If you’ve ever wondered how to make a charcuterie board, this guide is for you! Made with a variety of meats, cheeses, crackers, and fruits, this easy charcuterie board is perfect for beginners. It’ll become your go-to appetizer for every gathering.
Easy Charcuterie Board for Beginners
Charcuterie boards are great for a holiday get together, a party or just for a fun lunch or snack. You can switch it up each time using different fruits, cheeses and crackers.
And if you’re worried about it being too difficult…don’t be! Have fun with it and don’t stress about perfection. You can’t mess it up! Just play around with it until you have it looking the way you like.
Why You’ll Love This Meat and Cheese Board
Once you learn how to make a charcuterie board, it’ll become your go-to appetizer for every gathering.
- Perfect for beginners. Some charcuterie boards are there are pretty fancy but this one looks elegant while being a breeze to assemble! If you’ve never prepared one before, this is a great place to start.
- Always a hit at parties. If you’re not sure what to bring to a party, you can never go wrong with a meat and cheese board like this one. There’s something on it for everyone, even the pickiest of eaters.
- Easy to prep in advance. This charcuterie board can be assembled and stored in the fridge up to a day in advance.
What Is A Charcuterie Board?
Charcuterie (pronounced shahr-koo-tuh-ree) refers to the art of preparing meats and sometimes a shop that sells cold cooked meats. A charcuterie board refers to a tray of arranged meat, cheese, and other ingredients, like fruits and nuts.
Basically, a charcuterie board is a fancy way of referring to a meat and cheese board with some added ingredients!
Charcuterie Board Ideas
One of the best things about charcuterie board is that there are endless options of what to include. Here are some ideas. Scroll down to the recipe card below for my specific list of ingredients.
- Meat – Use your choice of deli meat and cured meats, such as turkey, ham, salami, pepperoni, prosciutto, pancetta, and more. Note that they must be cut in circles to make the flowers. If needed, you can use a round cookie cutter to form circles.
- Cured meats – Cured meats like prosciutto and pancetta are popular additions to charcuterie boards as well.
- Crackers – Assorted crackers of your choice. We like Ritz and Triscuits crackers in varying flavors, as well as Club crackers.
- Bread – In addition to the crackers, you may want to add some crostini or sliced baguette to your charcuterie board.
- Cheese – You can add sliced or cubed cheese like Swiss, cheddar, pepper jack, and Colby, as well as goat cheese, brie, gorgonzola, burrata, bleu cheese, and others. I recommend including a variety of soft and hard cheese as well as different colored cheese as well.
- Fruit – Grape bunches work great as well as assorted fresh berries. Apple slices work well too, if you’ll be serving the board immediately. You can also add dried fruits like dried apricots, raisins, and cranberries.
- Nuts – Shelled nuts can add a salty twist to your charcuterie board. Pistachios, walnuts, and almonds are great ideas.
- Condiments – Add jams, jellies, mustard, honey, relish, aioli, and other dips and spreads if desired.
- Pickled ingredients – Pickles, olives, banana peppers, and pickled veggies can also be added your charcuterie board.
- Sweet items – It’s also never a bad idea to add a sweet element or two to balance out the savory, such as chocolate covered almonds or raisins, dark chocolate, or even just a sweet jam or honey.
- Charcuterie Board – You can use a cutting board or serving board as the base for your charcuterie board. There are lots of options on Amazon if you’d like to buy a board just for charcuterie.
- Wine glass – This is the tool we use to form the meat flowers.
How To Make A Charcuterie Board
Here’s a quick overview of how to make a charcuterie board. Scroll down to the recipe card for more specific instructions.
- Start with the meat. Turn the meat into flowers if desired (instructions below) then place on each end of the board. If you’re adding small dishes of condiments, add them as well.
- Add the crackers. Place the crackers around the tray. I like to imagine that I’m placing them like a river running through the board, to add some motion and depth.
- Add the fruit. Add the bunches of grapes or other fruits.
- Add everything else. Use the cheese and any other remaining ingredients to fill in any gaps on the board.
How To Make Meat Flowers
Meat flowers add an extra wow factor to the presentation of the board and take just a few minutes to make.
- Add the meat to the wine glass. Place three slices of meat around a wine glass, overlapping each slice. Add a second layer of meat, repeating the process.
- Flip over on the board. Flip the wine glass over on the board and remove. You should have the perfect shape of a rose!
Can You Make a Charcuterie Board Ahead of Time?
In most cases, yes. You can definitely assemble your charcuterie board a day in advance with the meat, most cheese, crackers, and fruits. Any condiments, jams, or jellies should be covered tightly with plastic and some soft cheeses do best in their original packaging until serving.
More Appetizer Recipes To Try
- Ham and Cheese Sliders
- Bacon and Kielbasa Appetizer
- Easy Antipasto Skewers
- Buffalo Chicken Crescent Rings
- Round deli meat
- Assorted Crackers or breads
- Fruit of choice
- Pre sliced gourmet cheeses
- Assorted nuts and other fruits optional
- Condiments Mayo, mustard, etc optional
- Layer the circles of meat on top of one another with the first layer having the least amount of slices.
- For example my first layer only has three pieces of meat that are overlapping one another.
- Layer the second row of meat in between the three that were laid out before where you will end up with about five pieces of meat overlapping.
- The third, fourth, fifth or six layer will continue the same process until you have the desired size of a rose.
- Flip the wine glass and meat over onto your presentation board.
- Leave the glass in place until you are ready to display your finished presentation.
Last Step:Please leave a rating and comment letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business to thrive and continue providing free, high-quality recipes for you.
- Wine glass
- Cutting board, charcuterie board or platter