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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

How To Make The Perfect Vegetarian Cheese Board

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This easy vegetarian cheese board is filled with high quality cheese and healthy sides like fruits and nuts. Whether you use a simple plate, elegant platter, or wooden board, you’ll learn how to make a healthy, delicious, inviting vegetarian cheese board that’s perfect for entertaining or family snacking! 

vegetarian cheese board served on a wooden platter with cheeses, fruits, nuts, condiments, crackers

Ever had a night where you really just wanted a cheese platter for dinner?

I have! Because sometimes, you just need a little wine and cheese.

Most of the time, you’ll find that a traditional charcuterie board has some vegetarian friendly options, but those still tend to have a good amount of meat. This beautiful cheese board is not only vegetarian friendly, but it’s slightly lightened up too, which makes it a great choice for a light dinner or a healthier appetizer!

Latest Recipe Video!

Recipe Ingredients

vegetarian cheese board ingredients

How To Make The Best Vegetarian Cheese Board

Step 1: Choose Your Board

There are so many options when it comes to types of cheese boards that you can use — try to pick one that’s large enough for all of your toppings, and makes all of your ingredients shine!

I typically like to use a wooden cutting board, since it can double as a cheese board and as a cutting board!

Other options include:

  • Stone cheese boards – typically made with marble, or agate
  • Slate boards that double as chalk boards
  • More decorative wooden boards
  • White porcelain boards

Step 2: Choose Your Cheeses

sliced brie on a board

You can’t really make a vegetarian charcuterie board without high quality cheese! Whether you’re in the mood for a hard cheese, salty cheese, or a soft cheese, I typically like to add a mix of cheese when making this cheese board. Some of my favorites include:

  • A sharp cheddar or smoky cheddar
  • A block of real Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Goat Cheese
  • Blue Cheese
  • Gouda
  • Pepper Jack Cheese
  • Cream cheese

If you can swing it, opt for cheese from pasture-raised cows, or organic cheese if you can find it!

How To Choose Vegetarian Friendly Cheese

Did you know that some cheeses are technically not vegetarian? This is because many cheeses are made using rennet, which is made from an enzyme that comes from the lining of a cow’s stomach. Rennet is used to help separate the curds from the whey during the cheese making process.

While traditional rennet is an animal product, you can find many varieties of cheese that use vegetarian rennet (made from microbial enzymes instead of animal rennet).

Step 3: Choose Your Produce

grapes added to board

Fresh Fruit

This is a great way to get a lot of fiber and a filling option to pair with the cheese. And don’t skimp on it either – there are so many healthy fruits that pair well with cheese! My recommendations include:

  • Fuji apples
  • Fresh pear slices
  • Avocados
  • Berries
  • Apricots
  • Kiwi
  • Grapes
  • Figs
  • Dried fruits like dried papaya, raisins, currants and medjool dates

Fresh Vegetables

Veggies are a great addition to cheese boards because they help bulk up the board and add a ton of fiber and nutrients. My favorites include carrot sticks, tomato slices or cherry tomatoes, and cucumber slices — but you can add any vegetables you like! Bell peppers, celery, or pickled veggies all work well too.

Step 4: Choose Your Carbs

I like choosing whole grain crackers and breads when making cheese plates, to add a healthy dose of fiber and whole grains.

Good options include: Baked wheat crisps, freshly baked whole grain bread, whole wheat pita chips, and any other whole wheat crackers you can find!

Step 5: Add Any Extras!

Extras include nuts, spreads, oils and fresh herbs – basically anything that will add a variety of different flavors to your cheese board! You can even add some dark chocolate for a special treat! I like serving all of the extras in small bowls spaced throughout the cheeseboard.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts provide a great source of protein and healthy fats to balance out the natural sugars in fruit. 

Nuts and Seeds that work well with cheese platters include: almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pecans macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.

Note: Many nuts are roasted in hydrogenated oils, so opt for raw nuts or dry roasted nuts if you can find them.

Spreads & Oils

These add a variety of flavor to your cheese board and most are relatively low in calories and added sugar!

