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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 charcuterie board that’s perfect for entertaining or family snacking!

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

I have! Because sometimes, you just need a little red 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! If you’ve ever wondered how to make a charcuterie board vegetarian, this guide is for you. Today you’ll learn how to build the best cheese platter!

Sometimes the words cheese platter and charcuterie board are used interchangeably, but they’re a little different. The term charcuterie board refers to a board containing meats and cheeses, though the French word charcuterie refers to it as meat products, usually cured meats. Colloquially the term has evolved to refer to platters of cold meats and a blend of harder and softer cheeses with crackers, fruit, and more.

Vegetarian cheese boards, also known as a charcuterie board for vegetarians, vegetarian charcuterie boards, or vegetarian snack boards, are usually loaded with a selection of vegetarian-friendly cheeses, crackers, dips, fancy olives, nuts, and/or fruit. This amazing vegetarian cheese board is a great “recipe” for your next party or a fun movie night, game night, or holiday celebration like Christmas or New Year’s Eve. If you’re looking for vegetarian charcuterie board ideas, you’re in the right place.

However you make your next board, I hope you check out the awesome blueprint I’ve put together on making an amazing meatless charcuterie board. There’s no wrong way to build a cheese board, in my opinion, but I’ve got a lot of great ideas to help you build an epic vegetarian board!

👩🏽‍🍳 Why You’ll Love This Vegetarian Cheese Board

  • Completely Customizable: The ideas in this post are just that—they’re ideas! The best thing about building your own board is that you can customize it to what you enjoy. Use the cheeses, dips, fruits, and other elements that you and your family like! I offer tips and examples for creating a no meat cheese board, but honestly the best vegetarian charcuterie board is the one that has all the stuff that you love.
  • Fun For Kids To Make And Eat: Actually these boards are fun for anyone to put together! Putting together a vegetarian cheese platter (or each kid can put together their own individual vegetarian cheese plate) is a great activity for kids and they’ll get to eat it afterward!
  • Healthier Options: A veggie cheese board is already healthier than a traditional charcuterie board since it doesn’t contain meat. However you could make it even healthier by making it into a fruit and veggie charcuterie board. It could even still contain some cheese and be mostly veggies (with fun dips like a cheese ball or vegan ranch for kids).
  • Great Party Food: Vegetarian charcuterie is ideal for dinner parties or holiday parties! Make it on a board, a platter, a plate, or any large flat surface (I’ve even seen whole-table sized charcuterie boards!). You can keep the costs down by loading it with fruit and veggies and being more selective with how much and what kind of cheeses you’re offering.

Latest Recipe Video!

🥘 Ingredients

The ingredients are all just suggestions of items I think make a great vegetarian cheese board. Pull together different flavors, different textures, and different colors to create a beautiful board and use items you know you and your family will enjoy.

I like to go to the cheese section at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, or my local grocery store and pick out my favorites, often stuff I don’t buy on a regular basis (to make it a special board!). Get ready to make the ultimate vegetarian charcuterie board! See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for nutritional information.

Ingredients for the best vegetarian cheese board recipe on a white background.

Cheeses And Proteins

  • 4 Ounces Blue Cheese: Try roquefort for a strong flavor or gorgonzola for a milder funky cheese.
  • 4 Ounces Brie Cheese: Brie is a classic choice for a vegetarian cheese board but other soft cheeses are nice too.
  • 4 Ounces Goat Cheese: Goat cheese is also a classic cheese board option.
  • 4 Ounces Gouda Cheese: Try smoked or regular gouda, or go with a different flavor like swiss cheese.
  • 4 Ounces Parmesan Cheese Or Sharp Cheddar Cheese: Tangy and/or strong hard cheeses are nice here. White and aged cheddar cheeses are also good ideas.
  • 4 Ounces Pepper Jack Cheese: A little spice is always fun!
  • 8 Ounces Extra Firm Tofu, Optional: If you can find smoked tofu, that would make a great addition for some vegetarian protein. Alternatively, try making my air fryer tofu nuggets and placing them on the board!

