Give me some Mexican-inspired eats and a margarita and I’m a happy camper. And if you’re in the same camp, then you’re going to love this Mexican-inspired charcuterie board. It has some of my favorite vegetarian appetizer dips and is loaded with fresh veggies for crunch and texture.
Making a snack board for an easy dinner or party appetizer is perfect, too, because it’s SO customizable. You can easily use what you already have on hand, and switch up the dips, veggies, and more, to match your preferences and/or dietary needs.
It’s a fun and festive addition to a Cinco de Mayo party, Taco Tuesday, or casual a night at home. And if you have little bits of dips, toppings, and chips left over, it’s an excellent way to repurpose them to prevent food waste!
What is a Charcuterie Board?
If you’ve checked out my simple vegetarian charcuterie board or this breakfast charcuterie board, then you probably already know that a charcuterie board is technically a snack board made with prepared meats – or deli-style cuts of meat.
Obviously, a vegetarian version will not have meat, and this Mexican-inspired snack board is simply more of a grazing board with finger foods that are easy to dip and grab, allowing you and your guests to snack away and create your own adventure.
What’s on a Mexican Charcuterie Board?
The beauty of creating themed boards is that there really are no hard and fast rules as to what you can place on the boards.
Simply put, you should have a variety of items and textures that go together to create a theme, which in this case is a Mexican-style themed board, so the ingredients we’ll use all fit into those types of flavor.
I would recommend following this outline to fill your board with goodies:
- Dips – at least 3 varieties of dips are ideal
- Veggies – use 3-5 varieties of veggies to use for dipping and/or just snacking
- Cheese – if a charcuterie board doesn’t have meat, it’s gotta have cheese! 1-2 varieties are good, depending on if you have a cheese dip
- Tortilla Chips – a must for those dips
- Fruit – I don’t have any fruit on my board as pictured, but a delicious option would be mango slices with some tajin (for a little kick)…or citrus such as pineapple, or see one of the salsas below.
From this starting point, below are the specifics that I use on the board pictured. Plus, additional ideas for each section.
It’s important enough to say again: you can always adapt the board to what you have in your own kitchen and your preferences.
1. Dips and Salsas
As mentioned above, a variety of dips is ideal for a Mexican-themed board because you can have such a variety and it allows a whole lot of options for dipping!
- 5-Ingredient Queso as pictured
- Pico de Gallo (as pictured) or salsa of your choice
- Pineapple Salsa, Mango Salsa, or Peach Salsa perfect for a little sweetness
- Guacamole ok, basically a must…pictured on the side here for easy refills
- Elote Corn Dip
- Spicy Black Beans from these nachos or these burrito bowls
- Instant Pot Refried Beans
- Layered Taco Dip – would be ambitious, but delicious!
2. Vegetables (for dipping & eating)
Bright, fresh, and colorful, adding veggies around the board is not only visually appealing, but they can both be dipping vehicles or enjoyed on their own.
- mini sweet peppers or bell pepper slices
- cucumber slices
- cherry tomatoes
- sliced radishes
- jalapenos use pickled, tamed jalapenos for a milder option
- jicama spears
- avocado slices or cubes
What’s a cheese board without cheese?!
There are a few specific kinds of cheese that fit really well on a Mexican-inspired board. As pictured, I only included one additional cheese (cheddar), since I already had queso cheese dip included. That being said, there is no limit to the number of cheeses you can incorporate!
- cheddar cheese cubed
- pepper jack cheese cubed
- manchego sliced or wedged – do note, this variety is not often vegetarian
- goat cheese spreading
On a cheese board, I recommend serving at least 2-3 cheeses, more depending on how many guests you’ll be serving.
Before selecting your cheeses, keep in mind that not all cheeses are vegetarian. If you need a specifically vegetarian board, look for cheeses that are either labeled vegetarian or check the ingredient list for microbial enzymes instead of animal rennet.
We are lovers of carbs around here, and for this board, the main carb is the beloved tortilla chip. It’s versatile, and just the tool for all those wonderful dips.
You could also put soft tortilla shells (I love the mini ones!) around the board, especially if you have items to fill them with like spicy black beans.