  • Hummus
  • Spicy Dijon Mustard
  • Honey
  • Whole Fruit Compote
  • Cranberry sauce
  • High quality extra virgin olive oil

Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, sage, dill, or basil all pair well with cheese.

blue cheese with honey

Can You Really Make A Healthy Cheese Board?

The key word here is “healthier” because it’s all relative. You can’t make a good cheese plate without GREAT cheese, which inevitably comes with fat and calories.

BUT – you can make the other parts of the cheese plate healthy so that, when the cheese is eaten in moderation, you end up with a pretty good meal! So that means ditching the processed, sugary foods and opting instead for whole foods.

How Do You Make A Vegan Cheese Board?

Just because you can’t add regular cheese doesn’t mean you can’t create a delicious vegan cheese board from scratch! There are plenty of vegan cheeses (or dairy-free cheese options) out there – here are some of my favorites:

  • Just Like Parmesan Wedge from Violife (and all the Violife vegan cheeses)
  • Treeline’s French Style Cheeses (the herb garlic is especially great)
  • Kite Hill Cream Cheeses

What to Serve with This Ultimate Vegetarian Cheese Board

Since cheese platters are naturally high in calories and fat, you want to choose your sides wisely for a more balanced meal.

A light side salad, for instance, is a great way to get some healthy greens. It pairs beautifully with cheese as well (hello, arugula and Parmesan!).

You can also have an additional separate veggie platter to complement your cheeses. Crispy sweet peppers, celery, and sugar snap peas pair especially well with healthy cheese boards. 

And don’t forget – what you drink with it is important too! 

If you like red wine – pick it over white wine in the grocery store. It has healthy antioxidants and tastes sooo good with cheese!

And of course, water is always a good option since you don’t have to worry about drinking your calories or sugar. 

I hope these tips help you create and enjoy your own amazing, vegetarian cheese board!

vegetarian cheese board served on a wooden platter with cheeses, fruits, nuts, condiments, crackers

Check Out These Other Delicious Vegetarian Appetizers!

If you have tried this Vegetarian Cheese Board or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

vegetarian cheese board served on a wooden platter with cheeses, fruits, nuts, condiments, crackers
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

The Best Vegetarian Cheese Board

This is the ultimate vegetarian cheese board but is lightened up a bit! The ideas for this cheese charcuterie board were inspired by higher quality cheeses and choosing the right healthy pairings like fruits and nuts.
Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Servings: 20
Calories: 258kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

Cheeses and Proteins

  • 4 oz blue cheese
  • 4 oz brie cheese
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 4 oz gouda cheese
  • 4 oz parmesan cheese or sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 oz pepper jack cheese
  • 8 oz Extra Firm Tofu optional

Fruits

  • ½ cup olives any kind you prefer
  • ½ cup kiwi slices
  • cup dried papaya
  • 1 cup grapes red or green or both!
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 4 fresh figs, quartered optional
  • ½ cup sliced apples optional

Veggies (Optional)

  • 1 cup carrot sticks
  • 1 cup cucumber slices
  • 1 cup heirloom tomato slices

Nuts and Condiments

  • 3 tbsp honey served in a bowl
  • 3 tbsp hummus optional
  • ½ cup roasted peanuts
  • ½ cup roasted almonds

Grains

  • 1 package whole wheat crackers
  • ½ package rice crackers or other gluten-free crackers

Instructions

  • Arrange a large platter on a table.
  • Arrange the cheeses on the platter first, then add the fruits, followed by the veggies, nuts, condiments and crackers/grains.
  • Serve immediately.

Video

https://youtu.be/jImYD35pIbM

Notes

Nutritional Information includes all optional ingredients. Nutrition values are an estimate as it depends on the amount and types of ingredients you choose for this cheese board. 

Nutrition

Calories: 258kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 482mg | Potassium: 275mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g

Posted In…

Appetizers ·

Appetizers are the perfect complement to my favorite entrees and dinner party menus! You can also make a small batch for a snack or turn them into a complete meal.

These dishes are great for entertaining or making a casual day feel like a special occasion.

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