If you’re having a party, you need to know how to make The Ultimate Charcuterie Board. This classic cheese board has a crowd-pleasing mix of fruits, meats, breads, nuts, condiments, and other favorites.
The Ultimate Charcuterie Board- Cheese Board
The Ultimate Charcuterie Board, or cheese board, is just what you want to serve if you are having people over. I love this board because not only does it appeal to everyone, but it also makes a beautiful centerpiece on your table, colorful and brimming with tasty treats.
- TASTE: Comprised of a flavorful combination of cheeses, meats, fruits, nuts, breads, crackers, and condiments, there are limitless flavor combinations to enjoy. Savory, salty, and sweet, these boards have a little of everything.
- TEXTURE: From crunchy nuts to dried meats, juicy fruits, and soft cheeses, this ultimate charcuterie board has it all.
- TIME: It takes less than half an hour to set up.
- EASE: While there is a lot of variety to be found on charcuterie boards, they are fairly easy to put together. And they are a great addition to other traditional appetizers.
What is a charcuterie board?
A charcuterie board, which is pronounced shaar-KOO-tuh-ree, originated in France. It translates to “pork-butcher shop,” and was mostly a board of pork products. But nowadays, these boards are made up of a variety of cured meats and other ingredients like fruit, cheese, and flavor enhancers. They are meant to complement each other and create delicious pairings based on taste and texture. Everyone loves a good grazing board because there is usually something for everyone. The combinations that can be put together optimize flavor to create a really enjoyable and exciting assortment of foods.
What are the steps to make a charcuterie board?
Choose your board
- Size- Typically, boards are 9×13, or can be as big as 12×18.
- Wood- If you decide to use a wood board, then teak, maple, cherry, olive, and acacia woods are best. You want to choose a non-porous wood to avoid the absorption of unwanted flavors. For this recipe, I used an 18 x 24 wood board.
- Marble- Marble is also a good choice of board because it is hard and impermeable, not to mention has a smooth clean look to display your ingredients.
Get pretty jars and bowls
- Size- Look for bowls and jars that about the same size and have an opening wide enough to accommodate utensils.
- Design- This is a personal choice, but try to stay consistent so the board does not look messy.
Find tiny utensils
- Butter knives- for cutting cheeses or meats
- Spoons- for jars/bowls and picking up nuts
- Forks- for picking up meats, fruits, and cheeses
Charcuterie Board Ideas
What kind of cheese is on a charcuterie board?
The cheese on a charcuterie board should vary from soft to hard and offer a variety of flavors. Aged cheddar, Smoked Gouda, Plain cheese curds, Edam, Beecher’s Flagship, Boursin garlic herb spread, Smoked mozzarella, and Fromager D’Affinois are some great choices. Blue cheese and goat cheese are also quite commonly used too.
Best meats to use
For the best cured meats to add to your board, try Genoa salami, Prosciutto, Soppressata, Nola salami, Peppered salami, and Spanish-style chorizo. The meats should complement the flavors of the other ingredients on your cheese platter.
Best fruit to add to a cheese platter
Fruit adds a delicious sweetness to cheese platters, which offsets the saltier meats and cheeses. Some of the best fresh fruits to include are Grapes, Strawberries, Pears, Apples, and Blueberries. For dried fruits, add Dried apricots, Figs, Dried tart cherries, and Golden raisins.
What type of crackers pair well
What else can I add?
To round out your board, add an assortment of jams, nuts, and other items. Some options would be:
- Jams- Fig, Plum, and Strawberry jam
- Roasted Nuts- Pistachios, Almonds, Pecans
- Pitted Olives- Kalamata, Sicilian
How to Make a Charcuterie Board
- Assemble the cheeses. Slice or crumble the cheeses and place them as far apart as possible on the charcuterie board to leave room for other ingredients. For soft cheeses, wedge a small butter knife in them for serving.
- Place the meats. Then, slice and fold the cured meats. For prosciutto, it is so thin you can just let it drop like a ribbon on the board. For others like the Genoa salami, fold them into quarters and fan them out like a deck of cards. Chorizo can be folded in halves. Peppered and Nola salami should be sliced into thin rounds. Remember to keep your meats separated like the cheeses for a prettier appearance.
- Add the olives, honey, and jams. Now fill your bowls or jars with the olives, honey, and jams that you have chosen. Place them in different areas of the cheese board for a balanced look.
