Are you looking to elevate your hosting skills? Get ready to be the hostess with the mostest by making your own vegan charcuterie board! Traditional charcuterie board recipes are made up of cheeses, meats, breads or crackers, and maybe some vegetables. For my vegan version, I’ve used a nut cheese, some pita pockets and crispbread, plenty of fresh fruit and veggies, and dried fruit, nuts, and seeds. It’s so pretty to look at and very delish! Although this board is plant-based, it is sure to stun (and stuff) even the pickiest of your guests.
The best charcuterie board recipes have a good balance of flavors and textures. For example, you can use a combination of sweet, tangy, and salty. Fruit is great for sweet, while cheeses are great for the salty kick. A lot of things can be tangy, but I particularly like to use olives on a board. If you have creamy cheese or dip options, make sure to include some crunchy stuff like veggies or crispy crackers. Having a board with textures and flavors that are all very similar can be a little boring or monotonous, so try to mix it up a little!
WHY WE LOVE CHARCUTERIE BOARD RECIPES
- Versatile. The best thing about making a charcuterie board is that it can really contain anything you want. Whether it’s vegan meats and cheeses, or just fruits, veggies, and hummus, feel free to make it to your liking. Just make sure to have fun with it!
- Ideal for relaxed evenings with family or friends. Something about this type of meal just makes you want to slow down, talk more, and really enjoy time together.
- Effortlessly elegant. Why stress yourself out with a complicated menu when you can present an elegant and delicious platter of food to your guests with such little effort? All the wow without the work! That's my kind of meal.
- Perfect for holidays and parties. Vegan charcuterie boards make a great centerpiece for a buffet of vegan appetizers. These types of spreads are always a big hit.
Here are the ingredients you'll need for one of the best charcuterie board recipes you’ll ever make:
- Fresh veggies: radishes, snow peas, cucumbers, carrots, celery, endives, fennel bulbs
- Fresh fruit: red and green apples, mandarin oranges, strawberries
- Dried fruit: dates, apple chips
- Nuts and seeds: pumpkin, macadamia, almonds
- Kalamata olives
- Vegan cheese
- Almond pâté
- Spreads: raspberry and apricot jams
- Millet and flax chips
- Millet and flax pita pockets
- Chestnut crispbread
- Brown rice crackers
- Fresh parsley
- Fresh fruit: Choose fruits at the peak of their season for the best taste. Go for a variety of colors that will pop on the board.
- Fresh veggies: They add a refreshing and welcome contrast to the sweet and savory foods. I chose radishes, sugar snap peas, cucumbers, carrots, celery, endives, and fennel bulbs.
- Almond pâté: I love this plant-based pâte from Lark Ellen Farm. It has a tangy, savory flavor and is lightly spiced with oregano and black and white pepper.
- Vegan cheese: I went with a fig and fennel cashew-based vegan cheese from Wendy’s Vegetarian Kitchen. Slices or cubes make it easier to serve.
- Almonds and macadamia nuts: They add a savory crunch to the board.
STEP 1: CUT THE CHEESE AND SERVE THE DIPS
Chill the cheese before cutting. Next, cut part of the vegan cheese block into medium-size slices.
Transfer the hummus, jams, and pâté into small bowls.
Next, put the bowls containing the dips and spreads on the board. Position them around the board so that there is plenty of space in between.
STEP 2: PREP THE FRUITS
Wash and rinse all the fruits.
To prepare the kiwis, use a small paring knife to cut a zig-zag pattern along the circumference of each fruit, about halfway through. Pull the halves apart. If they don’t come apart easily, poke the blade in further until it can be easily separated to reveal the pattern.
For the apples, slice one fruit into half and then use a melon baller scoop to remove the core and seeds. Next, remove the stem and bottom parts by cutting notches into the apple. Place one half on the board with the skin side up and cut it into slices. Repeat the process for the remaining apples.
To prepare the mandarin oranges, start by slicing the ends off one fruit. Using a sawing motion, cut the orange into rounds. Alternatively, you can cut the oranges into segments by slicing the fruit in half and then cutting each half lengthwise into even-sized pieces.
To create strawberry fans, use one hand to hold one fruit by the stem. With the other hand, use a knife to cut slices into the length of the strawberry - somewhere between 5 and 7 slices depending on its size. Take care not to cut all the way through to the top. You want to stop slicing just short of the hull. Use your fingers to gently spread out the slices so that they fan out. Repeat the process for the other strawberries.
STEP 3: CUT THE VEGGIES
Wash and rinse all the vegetables.
Slice the cucumbers and radishes into rounds. Next, cut the celery and carrots into batons.
