How to Make a Charcuterie Board


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Charcuterie boards are not only gorgeous, they contain a combination of flavors and nibbles for a simple no-fuss party snack!

It’s not difficult to prepare a meat and cheese board that everyone will rave about! Adding various flavors from simple everyday ingredients takes very little prep and just minutes to build!

I’ve included a few tips below to make sure your next party platter is the talk of the event!

This post is sponsored by Walmart and SheKnows Media.

Weekends around here are for hanging out with friends, enjoying drinks and sitting around the table with a glass of wine telling stories.  It’s truly my preferred way to spend a Friday night.

Preparing a Charcuterie board is not only fun, it always looks gorgeous and it’s quicker and easier than ordering a pizza!

What is Charcuterie?

First off … how do you pronounce charcuterie?  [shahr-koo-tuhree].

Charcuterie is the art of preparing meats which are often cured or smoked such as bacon, ham or salami.  A charcutier is a person who prepares charcuterie and while the term is loosely translated in English to “pork butcher”, any kind of meat can be used.

A charcuterie board is commonly seen on menus pretty much everywhere these days and it’s the perfect way to enjoy some nibbles with friends and family!

Preparing a Charcuterie Board

A charcuterie board most often consists of a variety of meats and cheeses and often fruit or nuts; essentially a meat and cheese board!

It’s very easy to prepare a charcuterie and you can find absolutely everything you need at Walmart!

The gorgeous wood board in the photos on this post was purchased at Walmart (it’s a part of the Pioneer Woman Collection) along with all of the ingredients! If you’d prefer, Walmart also has a great selection of plates to create the perfect Charcuterie platter!

As you begin thinking about making the perfect charcuterie board, you will want to start thinking about different colors and textures to make it vibrant and interesting.

Red and black berries, dried apricots, fresh herbs, pickles, olives and various dips can add lots of color.

The board should look full, don’t be afraid to pile and stack them while thinking about varying the different items throughout.

Meat: I estimate about 3-4 slices of meat per person when building a board.  I try to include a variety of flavors and textures for example a sliced pepper salami, a rolled prosciutto and thoughtfully piled ham.

Cheese: Choose a variety of cheeses; about 1 or 2 oz per person as an hors d’oeuvre.  Look for various hard and soft cheeses from mellow to sharp.  Cheeses are easiest served already sliced.

Bread and Crackers: Again variety is key, I like to include buttery flaky crackers, grain crackers and thinly sliced and toasted baguettes.

Fruit & Nuts: Both dried and fresh fruit will add gorgeous color and lots of flavor to your charcuterie board! As you are purchasing fruits, keep a variety of colors in mind for a beautiful board.  Nuts should be shelled and salted.

Pickles, Olives and Dips: Adding small bowls filled with dill pickles, olives, jellies, mustards and delicious dips is a great way to add some zip and flavor to your board.

Most of the items can be prepared, washed and/or sliced ahead of time meaning this easy appetizer can take just minutes to prepare.

A beautiful meat and cheese board with various flavors takes very little prep and just minutes to build! I was able to find all of
the items I needed at Walmart. Below is the list of some of my favorite additions!

Cheese

Sliced Monterey Jack Cheese
Sliced Cheddar Cheese
El Cortijo Manchego Wedge Cheese
Bel Gioioso Parmesan Cheese Wedge

Meat

Peppered Salame
Salami
Prosciutto
Ham

Fruit

Dried Apricots
Assorted fresh berries
Cherry tomatoes
Grapes

 

Crackers/Bread

Marketside French Baguette sliced and toasted
Ritz Crackers
Everything Pretzel Crisps
Artisan or Seeded Crackers

Other

Planters Nuts
Marketside Spinach Dip
Marketside Onion Dip
Great Value Black Olives
Mini Dill Pickles

The next time you need an easy and totally fuss free party snack, creating a charcuterie board is not only loved by everyone… it’s so pretty!

I am excited to have partnered with Walmart & SheKnows Media to bring you this post.  While I was compensated, all thoughts and opinions are my own.  Working with great brands I love allows me to keep bringing you the great recipes you love!

