Charcuterie Board Ideas

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Explore our best charcuterie board ideas! Elevate your next gathering with gourmet meats, cheeses, and more + tips for a stunning spread.

A collage of four charcuterie boards
Table of Contents
  1. The 3-3-3-3 Rule of Charcuterie
  2. Wake Up to Charcuterie
  3. Dessert Charcuterie Board Ideas
  4. Sauces, Dips, and Spreads
  5. Snack Ideas for Your Charcuterie Board
  6. Tips for Making a Charcuterie Board

Charcuterie boards (pronounced “shar-KOO-tuh-ree”) are a trend that I have seen popping up everywhere! Whether you are looking for a classic board, or more unique charcuterie board ideas, we have something for you! The word “Charcuterie” is a French term for displaying a variety of cured meats, mostly pork. Originally they included things like salami, prosciutto, and sausages. Modern charcuterie boards can have any variety of meats, cheeses, fruits, veggies, olives, nuts, and sauces. Typically the boards are arranged in an aesthetically pleasing and abundant fashion. Check out our full step-by-step guide to making a classic Charcuterie Board.



The 3-3-3-3 Rule of Charcuterie

The 3-3-3-3 rule of charcuterie is a straightforward yet effective guideline for crafting a well-rounded and visually pleasing charcuterie board. It revolves around four key components: cheese, meat, starch, and accompaniments. Start with three different types of cheese, varying in flavor and texture – think soft brie, sharp cheddar, and creamy goat cheese. Next, select three types of cured meats, such as prosciutto, salami, and chorizo, to complement the cheeses. The third “3” refers to starch, where you can incorporate three starchy elements like bread, crackers, and breadsticks to provide a satisfying base. Finally, the fourth “3” emphasizes accompaniments: choose three condiments like honey, mustard, or fruity preserves to add a sweet and tangy contrast. By following this rule, you ensure a delightful blend of flavors and textures that will both tantalize the taste buds and captivate the eyes.

Meats

A true charcuterie board is served with a variety of cold cuts and meats. You can literally use anything that you think your guests will like. Here are some options:

  • salami
  • ham
  • pepperoni
  • prosciutto
  • roast beef
  • bacon

Cheeses

Next is the cheese. Remember to choose cheeses with a variety of firmness and textures. Here are some ideas:

  • Hard Cheese: Parmesan, Pecorino, Manchego
  • Semi-hard Cheese: Cheddar, Gouda, Gruyere, Havarti, Swiss, Provolone
  • Blue Cheese: Roquefort, Danish Blue, Gorgonzola
  • Soft Cheese: Cream cheese, Brie, Fontina, Mozzarella, Camembert

Other

Then, it is time to fill in your board with dried fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Here are some suggestions

  • fresh berries – blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries
  • grapes
  • figs
  • kiwi
  • peaches
  • orange slices
  • dried mango, apricot, golden raisins, or pineapple
  • cucumber
  • carrots
  • cherry tomatoes
  • green, black, or kalamata olives
  • cashews
  • almonds
  • pecans
  • pepitas
  • walnuts

Preserves and Spreads

Sweet and savory dips and spreads make a great addition to your board. These are some of our favorites:

  • honey
  • fig butter
  • fruit preserves
  • olive tamponade
  • chutney
  • marmalade
  • jalapeno pepper jelly
  • bacon jam

Crackers and Bread

Crackers and bread make the perfect vehicle for getting all the delicious meats and cheeses into your mouth. Try some of these:

  • ritz crackers
  • triscuits
  • wheat thins
  • baguette slices

Wake Up to Charcuterie

Hosting a party in the morning? Try a breakfast or brunch charcuterie board! Full of classic breakfasts foods like waffles, bacon, bagels, and eggs, your guests will love this elevated AM spread.

A breakfast charcuterie board with waffles and waffle toppings

Breakfast Charcuterie Board – If you are hosting a breakfast and need inspiration, then look no further! This Breakfast Charcuterie Board will please your guests eyes and also their taste buds. This snack board is full of breakfast favorites and is perfect for holidays like Easter, Christmas morning, or Mother’s Day. Customize everything to your liking and enjoy all the different waffle and topping combinations.

brunch charcuterie board full of bagels, spreads, and toppings

Brunch Charcuterie Board – If you are hosting a brunch and need inspiration, then look no further! This Brunch Charcuterie Board is sure to look great on your table AND also please your guests. It is perfect for holidays like Easter or Mother’s Day. Customize everything to your liking and enjoy all the different bagel and topping combinations.

