The ultimate vegan snack board - The First Messpin it!

This post is sponsored by method.

The ultimate vegan snack board - The First Messpin it!The ultimate vegan snack board - The First Messpin it!The ultimate vegan snack board - The First Messpin it!
I developed and photographed a cookbook by myself and generally spend a lot of time making things from scratch, so it goes without saying that I’ve now accepted the amount of dishwashing I have to do in this life. Wasn’t always the case though!

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 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 real bad, and if you can imagine the possibility of dishpan hair, I probably had that too. 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.

Hilariously, after I handed in my first draft, I could not wait to start cooking again. The backlog of recipes I had bookmarked and ripped out of magazines was huge. I was so ecstatically happy to just be cooking exactly what I wanted in the moment with no motive or plan beyond my own choice. And I even kind of enjoyed doing dishes again—accepting it as a necessary (and very chill) moment to get from A to B.

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. Also, my dishpan hands have pretty much disappeared since I switched to their dish soap (the honeycrisp apple scent is my fave).

The three main components of the 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? 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 ;)

The ultimate vegan snack board - The First Messpin it!The ultimate vegan snack board - The First Messpin it!The ultimate vegan snack board - The First Messpin it!The ultimate vegan snack board - The First Messpin it!
SERVES: Makes 2 1/2 cups
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.

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

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees 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.

Run the food processor on high until you have a totally smooth and rich paste/dip. You may have to stop the motor and scrape the sides down a couple times. Adjust the dip for seasoning. Scrape the dip into a serving bowl and garnish with a drizzle of good olive oil, sesame seeds, and the reserved roasted squash.

SERVES: Makes 1 cup
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!

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

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 :)

SERVES: Makes 1 ½ cups
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.

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

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees 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!

  • Tori//Gringalicious11/11/2016 - 5:33 am

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

  • Nandita11/11/2016 - 6:52 am

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

  • Kati | black.white.vivid.11/11/2016 - 9:10 am

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

  • Sarah | Well and Full11/11/2016 - 9:17 am

    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!!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Cathryn11/11/2016 - 9:27 am

    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!

  • Maya | Spice + Sprout11/11/2016 - 9:28 am

    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 ;)ReplyCancel

  • Tuulia Talvio11/11/2016 - 9:49 am

    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! xoReplyCancel

  • Abby @ Heart of a Baker11/11/2016 - 11:22 am

    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! xoReplyCancel

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

  • Abigail11/11/2016 - 1:04 pm

    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 xReplyCancel

  • Julia @ HappyFoods Tube11/11/2016 - 2:20 pm

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

  • Jen @ sweetgreenkitchen.com11/11/2016 - 2:25 pm

    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!ReplyCancel

  • maya kuijper12/11/2016 - 1:57 am

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

  • Kenlyn12/11/2016 - 2:02 pm


    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. :)ReplyCancel

  • […] Absolutely loving this ultimate vegan snack board, which would be perfect for Thanksgiving! 002: Hosting a Friendsgiving this year? Then check out […]ReplyCancel

  • Neni14/11/2016 - 4:47 am

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

  • Trish14/11/2016 - 11:03 am

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

  • Susan14/11/2016 - 4:46 pm

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

  • Lucie21/11/2016 - 5:23 am

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

  • Natalie06/12/2016 - 4:49 pm

    How many lbs of pre cut butternut squash would you useReplyCancel

    • Laura07/12/2016 - 7:44 am

      Hi Natalie,
      Roughly 1 pound will work for this.

  • Erin07/02/2017 - 6:06 pm

    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.


    • Laura07/02/2017 - 7:36 pm

      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.

      • Erin08/02/2017 - 7:43 am

        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. ; )ReplyCancel

  • […] Vegan Pate Board […]ReplyCancel

  • Sharron13/10/2017 - 1:30 am

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

    • Laura13/10/2017 - 11:37 am

      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.

  • Jo18/12/2017 - 10:02 am

    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!ReplyCancel

  • […] Vegan Snack Board […]ReplyCancel

  • Jill09/10/2019 - 8:06 pm

    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!ReplyCancel

    • Laura10/10/2019 - 7:14 am

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

  • Lina16/12/2019 - 7:24 pm

    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.ReplyCancel

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *