The Ultimate Vegan Snack Board

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 3 votes

A deluxe vegan snack board with cashew “cheese”, mushroom & olive pâté, and roasted butternut & garlic spread. All super easy to make!

Overhead shot shows a variety of colourful dips and spreads, along with cut vegetables, crackers and olives.
This post is sponsored by method.
Overhead shot of ingredients for a mushroom pate.
Overhead shot of butternut squash cubes and garlic cloves on a baking sheet before roasting.


You’re going to flip over this holiday-appropriate vegan snack board! So many flavours and options that any eater could get down with.

Around this time last year, I was scrambling in the final phases of making my first draft of the book. I had convinced myself that I needed to re-shoot a ton of stuff. On one particularly draining marathon day, I was wrapping up washing the mountain of dishes and kept doing that final scan of the murky water, thinking I was done but perpetually coming up with another caked spoon or sticky spatula. I snapped.

At that point, it felt like I had been wearing the same sweatpants for a week, and the only outings I had allowed myself were to the local 24 hour grocery store. I had dishpan hands in a major way. Despite the full immersion in healthy cookbook production, our consumption of pizza was sky-high at the end because I was SO sick of my own food. I wasn’t really looking after myself. I knew this, and the never-ending utensils at the bottom of my swamp water sink made for a proper breaking point.

In those harried weeks leading up to my due date, one of the things I had been dreaming about making was a plant-based charcuterie board of sorts. I kept thinking about pâtés , savoury mousse, and layered concoctions, all with vegetables or nuts/seeds as the base. I saw it as a colour explosion that would bring anybody in, regardless of their dietary preferences. Unexpected but totally irresistible.

So just in time for holiday get-togethers, I present you with this ultimate assortment of vibrant, plant-based snack deliciousness. It’s a little messy to throw together because of the multiple go-arounds in the food processor/blender, but that’s where today’s partner comes in.

I’m working with method on their #fearnomess campaign. This snack-scape is totally kind to the earth, and guess what? So was the cleanup because method’s products are vegan (no animal testing or bi-products) and biodegradable.

The three main components of this vegan snack board are: a silky butternut dip with roasted garlic and tahini, a beetroot-hued cashew “cheesy” spread with dill, and a classic mushroom pâté fancied up with balsamic vinegar and tamari. Something for everyone, right? You could even throw in this roasted carrot harissa dip or this kale pesto white bean dip if you’re feeling ambitious.

And if you just want to make one of these tasty spreads/dips to add to your weekly lunch sandwich situation, I totally get that too!

Image shows a freshly roasted beet on a kitchen counter, wrapped partially in foil and steaming.
Image shows cooked mushrooms in the bowl of a food processor with a bouquet of fresh herbs nearby.
Image shows a bottle of dish soap by a kitchen sink.
Overhead shot shows a variety of colourful dips and spreads, along with cut vegetables, crackers and olives.

Velvety Roasted Garlic & Butternut Dip with Sesame

Part of a deluxe vegan snack board with cashew "cheese", mushroom & olive pâté, and roasted butternut & garlic spread. All super easy to make!
5 from 3 votes
The ultimate vegan snack board - The First Mess
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 675 grams, peeled)
  • 3 garlic cloves, skin on
  • 3 thyme sprigs, leaves removed
  • 1 tablespoon + 3 tablespoons sunflower oil, divided
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • sesame seeds, for garnish

Notes

  • I roasted the butternut in cubes because I wanted some for the garnish, but you could just roast the squash whole/in halves and scoop out if you aren’t concerned about the look.

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
  • Scoop the seeds out of the butternut squash and dice into 1-inch pieces. Transfer the diced squash, garlic cloves, and thyme leaves to the baking sheet. Drizzle the squash mixture with 1 tablespoon of the sunflower oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat.
  • Slide the baking sheet into the oven and roast until squash is tender, about 35-40 minutes. Allow squash and garlic to cool slightly.
  • Set up your food processor on the counter. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the skins into the food processor, discarding the skins afterward. Transfer the roasted butternut squash to the food processor (reserve about a third for garnish, if you like), along with the remaining 3 tablespoons of sunflower oil, chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, salt and pepper.

Balsamic Mushroom & Olive Pâté

Part of a deluxe vegan snack board with cashew "cheese", mushroom & olive pâté, and roasted butternut & garlic spread. All super easy to make!
5 from 3 votes
The ultimate vegan snack board - The First Mess
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon + 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 353 grams/1 lb cremini mushrooms, stems removed
  • sea salt and ground back pepper, to taste
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup kalamata or sundried/fully ripened olives
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon gluten-free tamari soy sauce

Notes

  • I used all cremini because it’s a pretty accessible and tasty variety. If you want to mix it up with some shiitakes or other type, feel free!

