This vegetarian charcuterie board can be served as a fancy appetizer, a delicious side dish or even as a light main course. It's meatless and super customizable. No cooking skills required!
I love serving grazing boards as an appetizer. They look pretty and are the ultimate crowd please because usually there's something for everyone.
For more appetizer board ideas check out my Falafel Platter.
What is a charcuterie board?
A charcuterie board is a selection of foods usually served on a wooden board. The term charcuterie board is derived from the french word charcuterie which means cold cooked or preserved meats.
Traditional charcuterie boards are usually filled with cured meat, cheese, preserved veggies, and fruits. The recipe below is a vegetarian charcuterie board that's meatless yet delicious and flavorful.
They are most often served as an appetizer board but can also be enjoyed as a light main dish.
Flavors and textures to include
So here's the thing: building a charcuterie board shouldn't be (and also isn't) complicated. The foods to include are interchangeable and you can mix and match the way you like.
However, I recommend using a variety of different textures and flavors.
As a rule of thumb, I'll include foods that are
- savory such as spreads, cheese or veggies.
- sweet such as fruits or jam.
- crunchy such as nuts, crackers or raw veggies.
- soft such as fruits
- spicy such as jalapeños
- additional bread or crackers that serve as a vehicle
Foods to include
The foods to include are flexible and will depend on your personal preferences. However, we typically love serving the following:
Spreads & dips
- We included our Homemade Hummus, Homemade Guacamole and some spicy, store-bought spread. I also sometimes include this Yogurt Curry Dip or my Baba Ganoush.
- We included 3 types of cheese for this cheese board, all with different tastes and textures. We went for camembert as a very soft, spreadable cheese, blue cheese for some strong flavors and a hard cheese that's quite neutral in taste.
- Fresh vegetables: Choose raw veggies that are firm and dippable or bite-sized such as carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers or radishes.
- Grilled/ roasted vegetables: We included roasted artichokes, grilled bell pepper filled with feta cheese and sun-dried tomatoes.
- Raw fruits: Think seasonal but you can't ever go wrong with apple slices, berries or green or red grapes.
- Dried fruits. We decided to go for dates and apricots but dried figs or raisins are also great options. Or you could even add our Chocolate Dates for sweeter flavors.
- Choose any nuts you prefer, we used walnuts and pistachios but macadamia nuts, pecans, cashews or almonds are also excellent choices.
- Crackers: We used regular salted crackers but the choice is yours.
- Bread: We suggest serving some bread on the side. We went for a whole wheat bread but also love sourdough bread, pita bread, this Dairy-Free Naan or bruschetta. You could also try my No-Milk Cornbread.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make a vegetarian charcuterie board
Step 1: Spreads. Start with the larger items first which are usually the spreads. We went for 3 types of spreads and served them in small bowls to make them look prettier.
Step 2: Cheese. I recommend using different types of cheeses with different flavors (light vs. strong) and textures (soft & spreadable vs. firm). To feed 3-4 people I recommend choosing 3-4 different types.
Step 3: Crackers. They are great for dipping. Any crackers of choice will work such as salted, seeded or other. We also like to serve some bread on the side.
Step 4: Nuts. We went for 2 different types: walnuts and pistachios but (roasted) almonds, pecans or cashews are also a great idea.
Step 5: Raw veggies. We went for 2 types. The should be dippable or bite-sized such as carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers or radishes.
Step 6: Raw Fruit. We chose 3 different types. Think seasonal but you can't ever go wrong with apple slices, berries or red or green grapes.
Step 7: Dried fruit. We decided to go for 2 different types: dates and apricots but dried figs or raisins are also great options.
Step 8: Dried/ Grilled veggies. We included 3 different types: roasted artichokes, grilled bell pepper filled with feta cheese and sun-dried tomatoes.
- Textures: The secret to creating a delicious snack board is using foods with different and opposite textures such as soft (spreads, fruits, grilled veggies) and crunchy (nuts, crackers, raw veggies).
