Skip to main content

How to Make a Simple Charcuterie Board

 When you are hosting a dinner or family gathering a simple charcuterie board can be the answer to the question about what to serve as an appetizer. 

Assembling a simple charcuterie board is easy and fun and your guests will love the variety of snack options on your board. Charcuterie boards are a fun way to start your holiday or New Year's parties.

Making A Simple Charcuterie Board

You can easily assemble a charcuterie board.
Traditionally charcuterie boards are made of meats and cheeses but I like my platters to include an assortment of meat, cheeses, olives, pickles, fruits, nuts, dips, bread, and crackers.

Tips for Simple Charcuterie Boards

The key to a great charcuterie board is VARIETY.

First, choose a platter or board for your charcuterie display. Platters can be a preferred choice because they often have a lip around the edge that will help contain the charcuterie's ingredients. 

Choose the board size to fit your need. You’ll need a large board for a large gathering of friends and family or you can use a salad or dessert plate for your personal charcuterie board.

You can use boards, trays, and platters for charcuterie.

You'll also want to gather any small bowls you will need for dips or snack foods. White ceramic ramekins are good choices. Place the bowls on your board before your get started to be sure they will fit.  Don't forget any spoons, cheese knives, toothpicks, or spreaders you may need on your board.

Next, you’ll want to choose a variety of meats and cheeses, the amount depending on the number of people you will be serving. 

Start with three to four cured meats. Arrange them in groupings around your board. 

Meat options include salami, soppressata, prosciutto, and sliced ham.

How much will you need? 

A simple charcuterie borad.

People often ask how much meat and cheese they will need.  It's hard to say.  The amount often depends on how long your guests will be snacking on the charcuterie board and if there will be other appetizers served.  I err on the side that more is better.  I always have extra to replenish the board as the ingredients start to disappear.

When selecting cheese think about the tastes of the people you will be serving. Will they prefer the standards like cheddar and brie or will they like more exotic flavors like blue cheese and smoked gouda? Generally, you should choose a combination of hard and soft cheeses. 

You'll want to choose three to four cheeses of various textures and flavors. 

Good hard cheese options include cheddar, gouda, Colby, pepper jack, and muenster. 

Good soft cheese options include brie, Camembert, blue cheese, and various herbed cheese spreads like Boursin.

Vary the shapes of your cheeses.  Cut some into slices and some into cubes. Arrange the cheeses in groupings near the meats on your board.

Add a variety of nuts and fruits for variation in color and texture. I love to use cashews, pecans, or almonds on my boards but any of your favorites will be perfect. Think about selecting sugared or spiced nut varieties for some flavor variation. 

Seasonal fruits are always good choices.  Grapes and berries work on charcuterie boards because you don’t have to fuss in preparing them and their color adds pop to your board.

Here's How to Assemble Your Charcuterie Board

Other Charcuterie Tips

How much will your charcuterie board cost? 
Assembling the ingredients for your charcuterie can be pricey. Think about the amount of money you want to spend and choose accordingly. It’s always a good idea to start in your own pantry to see what you might have on hand already.

You may be able to find budget-friendly meat options pre-packaged in your local grocery store. Don’t forget stores like Costco, BJs, and Sam’s Club. These stores are also good options for nuts in bulk.

Can you make your charcuterie board ahead of time? 
You can make a charcuterie board up to 24 hours before you will serve it. You’ll just want to wrap it in plastic wrap and keep it refrigerated. It’s a good idea to take your board out of the refrigerator 40 to 60 minutes before serving so your cheeses can warm a bit for the best flavor.

All in all, charcuterie boards are wonderful options when entertaining.  You can make them ahead of time, they are self-serve appetizer options, and guests love them.  

Dips to Add  to Your Charcuterie Board

Caramelized Onion Dip: Get the printable recipe here.




More Popular Posts

How to Make a Perfect Bacon and Eggs Breakfast

In my opinion, the best breakfast consists of two perfectly fried eggs, crispy bacon, and toast made with hearty bread. This bacon and eggs recipe delivers. Bacon and eggs or eggs and bacon? No matter, it is definitely the breakfast you want on those lazy mornings when you have time to relax around the kitchen table, drinking a cup of coffee or two. The Best Bacon and Eggs Breakfast (This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience.  When you make a purchase using these links you help support this blog.) How to Cook Bacon and Eggs My technique was learned from my mom, by watching her make our family's breakfast over and over again, year after year.  This is a basted egg recipe which means the eggs are cooked in bacon grease. Cooking eggs in bacon fat is easy and takes just a little practice to perfect. All you really need for a great bacon and eggs breakfast is a good nonstick skillet and a good toaster . If you want to make your own bread fo

Grandma's Soft and Chewy Date-Filled Cookies

One of the things I can count on as the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons arrive each year is a feeling of nostalgia. The traditional foods we serve at our family's holiday tables can sure bring out all the feels. Now that it is officially cookie season, we should kick it off with an old-fashioned homemade date-filled cookie recipe. This is a soft, tender cookie with dates that is a special, nostalgic, family recipe.   An Old-Fashioned Date Cookies Recipe This old-fashioned, date-filled cookie was my dad's favorite cookie from his childhood. My dad was born in 1932 so this recipe has been around for quite a while. 

The Best Asian Dipping Sauce You'll Ever Taste

If you're looking for a versatile, easy-to-make Asian dipping sauce perfect for sushi and dumplings, then you've come to the right place. This recipe for the best Asian dipping sauce is perfect for any time you want a  kick of delicious Asian flavor. An Asian Dipping Sauce for Sushi and Dumplings Try this if you are looking for a dipping sauce that is a little more flavorful than you typically get with your takeout order. You'll love it with dumplings, too!

