We all love to graze during holidays and parties, and what better way to do it than with a Charcuterie board?! Customize with all your favorite meats, cheeses, crackers, veggies, fruits and dips!
A Feast for the Eyes and Mouth!
Charcuterie boards, pronounced shahr-koo-tuh–ree, are essentially a fancy meat and cheese board. 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.
What to Put on A charcuterie board?
Honestly the options on what you can use 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. 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. Salami, Ham, Pepperoni, Pastrami, peppered beef, Spanish chorizo, cured sausage, pate, prosciutto, Italian bresaola, Spanish jamon (ham)
Cheese: provide about 2-3 oz per person. Try to mix a soft cheese with a harder cheese. Cheddar, brie, colby, mozzarella, pepper Jack, feta, Parmesan Swiss, Italian Piave, small cheese ball.
Bread/Crackers: Ritz, pita, grissini breadstick, Parmesan crisps, toasted crostini, Artisan crackers, baguette, pretzels, wheat thins, Triscuts.
Nuts: Nuts can be raw, roasted, salted or candied. Pistachio, almonds, macadamia, pecans.
Produce: provide a variety of colors and textures. Include both dried and fresh produce. Apples, snap peas, raisins, carrots, cherry tomatoes, snap peas, berries, grapes, olives, dried apricots, mini pickles, 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.
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.
Next, place your meats and cheeses on the board. Be sure to have an equal amount on each side of the board.
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.
Add crackers, nuts and produce in groups around the board. Again be sure to include an even amount of items on both sides of the board. The produce will be your pop of color so arrange them in a visually pleasing manner.
You can arrange the items so that there’s a pattern or symmetry, or you can make it look random. Garnish with herbs or other leaves.
Making ahead of time + Leftovers
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.
Leftovers can be stored in separate containers to be eaten later.
For more appetizers, check out:
- Veggie Cups
- Crockpot Meatballs
- Spinach Puffs
- Tortilla Roll Ups
- Turkey Veggie Tray
- Christmas Tree Veggie Platter
Best 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.