Until a couple of years ago, the word “charcuterie” rarely made its way into the kitchen. Now, it’s hard to navigate seasonal recipes without seeing a few charcuterie boards in the mix!
I’ve completed my fair share of meat and cheese plates in the past — but with the holidays coming up, I figured it would be the perfect time to go over everything I know about the popular appetizer.
Why I Love Charcuterie Boards
To start, creating one is actually a lot simpler than you may think because there’s really no way you can go wrong! It’s like an art project and you can get as creative as you’d like.
Depending on the ingredients you include, it can also be extremely affordable (and while I’m shopping for holiday gifts, I’m always looking to save a few bucks!).
Perhaps the most attractive characteristic that comes with charcuterie boards is that they cater to almost everyone. You can add a variety of cheese options, a wide selection of meats, fruits, vegetables and more!
I’ve also been super creative with sweet-inspired plates filled with holiday cookies and chocolate treats.
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How To Create Your Own Board
I know I said you can’t go wrong with a charcuterie board and I truly mean it! However, I wanted to share a video I created with some tips, tricks and must-haves so you can get a head start on your own.
I love finding new combinations of meats and cheeses to add to my board, but there are a few that are always winners with my family and guests.
My FAVORITE part of the entire board is the cheese. If I had to give up cheese I don’t know what I would do… Anyway, you want to make sure you have a lot of variety when it comes to texture and flavor.
You’ll want to opt for around three or four cheeses to space around the board — giving everyone an option to pick and choose the ones they want. Here are a few that I like to add:
- A firm cheese soaked in a raspberry malt. It looks pretty and has lots of flavor!
- A stinky cheese like a bleu cheese is a great addition. I like mild but you can go stronger.
- Another safe bet is cheddar but it’s a good idea to go with a medium for a little bite.
- Brie or goat cheese is also great. It’s soft and adds that texture variety. My favorite is a goat cheese with cinnamon and orange undertones.
Now it’s time for meats! Remember, texture and flavor variety are important and that applies to your meat as well. Here are some I always have on my plate:
- Pepperoni is always a hit — turkey, regular, self-sliced… the options are endless!
- I also enjoy adding a salami and genoa is my favorite type.
- The last one I always add is prosciutto because it’s thin and extremely flavorful. Tangy, salty and it plays nicely if you want to add fruit to your board!
Topping It Off
To finish my charcuterie board, I like to add some sweetness and crunch in the form of fruit, nuts and crackers. I typically opt for grapes and dried apricots to give the otherwise salty board a little kiss of sweetness. And, when it comes to crunch I create my own seasoned crackers (which you can find in the video above) and add some Whitley’s peanuts.
When setting up your plate, you want to layer ingredients and space the categories of items throughout the plate. (In other words, put meats on opposite sides of the plate and make sure pops of color show up all over instead of in one concentrated area.)
I always recommend trying to make the plate look good with little effort. So, anytime you can use pre-sliced items or pre-seasoned treats, go for it.
And I almost forgot! If you want a full explanation of how to throw the perfect wine and cheese night (featuring a charcuterie board, of course), you can check out my blog HERE.
More Charcuterie Set-ups You Can Try
Even though this set-up works for me, I know that everyone has different preferences in terms of taste and texture! That’s why I took a look around to find some other charcuterie ideas on the web.
You can click on the recipe title above the photo or the blue text below each photo to find the full recipes. Keep reading to see some of my favorites!
Classic Charcuterie Boards
The Baker Mama has our tastebuds and our budgets in mind. She found a few ways to create a classic charcuterie board for under $25! Between sourcing in-season fruits to buying nut mixes that work well for any flavor profile, she’s got some tips you need to check out.
This idea is perfect for fall and includes items like applewood smoked salami, pears, honey and rosemary spiced nuts (just to name a few). Elaina, the mastermind behind this idea, recommends adding sauces to the plate that allow people to further customize the flavors on their plate.
I’ll be the first to admit my recipes aren’t always the constituent of health, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love my nutrient-rich foods! This board is from The Girl on Bloor and it includes ingredients packed with protein, vitamins and more. Plus, who doesn’t like fresh veggies and flavorful cheeses?
Unique Charcuterie Boards
I found this one a while ago and I’m head over heels for the idea! It’s a pancake charcuterie board by Valentina’s Corner and it includes everything your heart desires for a calm, Sunday morning brunch.
This one looks like a winner… especially because it’s made for those Sunday evening football games! Filled with chicken wings, sauces and veggies, it’s bound to be a hit when the game is going strong. I found it on Passion for Savings and love that it’s easy to create and fairly affordable.
My Home Based Life shared a recipe that will have you drooling before you dig in. It’s a decadent s’mores board and it’s sure to cater to everyone with a sweet tooth. While you might think of s’mores as a summer dessert, I enjoy them year-round as a warm, traditional treat.
The Perfect Plates For Your Charcuterie Board
You can’t build a charcuterie board without a good foundation! That’s why I rounded up a few boards you can use for your creative ideas.
The one I used in the video above was purchased a few years back, but I found this similar one that I wanted to share!
It’s a mango wood board and it spins so that everyone can reach their favorite treat on the tray. It doesn’t have the same white border as my one above, but I love the little details around the exterior! Plus, it’s 57% off so I’m all in…
This fancy-looking board includes everything you’ll need for a charcuterie-filled gathering. You can set your meats, cheeses and additional treats on the top while the serving essentials sit below. The set even comes with reusable labels and a dry erase marker so everyone knows what they’re eating!
Keep everything separated on this board from Wayfair. The center features an intricate design and I love that the sides have special places for nuts and crunchy treats! It’s made with durable bamboo which means it won’t warp over time — oh, and did I mention it’s only $23?
I’ll give you all a break and let you browse the rest below. Hopefully there are a few you charcuterie boards you might like!
More Charcuterie Options
If you haven’t tried your shot at a charcuterie board, I hope this blog gave you some inspiration! With all the creative ideas on the web, I’m sure something will have you coming up with ideas left and right.
What would you add to yours?
From my fall home to yours,
Find more fall inspiration here:
– Pumpkin Crafts to Upgrade Your Fall Decor
– Fall Is The Perfect Time For This Easy Pumpkin Cake
– My Favorite Candles for Fall