How to Make a Charcuterie Board – Perfect for gatherings, holidays, or date nights, and filled with options, charcuterie boards are one item you can count on everyone loving! Easily customizable to your personal preferences, use these simple tips to learn how to make a charcuterie board!
How to Make a Charcuterie Board
There are no hard and fast rules to making a charcuterie board. While the technical definition is preserved meats and cheeses on a platter, charcuterie boards can include or exclude either of these! Charcuterie boards truly are just an arrangement of finger foods, including whatever you personally want to add to your board.
What Foods to Include on a Charcuterie Board
As mentioned above, charcuterie boards are incredibly versatile, and can really be made your own! When making my boards, I like to have a wide variety of different foods, both savory, sweet, and sour, with some dips to enjoy alongside the finger foods! This way, you can enjoy many diverse flavors, and ensure everyone finds something they like on the board. Here’s a rundown of what I like to place on my boards…
- Fruit – Both dried and fresh! My go-to’s are grapes, strawberries, apples, berries, oranges, dried apricots, and dates.
- Vegetables – Both pickled and fresh! I love adding carrots and cucumbers for my fresh vegetables, and pickles and olives for my fermented options!
- Cheese – A mix of textures and flavors! Think hard cheeses like parmesan or gouda, soft cheeses like goat cheese (you could even do a sweet cheese like blueberry goat cheese), or firm cheese like cheddar or Colby. Although I’m dairy-free, I have managed to find some amazing dairy-free cheese options throughout the years! I love Miyokos for their wide variety of cashew-based cheese options.
- Crackers and Pretzels – I always add some type of mix of pretzels and crackers to my charcuterie boards for a savory option, and for more options to combine with a dip! Brands like Simple Mills and Mary’s Gone Crackers are my go-to’s for crackers, and Snyder’s for pretzels.
- Dips – My staple dips for charcuterie boards include a chocolate dip, caramel dip, and hummus! Perfect for both sweet and savory options!
- Dark Chocolate – Dark chocolate is great paired with fruits, and brings out the flavor of so many foods! I normally break apart a vegan chocolate bar and place it somewhere on my charcuterie board for some added variety. The Hu brand has so many options!
- Garnishes – While not necessary, I normally add garnishes like mint or rosemary, simply for the aesthetics of the charcuterie board!
While items in the list above are my go to’s, there are so many more things you can add to make your charcuterie board your own! Some ideas include…
- Breads – Adding some small slices of sourdough, a baguette, or sweet bread is a great way to add variety to your board!
- Desserts – Desserts like cookies, brownies, or fudge are a great addition to a charcuterie board!
- Cured meats – Cured meats are incredibly popular on charcuterie boards! Go for grass-fed or pastured for healthier options.
- Nuts and Seeds – Nuts and seeds are a delicious, crunchy addition to a board! I love candied pecans for my boards.
In this “how to” post, fruit and veggies are a huge part of the charcuterie board! Fruit and veggies are…
- A great source of phytonutrients
- Full of fiber
- A healthy source of carbs
How to Make this Recipe
This recipe is as simple as they come! That’s because this is much less of a recipe and more of an assembly process. No cooking, baking, or mixing! Measurements are also completely up to you, as it all depends on the size of board you are using.
Remember, all of the ingredients below will be in categories instead of specific items, as building a charcuterie board leaves room for personal preference!
- 3-5 Fruit Options (fresh and dried)
- 3-5 Vegetable Options (fresh and/or pickled)
- 2+ Cheese Options (a mix of textures and flavors!)
- Crackers and Pretzels
- 2+ Dips
- Dark Chocolate
- *Optional – Any additional preferred foods like breads, desserts, cured meats, and nuts and seeds!
Steps to Assemble Charcuterie Board
While you can add each food in whatever order you prefer, I use a system that makes my charcuterie boards aesthetically pleasing, and organized! Follow the steps below for easy assembly:
- Place dips in bowls, and arrange on board.
- Slice, cube, or dip cheeses, and arrange on board to desired locations around dips.
- Slice any fruit or fresh veggies if desired, and organize on board.
- Add in crunchy foods like chips and pretzels in large sections around board.
- Arrange pickled veggies like olives and pickles on board (I normally place these in small serving bowls), alongside broken chocolate squares.
- Decorate with garnishes!
How to Store Leftovers
Depending on the size of your gathering and the size of your board, you may or may not have leftovers after! Leftovers like fruit and veggies are stored well in containers in the fridge with some venting. I like to place a small paper towel in my containers, leaving a bit of the lid unsealed to keep them extra crisp. For any cured meats that have not been left out too long, I prefer to use an airtight container in the fridge! Leftover crackers and pretzels are easily stored at room temperature in airtight containers, or silicone bags.
- Place leftovers in containers, and use within recommended timeframe specific to each item.
Silicone Storage Containers
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Charcuterie Board FAQ
Here at Clean Cuisine, we try to eat organic whenever possible, but also know that this can get expensive fast! Because of this, we like to follow the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 rules when buying produce!
While everyone has their own personal preference, I love Miyokos for dairy-free cheese, and find that this brand tends to have the fewest additives.
Wood and marble are both great options for charcuterie boards! I especially prefer bamboo.
The amount of people your charcuterie board will serve depends on the size! My charcuterie board is 15×27.25, and when filled to the brim, serves around 10-15 people depending on the serving size of each guest.
We would never categorize cured meat as healthy, but most definitely splurge on it from time-to-time! Choosing organic, grass-fed or pastured, and nitrite and nitrate-free options are a much healthier choice as an occasional treat!