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How to Create a Killer Charcuterie Board

We've all heard the saying that people eat with their eyes first. Well, what better reason to make your charcuterie board look gorgeous? We love a good board around here! They are so versatile and perfect for feeding a group since everyone can just take what they like. No pressure. Versatile because you can cater to different groups with vegetarian options, gluten free or nut free options simply by excluding some items and adding others. Easy!

So below we have a list of ideas for your next charcuterie board and tips to keep it looking pretty too.

festive charcuterie board cheese board
Photo by Anto Meneghini

Tip: One of the keys to keeping a board looking really inviting is to make sure you have lots of different textures to add visual interest.

  • a selection of cheeses will help acheive this. Make sure you are choosing some from different flavour profiles too. For example, gorgonzola, brie and a sharp cheddar will not only taste quite different from each other, but also add visual and textural interest to the board.

  • a variety of crackers, bread sticks, mini bagels and sliced baguette to add an assortment of shapes.

Tip: The meats look nice when they have some height. Roll the pieces into rustic rolls or fold them into triangles and place them upright on the board wedged between some of your other components. Choose from a few different items to provide a choice to your guests as well as to add to your contrast.

  • salami, capocolla, prosciutto and ham can all be folded or rolled and placed on the board.

  • pepperoni sticks, sausage, dried sausage, etc., can be cut into rounds or smaller pieces or left in larger chunks.

Tip: little bowls on the board are great for containing smaller items or products that may easily spill over onto your other ingredients. No one likes a soggy cheese! Your bowls can help to add some colour to the board too or keep them neutral and let the food do the talking.

  • Chili Pepper Infused Honey and Garlic Infused Honey are perfect accompaniments to an appetizing charcuterie board! They pair well with many cheeses and look delicious in a little bowl because they add some shimmer and shine to your display.

  • gourmet or grainy mustard, onion jam, etc. will add some texture.

  • olives, pickled vegetables and gherkins offer a tangy addition.

cheese board charcuterie cheese and crackers ideas
Photo courtesy of Ain't Too Proud to Meg

Tip: You will need to add some enticing colour to the board too to contrast with many of the brown spectrum of foods that make up a cheese board.

  • fresh berries and grapes are always enjoyable and work well with a variety of cheeses. Sliced apples & pears are a tasty choice, but will easily go brown unless cut fresh before serving or prepped properly.

  • cherry tomatoes, radishes and mandarin orange wedges add excellent festive colour.

Tip: Add a variety of nuts and dried fruits in small dishes or pile them up directly on your surface distributed in several spots.

  • dates are particularly appetizing with their shiny skins, dried apricots add good colour.

  • whole walnuts, pecans and cashews look nice or pistachios in their shells and all add great texture.

Tip: If you want to get fancy, add a simple garnish. It doesn't have to be complicated, just a couple of stems popped in amongst the food.

  • rosemary, sage and thyme are pretty anytime, but particularly nice during the holidays.

  • a few mint sprigs or basil leaves will add a hit of green to the board too and basil is really tasty with cheese.

charcuterie board ideas
Photo courtesy of Dinner at the Zoo

Other optional add ins:

  • artichoke hearts

  • dolmades

  • hummus, babaganoush or other spreads

  • pate

  • pakoras

We hope this will help to inspire you to create a great spread for your guests for your next gathering! Do you have any favourite things that you add to your boards? Tell us about them!

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