We absolutely love a themed cheese board around here. There’s no wrong time, there’s just the perfectly timed, season, holiday, or craving-specific designed board to get those ideas turning.
Like a dessert board when the sweet tooth craving strikes. Or a brunch charcuterie board to celebrate that it’s finally the weekend. Or an anytime vegetarian snack board because…cheese and crackers and veggies?! Oh my!
Today, we are jumping all into spring with all the bright freshness we can on this board! If you, too, are from the Midwest – or Minnesota – then you know we take the first hope of spring we can and start celebrating. Let’s get to it!
What is Charcuterie?
Charcuterie is French for a type of meal or snack made with prepared meat products, delicatessen, or deli-style cuts. So, a true charcuterie board consists of a variety of cured meats such as salami, prosciutto, sausages, and more.
So, yes, this vegetarian charcuterie board is a little bit of an oxymoron.
As cheese boards have gained popularity over the years, they’ve become synonymous with the term charcuterie board – at least here in America – whether or not they actually have any meat on them.
Tips for Prepping a Themed Board
- Zero pressure…there are no rules! I get it, it might seem overwhelming to try to create a beautiful board, but honestly, take that pressure off of yourself. Follow the simple steps for assembly, and go with the flow. The messier the board is usually when it turns out the most beautiful.
- Keep a color scheme in mind. Especially for a spring snack board, keep bright colors in mind – like green, yellows, oranges, and pinks. Pastels are great too, especially for an Easter board.
- Don’t put all the food on the board at once. This will overwhelm the board. Instead, keep the extra items in a convenient place so you can continue to replenish the board as time goes on.
- Not everything has to be on the actual board. Remember, you can place items around the board in bowls, too! This is great for sliced baguettes or crostini since they’re usually a bit bulkier.
- Take inventory of what you already have before you start. Making a board is an excellent way to use up all those odds and ends you have laying around. Perfect for reducing food waste and your grocery bill!
Ideas for a Spring Charcuterie Board
Here are some ideas for the main components to add to a simple spring-inspired board. This one pictured is heavy on fresh veggies (think: crudities) given the season, but load it up with more cheese or carbs as you wish!
Let’s break them down into a few categories:
A Variety of Cheeses
I wholeheartedly stand by the fact that any kind of grazing board needs cheese. In spring, I gravitate towards lighter and fresh cheeses like chevre (goat cheese) with honey (pictured here), and brie. Hard cheeses are great for easy pickings- such as manchego, cheddar, or a fun one I find in the store.
Boursin is also a delicious option with an infusion of flavor (herb and garlic is the best!). It makes it fun to spread, too.
Be sure to purchase cheese specifically labeled vegetarian, made with microbial enzymes – not rennet – if needed.
Dips for Spring
So I lean in hard to the charcuterie board dips for this board because they are so flexible and easy to make. Plus, with all the fresh produce, they’re perfect for…dipping!
- Edamame Hummus – pictured here, this vegan dip is bright and so gorgeous with a fresh green color.
- Mascarpone Dip – if you need a dessert cheese dip, this is your answer. It’s light and creamy. Pair it with berries or fresh fruit (like on our fruit board) or cookies for dipping.
- Also sweet is honey, but this one is a must-have on most cheese boards. Honey is a match made in heaven with savory cheeses, especially ones with a pungent flavor.
- Other savory dip options that would be amazing:
All the Fresh Produce
That’s right, you cannot have enough fresh produce on a spring-inspired grazing board. I like to play off of springtime colors like greens, pinks, and yellows. And lucky for us, there’s a whole lotta delicious produce that fits the bill.
Above and beyond: arrange snap peas or petal-shaped bell peppers around your dip bowls to create a “flower” look. Or use mini cookie cutters to create flower shapes. There are so many ways to take it a step further!
Here are some delicious veggies that are in season (and a few easy-to-find vegetables) during the springtime:
- Bell Peppers
- Fruit like grapes, raspberries, or apple slices adds a sweet contrast, too!
If you can find edible flowers, they’re so perfect this time of year!
Don’t forget the carbs!
Naturally, there has to be some sort of carb on a cheese board!
Add two varieties of crackers to keep it fun. A neutral, go-with-everything cracker and some sort of seed and dried fruit cracker crisp are my favorite two.
Of course, baguette slices or homemade crostini are always welcome additions, too!
The Best Way to Assemble a Spring Cheese Board
You already know there aren’t any rules when it comes to making a charcuterie board, but I do have a few tips that will help you make the most gorgeous board:
- Start with the biggest items. This includes anything that will be in small bowls or the cheeses. These are what we like to call the “anchor” items because they set the stage for the board.
- Place those items in a triangle if possible. This will create visual interest on the board.
- Make sure the cheeses are sliced, diced, or crumbled. At least, to start. You can absolutely set a cheese knife out, too, but giving the cheese a head start encourages guests to dig in right away.
- Continue adding items, working down in size.
- Spread the crackers around, a pile on each side of the board, if there’s room.
- Fill in the spaces with produce.
- Finally, add in the smaller items where there’s room. This would include nuts, berries, and even radish slices. Keep in mind that you can pile items, too!
The Type of Board to Use
I recommend a food-safe wood serving tray. If you don’t have a wooden board, a ceramic serving tray will work too.
Or why not pull out that spring-themed serving platter you need to use?! You really can’t go wrong, just as long as it’s big enough to hold most of your snacks, and flat enough to layer them on.
I like using round boards because it means most items are easily accessible. But if you’re in a pinch and you don’t have any options, a rimmed baking sheet works, too!
Pictured is a 12-inch board from Target! It’s the perfect size to serve 2 for a snacky dinner or 4 for an appetizer. For a hungry crowd of 4 to 6 people, I’d recommend sizing up the board to a 15-16 inch board.
Other Serving Suggestions
While the board in itself makes the perfect appetizer or light and nourishing lunch or snacky dinner, there are a few additional serving suggestions.
First, a beverage! If you’re feeling festive and cocktail-inspired, enjoy a Lavender French 75 or a glass of Strawberry Mint Sangria. For a non-alcoholic option, try a refreshing glass of cold brew iced tea or strawberry lemonade.
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 Fresh Spring Charcuterie Board
Cheeses (2-3 Options)
- 4 ounces honey goat cheese
- 4 ounces cheddar or another hard cheese variety
- 4 ounces brie, cut into wedges
- 4 cocktail cucumbers, sliced
- 1 cup snap peas
- 2 yellow bell peppers, sliced
- 1 bunch asparagus spears, ends trimmed
- 1/4 cup radishes, sliced
- 1/2 cup raspberries
Dips & Spreads
- Start by placing any items that will be in bowls on the board, in a spread-out triangle shape. I recommend placing dips or jams in bowls for easy serving. You can also set a bowl off to the side if needed.
- Next, add in the cheeses, already cut into serving portions, with the exception of blue cheese, which you can start the crumble on the board (or a triple creme that people can spread themselves). Place the cheeses in a triangle around the board, too, to make it the most visually appealing.
- Now, add in any other bigger components like veggie slices, and crackers or bread. Continue to fill in smaller remaining spaces with smaller items like berries, nuts, herbs, etc. Place them sporadically around the board for the most interest.
- Please see the post for more suggestions – there are many varieties of dips, jams, produce, and cheeses you can add to the board.
- Take this “recipe” as a guide and use what you already have on hand to create a beautiful board, following the guidance in the post on how to assemble the board.
- Don’t put everything out 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.
- **Look for cheese specifically labeled vegetarian (or microbial enzymes), if needed.