Charcuterie. <shahr-coo-ter-ree> A word almost impossible to say, but so hard not to love. And equally hard to not get overwhelmed + intimidated to put a board of charcuterie together. Trust me, I get it. I’ve always envied those pretty boards on Pinterest, but never attempted my own…until this year. So I’m here to tell you that it’s not as hard as it may appear. Pinky promise. Charcuterie can be made as simple or elaborate as you’d like. And today, (and pretty much every day), I’m all about the charcuterie made simple.
There are so many ways to create your own charcuterie board and what I’ve discovered over the past few months are a few basic things to know when getting started.
Plan + Decide on a Theme
Planning and deciding on a theme is the most fun, in my opinion. First, consider how many you’ll be feeding and from there you can make a list of everything you need to fill your board. Speaking of, making a charcuterie board can get a little pricy, but I have saved a lot of money by shopping at Aldi for cheese, meat, crackers, nuts, and dried fruit. Always gotta stay mindful of that budget!
Here is an example of a dessert board I brought to a friend’s house. It was a hit, especially for the kiddos. It was full of different cookies, apple slices + caramel, berries, marshmallows…basically whatever else I had on hand. Instead of preparing a dessert, this dessert charcuterie board gave a little bit of everything and was super simple! Though everyone thought it took a ton of time + effort.
Here are my go-to’s themes…
Dessert- This is probably my favorite because I have the world’s biggest sweet tooth, y’all. But also because of the flexibility. Fruits, candy, cookies, slices of cake, s’ mores fixin’s–you name it!
Meat + Cheese- This is my second favorite because I’m a cheese and cracker lover through and through. Here, I’ll take 2-3 kinds of cheese (a mix of soft and hard), 1-2 types of meat, dried fruit, jam or honey, nuts, fresh fruit/veggies, crackers/bread slices, and something sweet.
Here is an example of what I have on this Halloween themed board.
Goat cheese, sharp white cheddar, pepperoni, salami, pita crackers, raspberry jam, blackberries, mixed nuts, dates, candy corn, pumpkin spice cookies. Add a little pumpkin and a spooky hand and spider and it’s Halloween ready.
I personally love a wood cutting board, but you can use any plate really. You’ll be covering it with goodies anyway, so the most important factor to consider is space and how many people you’ll be serving. Homegoods or TjMax is a great place to find boards/plates.
This kinda goes along with selecting a theme, but finding items that go together, have complementing colors, greenery, little bowls + serve-ware to fit your plate; these are all things to consider. Examples: candy corns, mini pumpkin cookies, and a mini pumpkin for a fall theme.
Now here is the really fun part–putting it all together. And even though this might seem like the most intimidating part—don’t let it be! You can always move stuff around if you don’t like the placement.
Here are some tips:
- Start with your cheeses. Considering what serve-ware, if any, that goes with them.
- Add your meats. I usually place these along + around the cheeses.
- Next, crackers + bread. Again, I tend to arrange these around the meats + cheeses so they are all grouped together for easy cracker assembly.
- Jams + honey. I put these in a cute little mason jar or bowl/ramekin and place it on my plate.
- Next, I start filling in the empty spaces with fresh fruit, nuts, dried fruit, etc. The goal is to cover every bit of the board so do it up!
- Lastly, and this is optional, but adds that little bit of “extra”. Add in some greenery or other fun items to fit your theme. Example, mini pumpkin for fall, holly berries + cinnamon sticks for Christmas.
I hope you found this helpful! My friends always ooh and ahh when I serve up with one of these, but I’m telling you they are fun, SIMPLE, and everybody loves them! We have a Friendsgiving coming up as well as hosting Thanksgiving dinner at our house so I’ll definitely be making a few more of these soon!