Serve guests only the best charcuterie board with these simple and easy tips and ideas!
Charcuterie boards are moveable feasts of colors, textures, and flavors! Make a signature meat and cheese board with a variety of bread, crackers, fruit, nuts, olives, and tasty spreads!
The tips below will ensure your next party platter is the talk of the event!
This post is sponsored by Walmart and SheKnows Media.
What is a Charcuterie Board?
- It’s pronounced charcuterie ‘shahr-koo-tuh–ree’ and means the art of preparing meats. Most meats and cheeses come pre-sliced so arranging them is easy!
- Invite a few friends over and make a DIY charcuterie board (or two!) and then admire and enjoy your edible work of art with a glass of wine!
- Guestimate about 3-4 slices of meat and 1-2 ounces of cheese per person. Everything else is up to the artist!
- Prepare mini-charcuterie boards and wrap them in plastic wrap with a festive bow as a special delivery hostess gift or a Christmas party gift exchange!
- Any shape or size of wood board can be used as a serving platter for the charcuterie! Large, small, round, or square boards are can become a place for all kinds of edible ideas! Change it up and fill cups instead!
Charcuterie Board Ideas
Meats – Choose a variety of meats that are easy to eat with your fingers. Rolled-up slices of genoa salami and thin slices of artfully piled ham, prosciutto, or pancetta curled into rose shapes add structure and visual interest.
Cheese – Buy a range of orange, yellow, and white cheeses that range from mellow to sharp (like gorgonzola) in flavor. Slice them or cut blocks into cubes.
I do like to include a variety of hard cheeses (like parmesan) and soft cheeses (like burrata, brie, or goat cheese). You can also add in a creamy dip or two.
Bread & Crackers – Crostini, water crackers, grain crackers, or thin slices of toasted baguettes are perfect for spreading and scooping!
Fruit & Nuts – Fresh fruit like grapes, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or even pear or apple slices add color and freshness. Dried apricots or other fruits are sweet and add a different texture. Nuts should be shelled and salted, try a salted mixture, pisctachios, or candied walnuts .
Sweet – I add an element of sweetness with either pepper jelly, fig jam, or a little bit of honey. Add a few chocolate-covered raisins, chocolate truffles, or chocolate almonds to satisfy a sweet tooth!
Pickles, Olives, & Dips – Small bowls of black, green, and kalamata olives, cornichons (baby dill pickles), banana peppers, or other pickled vegetables and cranberry relish, some whole grain mustard, garlic aioli, or quick & easy tapenade.
How to Make a Charcuterie Board
Let your inner foodie out and arrange the ingredients in any interesting manner that inspires you! The best charcuterie boards are piled high with various foods, but they all mix and match together. There’s really no wrong way to assemble a great meat and chees board!
- Start with small bowls filled with jams/fruits/dips etc. and arrange the meats and cheeses around them.
- Create patterns or use cookie cutters to cut cheese into initials, letters or a shapes.
- Vary the way cheeses are sliced/cubed/cut and the way meats are layered, rolled and twisted.
- Garnish with thin slices of oranges and sprigs of rosemary or basil.
Think outside of the box… or should I say the board and try making charcuterie cups or put them in little bowls! The possibilities are endless.
Can you Make Charcuterie Ahead of Time?
Assemble a charcuterie board up to a day in advance and keep it covered and chilled until ready to serve. Dips and spreads should be in small covered containers until ready to arrange on the board in small bowls for easy access.
- Sandwiches: Fill buns or bread the next day for an easy lunch.
- Breakfast: Add the meat and cheese to scrambled eggs, a frittata, or an omelette for a post-party brunch.
- Mac & Cheese: Use the cheese for cheese sauce, chop up the meats, and toss it with elbows to a new creative spin on baked mac and cheese.
- Pasta Salad: Chop it all up and toss with pasta and bottled Italian dressing for an easy pasta salad.
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What do you add to your Charcuterie Board? Let us know in a comment below!
How to Make a Charcuterie Board
Marinated Mozzarella Cheese
- 8 oz mozzarella balls, bocconccini
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 6 oz sliced pepper jack cheese or another variety of flavored cheese
- 6 oz sliced sharp cheddar cheese
- 6 oz manchego or Gruyere Cheese
- 6 oz parmesan, gouda or asiago
- 8 oz peppered salame
- 8 oz salami
- 8 oz prosciutto
- 8 oz ham
- 1 French Baguette sliced and toasted
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 cups Pretzel Crisps
- 2 cups Artisan or Seeded Crackers
- 1 cup Roasted Assorted Nuts
- ¼ cup Fig Jam, Onion Dip, or Grainy Mustard
- 1 small bunch Grapes
- ½ cup Black Olives, Artichokes, or Pickles
- Dried Fruits optional
- Combine cheese, oil, and Italian seasoning. Let marinate at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- Slice the baguette and brush with olive oil or spray with cooking spray. Bake at 400°F for 6-8 minutes or until crisp. Remove from the oven and rub with a whole peeled garlic clove.
- Slice cheeses, wash and dry grapes.
- Place small bowls on the charcuterie board and fill then with dips, olives or any wet ingredients.
- Arrange meats, cheeses, and crackers around the board.
- Finally, add in the fruit for color. Add fresh herbs for a pop of color if desired.
- 4 slices of meat (about 3 oz total)
- 2 oz cheese per person
- a variety of crackers and bread
- a tablespoon or two of something pickled or briney
- fruits, nuts, and herbs for color and texture
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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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!
Holly, I have been trying for years to do a charcuterie board. I’ve clipped many photos to use as a map, but I have never made one. I would depend on my daughter to whip one up, because she was so good at it, but she is in California now with a husband and baby! This is exactly the “map” I needed to make my own. I don’t venture forth very much from the recipe. But I think I can do this. Thank you!!!
I can’t wait for you to try it MJ! Charcuterie boards have become a favorite to serve at gatherings and as an appetizer for us. Enjoy!