Fruits

  • ½ Cup Olives: I love castelvetrano olives, but any you like will work. Pitted kalamata olives are delicious, especially if you’re going for a vegetarian mezze board vibe.
  • ½ Cup Kiwi Slices: Pears are also nice.
  • ⅓ Cup Dried Papaya: Or any other dried fruit you like! Dried mango or dried coconut are good options.
  • 1 Cup Grapes: Red or green or both!
  • 1 Cup Strawberries: Or any fresh fruit that feels fancy to you!
  • 4 Fresh Figs, Quartered, Optional: Dates also work!
  • ½ Cup Sliced Apples, Optional: If you’re going to leave this out for a while, toss the apple slices with lemon juice so they don’t brown.

Veggies (Optional)

  • 1 Cup Carrot Sticks: Sliced bell peppers (especially sweet red peppers), celery sticks, or sugar snap peas are also great options.
  • 1 Cup Cucumber Slices: You could also add thinly sliced radishes.
  • 1 Cup Heirloom Tomato Slices: Or try medley grape tomatoes (that come in different colors) or stick with red cherry tomatoes.

Nuts And Condiments (Served In Small Bowls)

  • 3 Tablespoons Honey: Feel free to substitute agave syrup for a vegan cheese board.
  • 3 Tablespoons Hummus, Optional: Homemade hummus is always better. Try my butter bean hummus! Any other savory spreads will work too.
  • ½ Cup Roasted Peanuts: Use any other nuts like cashews, walnuts, pecans, or pistachios.
  • ½ Cup Roasted Almonds: Smoked or other flavored almonds are also a good option.

Grains

  • 1 Package Whole Wheat Crackers: Pita chips are also a great choice. You could even do toasted baguette slices!
  • ½ Package Rice Crackers Or Other Gluten-Free Crackers: Seed crackers are a lovely option.

🍇 Formula For The Perfect Cheese Board

Here are the most important things to remember when building your vegetarian snack board:

  • Consider The Size Of The Board: For smaller boards, you may need smaller items. Instead of the whole wheel of brie, for example, you could cut it into wedges and place them around the board. Use smaller bowls and fewer varieties of items as well. For larger boards (like a large cutting board) you can use larger sized items.
  • Line With Parchment Paper: Whether you’re using a larger board or a small board, line any wooden board with parchment paper for easy clean up (and so nothing stains the wood). Skip this step if making individual cheese plates.
  • No Empty Spaces: The best vegetarian cheese board has no empty space! Fill up that space with marcona almonds or other nuts, a small cluster of grapes, fresh herbs like rosemary, a section of pomegranate, some cherries or figs or dates, or a few slices of raw veggies.
  • Small Bowls For Sauces And Dips: Put dips and spreads (like hummus or even cream cheese, maybe with a little everything bagel seasoning mixed in) or sauces (like honey) in small bowls. You could also put small items like pomegranate arils (seeds) or olives in little bowls to keep your board neater.
  • Sweet And Savory: A great cheese and vegetable platter has different flavors, usually in the form of both sweet and savory items. Sweet items could be fresh fruit, dried fruit, or even dark chocolate! Savory items could be different cheeses, vegan meats, crackers, spreads and dips, etc.
  • Pop Of Color: I like to add a pop of color to my vegetarian cheese board which is why I add fruit like strawberries and kiwi and veggies like cucumber slices and carrot sticks. You can also add your color in the form of peppadew peppers, pomegranate, etc.
  • Different Textures: A variety of cheeses (softer cheeses and harder cheeses), raw veggies and crunchy crackers, smooth and creamy dips, supple olives… all these things make a great board!
  • Have Fun With It: Epic charcuterie boards are better when you have fun with them! There’s no wrong way to build a board. Don’t stress, get stuff you like, and have fun making it! Trust me, it will be one of the first things to disappear at your next party.

🧀 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!

