When entertaining holiday guests, one of the easiest and tastiest ways to serve family and friends is by building a holiday charcuterie board. Instead of creating a basic charcuterie board, give yours a unique twist with inspiration from plants. That is right, here is how you can build a plant-based holiday charcuterie board that will be enjoyed by all of your holiday guests including Vegans and Vegetarians.
#1 Choose a Serving Board
When choosing a blank canvas for your culinary masterpiece, the options are endless! A good starting point is to select something with a large, flat surface like a butcher block or cutting board. Large serving plates or trays can be used or even a pizza wheel or a slate shingle. You may want to consider additional surfaces like small bowls and plates if you plan on separating certain items. Photo credit: mihalec
#2 Fill Your Serving Board
Now for the fun part! Fill your charcuterie board with the following items:
Something pre-sliced. These elements bring savory, salty goodness to the charcuterie board. Think of foods like blocks or slices of plant-based cheeses, crunchy crackers, and salty pretzel sticks. Need some plant-based recipe inspiration? Here are a few ideas including Plant-Based Pepperjack Cheese, Simply Smoked Vegan Cheddar Cheese, and Sliceable Herbed Cashew Cheese.
Something your guests can slice. Crusty French baguettes, soft bread, and cheeses all add a chewy texture to your charcuterie board, so include some options guests can slice themselves including Easy Stretchy Vegan Mozzarella Cheese and Simply Herby Vegan Feta Cheese.
Something spreadable. Meat-based pâtés (or a vegetarian equivalent), spreadable cheeses, or a spicy hummus all provide richness and silky smoothness to guests’ palates and are a great layering item to pair with the other flavors on your homemade charcuterie board. Be sure to feature a few yummy spreads, plant-based ones included, to make your charcuterie board more versatile.
Accent pieces. After the main foods have been decided on, make sure to include some fun accent flavors. Fruits like dates, dried fruits, figs, persimmons, or pomegranate seeds are a beautiful addition that provides a touch of sweetness to an otherwise savory board. Other ideas include chocolate, dips, homemade spreads, granola bites, local honey (bonus if you include a piece of the honeycomb, which adds a gorgeous touch to any holiday charcuterie board), pickles, nuts, a few pieces of popcorn, preserves, and other seasonal items.
Tip: If you have specific elements you want to showcase on your charcuterie board, place them first and then build around them. Photo credit: EJGrubbs
#3 Pick Perfect Pairings
If you are looking to add a specific flavor or texture to your elevated charcuterie board, try these pairings:
- For creaminess add bean dips, cheese, or hummus
- For saltiness, include cheeses, olives, or tapenades
- For spice, try some Dijon mustard or pickled wax peppers
- For sweetness, choose chocolate pieces, chutneys, jellies, honey, preserves, or seasonal fruit - either dried or fresh
- For tanginess, try adding green apple slices, dried cranberries, kimchi, or pickles
Photo credit: asab974
#4 Make Mindful Selections
Depending on your guest list, consider selections that will please all palettes and respect all dietary restrictions. Today, more than ever before, dairy-free, gluten-free, and meat-free options are readily available so be sure to explore the specialty food sections at your local grocer or market.
Look for dairy-free or Vegan cheeses, natural sweeteners, gluten-free bread, or grain-free crackers. You can also include plant-based meats so all guests can enjoy your culinary masterpiece. Photo credit:
Since your handcrafted holiday charcuterie board will be teeming with delicious dishes, make sure to include small labels or tags with descriptions of each food item, where it comes from in the world, and any important dietary information, so everyone can be properly informed.
The next time you host a casual gathering or formal dinner for the holidays (or any time of year) build a one-of-a-kind plant-based charcuterie board that everyone will enjoy, Vegans and Vegetarians included.
Take some time to plan out your featured ingredients and get creative with perfect pairings. Include elements that you will not find in stores and have fun with them. Your culinary creation can be unique as your own style and tastes, so make a masterpiece you and your guests will enjoy. Happy holiday everyone!
- Stay Healthy and Happy
Need some more recipe ideas for your homemade plant-based holiday charcuterie board? Check out @Mbveganvegetarianshare or view our CEO at @itsnolasnacks as she shares recipes via video each month on It’s Nola Reels. Do not worry, even if you are not vegan, you will still enjoy these dishes.
Tag us @itsnolasnacks so we can see all of your homemade plant-based holiday charcuterie boards!