How To Make an Epic Charcuterie and Cheese Board (2024)

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Charcuterie boards, also known as meat and cheese boards, are a delicious and visually appealing way to serve a variety of meats, cheeses, and accompaniments at a party or as a snack.

How To Make an Epic Charcuterie and Cheese Board (1)

How To Make an Epic Charcuterie Board

Meat and cheese boards are my go-to for super chill, no stress year-round entertaining. With a little bit of planning and creativity, you can create a stunning and tasty charcuterie board that will impress your guests whether you are entertaining for 4 or 40 people. Load up your charcuterie boards with all your favorite cheese, cured meats, fruit, nuts and spreads. Add a salad platter, or a pasta salad, some wine and baguettes and you have yourself a meal!

How To Make an Epic Charcuterie and Cheese Board (2)

I co-hosting a blogger retreat with Lexi of Lexi’s Clean Kitchen and Liz of the Lemon Bowl in a beautiful house in Water Mill, NY. Lexi and I made two Charcuterie and Cheese Boards (a gluten-free, allergy-friendly one not pictured here) with lots of hot dips, Sangria, wine, plus avocado shrimp salad, and my Southwestern black bean salad for there arrival.

Charcuterie boards, also known as meat and cheese boards, are a delicious and visually appealing way to serve a variety of meats, cheeses, and accompaniments at a party or as a snack. They are easy to assemble and can be customized to fit any occasion or dietary preference. Here’s how to make your own charcuterie board at home:

How To Make A Charcuterie Board

  1. Choose your meats and cheeses – The most important part of a charcuterie board is the selection of meats and cheeses. Choose a variety of textures and flavors to provide balance and interest. Some options to consider include cured meats like prosciutto, salami, and chorizo, soft cheeses like brie and camembert, and hard cheeses like cheddar and gouda.
  2. Add some accompaniments – Charcuterie boards aren’t just about the meats and cheeses. To add flavor and texture, consider adding some accompaniments like olives, pickles, nuts, fruit, and crackers or bread.
  3. Arrange the items on the board – Once you’ve selected your meats, cheeses, and accompaniments, it’s time to start arranging them on the board. Start by placing the larger items, like meats and cheeses, on the board first. Then, fill in the gaps with the smaller accompaniments. Consider the visual appeal of the board as you arrange the items, using different heights, colors and textures to create a cohesive and attractive display.
  4. Serve and enjoy – Once your charcuterie board is assembled, it’s time to serve! Make sure to provide knives for slicing the meats and cheeses, as well as small dishes or bowls for the accompaniments. Invite your guests to help themselves to the board and enjoy all the delicious flavors.

Charcuterie Board Ideas

There are endless options for what to include on a charcuterie board. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Cured meats: Prosciutto, genoa salami, chorizo, sopressata, ham, and cured sausages are all classic choices for a charcuterie board.
  • Cheese: Choose a variety of textures and flavors. A few options are soft brie, burrata and camembert. For firm cheese oprions try cheddar, manchego, Parmesan and gouda. And creamy options like creamy blue cheese, gorgonzola or goat cheese. My personal favorite hard cheese is Bella Vitano Merlot.
  • Accompaniments: Olives, pickles, cornichons, nuts, baguette slices, bread sticks and crackers are all great options. They add flavor and texture to your charcuterie board.
  • Fruit: Choose whatever fresh fruit is in season. Some options are grapes, raspberries, blueberries, pears, sliced apples, figs, strawberries or raspberries. You can also opt for dried fruit such as dried apricots or cranberries.
  • Spreads and dips: Hummus, tapenade, and other spreads and dips can add flavor and variety to your board.
  • Vegetables: Roasted vegetables, such as bell peppers, eggplant, and zucchini, add color and flavor to the board.
  • Specialty items: Consider adding some unique or specialty items to your charcuterie board, like artisanal jams, honey, or mustards.
  • Fresh Herbs: Herbs that don’t wilt such as rosemary or thyme make a beautiful addition to a board for color and visual appeal.

The key to a successful charcuterie board is to include a variety of flavors and textures, and to arrange the items in a visually appealing way. Have fun experimenting and creating your own unique charcuterie board!

How to Pronounce Charcuterie Board

The word “charcuterie” is pronounced as “shahr-koo-tuh-ree.” The word “board” is pronounced as “bawrd.” So, the phrase “charcuterie board” is pronounced as “shahr-koo-tuh-ree bawrd.”

What region is a Charcuterie Board from?

Charcuterie is the art of preparing and presenting cured meats. It comes from the French words “chair” (meat) and “cuit” (cooked). Charcuterie boards usually have a variety of cured meats, cheese, bread, and other accompaniments. They are popular in France, Italy, Spain, and the US. In France, they are often served as a starter or light meal with wine. Elsewhere, they may be served as part of a meal or as a snack or appetizer at parties or social events.

How To Make an Epic Charcuterie and Cheese Board (3)

How To Make an Epic Charcuterie and Cheese Board (4)

How To Make an Epic Charcuterie and Cheese Board (5)

There really is an art to making photo-worthy, mouth-watering platters. Varying the colors and textures, a variety of meat and cheese options, and lots of fresh items is the secret to success. For a smaller crowd, use smaller boards or platters. If you make one, I’d love to see it! Please tag @skinnytaste on Instagram and I will re-gram the prettiest photos!

