This epic Vegan Charcuterie Board is loaded with goodies like vegan meats, vegan cheeses, fancy olives, fruit, and nuts--it was really fun and easy to put together and we’ll show you how to make a great board. It’s the perfect centerpiece for holidays like Christmas, New Year’s or any event that will wow family, friends, and guests.
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Hey Internet, I’ve been making a vegan charcuterie board every year for 4 years. I’ve taken pictures of them for the last few years--and I’d like to think that, much like the pictures, they’ve gotten better every year.
They tend to feature my favorite vegan meats and cheeses, most of which just happen to be homemade. Maybe that makes me conceited--or maybe I just know what I like and I LOVE to experiment in the kitchen. Or both, hah.
Seriously, the greatest thing about making a charcuterie board is that it can really contain anything you want. Even if you just use fruits and veggies, or crackers and hummus.
But wait, can charcuterie be vegan? I mean… it can be. Maybe you’re asking, what is a charcuterie board without meat?
So, your board can contain vegan charcuterie (charcuterie the French word actually means the products of a pork butcher…) as in vegan meats and cheeses, which can be homemade or store-bought, or they can really contain anything you want and be more of a grazing board or snack board, if you will.
But the board I’m showing you today definitely contains vegan meat and vegan cheese, and yes they all happen to be homemade.
I’ll share my recipes with you and let you decide how much you’d like to make and how much you’d like to buy.
I’ll also share some of my favorite brands of stuff I’ve seen at the stores (though of course I don’t know what you have near you).
Finally, I’ll give you some tips on how to construct a good board including the design, balance of flavors, color, and how to store leftovers--if there are any!
What Does A Vegan Charcuterie Board Include?
Well, the first answer is: vegan charcuterie. Vegan meats and cheeses are a great choice for a board because they’re popular, fun, filling, and they often feel fancy.
Another staple is fancy olives--think the olive bar at a grocery store for a bunch of fun options.
Fruit, dips, etc. are all good choices too. In fact, here’s a whole list of what one might add:
- Vegan meats such as vegan salami, vegan pepperoni, vegan sausage, etc.
- Baked or air fried tofu cubes
- Vegan cheeses such as a vegan cheese ball, vegan brie, vegan camembert, vegan goat cheese, etc.
- Seasonal fruits depending on what season you’re in. Winter fruit like: pomegranates, fancy oranges like blood oranges or cara cara oranges, other citrus like grapefruit or pomelo, grapes, or apple slices (may want to toss with lemon juice to keep them from browning in the open air). Summer fruits include pineapple chunks, berries, watermelon cubes (or balls if using a melon baller), cantaloupe, etc.
- Dried fruits like dates, apricots, pineapple rings, mango, or cranberries
- Veggies like cucumbers (technically a fruit lol), grape or cherry tomatoes (ok those too, oops), carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas, etc.
- Fresh herbs or edible flowers are great to decorate with
- Crackers of all types (I particularly like water crackers or Triscuits
- Crostini - small slices of bread (like French baguettes) that have been toasted
- Dips like vegan hummus, mushroom “chopped liver” pate, spinach or kale artichoke dip, vegan caramelized onion dip (coming soon!), etc.
- Pickled things like pickled red onions, cornichons or cute pickles, quick pickled carrots or cucumbers, pickled snap peas or green beans, pepperoncini or banana peppers, etc.
- Those pasta chips that everyone seems crazy about right now (I haven’t even tried them yet!)
Or get creative--I’ve seen some fun vegan snack boards like a french fry board, a pastry board, a mini donut board, or even an all-fruit board with caramel dip.
In my Plant Based Jewish Recipes e-book, one of the recipes I created was a Mediterranean Mezze platter with roasted mini eggplants and Jerusalem artichokes, hummus, olives galore, and other fun things.
So really, have fun with it!
Making Your Own Vegan Charcuterie
So, if you really want to impress, I highly recommend making your own vegan charcuterie--that is, your own vegan meats and cheeses. You get to customize what you make, it’s often cheaper, and you get lots of leftovers.
Here’s a ton of my own recipes that would work great on any board. I included several of them on today’s board, which I’ve marked with a *.
- Vegan Salami*
- Vegan Pepperoni*
- Vegan Sausage
- Vegan Ham
- Vegan Turkey
- Seitan Chicken Nuggets
- Vegan Pastrami
- Vegan Meatballs (Gluten-Free)
Vegan Cheeses (all gluten-free)
Store Bought Vegan Meats and Cheeses
Store-bought things will work just as well.
Use a vegan charcuterie board as an excuse to spring for a few of those more expensive vegan meats, cheeses, or fancy olives you wouldn’t normally buy. Make those the centerpieces of your board, then fill in the rest of the area with less expensive things like crackers, fruit, and veggies.
I cannot guarantee you’ll be able to find these items, since brand availability depends on where you live.
Most of my audience for Zardyplants does live in the US like I do, but even then I can’t guarantee what’s available to me in Illinois will be available to someone in California or New York or Texas or even Ohio. Check out your local grocery stores and see what’s available.
That being said, here’s what I can find by me and would recommend if you don’t feel like making your own:
- Treeline Vegan Cheeses
- Miyoko’s Creamery Cheeses and Spreads
- Violife Vegan Cheese (their aged cheddar cheese is quite good)
- Follow Your Heart Vegan Cheeses
- Baked or smoked tofu from Trader Joe’s
- Dairy-Free Boursin from Trader Joe’s
- Yves vegan pepperoni and deli meats
- Lightlife vegan deli meats
- Field Roast vegan sausage
- Beyond Meat vegan sausage
Tips for Making a Great Vegan Charcuterie Board
So there are a few things you want to consider before starting.
