“The focus of entertaining is impressing others; the focus of true hospitality is serving others.” —Tim Chester
Holiday gatherings don’t have to involve slaving over a hot stove cooking away while everyone mingles, right?
Sometimes, it’s easy to just put a charcuterie board together, grab some wine, put on some music, and call it a successful party!
With the holidays are around the corner, I thought I’d share tips on how to create an easy charcuterie board.
This past summer, I made my first charcuterie board for my friend and I and we loved it! I also learned a lot about types of cheeses and meats and the rest, well…I just winged it, ha!
Today’s article is all about a little, fun and “loose” charcuterie board recipe.
If you’ve never done this before, here are my tips on on how to create an easy charcuterie board:
1 // Save money by shopping at places like Aldi or Trader Joe’s.
2 // Ask the clerks who work at the store you’re getting groceries from for their feedback. We did this at Trader Joe’s and Central Market and were NOT steered wrong.
3 // Use pretty stemware to not only create your meat roses, but to add visual interest. Here, I used short stemware to elevate pistachios and other nuts above the actual board.
4 // Prep tools can be your friend to separate your dips and extra ingredients. Additionally, I used glass dipping sauce bowls for honey, preserves, and artichoke hearts.
5 // If budget permits, add some garnish like rosemary. And if you want to go above and beyond, use a rolling pin and crush the rosemary stems to release the scent before presenting the board to your guests.
CHARCUTERIE BOARD INGREDIENTS
CHARCUTERIE BOARD MEATS
The charcuterie board meat brands we used were:
Volpi uncured pepperoni — Central Market
Zesty Salami Black Kassel — Central Market
Genoa Salami Fiorucci — Central Market
Mustard Seed Salami — Central Market
Sliced Prosciutto — Trader Joe’s
Smoked Turkey Breast — Trader Joe’s
CHARCUTERIE BOARD CHEESES
And here are the brands we used:
Vintage Irish Cheddar Cheese — Aldi
Emporium Selection Havarti Cheese — Aldi
Cambozola Cream Soft Cheese — Trader Joe’s
French Brie Soft Cheese — Trader Joe’s
Supreme — Central Market
Emporium Selection Goat Cheese with Everything Bagel Seasoning — Aldi
The charcuterie board fruits we used were:
Wine grapes — Sprouts
Strawberries — Kroger
Dried pear slices — Bella Viva Orchards
Strawberries — Aldi
The charcuterie board nut brands we used were:
Good & Gather Raw Whole Cashews — Target
Raw Pecan Halves — Trader Joe’s
Kirkland Pistachios — Costco
I didn’t have time to pick up more nuts and this is all I had in the pantry.
CHARCUTERIE BOARD DIPS & EXTRAS
The charcuterie board dip brands we used were:
Bonne Maman — Aldi
Caramia Artichoke Hearts — Kroger
Plum Preserves — Mood’s Farm Market
Nature Nate’s Raw Honey — Kroger
CHARCUTERIE BOARD CRACKERS
Lastly, the charcuterie board cracker brands we used were (from top to bottom):
Cracker Variety — Trader Joe’s
Breadsticks — Trader Joe’s
Cheese breadsticks — Trader Joe’s
LOVED the cracker varieties, but I did not like the cheese breadsticks.
CHARCUTERIE BOARD SUPPLIES YOU’LL NEED
Obviously, you’ll need cheese knives and some type of cheese board. For my first board, I used my massive cutting board. Funny story about this board: I bought it off Amazon several years ago and when it arrived, I had no idea what my package was because it was that big. Apparently, I had purchased a commercial kitchen cutting board, ha!
Elevate your charcuterie board with cheese markers. Some people like to know what they’re trying and it doesn’t hurt to label your cheeses (and meats).
If you need more charcuterie board recipe ideas, read some fun charcuterie board cookbooks for some inspiration. You can also leave them out if you want your guests to flip through them.
I hope you enjoyed this article for a simple charcuterie board idea! However, here’s a great resource if you’re looking for a more in-depth guide to building a charcuterie board.
I’ve loved making this for an easy weekend dinner. I loved it so much that I’m looking to create a breakfast charcuterie board, butter charcuterie board (more on this for sure!), and dessert charcuterie board in the future! Stay tuned!