How to Make a Charcuterie Board

How to Make a Charcuterie Board

Publish Date September 15, 2022 3 Minute Read

Whether you’re hosting a party or just having a few friends over, there’s no better way to make an impression than with a charcuterie board. While it may look extravagant, it’s fairly simple and inexpensive to make.

Charcuterie is a French word referring to a type of shop specializing in cured meats. Charcuterie boards usually incorporate cheeses and other foods, in addition to featured deli meats. While meats and cheeses alone would be tasty enough, the more types of food you showcase, the more impressive your board becomes.

As for the board itself, there are plenty of shapes and styles to choose from (though a plain wooden or plastic cutting board will also work just fine).

How to Make a Cheeseboard

Learn how to build a cheeseboard like a pro using a variety of cheese, meats, crackers and other cheeseboard necessities!

What to Put on a Charcuterie Board

While you can customize your board however you like, here are some items to consider, listed in order from must-haves to nice-to-haves:

  • Cured meats. Consider mixing mild, medium and bold flavors. Some popular picks are pepperoni, salami, sliced ham and prosciutto.
  • Cheeses. For variety, try varying the textures. For example: a soft cheese such as brie, a medium-density cheese like cheddar or gouda, and a hard cheese such as Parmesan.
  • Pickled items. Pickles, olives or pepperoncini are savory staples. Place in a dish to keep the board dry.
  • Condiments and spreads. Stone ground mustard, tapenade, pate and hummus are all great on sliced bread with meat and cheese. Honey pairs well with brie.
  • Crackers or small slices of bread. Again, go for variety.
  • Seasonal fruits. These will add sweetness to the salty flavors. Roast or grill fresh fruit for extra appeal.
  • Nuts and extras. Pecans, walnuts and pistachios pair well with brie and other soft cheeses. Chocolate squares would make a sweet finish for your fruits.
  • Jams or preserves. These can also provide sweetness to balance out savory meats and cheeses.

Shop Charcuterie Board Ingredients

Organizational Tips

When you’re laying out the board, place the largest items first, then work your way down to the smaller ones. This will make it easier to create a board that looks balanced while helping to ensure that you can fit everything in.

You’ll need some small dishes for plating and serving. And don’t forget serving tools: forks can help guests grab items easily, but toothpicks are a good alternative.

How to Make a Charcuterie Board

More Considerations

Charcuterie boards can be themed for the seasons. A summer board can showcase fruits and veggies, and a fall theme can feature caramel and apple slices. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Independence Day and St. Patrick’s Day boards can be constructed with shapes and colors to match the respective holiday.

One other consideration is trying to pair alcohol with your featured foods. For instance, salami, cheddar and blue cheese go great with red wine, while goat cheese, smoked salmon and prosciutto pair well with white wine.

Extra Inspiration

Getting ready to host the holidays? Find more dinner inspiration, hosting tips and other needs at our Holiday Shop.

Ready to create your first charcuterie board? Get started with these tasty recipes.

Charcuterie Board Ideas