This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
We all love to graze during parties. Learn how to make a charcuterie board and fill it with all of your favorites!
A Feast for the Eyes and Mouth!
Charcuterie boards, pronounced shahr-koo-tuh–ree, are essentially a fancy meat and cheese board. They are like a prettier and more grown-up version of lunchable. 😉
Charcuterie is a french term meaning cooked cold meats. Not only does it include different meats and cheeses, but often nuts, fruits, crackers, and dips. It’s a feast for the eyes as well as the mouth.
They not only make delicious appetizers but can be used as an entire meal. If you need to know how to make a charcuterie board for an upcoming party or holiday feast use these simple tips and round up your favorites!
What to Put on A Charcuterie Board
Honestly, the options are endless and there’s no way I could possibly include everything.
As you are choosing items, be mindful of textures as well as colors. It’s good to include a variety of flavors. You want there to be beautiful pops of color throughout the board.
Here are a few items you might consider:
Meats. You typically need about 3-4 slices of meat per person. Use different types of meat: salami, ham, pepperoni, pastrami, peppered beef, Spanish chorizo, cured sausage, pate, prosciutto, Italian bresaola, or Spanish jamon (ham).
Cheese. Provide about 2-3 ounces per person. Try to mix a soft cheese with a harder cheese. Cheddar, brie, Colby, mozzarella, pepper Jack, feta, Parmesan Swiss, Italian Piave, Gouda blue cheese, or a small cheese ball.
Bread/crackers. Ritz, pita, grissini breadstick, Parmesan crisps, toasted crostini, Artisan crackers, baguette, pretzels, wheat thins, or Triscuts.
Nuts. (raw, roasted, salted, or candied) Pistachio, almonds, macadamia, or pecans.
Produce. Provide a variety of colors and textures. Include both dried and fresh produce. Apples, snap peas, raisins, carrots, cherry tomatoes, snap peas, blueberries, raspberries, pears, grapes, olives, dried apricots, mini pickles, or craisins.
How to Make a Charcuterie Board
Most often a wooden cutting board is used. The rustic look of the wood really helps give a beautiful feel to the overall dish. A standard cutting board is about 9×13 but you can definitely use a smaller or larger one depending on the size of your party. If you don’t have a wooden cutting board any flat-surfaced serving tray can be used.
DIPS. Place dips in small bowls on opposite sides of the board.
MEAT + CHEESE. Fold or roll the deli meats and place around the board. Add the different cheeses on opposite sides from each other.
CRACKERS. Place the different types of crackers and pretzels around the board.
FRUIT + VEGGIES. Finally, fill in any empty spots with the vegetables, fruit and nuts.
Be sure to set out serving prongs or toothpicks near the tray.
Now that you know how to set up a charcuterie board use these tips to avoid soggy crackers or any other mishaps.
Using dips. If you are using any sauces, or dips place them in a small bowl or cup. Use different-sized dishes for different dips/sauces. If you have one bowl place it in the center of the board. If you have 2 or more, space them evenly on the board. Now you can arrange your other items around the bowls.
Meat. The meats should be pre sliced and can be rolled, folded, or stacked. To make it easier have the cheese pre-sliced, or cubed as well, but if you decide to place them in a block be sure to have a small cheese knife available.
Make it pretty. You can arrange the items so that there’s a pattern or symmetry, or you can make it look random. Garnish with fresh herbs or other leaves.
Make Ahead of Time
Depending on the size of your tray you may want to prepare the items ahead of time. Most items can be prepared and stored separately until you’re ready to arrange your tray.
Have extra items stored so that you can replenish the tray as the evening progresses.
STORE. Leftovers can be stored in separate containers to be eaten later.
Change it Up!
The great thing about Charcuterie Boards is that they are SO easy to switch up!
We love to have them for different occasions like parties, get togethers and holidays. All you have to do is change up the ingredients for the event.
Here are some of our favorites to make through out the year:
- S’mores Charcuterie Board
- Breakfast Charcuterie Board
- Movie Night Charcuterie Board
- Hot Chocolate Charcuterie Board
- Yogurt Parfait Board
Don’t Forget the Holidays
You won’t want to miss our holiday charcuterie boards as well. There are so many great ideas that are easily customized to the holiday.
That means you’ll want to use seasonal and holiday foods for each board.
- Valentine’s Charcuterie Board
- Easter Charcuterie Board
- Halloween Charcuterie Board
- Halloween Candy Charcuterie Board
- Thanksgiving Charcuterie Board
- Christmas Tree Charcuterie Board
- Christmas Charcuterie Board
Absolutely! While a wooden cutting board is often used for a charcuterie board to enhance its rustic appeal, you can definitely make a charcuterie board without one. Any flat-surfaced serving tray or platter will work just fine. Get creative and use what you have available in your kitchen!
Start by estimating the number of guests and plan accordingly. Make sure you have enough meats, cheeses, and accompaniments to cater to everyone. You can create 2-3 boards or one large board. Either way, keep extra food on hand to refill the boards as needed.
You can include a few components that are not commonly served, incorporate homemade finger foods, and add festive elements according to the occasion/holiday.
For More Appetizers, Check Out:
- Veggie Cup Appetiers
- Crockpot Meatballs
- Spinach Puffs
- Veggie Tortilla Roll Ups
- Turkey Veggie Tray
- Christmas Tree Veggie Platter
- Christmas Charcuterie Board Recipe
How to Make a Charcuterie Board Recipe
- large wooden cutting board
- toothpicks or serving prongs
- 2 dips such as Homemade Ranch, Cream Cheese Fruit Dip or hummus
- 12 slices each assorted deli meats such as pepperoni, prosciutto or salami
- 2 cups cheese cubes or 12 slices each assorted cheeses such as Colby Jack, provolone or Swiss
- ½-1 cup soft cheese such as cream cheese or goat cheese
- 1 cup each assorted crackers, chips or pretzels
- 1 cup each assorted chopped or diced vegetables such as baby carrots, broccoli, cucumber or snap peas
- 1 cup each assorted chopped or diced fruit such as apples, blackberries or strawberries
- ½ cup each assorted nuts such as almonds or pistachios
- Place dips in small bowls on opposite sides of the board.
- Fold or roll the deli meats and place around the board.
- Add the different cheeses on opposite sides from each other.
- Place the different types of crackers and pretzels around the board.
- Finally, fill in any empty spots with the vegetables, fruit and nuts.
- Be sure to set out serving prongs or toothpicks near the tray.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.