Have you ever made a vegan charcuterie board? For years I thought they were a waste of time. I figured if I wanted snacks I could just eat them. What’s the point in making them all pretty if you’re just going to eat it?!
Well I’m here to tell you, vegan charcuterie boards are A VIBE! A whole entire VIBE! It’s giving rich bitch energy and I’m here for all of it! I mean just look at this board! Can you tell I’m excited about it?!
What is a Charcuterie Board?
In case you’re new to them, a charcuterie (pronounced: shahr-ku-tuh-ree) board is typically a display of cured or smoked meats paired with different things like cheeses, fruit, olives and nuts to accompany them on a wooden board.
Though the word charcuterie refers to meat, today’s version is basically a combination of a cheese board meets charcuterie, with meats, cheeses and all the things! All the vegan things in this case of course! Luckily with all of the plant-based options on the market, making a vegan charcuterie board is really easy these days.
So what’s the point of a vegan charcuterie board you ask? I like to think of it as an elevated graze board. They make for great appetizers or simple finger foods to share with friends or family. I love them because they’re so easy to customize and you can also make them according to specific themes (summer, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, desserts, hot cocoa..etc).
How to make a Vegan Charcuterie Board
You can make a vegan Charcuterie Board just the same as you would a regular one, just add your favorite vegan friendly substitutes!
Here’s what I used:
- Fresh grapes
- Fresh strawberries
- Saltine crackers
- Caramelized onion dip (Trader Joe’s)
- Garlic and herb spreadable cheese dip (Kite Hill)
- Fresh green bell pepper slices
- Monterey Jack vegan cheese block (Daiya)
- Sweet and spicy pickled jalapeños (Trader Joe’s)
- Sliced apples
- Pretzel sticks
- Dried cranberries
- Hickory smoked ham plant based deli slices (Tofurky)
- Everything Bagel Chips
Whenever I’m assembling a vegan charcuterie board, I first start with the dips or things being placed in containers. These items typically take up the most space so it’s easier to build around them when they’re the first on the board.
Next, I like to add in the crackers, making sure to add two sets at opposite ends to make it easier for people to access without having to reach across the board. From there, I continue along with the vegan meats, cheeses, fruits and veggies, then use the dried fruit and nuts to fill in any gaps.
In short, I find it easiest to go from big (dips and spreads) to small (nuts and dried fruit).
What Size Board Should I Use?
The first thing you want to do is determine what size board you’ll be using. The board pictured below is about 18″x12″ and I was able to fit a good amount of food on it. The size of your board depends on how you plan to use it. Will this be the only food served? How many people will be eating off of it? How many different options would you like to include? Is this being served as a meal?
If you’re planning to serve this as part of an intimate gathering between two people as an appetizer, you might consider using a smaller board. If you’re getting together with 4 friends and you’d like to use this as the main snack for a mid afternoon gathering, a larger board might work better. If by chance you’re serving a crowd, you may want to consider combining 4 different boards to make one large massive one!
Obviously the bigger the board, the more food and time will be required in order to build it so be sure to plan accordingly!
Don’t have a cutting board? You could also use a large baking sheet that you probably already have. But using a wooden cutting board will give it that true vegan charcuterie board feel.
When to Serve a Vegan Charcuterie Board
There are tons of different occasions where a Charcuterie Board could be useful such as Mother’s/Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving (appetizer), or practically any holiday will do.
On the other hand, you don’t really need a holiday to justify making a vegan charcuterie board at all. “Tuesday” or any day of the week is perfect. I recently made a mini one for my husband and I to share as a quick in-home date night after putting our kid to bed.
This quick and easy snack board idea doesn’t have to be complicated at all and it’s a great way to use up any veggies or fruit you have on hand. So the short of it is, you don’t need a real reason to make a charcuterie board. A holiday or “just because” is reason enough.
What Should I Include in a Vegan Charcuterie Board?
Charcuterie Boards should be the perfect balance of salty and sweet. Here are a few categories to consider when you’re putting yours together!
- Crackers: Crackers are essential to any vegan charcuterie board, but don’t limit yourself to just crackers. You could also use pita bread, bagel chips, or pretzels. Gotta have a vehicle for those spreads!
- Fresh fruit: Using fresh fruit is always a good idea. No only is it a great opportunity to add some color to your board, it’s a way to add some sweetness to balance out the saltiness of the other items. Grapes, berries, apples, mandarins would work well here.
