This vegan cheese board is perfect for gatherings and special occasions. It's the ultimate dairy-free party food that looks fancy but is surprisingly easy to make.
A vegan cheese board is the pièce de résistance when it comes to party appetizers. No other dish requires so little preparation but impresses so much. It's the perfect centrepiece for any gathering as you can make it as simple or as complicated as you like.
And fortunately, the days are long gone when the only vegan cheese options available for us plant-based folk were rubbery, tasteless slices: instead, nowadays we have a variety of the most delicious cheeses, from artisan cheese wheels to mozzarella balls.
In some ways, creating a vegan cheese platter or charcuterie board today is almost overwhelming as there are SO many animal-free options! But never fear, I'll show you exactly how in this post.
WHY YOU SHOULD MAKE THIS
A huge crowd pleaser. A vegan grazing board never fails to attract attention, and looks downright epic as a table centrepiece.
Minimal preparation. Another reason to love them! Minimal prep or cooking is needed to throw a cheese board together.
It looks GORGEOUS. Well, it does. You could spend hours cooking up a feast to impress your friends, or you could spend just a few minutes arranging this jaw-dropping spread.
Completely customizable. You can create a platter using ingredients that are in season, or work around a specific theme (e.g. Mediterranean).
WHAT TO PUT ON A VEGAN CHEESE BOARD
Cheese - The most important part! Use a mix of plant-based cheeses, from aged to soft and creamy. (See my note below for the best cheese to use.)
Bread & Crackers - There's nothing better than crusty bread or crackers to spread your cheese on. Baguettes work particularly well here, as do seeded crackers like Mary's.
Spreads/tapenades - You can use sweet jams, hummus, cheesy dips, or whatever you fancy to compliment the cheeses.
Fruit - A vegan cheese platter isn't complete without fruit. Keep it simple with a few dried apricots, or spring for fresh strawberries, pear and apple slices if you're feeling fancy.
Olives & Tangy Foods - Again, not essential but a fun addition to any grazing board, particularly if you have some mild flavoured cheeses to compliment. Red cabbage sauerkraut works really well here.
Vegan Meats - If you're making a full vegan charcuterie board, you definitely want to add some meat alternatives. Try slicing your favourite sausages like Field Roast for a flavour punch.
Vegetable sticks - These are really for larger charcuterie or grazing boards where you want to create as much colour and texture as possible. Sliced carrots, cucumber and celery work well.
BASIC CHEESE BOARD FORMULA
Forget the full recipe - if you just want to create a quick vegan cheese board with a few ingredients, this is what you need.
(hard, aged, soft, artisanal etc.)
(bread, crackers etc.)
Something to compliment
(fruit, tapenade, olives, hummus, jam etc.)
BEST VEGAN CHEESE FOR A CHEESE BOARD?
Obviously, cheese is the most important part of your platter (I'm hoping we're all on the same page there!). So it goes without saying that emphasizing it and making it the star is key to creating a great vegan cheese board.
I suggest using artisan vegan cheeses that look beautiful on your board, and if you're planning a large spread I'd suggest a mix of different flavours to give your guests variety. Try a mix of the following: hard, creamy, aged, herbed and blue.
And don't let being vegan make you think you don't have options! There are LOADS of vegan cheeses available today, and some of my favourites for cheese boards include: Violife, Nuts for Cheese, Pulse Kitchen and Fauxmagerie Zengarry.
STEP BY STEP
1) Spread cheeses and jams/tapenades/dips out on your board. (Ideally they should be in different areas to balance the board visually.)
2) Cut bread into small slices and fan out around cheeses and jams/dips.
3) Fan crackers out in the same way.
4) If using vegan meats, cut slices and fan them out near crackers.
5) Place groups of tangy foods (olives, pickles etc.) around board close to cheeses.
6) If using fruits like pears, slice thinly. If using figs or strawberries, slice in half. Create clusters of fruits/berries and place throughout board to fill any spaces.
7) Finally, if using, add clusters of nuts and vegetable sticks to fill out additional spaces.
8) Place a knife next to each cheese, and a spoon next to any dips.
If in doubt, keep it simple - All you really need is some cheese, bread or crackers and something to compliment (fruit, jam or spread) for a beautiful board.
Size matters - Well, when it comes to the size of your board, it does. Choose a size that makes your spread look abundant. For example, if you have one cheese, a baguette and some jam, put them on a smaller board/plate so they fit snugly and aren't surrounded by empty space.
Use brown paper/parchment paper - Great if you're making a really large platter. Instead of trying to find a board big enough, just tear off what you need from a roll of parchment paper, lay it on your table then place your ingredients directly on top. Minimal fuss and minimal clean up!
Pair flavours - If you a have strong cheese, pair it with something mild like pear to enhance the flavour. Try placing complimentary ingredients close to each other to encourage people to eat them together.
Charcuterie boards typically contain more 'meat' products like salami, sausage and ham, while cheese boards tend to focus more on cheese specifically.
Absolutely. Just make sure you're using plant-based 'meats' and sausages, and you'll be fine.
See my section above for more info, but the short answer is: ANY! There are loads of different types out there and you can't really go wrong. That said, I like to use artisan cheeses on my board as they look beautiful and have been aged to enhance flavour.
From most homeware stores, but you can also just use a chopping board, a large plate or even some parchment paper (see my tips above). Use what you have!
WHY NOT ADD THESE TO YOUR PLATTER?
Looking for food for celebrations/gatherings? Click here for Vegan Holiday Recipes.
Vegan Cheese Board (Charcuterie Board)
- 1 large wooden chopping board, marble platter or plate
- 2-3 vegan cheeses (include a mix of different flavours and styles)
- 1 jar savoury tapenade, dip or hummus
- 1 jar sweet jam or preserve
- 1-2 baguettes/loaves of good quality bread (sourdough, olive bread or French baguette)
- 1 pack crackers
- 1 jar something salty or tangy, such as olives in brine, pickles or sun-dried tomatoes
- 2-3 cups fruit or berries (fruits such as figs, pears, grapes, and/or seasonal berries works well)
- A selection of your favourite vegan mock 'meats', such as sausages and hams
- ⅔ cup mixed nuts (walnuts, toasted almonds and pecans work really well)
- 2 cups raw vegetable sticks
- Spread cheeses and dips/jams/preserves out on the platter/board. (Ideally they should be in different areas of the board to balance it visually.) If you have wheels of cheese, cut a wedge or two out of them for decoration.
- Cut bread into small slices and fan out around cheeses and preserves/dips.
- Fan crackers out around cheeses and spreads in the same way.
- If using vegan meats, cut slices of them and fan them out near crackers.
- Place groups of salty/tangy foods (olives, pickles etc.) around the board close to cheeses. (Alternatively just place them on the board in their jar.)
- If using fruits like pears, slice thinly. If using figs or strawberries, slice in half. Create clusters of fruits/berries throughout cheese board to fill any spaces.
- Finally, if using, add small clusters of nuts and raw vegetable sticks to fill out any additional spaces on the board.
- Place a clean knife next to each cheese, and a small fork/spoon in each jar, and enjoy!
If you’ve tried this recipe, please leave a comment or tip for others below. I'd love to know how you’ve made it your own!