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Learn how to make a Charcuterie board for a simple no-fuss party snack! A meat and cheese board with simple everyday ingredients is an easy appetizer! #spendwithpennies #appetizer #party #cheeseandcrackers #appetizerplatter
Learn how to make a Charcuterie board for a simple no-fuss party snack! A meat and cheese board with simple everyday ingredients is an easy appetizer! #spendwithpennies #appetizer #party #cheeseandcrackers #appetizerplatter

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Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Comments

  1. Your charcuterie board looks amazing! I’m thinking about making something similar for my wedding. About how much do you think it would cost for about 100 people?

  2. Thank you for sharing this info on a Charcuterie board and how to fill it! I was becoming overwhelmed looking at a lot of these boards but none showed the basic info on how to fill one. Your post is so informative and greatly appreciated!

  3. Beautiful presentations! I often prepare a charcuterie board for holidays with cheese and fruits for vegetarians in the family. Most times my family prefers a variety of “boards” to a regular heavy meal. Thanks for the many ideas for presentations.

    1. So happy we could help Vicki! Making beautiful charcuterie boards is one of our favorites around the holidays too.

  4. 5 stars all the way!! Charcuterie has replaced our Friday pizza~it’s sufficient for a complete meal, imho! Thank you for sharing some new additions to try out

  5. My family did our first real Charcuterie board for Christmas day as a snack between a big breakfast and a big dinner; opening presents is hard work. ;-) I had asked everyone (15 of us) if they had any particular things they wanted and most thought I was overdoing it. We had 6 cheeses, 3 meats, a nut sampler, Granny Smith apples (awesome with sharp cheese), red and green grapes, a veggie tray, 4 types of crackers (forgot to cut up the baguette), two types of olives and a sample pack of various spreads (9 flavors, lots of fun).

    I did my best to make it look like your board, a pleasant mixture of yumminess, but had to split it onto three different platters. It was all a huge success! I spent 4 months sampling cheeses (a labor of love) to find the best and they were the center of attention. And surprisingly few touched the veggie platter (except the 4 year old, he mostly ate plain cucumbers, it was amazing to see!), may cut that down next year and do more fruit instead.
    I had some leftovers and made a simplified version for the much smaller New Years group. A big hit again!

    I have officially been charged with making a Charcuterie board every Thanksgiving and Christmas day (which means, I don’t have to do dishes!). I’m thinking of adding berries, honeycomb and maybe little caviar next year; plus a bit of dark chocolate to juxtapose the super sharp cheddar I found.

    Your post took the intimidation factor away. Thank you so much for the tips and inspiration!

    1. You’re so welcome! Thank you for sharing your great success with the charcuterie boards! I’m so happy to hear that you have a new job for the holidays :)

  6. This looks WONDERFUL but I have a question.
    What can I make for my gluten-free vegan company that looks this good? They come about once a month to my house. I am stuck about what to make next.
    Please help.
    Elaine

    1. A cheese board is a great option for your GF guests! Fruits, nuts, cheeses, meats and GF crackers are great options. I would suggest double checking the packages of items you purchase to ensure they’re Gluten Free.

    2. There are lovely vegan cheeses made with nuts. Check out Whole Foods or other health food store. They will likely be by the “alternative meats”. Cashew cheeses are creamy and delicious and are on the softer side like a thicker ricotta! (there are great recipes to make them yourself too!).

      As for charcuterie meats, you may have to just stick with other savory umami flavors like olives.

  7. Great esthetic- one of those “almost looks too good to eat” occasions. How do you prevent lots of fingers touching lots of things on the periphery of what is taken, esp with nuts and berries which can’t efficiently be speared, scooped, or picked with tongs? 