Instructions

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Slice all of the mushrooms and throw them into the pan. Let them set for a good minute before stirring. Then, let them sit another full minute.
  • Stir the mushrooms. They should be slightly glistening at this point. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper. Keep stirring. Add the sliced garlic to the pan and stir. Once the garlic is slightly softened and translucent, about 1 minute, transfer the mushroom mixture to a food processor.
  • Place the olives, balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, tamari, and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the food processor as well. Run the motor on high until you have a smooth paste. You will have to stop the motor and scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple times. Transfer the pâté to a serving dish. I like to garnish this with a nice drizzle of balsamic glaze/reduction and some herbs to break up the brown-ness :)

Soft Cashew “Cheese” with Beetroot & Miso

Part of a deluxe vegan snack board with cashew "cheese", mushroom & olive pâté, and roasted butternut & garlic spread. All super easy to make!
5 from 3 votes
The ultimate vegan snack board - The First Mess
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 1 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight and rinsed
  • 1 small-medium beet (about 140 grams, scrubbed)
  • 1 tablespoon light miso
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 -2 tablespoons filtered water (if necessary)
  • handful of fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers

Equipment

Notes

  • I haven’t tried making this in anything other than a high speed blender, and I’m not confident in the ability of other machines to get the job done here. You want it to be so silky smooth, almost like cream cheese.

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Tightly wrap the beet in a sheet of foil and place it in the oven. Roast the beet until tender when poked with a knife, about 40 minutes. Allow beet to cool slightly before rubbing skin off and dicing.
  • In an upright, high speed blender, combine the diced beet, the rinsed and drained cashews, miso, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper, and lemon juice. Blend on high, pushing contents into the blades with a tamp. If the contents are not working themselves into a whipped cream cheese-like consistency, add some water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • Once you have that whipped and smooth consistency, transfer the cashew cheese spread to a sealable container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Garnish the cheese spread with chopped dill and capers.

*This post was created in partnership with method. All opinions/endorsements are my own. Thanks for supporting!

11/11/2016 (Last Updated 25/10/2022)
Posted in: appetizer, autumn, cashews, creamy, earthy, gluten free, grain-free, holidays, mushrooms, nut free, oil free, quick, raw, refined sugar-free, roasted, salty, smoky, snack, spicy, spring, summer, tahini, umami, vegan, winter

34 comments

Recipe Rating




  • Fran

    Any substitute for Tahini in the BN Squash dip?

    • Laura Wright

      Almond or cashew butter will work!
      -L

  • Barbra

    5 stars
    Hello Laura,
    I made both the squash dip and the beet/cashew dip. They are both delicious, however I have quite a bit extra particularly of the squash dip. Have you tried freezing them? Although it is delicious on a tortilla with extra this and that, I hate wasting so would like to freeze some if possible. Many thanks! I so appreciate your email newsletter! I also enjoy your book that I’ve had for several years!

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Barbra! The dip should freeze fine. Upon thawing, you may have to whip it up in the food processor again just to get the texture right.
      -L

  • Lina

    I’m new to your site, but already in love. Tried the 3-some last weekend for a party. It’s a toss up on whether the squash or cashew/beet dip was better – I got rave reviews for both! EVERYONE loved the bright pink color – I put in a lime green bowl. Thanks for the interesting ingredient mash-ups.

  • Jill

    Hi there,I see the beet dip is served cold, how about the others? I plan to make these for a house-warming party and will keep a little of each for myself. Thanks!

    • Laura

      Hi Jill!
      All are best served either chilled or at room temperature.
      -L

  • Jo

    These are wonderful! To the mushroom dip Ive added a few soaked porcinnini mushrooms with the rest, a bit less balsamic and a little of the porcinni juice. So rich! And the butternut pate – well, I used our own homegrown, what more can I say. Wonderful taste and texture. I’m putting slightly less beet in with the cashews 2nd time around – though the cashew taste comes through good, I want a slightly gentler pink (!) Thankyou so much for getting me excited about cooking again!

  • Sharron

    This looks amazing! I was wondering if any of the dips are suitable to freeze? Thank you

    • Laura

      I’ve actually never frozen a dip before! Just from my quick googling: I think if you put any of these dips into a airtight container with at least an inch of space at the top, you should be fine to freeze and thaw in the fridge as you need. The only one I’m worried about is the cashew beet “cheese” one. The high quantity of nuts might make for a weird texture after defrosting.
      -L

  • Erin

    So beautiful, Laura! And everything sounds delicious.