To remove the strings from the sugar snap peas, use your fingers to break the stem off a pod and gently pull it downward, pulling the string along with it. Alternatively, if you want to use a knife, cut the tip off the pea pod and then pull it downward. Repeat the process for the other pods.
For the fennel bulb, start by cutting off the green fronds close to the top of the bulb. Next, slice the bulb in half lengthwise and cut a wedge out of the base to remove the root and core. Place one half of the bulb cut side down on your chopping board and slice it into strips lengthwise. Repeat the process for the other half.
To prepare the endives, first, trim off the bottom end. Next, gently separate the loosened leaves by prying them off of the core. As you get towards the center, trim off more of the bottom to free up more leaves. Continue trimming and peeling until all the leaves are removed or you reach your desired quantity.
STEP 4: BUILD THE BOARD
Put the olives in a small bowl and add it to the board.
Cut the pita pockets into triangles.
Arrange the prepared fruits and veggies around the bowls on the board. If certain foods are meant to go together (like the hummus and veggies), place them near each other.
Garnish the pâté with a single parsley leaf. To garnish the hummus, use the end of a fork, knife, or spoon to create swirl patterns in the dip. Next, drizzle a little bit of olive oil on the swirls. Finish with a sprinkle of fresh herbs or dried spices.
Add the crackers, crispbread, pita pocket triangles, chips, and dried fruit around the board, filling up the bare spaces.
Fill any remaining gaps with nuts and pumpkin seeds.
Add little spoons and small knives for serving the dips, spreads, and cheese.
- Pick a good board. The nicest charcuterie boards start with a really nice wood or stone board. The size of your board should be determined by the approximate number of guests, and whether the spread is meant to be an appetizer before a meal or the main meal.
- Pair charcuterie with wine. Crisp white wines like pinot grigio, riesling, prosecco, and rosé, as well as lighter red wines like barbera, Lambrusco, and Beaujolais, pair best with charcuterie board recipes. The high acidity in these wines washes away the salt and fats, while the white wines’ citrus notes and red wines’ berry flavors provide plenty of refreshment.
- Add some character. Leave grapes on their stem and cherry tomatoes on the vine. Sprinkle whole black peppercorns on any bare surfaces. The idea is to add depth and bring character to the board.
- Line the board. If you have any items you’re worried about staining your board (such as items that include turmeric in the ingredients list, pomegranates, or cherries), place a square of parchment paper beneath the particular foods or you can line the entire board with a large sheet of parchment paper.
- Tongs are handy when serving. Have several pairs of small serving tongs if you don’t want guests to put their fingers in the food. Alternatively, fancy toothpicks or cocktail forks can also work.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What does charcuterie mean literally?
Charcuterie is a French word referring to cold, cured meats like ham, salami, and bacon. When served on a board or platter with an assortment of nuts, fruits, cheese, etc. you get the term charcuterie board. You could also call it an antipasto platter, mezze platter, grazing board, or smorgasbord.
What goes in a vegetarian charcuterie board?
You can add olives and fruits, depending on what season you’re in. Dried fruits like dates, apricots, and cranberries are a great addition, as well as veggies like cucumbers, snap peas, and carrots. Crackers and crostini really fancy up the board, and dips like vegan hummus and artichoke dip are really tasty. The best charcuterie board recipes have an eye-catching presentation; garnish your board with fresh herbs or edible flowers.
What can I serve instead of a charcuterie board?
People are getting more creative than ever and are creating food boards that feature more than cured meats and cheese. For example, you could turn breakfast into a party with a pancake board. This awesome board is equipped with all your favorite pancake toppings like fresh fruits, jams, syrup, and whipped cream. How about a burger board? You start with a selection of your favorite types of burgers and then load up the board with some rolls and your favorite burger toppings like mustard, lettuce, pickles, sliced onion — don’t be afraid to get creative!
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UNIQUE CHARCUTERIE BOARD RECIPES TO TRY!
- Dessert boards. Who doesn’t love dessert? Picture a board filled made up with an assortment of your favorite treats and baked goodies, like no-bake cookie dough truffles, candied nuts, oatmeal bites, date brownies, and slices of chocolate cake. Yum!
- Cuisine-based boards. Make a charcuterie board based on your favorite cuisine. If you like Greek food, you can add some paximathia (Greek biscotti) and stuffed grape leaves. Try assembling a Mexican board and don’t forget the guacamole, tortilla chips, and queso.
- Themed boards. Charcuterie board recipes are perfect for special occasions. Choose a theme and get to assembling! For example, you can make a seductive vegan Valentine’s charcuterie board with lots of juicy fruits like chocolate-dipped strawberries, raspberries, and grapes.
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