There is no appetizer more impressive than a charcuterie board. Loaded with a variety of cured meats, cheese, nuts, fruit, crackers, and spreads, there is something here for everyone.
Charcuterie boards are not only gorgeous, they contain a combination of flavors and nibbles for a simple no-fuss party snack!
It’s not difficult to prepare a meat and cheese board that everyone will rave about! Adding various flavors from simple everyday ingredients takes very little prep and just minutes to build!
I’ve included a few tips below to make sure your next party platter is the talk of the event!
History and Etymology for charcuterie :
French, literally, pork-butcher’s shop, from Middle French chaircuiterie, from chaircutier pork butcher, from chair cuite cooked meat
What is Charcuterie?
Charcuterie is the art of preparing meats which are often cured or smoked such as bacon, ham or salami. A charcutier is a person who prepares charcuterie and while the term is loosely translated in English to “pork butcher”, any kind of meat can be used. A charcuterie board is commonly seen on menus pretty much everywhere these days and it’s the perfect way to enjoy some nibbles with friends and family!
Preparing a Charcuterie Board
A charcuterie board most often consists of a variety of meats and cheeses and often fruit or nuts; essentially a meat and cheese board! It’s very easy to prepare a charcuterie and you can find absolutely everything you need at near groceries or supermarket . As you begin thinking about making the perfect charcuterie board, you will want to start thinking about different colors and textures to make it vibrant and interesting. Red and black berries, dried apricots, fresh herbs, pickles, olives and various dips can add lots of color. The board should look full, don’t be afraid to pile and stack them while thinking about varying the different items throughout.
- Meat: I estimate about 3-4 slices of meat per person when building a board. I try to include a variety of flavors and textures for example a sliced pepper salami, a rolled prosciutto and thoughtfully piled ham.
- Cheese: Choose a variety of cheeses ; about 1 or 2 oz per person as an hors d’oeuvre. Look for various hard and soft cheeses from mellow to sharp. Cheeses are easiest served already sliced.
- Bread and Crackers: Again variety is key, I like to include buttery flaky crackers, grain crackers and thinly sliced and toasted baguettes.
- Fruit & Nuts: Both dried and fresh fruit will add gorgeous color and lots of flavor to your charcuterie board! As you are purchasing fruits, keep a variety of colors in mind for a beautiful board. Nuts should be shelled and salted.
- Pickles, Olives and Dips: Adding small bowls filled with dill pickles, olives, jellies, mustards.
Most of the items can be prepared, washed and/or sliced ahead of time meaning this easy appetizer can take just minutes to prepare. A beautiful meat and cheese board with various flavors takes very little prep and just minutes to build! I was able to find all of the items I needed at Walmart. Below is the list of some of my favorite additions!
- Sliced Monterey Jack Cheese
- Sliced Cheddar Cheese
- El Cortijo Manchego Wedge Cheese
- Bel Gioioso Parmesan Cheese Wedge
- Peppered Salame
- Dried Apricots
- Assorted fresh berries
- Cherry tomatoes
- Marketside French Baguette sliced and toasted
- Ritz Crackers
- Everything Pretzel Crisps
- Artisan or Seeded Crackers
- Planters Nuts
- Marketside Spinach Dip
- Marketside Onion Dip
- Great Value Black Olives
- Mini Dill Pickles
Tips for Charcuterie Board Assembly:
- Use a board with an edge. It will make it SO much easier to put together and get the ingredients to stay in place. If you don’t have one, there are several charcuterie boards here for a good price. We have used a wooden cutting board or large board to make a charcuterie platter and it was perfect.
- These are best served immediately or fairy soon after putting together.
- Try to use a combination of meats, cheeses and fruit. Not only does it look pretty to have a nice selection but it will ensure your guest have options to choose from. Everyone will enjoy several variety of cheeses and sliced meats.
- Use fresh fruit that is in season to enhance the flavor of your board. Plus, they will be priced better at your grocery store if you purchase in season.
- Use different types of crackers with the meat and cheese board. Include gluten free options so all guests can have an option.
- Make sure to use high quality ingredients in your assortment of cured meats cheeses.
- Add some kid friendly cheeses and crackers and the entire family will enjoy this tray. Children love a cheese plate and dried fruit.
The next time you need an easy and totally fuss free party snack, creating a charcuterie board is not only loved by everyone… it’s so pretty! I am excited to have partnered with Walmart & SheKnows Media to bring you this post. While I was compensated, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Working with great brands I love allows me to keep bringing you the great recipes you love!
How to Make a Charcuterie Board
Jam, Jellies, Spreads, Preserves :
- 10 oz spreads and or jams fig spread, marionberry habanero pepper jelly, pesto, coarse ground mustard, apricot jam
Fresh Fruit and Crackers :
- 16 oz grapes get at least two varieties
- 8 oz strawberries halved
- 3 oz blueberries
- 3 oz raspberries
- 12 oz crackers Triscuit recommended
Cheese and Meat :
- 10 oz soft cheese fresh mozzarella, blue cheese, brie, etc.
- 10 oz semi-hard cheese sliced (Cheddar, Monterey, Gouda, Havarti, Provolone, etc.)
- 8 oz cured or smoked meats Columbus salame, Prosciutto, ham, etc.
Dried Fruits and Nuts :
- 10 oz dried fruits dates, apricots, cherries, etc.
- 8 oz nuts raw almonds, pecans, pistachios, etc.
- fresh herbs to garnish mint, rosemary, basil, etc.
Pickles, Peppers, Olives Etc :
- 5 oz cornichons
- 5 oz stuffed olives
- Place all jams, preserves, mustards, or dips into small bowls or shallow dishes and place on the board.
- Add meats and cheese, placing larger items like sliced meats and blocks or slices of cheese on the board first.
- Add crackers and.or bread next, spacing them out on the board,.
- Fill in gaps on your board with fresh and/or dried fruit.
- Add garnish and serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.
All measurements are approximate. You will need to scale up or down depending on the size of your board and then number of people you are serving.