- Put out the fresh fruit. Slice the pears and place them on the board, along with clusters of grapes, strawberries, and blueberries. Arrange them in separate parts of the board for colorful variety.
- Arrange the bread and crackers. Slice the French bread. Then place the bread and crackers around the board, fanning them out as with the meats.
- Add the nuts and dried fruits. To fill the small spaces on the charcuterie board between the other ingredients, place small handfuls of the nuts and dried fruits. This will give your board a very full and abundant look.
- Let the board reach room temp. Before serving, let the board sit out for about 1 hour to reach room temperature. This will give it optimal flavor. Then enjoy!
The word charcuterie is French and translates to “pork-butcher shop.” While it originally meant a lot of pork products, modern charcuterie boards include cheeses, fruits, nuts, herbs, crackers, and spreads.
The 3333 rule for charcuterie boards refers to a board needing 3 meats, 3 cheeses, 3 starches, and 3 accompaniments. But as long as you have a nice variety, you can add as many or as little of each as you like.
This Charcuterie Board is such a crowd-pleaser and goes well with any appetizer. You can also use leftovers to make other dishes.
- Appetizers: Serve it with some Baked Brie in Puff Pastry, Mushroom Puff Pastry Appetizers, Eggplant Appetizers (Roll-ups), or Smoked Salmon Appetizer (VIDEO).
- Dips: Pair it with a dip like this Crab Artichoke Dip, 7 Layer Taco Dip, Pretzel Cheese Dip, or Easy BLT Dip.
- Salads: Use extra nuts, fruits, and cheese to level up salads, or serve this Strawberry Feta Spinach Salad, Cucumber Tomato Feta Salad, Antipasto Salad, or Caprese Salad.
- Meats: Pair this board with some Breaded Chicken Skewers, Teriyaki Chicken Wings, Garlic Butter Steak Bites, or Pork Belly Burnt Ends.
Make This Recipe in Advance
Make ahead: You can assemble this charcuterie board ahead of time by covering it with plastic wrap and keeping it in the fridge. Cover small dishes of dip and spread with a lid or plastic wrap.
Storing: Store this cheese board covered with plastic wrap for up to 3 days. It will store best if the meats, cheeses, fruits, and nuts are separately stored and dips and spread are covered with lids.
Freeze: You can freeze individual components of this charcuteries board, such as the meat, nuts, and cheese, but the fruit will thaw mushy and some of the spreads may not have the right texture. It’s best to make this board fresh.
More Tasty Appetizers!
Watch Video Recipe HERE!
Full Recipe Instructions
How to make the ultimate charcuterie board (cheese board)
- 1 wedge Fromager d’affinois
- 1 wheel Smoked Gouda
- 1 block smoked mozzarella
- 1 wheel Edam cheese
- 1 block Aged cheddar
- 1 package Boursin garlic herb cheese spread
- 1 block Beacher's flagship ￼cheese
- 1 box Beacher's plain cheese curds
- Prosciutto sliced
- Genoa Salami sliced
- Soppressata sliced
- Spanish style chorizo sliced
- Nola salami sliced
- Peppered salami sliced
BREAD AND CRACKERS
FRESH AND DRIED FRUITS
- Depending on the cheese, some may need to be crumbled like the Beacher's flagship cheese. Other cheese that is soft and spreadable like the fromager d'affinois or garlic herb spread will need to have a small butter knife wedged into it for serving.
- Next, begin slicing and folding your cured meats. You want to start with the biggest pieces such as the prosciutto. It’s super thin so all you need to do is simply let them drop in a ribbon right onto the serving board. ￼
- Now fold up the Genoa salami, and soppressata into quarters and fan them out beside each other like a deck of cards. The Spanish chorizo is a bit smaller so all you need to do is fold it in half and lay them out the same way.
- For the peppered and Nola salami, use a sharp knife to slice them into thin rounds and lay them out onto your cheeseboard. Always make sure to spread your meats in sections apart from each other. It looks so much prettier that way!
- Once your condiments are arranged on the board, begin adding the fruit (clusters of grapes, strawberries, sliced pear, and blueberries.
- The last and final step would be to add the dried fruit and nuts. The reason we add these last is that once you reach the end of a charcuterie board assembly, you’re left with tiny spaces to fill. Small things like pistachios, almonds, pecans, and small dried fruit fit perfectly in all those little pockets.
- Before serving, you want to let your charcuterie board ingredients come to room temperature for about 1 hour for optimal flavors.