How to Build a Vegan Charcuterie Board That's as Delicious as It Looks

The cheese board game is strong and now you can join in on the delicious, Instagram-worthy fun by making vegan charcuterie. Instead of the usual meat-and-cheese versions, utilize dairy-free cheese and all the other grazing board additions to make a stunning (and delicious) display.

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Next-level charcuterie is a growing food trend that continues to outdo itself. Plain cheese-and-cracker trays inspired the making of edible houses, holiday boards, and other innovative themes (brunch, hot chocolate, and candy, to name a few). But if you're vegan or have a dairy intolerance, it's hard just admiring the view without being able to indulge. Sure, you can always arrange veggies and dips onto a platter and call it a day, but there's no reason you can't enjoy the usual meat- and cheese-filled trays in vegan form. As someone who loves cheese and tries to eat mostly plant-based these days, I really wanted to be able to enjoy a snack board that not only looked like the real, dairy-filled thing but also tasted like it. Well, my friends, I'm here to tell you vegan charcuterie is indeed a task you can achieve at home.

charcuterie board with vegan cheese, meats, fruits, and nuts
Katlyn Moncada

How to Build a Vegan Charcuterie Board

Knowing how to build a simple charcuterie board is key to turning up the fancy factor at any gathering. Here are the basics to getting your vegan charcuterie board ready for grazing. I'll list some of the vegan cheeses, nuts, and other plant-based ingredients I used along the way.

Step One: Choose Your Board and Utensils

Choose a board, tray, or platter as the base for the vegan charcuterie. There are tons of creative vegan charcuterie board options out there, but choose a foundation that suits the number of people you're serving and the type of ingredients you'll display. A big fancy board is pretty, but bigger means you'll need more ingredients and therefore a higher budget. Opt for a smaller wood serving tray like this one ($29, Amazon) if you only have a few people to serve.

Buy It: BAMBÜSI Charcuterie Board Platter and Knife Set with Hidden Slid-Out Drawer ($54, Amazon)

Step 2: Add Structure

Grab a few smaller dishes such as ramekins and stagger them on the board. These make great vessels for loose items such as olives, pickled veggies, and jams or spreads. I chose cornichons, homemade orange marmalade, and some Violife Just Like Feta ($4, Amazon) that I marinated with olives.

Step 3: Add Vegan Cheese and Plant-Based Meats

Here's the fun part! Thanks to the growing plant-based movement, you can find plenty of vegan cheese and plant-based meat options in most major grocery stores these days. For my board, I arranged an assortment of Daiya vegan cheese blocks (cheddar and jalapeño Havarti style) blocks and Field Roast Chao Vegan Creamy Original ($7, Amazon) and smoked slices. You can choose to pre-slice the vegan cheese or keep it in block form served with small cheese knives ($30, Walmart). For the plant-based meats, there are also deli-style slices available at stores. Here I opted to make my own vegan charcuterie meat by making this recipe for seitan pepperoni from our sister site, Allrecipes.

What Is Vegan Cheese?

Anyone new to the plant-based or dairy-free product scene might wonder what vegan cheese is made from. It depends on the brand, but vegan cheeses can contain a combination of starch (potato or tapioca are popular) and oils such as coconut or another vegetable-based oil. There are also varieties made from nuts (so check the ingredients if you have an allergy!) and tofu that adds taste and structure. Some of the vegan cheese brands to look for are Violife, Field Roast, Daiya, and Miyoko's.

Step Four: Add Crackers and Crunchy Treats

You can't have cheese without crackers. Go for a variety of sweet and savory. I used some Mary's Gone Crackers and Angelic Bakehouse Sprouted Grain Crisps to use for topping. From there, add some roasted or flavored nuts like these salt and vinegar almonds ($8, Amazon). I also added a small pile of vegan chopped dark chocolate (yes, cheese and chocolate are a great pair!).

Step Five: Add Fruits and Veggies

Any charcuterie board benefits from fresh ingredients. Fill in the open spots on the board with grapes, sliced apples, peppers, and other favorites. To add another creamy element to my vegan charcuterie board, I filled mini sweet pepper halves with vegan cream cheese and a sprinkle of everything bagel seasoning.

Now, go ahead and admire the view of your gorgeous vegan charcuterie board before diving in. Once you've indulged in all that vegan cheese goodness, keep your plant-based adventures going by warming up with a hearty bowl of soup or a new vegan dinner idea.

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