Dessert Charcuterie Board Ideas

Since the idea of charcuterie boards have become so popular, people have taken the idea and run with it! Dessert charcuterie boards are arranged in the same smorgasbord style but with all sweets and treats instead of meats and cheeses. They are so fun and you can tailor them to any theme or add a seasonal touch.

dessert charcuterie board

Valentine’s Day Charcuterie Board – This board has everything red, pink, white, and chocolate! Perfect for a Galentine’s Day party!

A halloween charcuterie board covered in candy and spooky treats with a skeleton in the middle.

Halloween Charcuterie Board – I’ve been too old to Trick-or-Treat for [redacted] years now. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to eat my share of Halloween candy! I’m guessing I’m not the only adult who feels this way. That’s why I love this Halloween Charcuterie Board. It’s the perfect party food because there is a little something for everyone. We’ve got sour, sweet, chocolate, fruity, and salty!

A Christmas Charcuterie Board on a wooden tray

Christmas Charcuterie Board – Tis the season to be….snacking! I don’t know about you guys, but during Christmas I don’t want to be in the kitchen all the time cooking big meals. Usually my family has a big dinner on Christmas Eve, and then for the rest of the holidays we just kind of graze on leftovers and appetizers.

a movie night dessert charcuterie board

Candy Charcuterie Board – If you like having friends and family over for a movie night or game night, then this Candy Charcuterie Board is perfect for you! With a combination of salty and sweet treats, this board is guaranteed to satisfy any sweet tooth.

Sauces, Dips, and Spreads

Check out some of our favorite sauce, dip, and spread recipes to use on a charcuterie board:

  • Bacon Jam – Bacon jam is a bacon lover’s dream come true. It is a sweet and savory spread made from onions, brown sugar, vinegar, and of course… bacon! This jam is best served at room temperature or warmer for easier spreading.
  • Easy Chocolate Fondue – This Chocolate Fondue recipe is quite possibly the easiest recipe on our site! Just two simple ingredients melt together to create the most decadent and divine dip for just about anything you can imagine.
  • Cheddar Cheese Fondue – There are fairly few ingredients to this recipe, and it takes about 20 minutes or less to put together. 
  • Dessert Dipping Sauces (Chocolate, Raspberry, and Caramel) – There are few things in life I like better than a good dipping sauce. The right sauce can elevate any meal, including dessert!

Snack Ideas for Your Charcuterie Board

Here are a few of our recipes that would make great additions to any charcuterie board!

  • Rosemary Parmesan Focaccia Bread – The woodsy Rosemary and buttery Parmesan cheese pair well together in a simple dough that bakes up to perfection.
  • Blue Cheese Bombs – The blue cheese biscuit bites are puffy and buttery and have just the right amount of blue cheese. They are delicious served right from the oven. They are quite addicting and because they are bite-size it is impossible to eat just one.
  • Cinnamon Almonds – These almonds made my house smell amazing! It reminded me of the yummy smell of roasted nuts at football games.
  • Easy Chocolate Truffles – You won’t believe how simple these Easy Chocolate Truffles are to make. They look and taste impressive, but are basically fool-proof! 

Tips for Making a Charcuterie Board

  • Try arranging your plate in a way that there is a variety of colors, textures, and sizes all over the board.
  • Try to prepare your charcuterie board fresh, within an hour of serving
  • Use little serving spoons and cheese knives to make serving easier.
  • Use little serving cups if you need to keep things from going all over the place.
  • Keep any extra ingredients you have close by so you can refill the board as needed
  • Buy seeds, nuts, and dried fruits in the bulk section of your grocery store.


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About the author

Kelsey Crist

Kelsey lives in Washington with her husband, Alex, and two cats, Diana and Nova. Her happy place is in the kitchen listening to an audiobook and trying new recipes. When she's not in the kitchen you can find her hiking, shopping at Trader Joe's, or playing Animal Crossing. Her favorite food is pasta and Alex loves when she makes Homemade Oreos.

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