Colorful and healthy vegetarian charcuterie board featuring an assortment of fresh vegetables, dips, and crackers.

Ideas for a Charcuterie Board Without Meat

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Writer / Enthusiast / Meat Curer / Forager / Harvester | About Tom

For decades, immersed in studying, working, learning, and teaching in the craft of meat curing, now sharing his passion with you through eat cured meat online resource.

Creating a charcuterie board without meat will require creative ideas, so it isn’t all about meat. I wanted to share some of my non-meat unique ideas with you.

Thinking of differing ideas can take a bit of creativity, so we have come to help.

Whether you are looking for supplements for the Charcuterie meat items that you plan to include, or if you are planning to omit meat entirely, here are unique ideas for a Charcuterie board without meat

  • Beyond Just Cheese
  • Dried Fruit – Home Made
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Quality Balsamic Vinegar for Bread
  • Pickled Vegetables or Fruit – Bought or Homemade
  • Nuts or make into Dusting Dish
  • Fruit with Character
  • Vegetables – with Class
  • Crackers/Bread/Flat Bread/Tacos
  • Spreads/Dips
  • Holiday Theme Charcuterie Board

I’ve created some unique ideas below without meat!

Of course, limiting yourself to these meatless options is not required- you are always welcome to get creative with your Charcuterie board, even if this means ditching the traditional base component.

Charcuterie board inspiration 15 large 2

After all, serving your guest’s delicious food means preparing something with passion and character. So, which of these 20 items will demonstrate your passions the best?

What Are Some Meatless Charcuterie Board Ideas?

Although charcuterie traditionally refers to cooked or cured meats plated elegantly and served with various pairing options; you can still use a Charcuterie board with meatless items.

Pickled cabbage large

Beyond Just Cheese

Cheese has become a staple on Charcuterie boards, and though guests generally prefer some, you can always branch out on a limb and include your favorites (or types that you have been dying to try). 

Choose a savory option that pairs well with your other components, or you can always make an entire board of cheese with a glass of wine on the side.

Unique ideas:

  • Offset the Cheese richness with sweetness
  • Compile layers of crackers, cheese, chutney, and a microgreen on top for a pre-made version of a charcuterie accompaniment.
  • Cold Smoke, some cheese. It’s nearly the easiest to cold smoke; it can turn basic cheese into a complex charcuterie board treat!

(So cold smoke cheese. Here is a full article I wrote on cold smoking ALL SORTS OF FOODS for your unique charcuterie board without meat.)

Just because this site is about curing meat doesn’t mean I can’t share my expertise on the matter, we eat vegetarians quite often.

Dried Fruit – Home Made

You can add dried components to the mix to spice up your Charcuterie board.

Select from a variety of dried fruit, like a sun-dried pear that blends well with a beautifully delicate brie. Or, select other dried ingredients that mesh well with the cheese and other options you plan to include. 

Rich and sweet – that is a match for sure.

Unique ideas:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Quality Balsamic Vinegar for Bread

There are plenty of preserved foods besides meat that you can add to a Charcuterie board. Think of preserved fruits or vegetables or other options that you might have in your storage cabinet. If you have no idea what to do with the jar of delicacies you spent time canning last season, consider if this is the perfect time to break out the treat.

Pickled Vegetables or Fruit – Bought or Homemade

Pickled foods include cucumbers, zucchini, onions, okra, or more. The salty flavor likely coming from your pickled foods can pair well with a piece of rich cheese or sweeter fruit.

Unique Ideas:

  •  With a splash of vinegar and some sugar, dissolve the sugar and add cucumber or another firm green vegetable. You can create a quick pickle in just 30-60 minutes.

Nuts or make into Dusting Dish

Nuts are an excellent option for any charcuterie board; you can cold-smoke any type of nut to take it to another level and create something unique.

Nuts provide a healthy source of fat and protein and can pair well with just about anything.

Unique Ideas:

  • Cold Smoked Nuts – It can be done in about 60-120 minutes; you can also roast and smoke the nuts simultaneously (Hot Smoking or Tea Wok Smoking are also possibilities)
  • Dukkah – smash or blend until coarse – mainly nuts, cumin, peppercorns, salt, and other Middle Eastern spices for a next-level flavor – use an oil or may dip, then coast with dukkah. Excellent for vegetables and cheese

Fruit with Character

Cut fruit is something that almost anyone will enjoy. It is a natural source of sugary sweetness and often a light, refreshing option that pairs well with other choices. Slice up a fresh Honeycrisp apple, toss in some chunked pineapple, or select another favorite to please your guests.

Unique Ideas:

  • Dry pan-fried figs
  • Fruit with a story, grown with passion, will always taste amazing
  • Homegrown fruit

Vegetables – with Class

Easy aspects like carrots and cucumber. What about some next-level options?

Unique Ideas:

  • Do a quick pickling of medium-flavored jalapenos or chili.
  • Put the vege on little wooden skewers, accompanied with olive oil and dukkah for coating.
  • Forage for wild mushrooms (carefully) and quickly sautee them for the charcuterie board.

Crackers/Bread/Flat Bread/Tacos

Crackers or bread have become essential to almost any Charcuterie board. They make the perfect crunchy option and can be used with cheese, dips, fruits, or anything else. You can even make bruschetta and use the crackers as a serving option.

Unique Ideas:

  • Sourdough waste crackers are incredible, bought or homemade
  • Middle Eastern-style flatbread with spices dusted over it, such as sumac.

Spreads/Dips

Everyone loves a well-prepared spread/dip on a Charcuterie board, and the possibilities are endless in the direction you can go here. You can make a few options to help enhance the flavor options on your board- one savory, one sweet, and one in between. 

Unique Ideas:

  • Sundried Tomato Pesto
  • Spicey Garlicky Tzazaki
  • Chilli Mayo

Holiday Theme Charcuterie Board

Another themed Charcuterie board option is to make a holiday board.

Think of all the foods you ate on your favorite holiday and place them on one board. Your family will surely love enjoying the seasonal food during a non-traditional time.

i.e. Halloween, Easter, Chinese New Year


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Comments

  1. Thank you so much for all of these ideas for the board on a Friday in lent. It was extremely helpful!

  2. No, you can’t. Unless you count organ meat as not meat.

    Seriously, Tom. You of all people should know this.

    And WHY WOULD YOU NEED TO? What’s wrong with enjoying cheese boards, grazing boards, snack boards, tapas boards, and all the other kinds of boards and platters there are, that already are without meat, and are exactly as delicious, enjoyable, and beautiful? Names are important. Come on, people could just go on calling things anything they like just because they can’t be bothered to find out what their real names are. How would you react if you went to a restaurant, and ordered a meatball sandwich, and got a falafel salad instead? Everyone knows falafel is vegan meatballs. And bread is so bad for you. It’s practically the same thing. Full English breakfast that consist of a bowl of yogurt and a croissant? It’s an English restaurant, and this is what we eat for breakfast, and all of it, so it’s a full English. And a cup of coffee, except it’s chamomile tisane, because real coffee is bad for you, but we serve it in a coffee cup, so “tomato, tomahto”. What’s the big deal.
    It is a big deal.
    So, no, you can’t have a charcuterie board without meat, and shouldn’t even want to.

    1. Author

      I agree with you Ketutar somewhat, the evolution of the charcuterie board has gone a bit far. This was requested, so I provided it to the community.
      It’s one reason why food cultures like Italian, French or Japanese have maintain consistency over time I feel.
      Yes, shame on me.
      Tom

      1. Excellent ideas, I don’t eat pork and all the meats for a charcuterie are made of pork, but now I can make one mixing some of your list, thank you!

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