Charcuterie Board ~ quick and easy tips for how to make beautiful, Instagram-worthy charcuterie boards for your next gathering for stress-free entertaining!
I’ve loved hosting friends and family long before I started blogging and way, way before the creation of Pinterest. Friends, I’ve been doing this for ages!
I spent years doing it wrong – as much food as an all-you-can-eat buffet and making every dish myself. That didn’t make me a kitchen ninja. It just made me a crazy woman.
Today I entertain smarter and with way less work. Stress-free and relaxed so I can enjoy the party too. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
I’m much more relaxed now (don’t listen to a word my kids say!) and one reason is that I’ve simplified things. Some version of an Instagram-worthy Charcuterie Board makes an appearance at almost every gathering because a Charcuterie Board is a legit life-hack we can all embrace.
What is a charcuterie board?
A Charcuterie Board is a display of cured meats, a variety of cheeses, some fruit, nuts and some sort of bread or crackers displayed in a pretty fashion.
It’s ideal to kick of any party because a) guests can help themselves while you finish up any last minute tasks and b) there’s something on it for every appetite!
Bonus: a Charcuterie Board is an impressive appetizer and easy to customize according to your own tastes and budget.
how much does a charcuterie board cost?
Because you’re making this board to suit you and your guests, the cost of is entirely up to you. Aldi is my go-to for premium ingredients. I’m never disappointed with the selection of ingredients, quality and prices.
Trader Joe’s is another good option or check out sales on specialty cheeses at your local grocery store
How to make a Charcuterie Board:
Here’s all you need to know about how to make a kick a** charcuterie board.
First, you don’t need an actual board! A platter or any flat surface works well, too. TJ Maxx is a great source for a vessel for all your goodies and you can pick up some wine glasses and cocktail napkins as well.
- Choose the board or tray you’ll be using for your charcuterie. I have a couple of different size boards I use strictly for this purpose (not my every day cutting board).
- Add 3-4 kinds of cheese – both strong and mild. Havarti Dill, Blue and Smoked Gouda for this board.
- Include a pop of color from grapes, sliced seasonal fruit (apples or pears) or even a bowl of olives.
- Add a jar of tasty jam like balsamic onion or pepper jelly (can be found at TJ Maxx)
- You can even include a log of goat cheese topped with some of this jam!)
- For texture I like to add nuts – again Aldi for inexpensive varieties.
My favorite meats are Soppressata and Prosciutto because they go well with a variety of cheeses. Smoked spicy Chorizo, ham or even pepperoni are good choices.
Bread or crackers:
Crackers keep things simple but you can also serve pita or a sliced, toasted baguette. You can never go wrong with warm bread!
I like to garnish the board with a couple of sprigs of fresh herbs like the rosemary you see in the photos. It adds dimension and eye appeal.
assembling the charcuterie board:
Begin by gathering all the ingredients you’re going to put on your board. Slice the cheeses in different sizes for extra eye appeal.
Add the ingredients to the board bunching the different foods together and slightly overlapping.
can you make a chracuterie board ahead of time?
This board assembles in minutes but if you want to do some of the heavy lifting a day ahead, you certainly can!
Leave off any crunchy items like nuts or crackers and of course if you’re toasting a baguette, do it just before serving.
My best entertaining tips:
- Keep food simple whether it’s just appetizers or an entire meal so you aren’t in the kitchen all evening.
- Prep or cook as much ahead of time as possible.
- Stay away from dips if you have a large crowd. Dips lose their eye appeal quickly!
- Keep alcoholic beverages simple and let guests self-serve. Red and white wine or a signature drink, like these festive Cranberry Moscow Mules.
- Accept help. This was and still is the hardest thing for me. You too? Let’s hold hands and work on it together.
Enjoy and happy holidays!
If you tried this Cheese and Charcuterie Board or any other recipe on the blog, don’t forget to leave a comment or star rating ~ I love hearing from you!
Cheese and Charcuterie Board
- pita or naan bread
- Cashews or other nuts
- 3-4 cheeses
- apples, pears, grapes or pomegranates
- optional garnish: rosemary
- Arrange cheese and meats on the platter. Fill in spaces with nuts, breads and garnish.