10 Ways to Build a Snack Board with Stuff Already in Your Kitchen

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

The beauty of the snack board is that it really doesn’t require much effort. You don’t have to cook anything to pull them off, and if you’ve aced the whole stocked fridge and pantry thing, you really don’t have to grocery shopping to put one together.

At the heart of these casual, snack-based dinners is the idea that you can stitch together your kitchen’s bits and pieces into a wholesome dinner. Which means snack boards are meant to be safe places for those little amounts of leftovers that just don’t make a meal themselves, or the scraps in your produce bin that have been forgotten about. Yes, you can make a great board right this minute from just a quick scan through your kitchen — because chances are, you already have everything you need. Here are 10 ways to utilize your pantry and refrigerator shelves to build a solid snack board for dinner.

1. Take out leftover roasted vegetables or chicken.

Odds and ends from last night’s dinner are great snack-board contenders. Things like leftover roasted vegetables or chicken (or even rotisserie chicken) can be enjoyed cold or at room temperature on your board. A sprinkle of flaky or flavored salt before serving can really revive them.

2. Roast a can of chickpeas.

If you’ve never roasted a can of chickpeas before, now’s your chance to discover one of life’s greatest snacks. Simply drain the can, dry the beans well, and roast them with olive oil and spices until them become crunchy (here’s our recipe). Keep them vegan but make them taste like Cheetos if you really want to live it up.

3. Make quick rolls with nori or rice paper and raw veggies.

A pack of nori or rice paper keeps well for quite a while in your pantry, making both good items to have on hand for a quick way to jazz up raw veggies. Grab whatever you may have in the produce bin and roll it up in your wrapper of choice. If you have an extra minute, make an easy pantry-friendly dipping sauce to go alongside.

4. Grab any and all wedges of cheese.

If your refrigerator looks anything like mine, you have a drawer that’s full of the neglected wedges of cheese. Maybe there’s a chunk of cheddar leftover from mac and cheese night or half a log of goat cheese that you’ve just simply forgotten about. Grab whatever you’ve got and give them a good home on your snack board. Just don’t make the cheese the point — snack boards aren’t cheese boards.

5. Roast some nuts.

Toast whatever nuts you have around — be it almonds or walnuts or cashews. You don’t even have to turn on your oven to accomplish this. Instead, toss the nuts in a skillet and toast them on stovetop. Bonus points if you sprinkle them with your spice of choice, like cumin or smoked paprika, before toasting and finishing them with a little flaky salt.

6. Boil eggs.

Oh, the incredible, edible egg. It’s indeed a workhorse in the kitchen, so it’s an obvious pick for a pantry snack board. Boil a few to your liking, let them cool, and slice them to give your board a high-protein boost. Bonus points if you already have these pre-cooked in the fridge. Gotta love that Sunday meal prep.

7. Crack open a can of tuna.

Grab that can of tuna in the back of your pantry and take it beyond the lunch sandwich. Drain it and toss it with a little lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper and enjoy it piled on crackers or toast.

8. Roll up deli meat and cheese.

Any deli meat and cheese you have in the fridge is fair game for a snack board. Make quick, crowd-pleasing roll-ups with that turkey and Provolone, or that roast beef and Swiss.

9. Make these super-easy flatbreads.

Don’t panic if you don’t have any bread or crackers in the kitchen to round out your snack board. If you have self-rising flour and plain Greek yogurt on hand, you can make these extra-easy flatbreads to add to your board.

10. Reach for that tub of hummus.

Or any other dip you have on hand — even that tub of plain Greek yogurt will do the trick. A drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of flaky salt or a spice blend like za’atar or dukkah gives them new life and makes them great contenders for dunking with the flatbreads above.

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