    I see you answered the white vegetable question in a previous comment and solved that mystery for me — fennel. I think I’ve correctly identified the other veg as carrots, right? Would you mind letting me know what crackers you’ve used? I’m always on the hunt for a new, tasty and healthy cracker.

    I make your spicy red lentil spread frequently and I’m excited to try the ones in this post. Thank you for these and thank you in advance for answering my cracker question.

    Erin

    • Laura

      Hi Erin!
      The other vegetable is indeed carrots–just fancy rainbow coloured ones ;) And the crackers here are Luke’s Garden Vegetable crackers. They are really good, but I’ve stopped buying them because I realized that they have palm oil in them. Now I stick to the Harvest Stone brand crackers.
      -L

      • Erin

        Thank you, Laura! Excited to try Harvest Stone.
        I’m not sure how I’ve missed them in our local stores. When I read your reply I just assumed they weren’t available near me — when I looked up “where to buy” on their website I was prepared to order them on line but apparently they’re all around me locally.
        I blame my children for distracting me while grocery shopping. ; )

  • Natalie

    How many lbs of pre cut butternut squash would you use

    • Laura

      Hi Natalie,
      Roughly 1 pound will work for this.
      -L

  • Lucie

    Love it!! great recipes and looks stunning together. thank you for such inspiration. Love your website!

  • Susan

    Wow! Love this snack board! The colours are so rich.

  • Trish

    What are the white veggies in the upper right corner of the picture?

    • Laura

      It’s fresh fennel!
      -L

  • Neni

    This looks so good.
    I´m hosting a vegan christmas party this year so this comes in handy.

  • Kenlyn

    Hi

    Love your recipes and website! One recommendation – I like to print the recipe so I don’t forget to make it and then if it’s a winner I add to my favs. When your recipes print, the name “The First Mess” is not on the recipe – so then one can’t go back and find it again! You deserve the credit too. :)

  • maya kuijper

    this looks gorgeous! and i’m sure your cookbook is going to amazing, can’t wait. xo

  • Jen @ sweetgreenkitchen.com

    I have dishpan hands right now and most of the time, that’s the price we pay for inspired, delicious and healthy homemade meals :-)

    I love the whole vegan board you created, each and every dip sounds and looks delicious. I will definitely be adding at least one of these to my Thanksgiving table along with the pumpkin & pumpkin seed hummus I’ve been tinkering with and my vegan mashed potatoes. Thanksgiving is going to be extra yummy this year!

  • Julia @ HappyFoods Tube

    Delicious looking snack board not only for vegans! :) I must try the butternut dip – I am sure we will love it!

  • Abigail

    thanks so much for sharing these. i went plant based around 8 months ago and i’m struggling to find some vegan things to do for thanksgiving but i think these would work amazingly!

    Abigail Alice x

  • Allyson (Considering The Radish)

    These are beautiful. They all look delicious, but I bet the mushroom pate is amazing.

  • Abby @ Heart of a Baker

    I’ve been thinking about how I can put together a kick-ass snack board and this is a DREAM. I also suffer from dishpan hands realllll bad, so I get you girl! xo

  • Tuulia Talvio

    I totally get you with the cookbook process and snapping at some point. It’s an intense project! But good that you’re enjoying cooking now again, as this platter looks AMAZING. I love all the colorful dips. And I love method too, I’ve been using their products for a few years and couldn’t go back to the regular stuff anymore. Have a lovely weekend! xo

  • Maya | Spice + Sprout

    Laura, this is so gorgeous! Not that I have ever had to deal with the particular brand of dish washing that seems to go with cook book making, but I’ve worked in quite a few restaurants and cafes, and can definitely feel you on the endless cutlery and utensils at the bottom of a dirty sink ;)

  • Cathryn

    This spread looks amazing…and really very simple! Just in time for holiday get togethers, I can bring these to make sure there are some vegan options!
    LOVE!

  • Sarah | Well and Full

    In a few months I’m moving into an apartment with my boyfriend and it’ll be the first time that I won’t have a dishwasher…. I know I’ve been super privileged up until now, but I’m dreading having to do all the dishes by hand!! But it’s part of the work, ya know? The key is finding a balance between cleaning up + taking care of yourself, like you said. I love having a clean kitchen but I don’t want to get to that snapping point either!! All about balance ;) And I know I’ve said this a million times but I’m SO EXCITED FOR THE MESSY COOKBOOK!!!!!!

  • Kati | black.white.vivid.

    I literally want to jump into my laptop to have cracker with that butternut dip. All of it looks so delicious.

  • Nandita

    This is such a stunning platter! Feast for the eyes for a vegetarian :)

  • Tori//Gringalicious

    Omg, I love this! What an inspiration for hosting this season.