Plant-Based Holiday Antipasto

Vegan and gluten-free antipasto and cheese n crackers

Plant-based antipasto with roasted red peppers, dried tomatoes, pickled beets, pickled string beans, organic olives

Antipasto has been part of our family’s holiday tradition for decades. When I started eating a plant-based diet in 2012, I continued this tradition but learned to create a plant lovers version. I make my own pickled beets and pickled string beans, grill-roasted peppers, and dehydrated tomatoes from our home grown veggies. If you don’t make your own, look for organic, preservative free brands at your healthy food store such as Real Pickles (they offer a delicious, fermented, pickled beet and more).

You might be interested in a blog I wrote on how to make dehydrator dried tomatoes and a YouTube video on grill-roasting peppers; the process is the same even if you’re making a smaller quantity.


Grill Roasted Red Peppers

Grill-Roasted Carmen Peppers

Plant-Based Cheese and Gluten-Free Crackers

Fortunately, there are many wonderful soy-free, plant-based cheese options these days! Two of my favorites brands are Tree Line and Miyoko’s Kitchen. I enjoy Miyoko’s Vegan Mozz and they also offer a Smoked Vegan Mozz, which I haven’t tried yet. Always read package ingredients; some products made by this brand contain soy, oils, or nutritional yeast.

Gluten-Free, Vegan Cheese and Crackers

From back to front: Miyoko’s VeganMozz, Tree Line French Style Soft Cheese with home-made Sweet Pepper Relish, Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers (these are the BEST crackers!)

For the past couple of summers I’ve been making and canning sweet pepper relish. This summer I canned about 12 half pints using the recipe on the National Center for Home Food Preservation’s website. Whenever I can, I like to use recipes on this site because I know they’ve been kitchen chemistry tested and are absolutely safe, unlike some of the recipes floating around the web.

I thought you might like to make some pepper relish to garnish soft cheese as I did here, so I did the math, and cut the recipe way back. I also reduced the sugar.

Holiday Antipasto Sweet Pepper Relish
Rate this recipe
3 ratings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8

Serving Size: 1/4 cup

Calories per serving: 39.35 kcal

Fat per serving: 0.24 g

Saturated fat per serving: 0.03 g

Carbs per serving: 8.1 g

Protein per serving: 0.76 g

Fiber per serving: 1.42 g

Sugar per serving: 6.12 g

Sodium per serving: 182.51 mg

Sweet Red Pepper Relish


  • 2 cups minced sweet peppers (3 or 4 peppers)
  • 1/4 cup minced yellow onion (1 or 2 small onions)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 cup organic cane sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds


  1. Wash peppers and remove stems and seeds. Mince and measure 2 cups including juice.
  2. Core and peel onions. Mince and measure 1/4 cup including juice.
  3. Place onion, pepper, and rest of ingredients into saucepan. Bring mixture to boil and then reduce heat. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Cool and refrigerate.


If you have a food grinder you can use it to grind up the peppers and onions instead of mincing by hand

Nutrition label for Holiday Antipasto Sweet Pepper Relish

So Let’s Talk About Olives

I absolutely love olives!! All olives . . . well almost all. I abhor the prematurely picked, rubbery, lye soaked wanna be olives that come out of the can. You know the kind I mean . . . mainstream black olives.

Let me introduce you to the concept of real olives with robust flavors, normal olive textures (some chewy, some buttery) and all dripping with real olive oil. Here are just a couple of brands that are new on my radar. I like that they are not packed in vinegar with citric acid. The Sunfoods brand is also raw.

Organic Raw Olives, Buttery Green Olives, Kalamata Olives

Bring your olive game to a new level!