- Flavors: Include plenty of variety and food with different flavor profiles: savory, sweet, spicy and umami.
- Colorful food: Include foods with different colors to create a beautiful board that sparks interest and appetite!
- Size: Chop all of the items included into bite-sized pieces.
- Dairy-Free: Choose a dairy-free cheese.
- Vegan: This vegetarian charcuterie board can easily be turned into a vegan snack board. Simply choose vegan spreads and cheese. You could even include some vegan meats if you prefer.
- Gluten-Free: Choose gluten-free crackers and a gluten-free bread of choice.
- Seasonal: Think seasonal when it comes to picking your ingredients. During the holiday season, I would include more seasonal fruits such as dried cranberries, pears, apples or mandarin oranges. During the warmer months you could include our cucumber pico de gallo or mango habanero salsa.
- Board: You'll need a wooden cutting board. The size will depend on the number of people you want to serve. We used a 15x10 inch board to serve 3-4 people. Feel free to use a larger board for a larger crowd or a smaller board if you only plan on making a charcuterie board for 2.
- Small bowls: They come in really handy to serve spreads or other bite-sized food items.
- Appetizer: We love serving this grazing board as a pretty-looking and easy appetizer at dinner parties for a larger crowd. However, it's also a great appetizer for two if you're celebrating something special or want to enjoy a fancy dinner.
- Snack: Enjoy it as a movie night or game night snack.
- Light Main: can also be enjoyed as a light main dish- make sure to serve with more bread on the side.
- Wine: On special occasions, charcuterie boards are often served with wine so feel free to serve this with your favorite wine or try our Cranberry Mocktail instead.
- 3-4 people: The board below serves 3-4 people as an appetizer. I would recommend including 3-4 different types of cheese, 3-4 different spreads.
- More: feel free to double or triple the amount of food depending on how large your crowd is.
I wouldn't recommend prepping this charcuterie board shortly before serving because some of the fruits and spreads (especially the guacamole) might turn brownish and not look as pretty.
Store any leftover components individually in an airtight container in the fridge.
Absolutely, you can also create a delicious meatless charcuterie board by using cheese, veggies, fruits, nuts and dips.
Vegetarian Charcuterie Board
- Serving Board *ours was 15x12 inches and served 4 people as a cold dinner
Spreads & Dips
- 3 different spreads, 8 oz each (I used homemade hummus, guacamole and a spicy type of spread)
- 3 types of cheese, 5 oz each (we used camembert, blue cheese and cheddar) * choose rennet-free or vegan if preferred
- 2 carrots cut into sticks
- 1 celery stalk cut into sticks
- 1 handful sundried tomatoes
- 1 handful cherry peppers stuffed with cheese
- 1 handful grilled artichokes
- 1 handful blackberries
- 1 handful figs
- 1 handful green or red grapes *seedless
- 1 handful dried apricots
- 1 handful dates
- 1 handful pistachios
- 1 handful walnuts
- 1 handful green olives
- 1 handful black kalamata olives
Crackers & Bread
- salted crackers + pita, sourdough or other types of bread as a side dish
- Once you've gathered all your other ingredients, start assembling the board. Start by placing the larger components on the board first (spreads, small bowls, cheese) (see step-by-step photos or video).
- Then add all the other smaller ingredients in between.
- Fill in empty space by adding a little bit more of each ingredient (or the ones you like best).
- Serve with some bread on the side and enjoy right away!
- Ingredients: The foods to include are interchangeable and you can mix and match the way you like.However, I recommend using a variety of different textures and flavors. See our "foods to include" section above.
- Quantities: Other than the cheese and spreads, I say "handful" because this will depend on personal preference and on how big your board is. Ours was 15x12". Charcuterie boards are super flexible, feel free to use more of one ingredient and less of another.
- Servings: The board will serve 4 people as a main dish with bread as a side dish or 8 people as an appetizer.
- Nutrition information is only a rough estimate calculated for 4 people as a cold main dish