No matter the occasion, charcuterie boards (or snack boards) are the answer to your entertaining woes. They're so easy to assemble, generally require no cooking and can be tailored to just about any dietary preference. Although charcuterie boards might have originated using cured meats and cheeses, in current times they can contain any combination of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, crackers or spreads. It's a wonderful way for you to serve lighter fare before the main meal. When beautifully presented, charcuterie boards offer you the opportunity to showcase fresh seasonal produce and can really make it look like you're a pro in the kitchen!
What To Include In A Vegan Charcuterie Board
First, just because something is made vegan doesn't mean it will be tasteless and boring. Nothing could be further from the truth. Remember, the term "vegan" just means that a particular food is not made with animal products. Keeping the board vegan means you can explore all the amazing varieties of flavorful, vibrant plant-based foods. You're probably familiar with meats and cheeses in snack boards. But when you think about it, meat is often served as part of the main course, so why be redundant. Instead, serve up some delicious, wholesome plant-based foods like:
- homemade or store bought hummus (see my roasted beet & garlic hummus recipe)
- bite size fresh fruits like berries, clementines or mandarin oranges and strawberries
- dried fruits like figs, mangos and dates
- raw vegetables that can be easily handled such as sliced or baby carrots, snap peas, radishes, broccoli florets, sliced peppers and cherry tomatoes
- caramelized nuts like walnuts or pecans
- salted or unsalted nuts of all varieties, like pistachios and almonds
- artisanal/herbed vegan cheeses (highly recommend Miyoko's brand)
- cornichons or any type of pickled vegetable
- artisanal crackers or pretzels
- fig jam, quince paste and other types of fruit spreads
- vegan dips and spreads
- vegan meats, sausages and deli meats
Recommendations & Tips
- Make it seasonal. Celebrate the colors of the seasons by mimicking them on your snack board. I like to use bright greens, pinks and yellows in spring, like I did in this post for example. It makes the board visually pleasing and extra special.
- Use high quality, fresh ingredients. Since you'll be serving bite sized portions on your vegan charcuterie board, you want them to be fresh, of high quality and superior taste. Nobody wants to bite into a limp vegetable or stale, boring cracker.
- Keep it simple. You don't need any elaborate or complicated recipes. Most of the time I use my favorite store bought cheese, fruit spreads and dips, chop up some veggies, open a jar of nuts and done.
- Serve up a variety of textures and flavors. By mixing up soft, crunchy, salty and sweet flavors and textures, you're giving your guests lots of options to choose from that will liven up their taste buds and keep them interested.
- Add a personal touch to store-bought ingredients. The perfect example of this is when I use store-bought hummus. I may drizzle on some olive oil, sprinkle on some fresh herbs or add some chopped nuts. This makes it look like you put a lot of effort in without really doing much.
- If serving wine, pair accordingly. If you are serving foods that are on the lighter side, such as fruits, veggies, nuts and crackers for example, you wouldn't want to serve a heavy red wine such as a cabernet or merlot. Stick with lighter reds like pinot noir. Or, choose a white wine such as a sauvignon blanc or chardonnay, for example so the wine compliments yet doesn't overpower your food.