If this is your first time building a charcuterie board, I wouldn’t recommend starting with a huge serving board. Make a smaller plate or board first to get your toes wet!

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
  • A round board is also a nice option

Step 2: Choose Your Cheeses

Sliced brie on a vegetarian charcuterie 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, the good news is that you can find many varieties of cheese that use vegetarian rennet (made from microbial enzymes instead of animal rennet).

Step 3: Choose Your Produce

Hand holding grapes above a veggie charcuterie 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 favorite charcuterie vegetables 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. Any vegetables can be charcuterie board vegetables if they’re what you like!

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 this cheese board without meat! You can even add a little bit of 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 a veggie and cheese tray 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 flavors to your vegetarian 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.

💭 Expert Tips

  • Serve Cheeses Room Temperature: For the best flavor and textures, serve (especially soft cheese) cheese at room temperature.
  • Start With Larger Items First: I like to place my small bowls on the board first. I usually start with 3 bowls depending on the size of my board.
  • Be Willing To Edit: You might need to edit it down so you can include everything you want to. You can always place extra crackers on a platter next to your veggie and cheese platter.
  • Make A Few Different Boards: One idea is to make a veggie board (vegetable charcuterie board), fruit board, and a cheese board and serve them all next to each other. Then you have room for more items and it’s like a buffet.
  • Host A Build-Your-Own Vegetarian Charcuterie Plate Party: Set out all the items in bowls and allow people to build their own plates.
  • Vegetarian Cheese Board For Kids: Make your vegetarian grazing board kid-friendly by adding mild cheeses and fun dips! Adding some cut up veggies and tasty dips are a great way to get some more healthy produce into your kids.
  • Vegetarian Cheese Board For Adults: If your vegetarian board is more for adults, feel free to serve it with wine, cheeses with a little funk, and maybe some spicy elements like pickled peppers. A simple charcuterie board can be a great easy appetizer.

📖 Variations 

  • Christmas Vegetarian Charcuterie Board: Pick primarily red and green items to put in between the different cheeses and spreads.
  • Appetizer Board: Make more of an appetizer or snack board situation and add a few cooked appetizers to your healthy cheese platter such as Vegetarian Wontons, Indian Samosas, Avocado Sushi Rolls, or Vegan Egg Rolls!

🍽 Serving Suggestions

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 like this spinach and arugula 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 so good with cheese!

And of course, sparkling water or still water are always good choices since you don’t have to worry about drinking your calories or sugar. 

🙌 Dietary Adaptations

Gluten-Free Option: Use certified gluten-free crackers. If anyone has a gluten allergy, make sure everything used is certified gluten-free (to eliminate cross contamination risk).

Vegan Option: Make a vegan charcuterie board or vegan cheese board! I can think of a lot of vegan charcuterie board ideas: hard vegan cheeses (any dairy-free cheese you like will work), soft vegan cheeses (or you could make your own vegan cheese!), veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds, vegan spreads and dips, and herbs! A vegan board is basically all the things in this post except you’re using vegan cheese instead of dairy cheese. Some of my favorite brands include:

  • Violife vegan cheeses, especially their “Just Like Parmesan” wedge
  • Treeline’s French style cheeses (the herb garlic is especially great)
  • Kite Hill cream cheeses
  • Miyoko’s vegan soft cheeses

🫙Storage Directions

Here is how to store and keep this vegetarian cheese board:

Refrigerating: Store each of the items in their own individual airtight containers. I would recommend keeping the cheese separate from each other if possible.

❓Recipe FAQs

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.

WHAT IS THE RULE OF THUMB?

You don’t want to end up with too little cheese! Depending on whether you’re serving your board for an appetizer or dinner, a good rule of thumb is 1 ounce of each cheese (total) per person if there’s lots of other things on your board like crackers, spreads, olives, etc. If it’s just a large cheese platter, double the recommended amount. The other rule for a vegetarian cheese board is to choose five types of cheese for a good variety of flavor and texture.

WHAT NOT TO PUT ON A CHARCUTERIE BOARD?