  8. Hello thanks for this but I need to correct you. What you’re showing isn’t a charcuterie board at all. Charcuterie is charcuterie, cheese is cheese. In France you don’t eat both on the same board. You START with a charcuterie board (ONLY MEAT – maybe pickles) BEFORE the meal, with apéritif, and you END the meal with a cheese board that is its own separate thing. Neither of these have guacamole or dips or whatever. The cheese board MIGHT have some fruit or one type of jam and some nuts but no dips. Also NEVER crackers. French people don’t even know what crackers are. We just don’t eat them/use them/know about them. We also wouldn’t have tomatoes let alone BANANAS (what???) on a charcuterie board. It’s not a ‘dump anything’ board, it’s literally nothing else than a cold cuts board, period. Hope this helps :)

    1. Thanks for your insight.

      Charcuterie certainly refers to the preparation of the meat, you can find information in the post. Where I live, this is a common way to serve charcuterie as a party food. The great thing about a board is you can put just meat on yours if that is how you like to serve it. :) Enjoy!

    2. Audrey- get over yourself. Some of us entertain with children present, so fruit is a must.  Don’t take it so seriously. We like crackers and bananas here in the US.  

      1. French people do have kids too to be clear!
        They eat cheese and fruit as well, just on different board which is called cheese board.
        Charcuterie def. it refers to cured meat so crackers ,dips, olives and fruits aren’t cured -this is what Audrey was trying to explain.
        You can make your own American “charcuterie” board with hot dogs, burgers, fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, jello ,mayonnaise, ranch dressing and macaroni salad= nobody cares! Just don’t use foreign words which stand for totally different things.

        1. Perhaps this is an American version of charcuterie.  It still is beautiful and interesting and quite appealing. WHY criticize something that one has created with imagination?

    3. Yes it’s an American version of it and I don’t understand why just don’t call it appetizer boad or meat and crackers ?

    4. Audrey – thank you for the description/definition. I had no idea. I thought your response was very Informative.

      SPEND WITH PENNIES: Excellent kind professional response!! I have been checking out some of your recipes and cannot wait to try them – Thank You!

  9. Hello Holly. Thank you for the great tips and directions for preparing a beautiful charcuterie board. Do you typically prepare (cut, wash, dry, etc.) more meats, cheeses, breads/crackers than you need and then re-fill throughout the course of your party/gathering? Your presentation is just beautiful.

    1. I do generally keep more in the fridge to refill as needed as I think a full board looks so pretty. In the days after I use any leftover veggies for stir fries and extra cheeses/meats for paninis or sandwiches. :)

  10. Cheese boards are my go to appetizer for the holidays. I love your post and explanation on how to assemble a well rounded board!

  11. Thank you Holly for breaking it down, how to build your own charcuterie board. Left to my own devices I would probably just to a big pile-on, so it helps to have some structure and thought behind how to prepare one of these boards properly. Thanks!

  12. You can’t go wrong with a proper charcuterie board, there’s always something for everyone, so it makes it perfect for parties! Plus it’s super easy and quick to put together :)

  13. This looks delicious, we make charcuterie boards for dinner. Little mini ones instead of eating a traditional meal;) We LOVE it!

  14. This charcuterie board is just gorgeous!! I’m loving all the tips and ideas and can’t wait to make my own… for a holiday party or just for myself :)

  15. I love charcuterie, and make it often for holiday parties, and when entertaining guests. It’s so simple and delicious. I love your tips, and how beautiful your finished platter (cutting board) looks. For my next charcuterie tray, I will incorporate some of your ideas, and I can hardly wait.

  16. This charcuterie board is phenomenal. So gorgeous! I love that you don’t use just meats but also add dried fruit, pickles, and dips as well. It looks stunning. I could imagine just sitting by the fire, drinking wine and eating the whole thing by myself!

  17. Great tips! A charcuterie board is such a great tool for entertaining year round, but especially during the busy holiday season. Everyone loves it, and it’s so convenient for the hostess to assemble. Win win! I love that cutting board, too.

  18. I love visiting family members in Europe because dinner would usually be very light and that means a charcuterie board would be common place with 2-3 hams, mushroom sausage, paprika sausage, 2-3 salami types and different cheese variations. Usually you can find a choice of breads too such as black bread and sunflower bread amongst others. Your charcuterie board brings back memories!