- Dried fruit: I love adding dried fruit because they’re great for pairing with nuts. The perfect combination of salty and sweet! Think dried cranberries and tart cherries. Yum!
- Spreads: Spreads are essential to any vegan charcuterie board. Plus, you’ll need something to dip those crackers into! Think hummus, cheese spreads…etc.
- Nuts: Some of my favorite items in this category include walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios or even peanuts if you’d like. Think crunchy and salty!
- Vegetables: I loooove adding both pickled and fresh vegetables to my boards. Jalapeños, sliced bell peppers, carrots or even celery would be great here.
- Vegan cheese: no charcuterie board is complete without vegan cheese! Variety is always nice, so pick up a two or three different ones to keep things interesting. This could be a block or spreadable vegan cheese variation, the choice is yours!
- Vegan meats: with the selection these days, you can find vegan meats at nearly every grocery store! There are a ton of different brands out there, so be sure to choose one that you love. If you’ve never tried any, consider Tofurkey or Sweet Earth.
Tips for Arranging a Vegan Charcuterie Board
I always find it easiest to start with the larger items like the dips first. I like to place the dips in small dishes on opposite ends so that one of them is accessible no matter which side is closest to you. From there, I place the other larger items. In this case those were the grapes. Then I added the vegan meat slices, then proceeded to add the crackers, fruit, bell peppers pickled jalapeños , nuts and dried cranberries. I used the smaller items to fill in any open spaces.
Make it Full: If you’re into aesthetics, a vegan charcuterie board always looks best full. I mean nuts, cheese and crackers hanging off the edges full. If you decide to add vegan meats, you might consider rolling them up or folding them nicely (as pictured).
Make it Colorful: When putting together a vegan charcuterie board, you might consider first writing out a list of all the items you’d like to include. This will help you to plan out if there should be additional pops of colors added. When you’re arranging everything, try to spread the colored items throughout the board so that there are pops of color throughout.
Make it Repetitive: Don’t make your guests reach across the board too much. Make it easy for them and add some of the same ingredients throughout the board, from one end to the next. This helps to make everything more accessible no matter what angle you’re approaching the board from.
Make it Worthwhile: No need in rushing this process. Take your time and arrange your vegan charcuterie board in a way that suits your needs.
Make it Custom: The wonderful thing about vegan charcuterie boards is that you can customize it however you’d like! Don’t like olives (like me)? Don’t include them! Don’t like vegan cheeses? Don’t include them! Like chocolate? Include some! Like vegan meats? Include them!
Make it Themed: Themed snack boards are always a good idea! Here are some ideas for you below:
- Breakfast (Brunch) Board: this might include sliced waffles, mini pancakes, lots of fresh fruit ( strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, kiwi and grapes), peanut butter, vegan nutella spread, chocolate chips (or chunks), vegan eggs (JUST egg or homemade tofu scramble), sliced toast, vegan sausage/bacon and avocado.
- A Color Specific Board: Everything doesn’t have to be the same color, but you could make everything shades of green for example, mixed with neutral tones like beige, brown or white. The main color could be green, so think green grapes, spinach dip avocado/guacamole, green peppers, cucumbers, sliced green apples, celery, fresh broccoli florets. Get it?
- Dessert Board: think homemade mini cookies, fresh strawberries, chocolate pieces, brownies, mini rice crispy treats and nuts of all kinds.
- Holiday Board: have you ever seen those snack boards in the shape of a wreath or Christmas tree? You could recreate one of those!
- Cuisine Specific Board: creating a Mexican themed board would be so fun! Think mini vegan quesadillas, avocado, guacamole, pico de gallo, tortilla chips, salsa, taquitos… etc.
I know you’ll love making this Easy Vegan Charcuterie Board! It’s easy to make, customizable and fun to eat! Give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments below!
Other Appetizers You Might Like:
- Easy Vegan Fried Oyster Mushrooms
- Easy Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Easy Vegan Mini Black Bean Burgers
Tools You Might Need:
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How to Make the BEST Easy Vegan Charcuterie Board [+VIDEO]
- honey crisp apple sliced
- fresh strawberries
- fresh grapes
- green bell pepper sliced
- crackers of your choice
- pretzel sticks
- everything bagel chips
- dried cranberries
- Add your spreads to small dishes and arrange them on your board.
- Add remaining items in order from largest to smallest however you choose and arrange on your board, repeating as necessary.
- Serve and enjoy!