Charcuterie boards are the crowd-pleasing way to snack! You can make this with a few ingredients from your local grocery for a stress-free appetizer for a crowd or weeknight meal.
Sometimes, it’s a real chore to prepare something that everyone will eat and enjoy, but with a great Charcuterie Board, all of your problems are solved.
If you’ve read even just one single recipe on this site, you know I love efficiency and recipes that allow for customizations. And a perfect Charcuterie Board hits all those points and then some!
Pro Tip: If you are in the heat of holiday season, this is a great appetizer to serve to the masses and get them out of the kitchen. You can even toss your leftover cheeseball or bourbon cranberry sauce on the board, too!
What is a charcuterie board?
Pronounced [shahr-koo-tuh–ree]. Simply put, it’s a meat a cheese board with a little extra pizazz added in the form of nuts, jams, breads, dried fruits… and whatever else you can conjure up.
If you are looking for stunning inspo for a charcuterie board, Skinny Taste has it going on!
My husband and I make this a lot during busy weeks when cooking isn’t an option or we don’t want to heat up the oven. It’s also great for hosting a crowd for the holidays or weekend company.
What to include on a charcuterie board:
- Meats – salami, capicola, calabrese, pepperoni, deli meats, prosciutto
- Cheeses – cheddar, mozzarella, pepperjack, goat cheese
- Vehicles – crackers, breads, crisps
- Dips – a combo of olive oil, balsamic vinegar with some fresh rosemary is our fav! Sweet or savory jams and other dips are great additions, too.
- Accessories – dried fruits, nuts, pickles, marinated peppers or other veggies, fresh berries or apple slices
Now that you’ve got your grocery list, it’s time to build it up!
How to Make a Charcuterie Board:
- Pull out a beautiful board or platter. Flat and square is always best. We like to use a large cutting board.
- Unpackage your meats and cheeses. Slice and lay out accordingly. Neatly group the different foods with other like items.
- Choose a variety of cured meats like the ones mentioned above. I like to slice in smaller pieces, or you can leave them whole. It depends on the look you are going for.
- Incorporate a mix of cheeses with different textures and sharpness. The “fancy” deli section is a great place to start for this one. You will find much of what you need around the feta or artisanal cheeses section.
- Add cured olives or pickled veggies. Keep it simple by grabbing a few varieties from the pickle aisle in the grocery store. Pro Tip: Place these in colorful ramekins to add depth and keep the juices from running into other areas of the board.
- Add jams, dips, spreads or oils in small bowls for dipping.
- Accessorize with some fresh berries, mixed nuts like marcona almonds, or dried fruit.
- Don’t forget the vehicles! No board is complete without sliced, buttery (and garlicky!) bread for dipping and pairing. Crackers and crisps will work, too.
- For extra color add a few sprigs of fresh herbs.
- Invite friends and enjoy this as a snack or meal!
Pro Tips for Making a Charcuterie Board
- As you begin to assemble the charcuterie, think about the depths and different colors you are using on the board. Use colorful ramekins, or different shaped bowls or glasses to add depth. The variety of foods will bring in bright colors and different shapes to your masterpiece.
- Have variety for everyone, but don’t overload your board. There should be plenty of room to allow cocktail forks or other utensils to grab the pieces of food.
- Account for about 4 pieces of each category per person. You kinda have to eyeball this one. Take into consideration the number of people eating and if your charcuterie board is an appetizer or the main course.
- Make this a party favorite and serve it as a part of your Kentucky Derby party menu
- This also makes a great snack for a game day or tailgating party menu. Just package in plastic containers for a quick set up when you arrive!
- Serve this to entertain your guests as you get your Low Country Boil set up.
- If you are hosting for the holidays, serve up this White Christmas Cocktail, too!
- More dinner recipes!