I would stay away from cooked vegetables which tend to be soft and hard to eat with your fingers. Bland foods are also not great for charcuterie boards. For example, although dragon fruit is pretty, it doesn’t have much of its own flavor! It’s best to pick flavorful options for everything on your board.

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

🍢 More Delicious Vegetarian Appetizers!

Love this vegetarian appetizer recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating 🌟 in the recipe below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page!

You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family-friendly food, and if you have any questions, I’m here to help!

📋 Recipe Card

🎥 Watch How to Make It

https://youtu.be/jImYD35pIbM
Print Recipe
5 from 14 votes

The Best Vegetarian Cheese Board

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 charcuterie board that’s perfect for entertaining or family snacking!
Prep Time15 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
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.

Notes

  • Serve Cheeses Room Temperature: For the best flavor and textures, serve (especially soft cheese) cheese at room temperature.
  • Start With Larger Items First: I like to place my small bowls on the board first. I usually start with 3 bowls depending on the size of my board.
  • Be Willing To Edit: You might need to edit it down so you can include everything you want to. You can always place extra crackers on a platter next to your grazing board.
  • Make A Few Different Boards: One idea is to make a veggie board (vegetable charcuterie board), fruit board, and a cheese board and serve them all next to each other. Then you have room for more items and it’s like a buffet.
  • Vegetarian Cheese Board For Kids: Make your vegetarian grazing board kid-friendly by adding mild cheeses and fun dips! Adding some cut up veggies and tasty dips are a great way to get some more healthy produce into your kids.
  • Vegetarian Cheese Board For Adults: Or maybe your vegetarian board is more for adults and is served with wine, cheeses with a little funk, and maybe some spicy elements like pickled peppers. A simple charcuterie board can be a great easy appetizer.
  • 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

27 responses to “How To Make The Perfect Vegetarian Cheese Board”

  1. This was such a helpful article. We are making grazing boards for NYE and one table will be for vegetarians. So good!5 stars

  2. It certainly is one of the best cheese platters I have seen. Can’t wait to experiment with mine. Thank you for inspiring me.5 stars

  3. Great guide! You are always full of ideas and inspire me to do something different! Will be making a similar board for New Year’s Eve, as we have veggie friends coming over. Cannot wait.5 stars

  4. This is perfect!! I love a good cheese plate, and this vegetarian version has something for everyone! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂5 stars

  5. What a beautiful and tasty spread! Definitely serving this for my daughter’s birthday party this weekend; looks too good to pass up, indeed!5 stars

  6. Love all the suggestions for this cheese plate. Adding the dried fruit is something I didn’t think of. Will keep it in mind for summer grazing 🙂5 stars

  7. What a great idea to make a vegetarian board. I used to be vegetarian, and still love to eat that way. This is perfect for me!5 stars

  8. This is the perfect spread! I am a cheese lover so this is helping me live my best life! 🙂5 stars

  9. Also instead of the green salad you can whip up some homemade dips and pestos with fresh herbs, spinach or other greens, along with lemon, evoo, sun dried tomatoes, etc to get the requisite greens on a cracker :).5 stars

    • Great idea Anne! I might just add those dips alongside the green salad – you can never have too many veggies!

  10. I think the fruit also makes the plate look nicer, I do think the picture looks appealing above.

    Probably the fruit is the best way to make it healthier. I suspect good quality cheese needs less to let you feel satisfied also.5 stars

    • That is definitely true Lisa – the more fruits and veggies you can incorporate, the better! And yes, high quality cheese is always the most satisfying – I love experimenting with new cheeses to keep my palate interested!

  11. I love this post. We are big cheese fans, always looking for healthy ideas, your tips are great!
    LL5 stars

    • I never thought of making a cheese platter a complete meal. We usually just have it as a snack. Great suggestions for expanding it!5 stars

      • Thanks Lori Lynn and Tee! So happy you enjoyed this post. I’m a big cheese fan as well! 🙂

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