A few tips and tricks for putting together an effortless and simple charcuterie board to enjoy with family and friends.
Lately, all I can think about is how much I miss sharing good food with good friends. It's simple, but it's the thing I miss the most.
When having friends over, I've always loved charcuterie boards because they're so shareable. They're perfect to enjoy with a drink before dinner or even as a full meal. And, depending on who you're having over and what time of year it is, there are so many different directions you can go with.
Putting together a spread can sometimes feel a little intimidating, but I'm here to tell you, it really isn't all that hard! Follow these tips and tricks below, and you'll have an effortlessly beautiful charcuterie board in no time 🙂
Choose the board
Almost any board works - and it can even be as simple as a cutting board. Marble, wood, or ceramic work best, but there's no need to limit yourself. For instance, I used a large ceramic platter for this charctuerie. Choose a smaller board if you're sticking to appetizers and a larger board if it's the main course.
Pick a theme
Depending on how many guests you have, you may want to have several different types of charcturies boards. You may also want to have some boards that are dedicated to meat (sliced and cured meats) and others that are purely vegetarian or vegan.
Variety is key
For each category on the board, you'll want to have a variety. For instance, if you have cheese, include both hard and soft cheeses. I love sourcing local cheeses, but if you are in a pinch, you can find really great affordable options at Trader Joe's. To get you started, look for brie, camembert, goat cheese, manchego, gouda, or cheddar.
What is a cheese board without dips? But seriously... There are so many different directions you can go with dips, but here are a few suggestions: mustard, honey, jam, pepper jelly, ranch, and / or blue cheese dressing. In addition to adding more flavor, dips are also a great way to add visual interest to the board and an excuse to use your favorite tiny dishes and ramekins.
Work from big to small
There's nothing more overwhelming than a blank canvas. To get you started, place your larger elements down first. Depending on your "theme," this could be cheeses, meats, veggies, etc. Next, add in your dips and small bowls. Lastly, fill in the gaps with crackers, nuts, dried fruits, microgreens, or whatever else you have on hand!
Looking for more shareable recipes?
- 1+ soft cheese (e.g. goat, brie, camembert, etc)
- 1+ hard cheese (e.g. cheddar, manchego, etc)
- 2+ types of crackers
- 3+ different veggies (e.g. carrots, celery, radish, etc)
- 2+ dips (mustard, honey, jam, pepper jelly, ranch dressing, etc)
- 2+ filler foods (nuts, dried fruit, microgreens, olives etc)
- (optional) 2+ cured meats (salami, prosciutto, pepperoni, sopressata)
- Work from big to small, starting with the larger items first (e.g. cheese, meats, dips)
- Keep it balanced, both visually and texturally
- Make it bountiful (you shouldn't be able to see the bottom)
- Have fun with it!
If assembling the cheese board ahead of time, make sure to let sit out 1+ hours to let the cheese come down to room temperature.