How to Make a Holiday Charcuterie Board—A Beginner’s Guide

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‘Tis the season for hors d’oeuvres and blissful hours, grazing and gathering, and bringing collectively the folks you like round plentiful platters of meals. For me, meaning making my fair proportion of cheese and charcuterie boards, and I have to say—with years of apply, I’ve nailed a tried-and-true formulation for constructing the right vacation charcuterie board that’s attractive, scrumptious, and gained’t blow your funds.

In the present day’s put up undoubtedly falls into the no-recipe recipe class, however since I get so many questions from you guys at any time when I share my cheese boards on Instagram, I believed it could be useful to kickoff this season of internet hosting with a quintessential information to creating a vacation charcuterie board that’s good for any Christmas gathering. Scroll on for all my recommendations on how to decide on meats and cheeses to purchase on the grocery, how one can organize, and the ending touches that make it really feel tremendous festive.

First, select one of the best board for charcuterie

Selecting the best board to rearrange your cheese and charcuterie on is step primary. Take into consideration materials (wooden, marble, or ceramic), form (would you like it to be spherical or rectangular?) and maybe most significantly, the dimensions.

I could also be biased, however Casa Zuma’s Gathering Board is my primary decide for an attractive board for vacation charcuterie (or snacking boards of any type). Its substantial 1″ thickness makes it really feel so sturdy irrespective of how a lot I load it up, and the walnut and oak boards have an attractive grain that displays their handmade high quality. They simply really feel particular.

Select the dimensions of board based mostly on the variety of folks you’re feeding. Our massive board is sized completely for a bigger group, and the small board is excellent for 1 – 4 folks.

Add your vacation charcuterie board components

Constructing a fantastic cheese board is all concerning the selection—you need texture, shade, and curiosity. Right here’s every part you’ll want to make a fantastic vacation charcuterie board:


What are one of the best cheeses to incorporate on a vacation charcuterie board? Usually, you need a mixture of arduous and tender cheeses, in addition to mixing up the varieties. For this board serving 5 or extra folks, we’ve bought a few of my favourite cheeses: a wedge of creamy blue cheese, a pointy cheddar, and a creamy goat cheese. You can add a sheep’s milk manchego, a creamy brie, recent mozzarella, or an aged gouda or gruyere, if you happen to wished to amp up the numbers. For a smaller group, you’ll be able to completely get away with 2 forms of cheeses (usually a creamy cheese and a tough cheese) and name it a day.


I like to supply 2 forms of meat on most of my charcuterie boards: a sliced salami and paper skinny slices of prosciutto, each of which may probably be discovered at any native grocery retailer.

Crackers and bread

That is the vessel for serving all these cheeses and spreads. I normally have a toasted baguette, easy water cracker, after which a seeded gluten-free cracker like Mary’s Gone Crackers.


Including one or two forms of fruit to your vacation charcuterie board is a good way to make it really feel seasonal. Within the winter, I like so as to add persimmons, pears, cranberries, pomegranates, and dates to my board, whereas a summer time board may embody recent berries and cherries. I additionally love dried fruit, like cranberries or apricots, for a chewy texture.

Professional tip: Italian chef Erind Halilaj informed us, “Parmigiana occurs to pair rather well with grapes.”


You’ve gotta have that salty crunch on any cheese board, and marcona almonds, toasted pistachios, salted cashews, or candied pecans are elevated methods so as to add it.


I all the time embody one barely candy unfold to my boards that permits company to create their “good chunk.” Fig chutney pairs rather well with blue cheese, and I like a tart citrus marmalade with parmesan. When unsure, set out just a little bowl of honey that’s scrumptious drizzled over something.


My decide? A wealthy inexperienced olive with the pit (and a small bowl for discarding.) I like castelvetrano or cerignola olives for the meatiest, most satisfying taste.


I like to think about one “wow issue” merchandise that makes a charcuterie board memorable. Edible flowers sprinkled excessive, or on this case, a particular wedge of honeycomb that turns into the pièce de résistance. It might even be an surprising method of serving, like an entire wheel of brie slathered with stunning jam.

Suggestions for assembling a vacation charcuterie board

Right here’s my easy formulation for constructing an attractive board each time:

Step 1 – Begin with the cheeses

They’ll anchor the board and information the remainder of your composition. I wish to unfold the cheeses out into completely different corners of the board so it feels balanced.

Step 2 – Add the meats

That is the opposite “wealthy” component on the board, and I wish to maintain the meats just a little separate from the cheeses. I pile up prosciutto in fairly little stacks and fan out salami in overlapping strains.

Step 3 – Pop within the fruit

That is the place all that attractive seasonal shade is available in, so deal with it like an artwork mission including visible curiosity the place wanted. I normally place fruit subsequent to the cheeses that it tastes greatest but, so I’ve taken the guesswork out of pairings for my company.

Step 4 – Fill in with ultimate touches

Now comes the enjoyable half. Fill within the gaps with all of the fixings that may make the board look actually plentiful. Incorporating mini bowls and ramekins retains issues organized and fascinating, they usually’re a fantastic vessel for among the smaller snacks and any dips or spreads you select to show. I add crackers and breads, then olives, nuts, chutneys, and even some recent herbs like these sprigs of rosemary as my ultimate touches.

Methods to maintain it budget-friendly

Sure, it actually is feasible to make an attractive charcuterie board that gained’t break the financial institution (key through the holidays!) Listed here are my high suggestions for holding a charcuterie board budget-friendly:

Embrace only one costly kind of cheese

I all the time select one cheese to be my “splurge” and be sure that everybody has an opportunity to attempt it–everybody might be so wowed by that one unforgettable cheese that they gained’t discover if the others are rather less standout.

Slice strategically

This can be a tough method that I realized again in my catering days! The method that you just current a sure cheese could make it really feel fancier and extra substantial. Serve parmesan in an extended skinny wedge that takes up quite a lot of actual property on the platter. Reduce a extra reasonably priced cheddar into lengthy skinny slices that may be stacked up or fanned out (and maintain it from wanting like a grocery retailer block of cheese.) And as talked about, I wish to serve brie in an entire wheel and encompass it with pear slices and drizzle the highest with honey.

Go loopy with garnishes.

That is the best secret to creating an reasonably priced charcuterie board since your garnishes are normally essentially the most reasonably priced parts. Slice up a baguette, scatter a couple of toasted walnuts, fan out some apple slices, place just a little bowl of olives, and nestle a couple of items of reasonably priced salami into any empty spots on the board. When unsure, pile up a lot of grapes!

See this put up for tons extra recommendations on making a budget-friendly cheese board.

How a lot meat and cheese per particular person

After I was creating cheese and charcuterie trays for vacation events as an occasion planner, I realized to issue between 1 – 2 ounces of cheese, and 1 – 2 ounces of meat per particular person. This can be a good appetizer portion, understanding that company will even be snacking on fruit, nuts, bread, and olives. For those who’re serving a charcuterie board as a fundamental meal, bump it as much as 2 – 3 ounces of every.

Scroll on for the recipe card, and if you happen to make a vacation charcuterie board this season, be sure you tag us on Instagram so we will see your model!

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