Make it extra fun with a variety of tortilla chips, from blue corn, to multigrain, to yellow corn.
How to Assemble a Charcuterie Board
Here are a few tips for assembling a beautiful cheese board that will impress your friends and family. Trust me, it looks like a lot more effort than it is!
First, place any small bowls you will be using on the board in a triangle shape (if using 3). This is great for the dips you’ll be serving, and anything else that needs a bowl to hold it. Keep anything that is on the dry side and can be picked up out of a bowl to prevent it from being overcrowded with bowls.
- 1 bowl: place it in the center of the board or drastically on one end
- 2 bowls: place them together in the center or on opposite sides
- 3 bowls: place them in a triangle across the board
- 4+ bowls: place them in an S shape across the board you’re using
Next, add other larger components. Depending on which items you’re adding to the board, this is likely the veggies and cheese(s). It helps to alternate colors on the board, so keep that in mind when placing these larger items on the board.
Finally, fill in the rest of the space with smaller items. You don’t need to worry about overlapping or mixing up goodies, because this is part of the fun! The beauty is a little in the mess. Layer in the chips, smaller veggies, and nuts. Garnish with jalapeno slices and cilantro leaves.
Not everything has to fit on the board! If you have extra dip you know will be one you need to refill often or you’d just rather have it served separately, set it to the side. Along with another bowl of chips, because, you know…chips.
Other Mexican-Style Board Ideas
- DIY Taco Board – place your favorite vegetarian taco filling, corn or flour tortillas, and taco toppings on the board and let your guests build their own.
- DIY Fajitas – similar to the tacos, place the goods around the board with lots of toppings available.
- DIY Nachos – this one is extra fun because with so many nacho topping ideas there is so much visual interest on the board.
- DIY Burrito Bowls – a similar vibe here, so I bet you get the picture…place all the burrito fillings you can think of around the board and let everyone build their own. Extra fun to have a lot of sauces for the bowls!
The Type of Board to Use
If you have any pressure about what kind of board to use, let’s get rid of that right now! You can use any large board or serving tray you have, as long as it’s food safe. Really! It can be round, square, or rectangular.
You can change the board size depending on how many people you’ll be serving, too. That’s the beauty of making a charcuterie board at home – it’s completely flexible and customizable!
If you don’t have a board or large platter, use a large-rimmed baking sheet!
What to Serve with a Mexican-Inspired Board
This time of grazing board can absolutely count as an entire meal, and whether or not you’re serving it as an appetizer or snacky dinner, there is one thing I highly recommend serving alongside it for those of legal age. Can you guess?
Margaritas! Here are some of my favorites, plus a few vibrant, citrus-forward drinks that pair well with spicy flavors, too.
- Triple Citrus Margarita
- Spicy Mango Margarita
- Pineapple Jalapeno Smash
- Grapefruit Mint Cocktail
- Strawberry Lemonade (regular or with vodka)
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Get the Recipe Mexican-Inspired Vegetarian Charcuterie Board
- 8 ounces cheddar or pepper jack cheese, cubed
- Start by placing any items that will be in bowls on the board, in a spread-out triangle shape. You can also set a bowl off to the side if needed, as I did with the guacamole.
- Next, add in the cheeses and any large veggies, already cut into serving portions as needed. Place them in a triangle around the board, too, to make it the most visually appealing, and keep similar colors opposite of each other.
- Now, add in the others and continue to fill in smaller remaining spaces with smaller items like chips, smaller veggies, nuts, etc. Serve, and enjoy!
- Take this as a guide and use what you already have on hand to create a beautiful board, following the details in the post for how to assemble the board.
- Prep Time: will depend on the exact items you’re adding to the board; if you have to prepare specific dips or salsas, it may be longer.
- Dip Serving Sizes: place dips in bowls and reserve the rest to fill them as needed; the amount to use will vary depending on how many you are serving. I will make one batch of each and for any leftovers, enjoy later! See the post for more ideas.
- Don’t put everything on the board at once. This will overwhelm the board. Instead, keep the extras in a convenient place so you can continue to replenish the board as time goes on.