How to Make a Vegetarian Turkey-Shaped Charcuterie Board for Thanksgiving
This creative platter offers a fun yet ironic way to keep turkey on the menu while surprising vegetarian guests with an array of meat-free delights.
This Thanksgiving, get extra creative with your appetizers by artfully arranging an eye-catching board full of rich cheeses and crunchy vegetables in a fun turkey design. Your guests — vegetarian or not — are sure to be impressed.
1. Cut Cheese Shapes
Start with the turkey’s tail feathers. Use round and heart-shaped fluted cookie cutters to stamp shapes from sharp cheddar and Colby jack cheese slices.
2. Start at the Top of the Tail Feather
A large round platter or wooden board will give you plenty of space to work and, following the curve of the board, will help keep the turkey’s half-moon shape symmetrical. Arrange a half circle of round cheese slices on the board, then top with round crackers.
3. Stack Veggies
Assemble stacks of veggies that will give the overall design dimension. Zucchini and squash rounds, topped with radish slices and cherry tomato halves skewered with toothpicks make it easy for guests to serve themselves.
4. Add Layers
Continue to layer on the heart-shaped cheeses and the veggie stacks. Nestle tender baby asparagus between the vegetables so their plume-like tips extend past the outer layer of cheese.
5. Place the Body
Keep layering on more veggies, cheeses and crackers, until you’re satisfied with the design. For the body, slice a fresh pear in half vertically, and lay it in the center of the half circle of veggies and cheeses.
6. Make the Wattle + Beak
Make the turkey’s wattle from a piece of fresh red bell pepper trimmed with a paring knife. Similarly, cut two turkey legs from a yellow bell pepper. Use a little whipped cream cheese to stick the wattle and beak onto the front of the pear. A whole almond will create the turkey’s beak.
7. Add the Eyes + Legs
Press two whole cloves into the pear above the beak for the turkey’s eyes. Some cauliflower florets at the bottom edge of the pear will create "under feathers," and arrange the legs just below the florets.
8. Include Dips + Dressings
Arrange soft cheeses, dips, fresh fruit and other nibbles around the assembled design for more variety and to encourage grazing.