How to Make a Charcuterie Board in 5 Easy Steps

Is there anything better than a charcuterie board? Charcuterie has quickly become one of my favorite appetizers because it’s a little mix of everything. Pair it with a nice glass of wine and you feel oh so fancy! The best part is that this is an easy recipe that can be customized to your preferences.

meats and cheeses
Photo Credit: Champagne and Coffee Stains

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I used to only get charcuterie boards at restaurants, but now that more ingredients are available in stores it’s been really easy to make my own for a fraction of the cost of restaurant ones! Plus, I can tailor it to my liking and add in extra ingredients or leave out ones that I don’t like.

So, let’s get started on making our own perfect charcuterie board.

What is a Charcuterie Board?

A charcuterie board is a platter or board filled with a variety of meats, cheeses, fruits, nuts, and other accompaniments. It originated in France as a way to showcase different cured meats and has since evolved into a popular appetizer all around the world.

Charcuterie boards can be as simple as a few meats and cheeses, to as complex as a full spread with multiple varieties of each ingredient. It’s a fun and versatile way to entertain guests or just enjoy a tasty snack.

What Should You Put on a Board?

The beauty of the charcuterie board is that you can customize your board with anything you like. Mix your favorite cheeses, fruits, dips, and more to make it your own. You can even make themed boards like breakfast charcuterie boards or even a pancake board!

Here are some ideas of different types of things you can add to your board:

Meats

  • Prosciutto
  • Salami
  • Pepperoni
  • Sausage
  • Ham
  • Pate

Cheeses

  • Brie
  • Goat cheese
  • Gouda
  • Cheddar
  • Blue cheese
  • Manchego
  • Smoked Mozzarella

Fruits and Vegetables

  • Grapes
  • Berries
  • Melon slices
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Apples
  • Olives

Nuts and Dried Fruits

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Pistachios
  • Dried apricots or figs
  • Dates
  • Raisins

Dips, Spreads, and Extras

  • Hummus
  • Fig jam (or any fruit jam)
  • Honey
  • Mustard
  • Balsamic glaze
  • Olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping bread

Sides

How to Make a Charcuterie Board

  1. Start with a large, clean board or platter.
  2. Add larger items first, like bowls for dips and spreads.
  3. Place cheeses and meats on the board next, arranging them in different areas.
  4. Fill in any gaps with fruits, vegetables, nuts, and dried fruits.
  5. Add small dishes for dips or extras like olives or pickles.
  6. Finish by adding crackers, bread, or other sides to fill in any remaining gaps on the board.
  7. Serve and enjoy with friends and family!

Tips and Tricks

Use different textures: Mix soft and hard cheeses, crunchy crackers and breads, and smooth dips for a more enjoyable eating experience.

Play with flavors

Add different types of meats, cheeses, fruits, and spreads to create a variety of flavor combinations.

Use small dishes or ramekins

These can be used to hold dips or other wet ingredients to avoid making the board soggy.

Don’t overcrowd the board

Leave a little room in between the charcuteries so it’s easy for guests to grab without touching other pieces.

Prep ahead, but not too far ahead

You can wash and chop fruits and vegetables the day before as well as slice the cheese and meats, but wait to assemble your board until an hour or so before serving so everything stays fresh.

Have fun with it!

Charcuterie boards are meant to be enjoyed, so don’t stress too much about making it perfect. Experiment with different ingredients and arrangements to find what works best for you.

What to Serve with Charcuterie

A charcuterie board can be perfect on its own or can be a part of more appetizers if you’re hosting a large party. Here are some ideas for what you can serve alongside your board:

How to Store Leftovers

Leftover meats and cheeses should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. I like to separate them into one ziploc for meats and another for cheeses, but it’s up to you on how to store.

Any leftover sides like crackers should be stored in an airtight container, but don’t need to be rrefrigerated.

How Big Should My Charcuterie Board Be?

The size of your charcuterie board will depend on the number of guests you’re serving and how many other appetizers or dishes you’ll have available. As a general rule, plan for about 3-4 ounces of meat and cheese per person. For larger parties, it’s better to have multiple smaller boards spread out rather than one large one that can easily become overcrowded.

If this will be your only appetizer, you might want to add have more meats and cheeses. If you’ll be serving this alongside other appetizers you could make a smaller board.

More Easy Appetizer Recipes

Looking for more easy appetizer recipes? Here are our favorites:

Author

  • Ali Van Straten

    Ali Van Straten is the founder and journalist of Champagne and Coffee Stains. She is a Peloton expert, certified running coach and certified nutrition coach. Champagne and Coffee Stains provides information and resources on Peloton Interactive, running and recipes.

    View all posts https://www.champagneandcoffeestains.com

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