How To Make A Vegan Charcuterie Board
Charcuterie boards are fantastic for parties, movie night, and snacky weekend afternoons. They are also typically made with meats and cheeses. Why let the meat eaters have all the fun? I'll show you how to make a vegan charcuterie board that is beautiful, healthy, and will be sure to wow your family and friends! What is charcuterie, you ask? Historically it is a method of preserving meats, primarily pork, using various means such as brining, salting, and smoking (think sausages, pates, bacon, galantine, and roulade). A modern charcuterie board is usually a presentation of different types of meats and often cheeses, nuts, fruits, breads, crackers, dips, and spreads. Incidentally, charcutier is the French word for one who puts together a charcuterie board and it's typically translated "pork butcher." A vegan charcuterie board sounds a bit like an oxymoron, doesn't it? Hey, anything goes anymore right? If you don't eat pork, meat, or cheese who says you have to have it on your charcuterie board? In fact, when I was asked if I'd write about a charcuterie board for this month I was a bit hesitant as I don't eat pork. But looking around on the internet revealed an opportunity through a glaring lack of vegan and vegetarian options! I'm here to right that for you.
What You Need For A Vegan Charcuterie BoardWhether simple or elaborate, all charcuterie boards need 2 things:
A Board Or PlatterYour tasty vegan nibbles need a space of their own. This can be anything from a cutting board to an actual board, a beautiful vintage platter, or a more modern one. Any size will do, from a single-serving version on a small cutting board to a gigantic party size board or platter. The size you need depends on how much food you'll need to artfully arrange on it! Or how often you're willing to refill it, as these yummy treats are sure to disappear quickly.
A Selection Of Tasty Vegan FoodsOne wonderful thing about vegan food is there is no shortage of healthy and delicious options! These all are perfectly fine options for your vegan charcuterie board:
- Fresh veggies and fruits, nuts, dried fruits (which offer different textures).
- Dips and spreads.
- Olives, pickled or fermented foods like capers, baby gherkins, pickled ginger, and kim chi.
- Simple seasoned olive oil and vinegar.
- Breads and crackers
Keep It Simple Or Get CreativeYour charcuterie board can be super simple, elegant, or elaborate. Go for simple and use whatever you have on hand. Get more elaborate and create intriguing food pairings. Go all out and make or buy exotic options. Include your favorite beverages on the side too. Wines, craft beers, cocktails, teas, or coffees that compliment your food choices make for a satisfying charcuterie experience. What about theme boards? You could go tropical, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Italian, Asian -- really the sky is the limit!
How to Make A Vegan Charcuterie BoardI chose a lovely marble and wood serving board that I've had for a while. I just love marble! On a hot summer day you can set a marble cutting or serving board on top of ice and it will help keep your vegan charcuterie treats chilled. Since I'm a huge fan of Wildly Organic's raw, soaked, and dehydrated nuts I chose several to be the main focus. They are absolutely delicious, a great source of protein, and very healthy as they are soaked then dehydrated at low temperatures. You can serve them plain, as I did for this photo, or try making our easy 5 Minute Spicy Glazed Cashews, Sweet 'n Spicy Nuts, or any of your favorite seasoned nuts. Helloooo Paleo Pumpkin Spice Candied Almonds! Next, I chose foods that are cleansing to the palate. Since you'll likely have many flavors going on it's always a great idea to include foods that cleanse the palate. Grapes, kiwi, apples, and citrus are great fruit options. Celery, crackers, and bread are also great palate-cleansers. They also do double-duty as dippers. Finally, I chose a few favorite dips and spreads. My daughter happily made some Roasted Garlic Beet Dip which provides a gorgeous pop of color and healthy antioxidants and nutrients. Her other favorite is this Unbelievably Smooth Chana Dal Hummus which is super easy to make.
Even More Options!Don't just limit yourself to dips and hummus! A vegan "cheese" is easy to make with cashews. Try our Dairy-Free Cashew Cheese plain or with flavor variations like tomato basil or ranch. Have bread on your vegan charcuterie board? You definitely need some Roasted Garlic & Herb Olive Oil Dipping Sauce or a Real Food Tapenade, a healthy olive spread that's also wonderful on crackers. Let's not leave the fruits out of the party! This creamy Vegan Coconut Butter & Vanilla Bean Fruit Dip is delightful for dipping apples, strawberries, and more!
Think About PresentationIf you're serving a few guests or having a party, take a moment to thoughtfully plan your charcuterie arrangement.
- Cut veggies and fruits into pretty shapes.
- Place complementary colors next to each other, such as blueberries and orange sections.
- Make a specific design, such as a sun, a flower, or something else that is meaningful to you or your guests or to match the mood of the event.
- Add herbs and edible flowers as garnishments