The holidays are right around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than with an epic vegan charcuterie board! This vegan snack board is a great appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any celebration. It’s full of sweet fruits, savory vegan meats (some homemade & some storebought!), and creamy plant-based cheeses.
what is a charcuterie board?
The word “charcuterie” is French, which translates to “deli”. If you’re not familiar with charcuterie boards, they’re essentially one big appetizer platter with an assortment of fruits, crackers, veggies, nuts, cheeses, and/or meats.
when to serve a vegan charcuterie board
Charcuterie boards are super versatile and can feel extra fancy making them perfect for special occasions. Below are some of my favorite occasions to make a vegan charcuterie board:
- Romantic date night or picnic
- New Year’s
- Valentine’s Day
- Mother’s Day or Father’s Day
what goes into a vegan charcuterie board?
What’s great about appetizer boards like this is that you can pick out a bunch of your favorite foods. If you don’t like figs, don’t put figs on your board! A variety of foods help bring in a breadth of color and flavor. The goal is to incorporate both crunchy & soft textures, sweet & savory flavors, and neutral & vibrant colors.
Depending on the size of your board, I recommend picking 2 or 3 items from each of the 5 categories listed below:
- Crackers & Breads
- Dips & Sauces
- Vegan Cheese
- Vegan Meats or Proteins
- Fruits & Nuts
1. crackers & breads
Crackers and bread serve as the base for every bite. I love incorporating some fresh, toasted baguette slices, classic ‘buttery’ round crackers, and at least 1 type of artisan cracker that is flavored.
- ROUND CRACKERS– like Ritz
- CLUB CRACKERS
- ARTISAN CRACKERS
- GARLIC HERB NAAN CRACKERS – Trader Joe’s makes delicious ones
- WHEAT THINS – original or tomato basil
- TOASTED BAGUETTE
- SOURDOUGH BREAD
- PRETZELS – or pretzel thins
2. sauces & dips:
Including a few types of sauces or dips is a great way to bring in more flavors to the vegan charcuterie board. My go-to sauces are fruit jams, hot pepper jelly (for some heat!), and even some sweet homemade vegan honey. Trust me…a drizzle of sweet vegan honey onto some salty plant-based cheese can’t be beat! Below are a few more vegan-friendly ideas:
3. vegan cheeses:
Let’s be real…not all vegan cheeses are created equal. There are some really good ones out there and some not-so-great ones. Some vegan cheeses are fantastic in melted applications but have weird textures when eaten straight out of the package. I’ve tried tons of vegan cheeses over the past decade and below are my favorites. All of these vegan cheeses taste amazing straight out of the package, on crackers, or on bread.
- MIYOKO’S CLASSIC CHIVE WHEEL – tons of amazing, creamy flavor
- TREELINE HERB GARLIC CHEESE SPREAD – the perfect combo of herb & garlic (on the pricey side though)
- MIYOKO’S SHARP ENGLISH FARMHOUSE CHEESE WHEEL – this cheese is super sharp if you’re into that
Sliced or cubed cheeses
- CHAO CREAMY ORIGINAL – super creamy with the right amount of salt
- 365 PLANT BASED SMOKED ‘GOUDA’ – a light, creamy sliced cheese
- FOLLOW YOUR HEART SMOKED ‘GOUDA’ – the perfect smoky flavor
- VIOLIFE EPIC MATURE CHEDDAR BLOCK – great for cutting up cubes of cheese
- VIOLIFE JUST LIKE PARMESAN WEDGE – the most convincing vegan parm I’ve tried
4. vegan meats:
You don’t necessarily need vegan ‘meats’ to make an epic vegan charcuterie board, but they do add a layer of savory flavor that’s super delicious. Plus it does add some authenticity to the charcuterie board. I like using a mixture of storebought vegan jerky and homemade seitan for a super unique flavor combination that’s sure to impress! If you’re not a fan of plant-based meats, you can sub in more nuts (listed below in section 5).
5. fruits & nuts:
There are so many fruits, nuts, or veggies that you can add to your board. I love picking an assortment that will add in some beautiful color (as well as sweet flavors). Be aware of what’s in season since that can greatly affect the quality of the ingredients you pick out.
- RED OR GREEN GRAPES
- SLICED APPLES
- SMOKED ALMONDS
- CANDIED PECANS
- SALTED WALNUTS
- TOASTED CASHEWS
how to assemble the board
Once you’ve gathered all of your ingredients from the categories above, it’s time for the fun part- assembling the vegan charcuterie board! What’s important here is to have fun.
I find that it’s easiest to start by placing the round elements on the board first. That can be a round cheese wheel or small bowls with your sauces.
Next, layer in the crackers (fanned radially around the small bowls), then the vegan meats and fruits. I like to fill in any gaps or remaining spaces with smaller items like nuts or dried fruits.
One thing to note is that you’ll probably fit less on your board of each item than you think you will. You can keep any extras of each item prepped and ready in the kitchen or on the side to refill the board if you need to!
vegan charcuterie board tips & tricks
Traditionally, charcuterie boards are centered around meat. The word charcuterie literally means cold-cooked meats. However, it’s definitely possible to make a vegan charcuterie board thanks to an abundance of storebought vegan meat alternatives and homemade recipes that are available.
What’s great about DIY charcuterie boards is that you can include anything that you want on them. If you love veggies, include veggies! Celery and carrots are great options to incorporate into a snack board like this.
Most grocery stores now sell vegan cheese and meats. Typically, they are located in the refrigerated section near the dairy-based cheeses. Sometimes stores will have a dedicated section for dairy-free alternatives. If you’re not able to find vegan cheeses or meats at your local grocery store be sure to check out specialty stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Some vegan alternatives are even available to be shipped depending on where you live.
Looking for more VEGAN SIDES?
Did you make this Vegan Charcuterie Board? I’d love to know! Leave a rating and comment below!
Crackers & Bread:
- Round Crackers- like Ritz
- Garlic Herb Naan Crackers - Trader Joe's makes delicious ones
- Toasted Baguette
Sauces & Dips:
Fruits & Nuts:
- Green Grapes
- Dried Apricots
- Gala Apples
- Gather your ingredients. Prep anything that needs to be sliced like the bread and apples.
- Start by placing round items on the board. (Bowls with dips in them, or wheels of cheese). Note: working with odd numbers will help keep the board looking balanced. For example, 3 small bowls of dips or sauces.
- Fill in the spaces surrounding the round elements with the crackers and bread.
- Next, layer on the vegan meats and cheeses.
- Fill in any empty spaces with smaller items like sliced or dried fruit. Then, fill in any gaps with items like nuts.
- Note: you can also use what you have around the house or in your pantry! For example, if you have boxed raisins in your pantry, use those instead of going out and buying a new dried fruit.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 300Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
Nutritional info is an estimate.
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