Pick a good board:
I’ve found some great ones at places like HomeGoods or even thrift stores. The particular board I used in my photos was an oversized cheese board from Crate and Barrel.
Consider the size of your board, the approximate number of guests, and whether this board is meant to be an appetizer before a meal or if it’s meant to BE the meal.
For example, the board in my pictures was made as a dinner, but it was still far too much for two people, and my husband and I had a fair amount of leftovers.
Also keep in mind that certain things can leave stains like pomegranate juice or a cheese that happens to have turmeric in it, so consider placing a liner of parchment paper between your food and the board.
Think about the shapes:
Are your centerpieces round? Square? Triangular?
And how many small bowls will you have containing small items like olives, dried fruit, nuts, etc.?
I like to mix and match a little. In my case I had three cheeses and I already knew I wanted a fair number of bowls for my olives, garlic cloves, and almonds.
So, I sliced up one of my cheeses into wedges and one into cubes.
The other ways you can think about shapes: folding or rolling thin vegan meats, cut out fruits with small cookie cutters into fun shapes like stars or hearts, veggie sticks versus disks, using fun shaped crackers (some brands use a hexagon or other polygon shape), and even try turning things on their sides or breaking up clumps of things (like different shaped bunches of grapes, or organically shaped segments of a pomegranate).
Also think about colors:
Does your board have a theme? My board almost looks like it’s meant for Christmas with a fair amount of red with some green and gold accents. I planned it that way.
If you don’t have a specific theme in mind, try to mix up the colors a bit so you don’t wind up with a monotone board -- unless that’s what you’re going for!
Really important: think about the flavors
A good vegan grazing board or whatever you call it has a good balance of flavors. I like to use a good combination of sweet, tangy, and smoky or salty.
Fruit or chocolate is great for sweet, while vegan meats or smoked tofu or almonds are great for the salty kick. Cheese is also very salty.
A lot of things can be tangy, but I particularly like to use olives or pickled veggies as the tangy element in a board.
Having a board with flavors that are all very similar can be a little boring or monotonous, so try to mix it up a little.
Texture is also an important consideration: if you have a bunch of creamy cheese or dip options, make sure to include some crunchy stuff like veggies or crispy crackers.
You really don’t NEED much equipment at all. Here’s a few things that helped me:
- Obviously you really do actually need some sort of vessel for your vegan charcuterie.
- It’s helpful to have small bowls to put dips or tiny items in like nuts or pomegranate arils, and I like to mix it up with different size or color bowls.
- If you have any items you’re worried about staining your board (such as items that include turmeric in the ingredients list, pomegranate or cherries, etc.), place a square of parchment paper beneath them or you can line the entire board with a large sheet of parchment paper.
- Have little dips? Include a tiny spoon or cheese knife to help guests add some to their plates or spread on crackers.
- Similarly, have a knife available for cutting any vegan cheeses on the board, or you may prefer to pre-slice these.
- Small serving tongs if you don’t want guests to put their fingers in the food.
- Fancy toothpicks also work.
Assembling Your Board
- Drag everything out of the refrigerator, wash and cut any fruits or veggies, slice any vegan meats or cheeses, and fill bowls with whatever you want before placing things on the board. It helps to have everything on the counter next to you while building your vegan charcuterie board.
- Note: Don’t be afraid to play around and reposition as you’re building the board. Step back every so often and take a look.
- I like to start by placing the largest items on the board first and working my way down in size from there. So place any large dips, vegan cheeses, or bowls of items first.
- Place the vegan meats and any sliced vegan cheeses next. You can layer them and create half circles around any bowls you have for an artistic look, or stack them, or lay them down any way you like.
- Place fruit in any larger spaces you still have.
- Next move onto crackers, again layering or stacking them any way you please. I like to lay them in overlapping lines similar to the vegan meat.
- Use smaller items like cubed vegan cheeses, nuts, olives, etc. to fill up smaller spaces. It’s OK to have little bits of the board showing; you don’t have to fill every nook and cranny. I actually like to leave a “border” of empty space around the entire board; I feel that this border frames the food nicely.
- Top it off with any fresh little herbs--I love using rosemary during the winter holidays because it resembles pine trees.
- Finally, make sure to serve with some little plates (or big ones!) and napkins. Enjoy!
- When refrigerating leftovers, I like to store like-things together: all the vegan meats in one container, vegan cheeses in another, veggies in another, olives in another, etc.
More Great Vegan Appetizers
You could even serve some of these appetizers ON your vegan board. Hah!
- Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms
- Vegan Baked Brie
- Bang Bang Tofu
- Vegan Latkes (Potato Pancakes)
- Vegan Pigs in a Blanket
- Potato Leek Vegan Pierogi
- Vegan Garlic Bread
- Vegan Ceviche
As always, I hope you love this recipe--I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too. We look forward to making this every year and we always love demolishing it.
This vegan charcuterie board is:
- Savory, sweet, smoky, tangy--whatever you put on it!
- SO fun to make and serve
- Fun for guests--very interactive
- Perfect for serving to guests or as a treat for your family (especially nice for Christmas or New Year’s!)
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!
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