlic ~ Traditionally, Polish Mistakes use onion powder and garlic powder, but I prefer to use the real thing here.
Vegan Worcestershire Sauce ~ I love the tangy flavor of Worcestershire sauce. Annie’s and The Wizard brands both have vegan versions.
If you don’t have or can’t find vegan Worcestershire sauce, a combination of soy sauce (or tamari) and balsamic vinegar can create a similar flavor.
Cocktail rye bread ~ Cocktail rye is the perfect size for party appetizers or snacks. You can also find pumpernickel and sourdough varieties. Just be sure to read labels to make sure the one you buy is vegan.
How to make the recipe
Sauté diced onion in a splash of oil until soft and translucent (1).
Add the garlic and vegan ground beef and cook until brown and hot (2).
Dice the vegan cheese (3) and add to the skillet along with the vegan Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce, if using (4). Cook, stirring frequently, until the cheese is completely melted (5).
Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
Add a heaping tablespoon onto each cocktail size rye toast and broil for a few minutes until the toasts are crispy and the “meat” mixture is golden brown (above).
Add a few extra drops of hot sauce, if desired, and try to wait a few minutes before diving in so you don’t burn your mouth!
Leftovers will keep in the fridge for several days. Reheat in a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes for best texture.
You can also freeze these Polish Mistakes before or after broiling. Spread them out on a baking sheet in one even layer and place it in the freezer for several hours. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe container or plastic bag. They should keep well up to 6 months.
Traditional Polish Mistakes are made with ground beef, ground sausage, Velveeta cheese, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, and garlic powder.
I have no idea why they are called Polish Mistakes. They certainly aren’t Polish in origin that I’m aware of. You might know them by a few other names. Through my quick Google research, I’ve learned these meaty appetizers also go by names like: Hanky Pankys, Party Pizzas, or Rye Pizza. Whatever you call them, they are dang good!
My version of Polish Mistakes are made with vegan ground beef, vegan cheese, vegan worcestershire sauce, onion, garlic, and optional hot sauce. They are every bit as delicious and I promise no one will know they’re vegan unless you tell them!
You sure can! Polish Mistakes are the perfect make-ahead easy party appetizers!
Make them per the directions, but don’t broil them, instead place the whole baking sheet into the freezer. Once frozen, transfer the toasts to a plastic freezer bag and keep until needed. When ready to make them, place the frozen toasts back on a baking pan and bake until the tops are golden brown and the cheese is melted and gooey.
You can also freeze them after they’ve been cooked if you happen to have leftovers.
More easy party appetizers
This cheezy “meat” mixture is also great as a dip! Grab some tortilla chips and give it a try…so good! A small size crockpot would work wonderfully to keep it warm at parties.
Appetizers are great for parties, but they also make great snacks, too. Try these other vegan appetizers that can double as snacks when hunger strikes.
- Crunchy Black Bean Mini Tacos
- Spicy Peanut Rice Stuffed Mini Peppers
- Veggie Tortilla Rollups
- Buffalo Chickpea Vegan Taquitos
- Pesto Pizza Bites
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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For even more easy family recipes, be sure to check out my cookbook, The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook!
Vegan Polish Mistakes
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 package (16 ounces) Beyond Beef or similar vegan meat crumbles
- 1 package (13.7 ounces) Gardein Beefless Crumbles or similar vegan meat crumbles
- 1 package (7 ounces) Follow Your Heart American Cheese Slices diced (or your favorite vegan cheese)
- 1 package (7 ounces) Follow Your Heart Provolone Cheese Slices diced (or your favorite vegan cheese)
- ¼ cup vegan Worcestershire sauce Annie's and The Wizard are both vegan
- 2-3 tablespoons hot sauce optional
- 1 package cocktail rye bread
- Preheat the oven broiler. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté 4 to 5 minutes until soft and translucent.
- Add the garlic and the Beyond Beef crumbles. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the "meat" is browned.
- Add the Gardein Beefless Crumbles, diced vegan cheese, and vegan Worcestershire sauce and cook, stirring frequently, until the cheese is melted and creamy. Add the hot sauce, if using, and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
- Lay out the slices of cocktail rye bread on the baking sheets. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of "meat" mixture onto each slice of bread. Broil for 6 to 8 minutes until the rye slices are browned on the edges. Watch them closely so they don't burn.
- Transfer to a serving platter and enjoy!