Crunchy, Spicy Gingersnap Cookies

Crunchy, spicy, and yummy are all words used to describe a good gingersnap cookie.   While my hands-down, favorite cookie is a gooey chocolate chip cookie I occasionally crave a spicy ginger snaps cookie or  this molasses cookie .  This old-fashioned gingersnap cookie is a winner.  It's easy to make and will be a favorite in your recipe rotation. Traditional Ginger Snaps Cookie Recipe ( This post contains affiliate links.  I will be compensated when you make a purchase with these links.) Gingersnaps Cookies In the U.S., gingersnaps are usually drop cookies with lots of cracks on the surface.  That's exactly how I like them.  Those found in other countries may be thinner and sliced.  The Lebkuchen, a traditional German cookie, and the pepparkakor, from Sweden, are often cut into festive shapes.  My gingersnaps are round. Reasons You'll Love These Gingersnap Cookies These gingersnaps are tasty cookies at any time of the year.   Their spiciness is perfect as a holid

Best Ever Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting

Do you want to impress your friends and family with beautifully decorated sugar cookies? Look no further! In this step-by-step guide, I will show you how to decorate sugar cookies with delicious buttercream frosting. From mixing the perfect frosting to piping intricate designs, you'll find everything you need to know to create stunning and tasty treats.  Whether you're a beginner or an experienced baker, these easy-to-follow instructions and helpful tips will help you master the art of cookie decorating in no time.  If you are looking for the best sugar cookie recipe you will love this recipe. It makes delicious, cake-like sugar cookies that are sweet, but not too sweet. Add delicious buttercream frosting and these cookies will be your all-time favorites.  So, let's get started and take your sugar cookies to the next level! How to Decorate Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting (This post contains affiliate links. ) These sugar coo

Easy Chicken Parmesan-A Make Ahead Freezer Dinner

Chicken Parmesan is a favorite dinner in the Just One Donna house because it is a delicious dish that can satisfy your cravings for Italian food. It's also easy to make at home with simple ingredients you probably have in your pantry.  But what if you don't have time to cook on a busy weeknight? Don't worry, you can make Chicken Parmesan ahead of time and freeze it for later. I like to prepare Chicken Parmesan to have on hand in my freezer for those busy weeknights when we might be tempted to head to a restaurant instead of eating at home.  How to Make Freezer Chicken Parmesan for Busy Nights This post contains affiliate links.  I receive a small compensation when you shop using these links Easy Freezer Chicken Parmesan for Dinner Chicken Parmesan, also known as Chicken Pa

How to Trap and Get Rid of Fruit Flies

Fruit flies can be a huge annoyance at certain times of the year. What can you do to kill fruit flies? We've all been there wondering how to get rid of fruit flies.  Fruit flies in the kitchen.  Fruit flies in the bathroom.  Fruit flies buzzing around everywhere in your home.   It's a frustrating problem that happens to everyone at one time or another.  If you are a fresh fruit and produce lover you certainly know what I mean. How to Kill Fruit Flies with Two Ingredients Those pesky little buggers can often be brought into your home on the vegetables and fruit you buy. You don't have to tolerate the annoyance.  This homemade fruit fly trap is one I have been using for many years and it works every time. 

Traditional New England Whoopie Pies

Are you looking for the best whoopie pie recipe?  Whoopie pies are a quintessential New England dessert and a memorable treat from my childhood.   My mom would make them for us every once in a while.  Oh, what a treat to come home from school to a platter of chocolate whoopie pies!  Yum! Today I'm sharing my recipe for the best-ever whoopie pies. The Best Whoopie Pies Recipe without Marshmallow Fluff Whoopie Pies Whoopie pies are soft round cookie-like cakes with a smooth cream filling sandwiched in the center. Debate rages about the whoopie pie's origin.  Some say these goodies originated in New England, others say they originated with the Amish.   There is also debate about what ingredients should be in the filling.  Many recipes include fillings made with Marshmallow Fluff or buttercream but neither is  traditional, in my opinion.  The whoopie pie of my childhood is a traditional Maine whoopie pie recipe, made with a cooked flour and milk mixture added to suga

How to Doctor Up Store-Bought Potato Salad

Here's a potato salad time-saver for you just in time for summer cookouts. You'll love how you can transform grocery store potato salad so easily no matter whether you are hosting a BBQ or bringing a side dish for a summer barbecue. There's no judgment here. We don't always have the time to make a potato salad from scratch. Sometimes it is just easier to stop by your local grocery store to pick up a container of store-made potato salad. It's good. It's predictable.  It will do.  All it needs is a little doctoring. How to Make Store-Bought Potato Salad Better When you need a quick potato salad, and have no time to make one from scratch, that ordinary store-bought potato salad you have in your refrigerator can go from blah to amazing in just a few minutes with just a few ingredients. Yes, you can improve store-bought potato salad. How to Doctor Up Potato Salad to have a little more flavor? You're going to a potluck picnic or you are having

Easy Asparagus Quiche

If you haven't made a quiche in a while it's time to make one.  This fresh asparagus quiche is perfect for the season.  You'll find asparagus in your grocery store's produce section at a reasonable price during the spring months, so now is the time for this fresh asparagus quiche. Fresh Asparagus Quiche Quiche is the perfect dish in my opinion.  It makes a delicious meal any time of day.  The combination of eggs, cheese, and vegetables is satisfying as well as delicious.  You can serve it warm, cold, or at room temperature, too. You can't make a more versatile dish!