More Boards You May Love

  • Crudite Platter
  • Antipasto Salad Platter
  • Grilled Veggie Platter
  • Bagel Brunch Board
  • Sheet Pan Pancake Board

How To Make an Epic Charcuterie and Cheese Board (6)

How To Make A Charcuterie Board

4.78 from 18 votes

Meat and cheese boards are my go-to for super chill, no stress entertaining. You can load them up with all your favorite cheese, cured meats, fruit, nuts and spreads. Add some wine and baguettes and you have yourself a meal!

Course: Appetizer

Cuisine: French

How To Make an Epic Charcuterie and Cheese Board (7)

Prep: 30 minutes mins

Cook: 0 minutes mins

Total: 30 minutes mins

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Ingredients

  • variety of sliced cured meats and salumi such as Sweet Sopressata, salami, proscuitto, pepperoni
  • variety of soft and hard cheese options such a Brie, Havarti, Gouda, Mozzarella, Provolone, Blue Cheese, etc.
  • cured olives and colorful antipasti,
  • roasted and fresh veggies on the side, optional
  • spreads, jams and mustards with with a variety of crackers and bread sticks
  • a colorful variety of fresh and dried fruit such as grapes, berries, and dried fruit
  • variety of nuts , such as pignoli, pistachios and almonds
  • fresh herb sprigs such as mint or rosemary

Instructions

  • Grab a large platter or two, you can use cutting boards, ceramic platters, slate cheese boards, marble slabs, etc.

  • Artfully arrange where you want your cheese selection and jars, bowls of olives, jams, and antipasti to go, then place varieties of meat slices and rolled up meats around.

  • Scatter crackers and bread sticks to fill up space, then add your fruit, nuts, and herbs to make keep the colors balanced and beautiful.

Last Step:

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photo credit: Raul Velasco

How To Make an Epic Charcuterie and Cheese Board (2024)

FAQs

What is the 3-3-3 rule for charcuterie board? ›

Creating Interest with the 3-3-3-3 Rule

Choose three cheeses, three meats, three starches, and three accompaniments for a perfect and balanced board, every time!

How to make an epic cheese board? ›

You'll want to have:
  1. Cheese! ...
  2. Charcuterie. ...
  3. Something briny! ...
  4. Crackers and / or good bread, like a baguette.
  5. Dried or fresh fruit.
  6. Nuts, of course.
  7. Ideally, we like to finish it off with a few spreads—like jam or a fancy mustard—or even just a little honey.

What are 5 things to avoid on a charcuterie board? ›

There are a few that I would stay away from eggplants, brussels sprouts, turnips, beets, zucchini and mushrooms. Many of these vegetables taste best when cooked, and Charcuterie boards generally don't include steamed or cooked veggies.

What is the secret to a great charcuterie board? ›

In general, a good charcuterie board will have 2-3 types of meat, 2-3 cheeses, 1-2 fruits, 1-2 crackers, nuts, bread, pickles, mustard and a dip or spread. The deliciousness of your board depends on the quality of your ingredients. Buy USDA Organic when possible and look for meats that are free from nitrates.

What are the best 3 cheeses for a charcuterie board? ›

Here's some of the best cheese for charcuterie boards:
  • Hard cheese: chunks of parmesan, aged gouda, asiago.
  • Firm cheese: gruyere, comte, manchego, colby, cheddar.
  • Semi-soft cheese: havarti, butterkäse, muenster.
  • Soft cheese: burrata, mascarpone, stracchino.
  • Blue cheese: gorgonzola, dunbarton blue, marbled blue jack.

How unhealthy are charcuterie boards? ›

Many ingredients used in charcuterie boards are high in sodium, including deli meats, dry sausages, cheeses, salted nuts, pretzels and crackers. The recommendation for daily sodium intake for adults is 2,300 milligrams or less. To reduce the sodium load on your board, add more fresh or dried fruits and raw veggies.

What are the do's and don'ts of charcuterie? ›

Rules to follow for the perfect Charcuterie Board
  • Everything should be easily accessible. Hard cheeses should always be on the outside of the board. ...
  • Something Hard, Something Soft & Something BLUE. ...
  • Meats should stand out! ...
  • Something Sweet & Something Spicy. ...
  • Garnish!
Sep 22, 2019

How do you make a high end charcuterie board? ›

Place small bowls on your board and fill with olives, nuts and bruschetta (or any other favorite dips). Lay down 3-4 flatter small dishes and fill with olive oil; sprinkle with DeLallo Foods dipping spices. Place meats, cheeses, sliced baguette and crackers around the board. Lay fruits and vegetables around the board.

How do you impress a charcuterie board? ›

Create Variety: Incorporate a variety of colors and textures. Arrange vibrant fruits, nuts, olives, vegetables, and pickles to complement the charcuterie items. Don't forget the spreads — fig jam is always a favorite. Garnish: Add fresh herbs, such as rosemary or thyme or edible flowers.

What goes first on a charcuterie board? ›

Start by adding structure with little dishes, then place your ingredients on the board starting with the largest elements like the cheeses and meats, followed by smaller items like crackers and fresh produce.

What are the three starches for a charcuterie board? ›

3 Starches: we like Taralli (a traditional Italian cracker almost like a small, circular breadstick), Artisan Crisps by Rustic Bakery, and baguettes from Gilles Baguettes. 3 Accompaniments: Cerignola olives, Marcona almonds, French cornichons.

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