Learn how to make an amazing Vegetarian Cheese Board! Choose a selection of vegetarian-friendly cheeses and the best cheese platter to make a fun, tasty, and easy appetizer or party spread.
I say cheese, you say board.
Who doesn’t love a good cheese board? Psychos. That is who. But we’re not psychos, are we? So today I’m going to teach you my top tips for making the most awesome Vegetarian Cheese Board you ever did see.
Whenever I have a party, big or small, I always throw together a cheese board. It’s one of my favourite things to do, and it’s super easy to make something that’s fun and impressive with very little effort.
What makes it a vegetarian cheese board?
A vegetarian cheese board is made with cheeses that are vegetarian friendly. You can also include vegan cheese if you’ve got people who don’t eat dairy or if you want to make a vegan cheese board.
I do eat dairy, but I make an effort to seek out cheese that is actually vegetarian.
What is rennet?
Here’s the thing with cheese. Many hard cheeses are made using an ingredient called rennet, which is made from a digestive enzyme called chymosin that comes from the lining of a cow’s stomach.
Chymosin is present in the stomach lining of animals, because it helps them to digest their mother’s milk. Rennet is used in the cheese making process to help coagulate the milk and separate the curds from the whey.
Since rennet is an animal product, may vegetarians prefer to not eat cheese made with this ingredient. The good news is that you can also find plenty of cheeses made with vegetarian rennet or microbial enzymes in place of traditional rennet.
Want to know more about the different types of rennet? Check out this guide by The Spruce Eats.
Now that you know the basics of choosing vegetarian cheese, let’s go through some cheese platter ideas!
How to make a vegetarian cheese board
1. choose your board
In my opinion the best cheese platter is no platter at all. Instead, I use a big sheet of paper to arrange everything on.
This is a trick I learned a million internet years ago from Joy the Baker, and it’s the best thing because:
- It looks cool
- Cleanup is a breeze
- You can make it as big or small as you need
- You can use a sharpie to write the types of cheese on it so that everyone knows what’s what
I didn’t have space to write on this particular cheese board, but usually when I’m having a party I write little puns next to all of the components.
2. Choose your cheese
When I’m making a vegetarian cheese board I like to choose 3-5 different types of vegetarian-friendly cheese. In general I choose:
- One hard cheese
- One soft cheese
- One blue cheese
Then if I want more cheese than that I’ll fill it out with something more special, like a fancy goat’s cheese, something more approachable like cheddar or a Dutch gouda, or maybe something that just looks cool.
3. Add some produce
I love adding fresh fruits and vegetables to my cheese board. It’s like making a cheese board and a crudité platter all in one, and it looks great!
Aim for things that contribute different textures, and of course look for what’s in season. I’ve used carrot and celery sticks, cucumber slices, fresh grapes, and fresh figs. For some crunch, I'll also use kale chips (I make these Air Fryer Kale Chips in no time).
Adding something sweet for contrast like dried apricots, dates, and dark chocolate is also super fun. If you’re making a Christmas cheese platter you could add mandarin orange segments and dried cranberries.
4. Add savory bits
I like to add little nibbles that aren’t cheese. In this case I’ve added olives (I always put out castelvetrano olives, which I consider a gateway olive), cornichons (because everybody loves tiny pickles!) and smoked almonds.
Salty, flavourful, crunchy stuff that breaks up all the cheese and veggies.
You could also make a batch of crispy Roasted Chickpeas or Chipotle Hummus or Mung Bean Hummus to round things out and add more plant-based options. I also added a little pot of fig jam (store bought), and I think that a small bowl of my Spicy Pickled Onions would be delightful.
5. Add your carbs
You can hardly have a cheese board without some great crackers or bread to top things off.
I like to choose 2-3 different types of crackers, at least one of which is gluten free. On this particular vegetarian cheese board I’ve got cheesy oat crackers and gluten-free sesame crackers.
Sometimes I throw down some pretzels or slice up a baguette to fancy things up too.
So you see, making your own vegetarian cheese board is easy, fun, and delicious! I’d love to see what you come up with, so if you do your own version make sure to tag me on Instagram or send me a photo so I can see what you’re up to!
Other recipes you might enjoy:
Olive Oil Braised Chickpeas
Roasted Cauliflower Hummus Bowls
Naan Pizza Margherita
How to Make a Vegetarian Cheese Board
- 1 wedge sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 wedge brie cheese or other soft cheese
- 1 wedge blue cheese
- 1 wedge goats cheese
- 1 wedge gouda cheese
- 1 cup green olives
- 1 cup cornichons
- 5 medium figs quartered
- 2 stalks celery cut into sticks
- 2 large carrots cut into sticks
- 1 bunch grapes
- 1 medium cucumber sliced
- 1 package crackers
- 1 cup smoked almonds
- Arrange a large sheet of paper or a large platter on a table
- Arrange the cheese, olives, pickles, carrots, celery, grapes, figs, and other produce on the paper.
- Add crackers or bread.
- Nutrition values are an estimate only, and depend on type and amount of cheese and other ingredients you choose.
alice k mynett
In case I missed the star rating when I sent my comments ...
alice k mynett
Once again you have anticipated my next kitchen project. Tomorrow I'm hosting a birthday party for my lovely new 30-something friend visiting our city for a 10 month working holiday. You provided me with my shopping list for a lovely appy tray. All items are now in my fridge, ready to go. The rectangular crackers are a brilliant idea, with lots of room to pile on the goodies. Thank you!
I love the paper idea. I did buy an inexpensive gigantic wooden cheese or bread board from ikea but could cover with paper to write on.
Yup. Or use what you've got and go for paper when you want to make a REALLY BIG cheese board.