Tips for a Holiday Charcuterie Board
Are you a fan of charcuterie boards yet? We’re all in for these colorful, flavorful, fun platters of finger foods. They’re the epitome of party food and make a table look fancy without a lot of effort. They’re one of our favorite things to serve at holiday gatherings.
Today we’re sharing tips on how to get the perfect holiday charcuterie board. They’re all the rage right now, and easier to assemble than you might think. A classic board really only requires a handful of ingredients like cheese, nuts, fruit, dippers, dips & spreads, and meat. But, there are a lot of different variations now with the popularity of these boards. You can make anything from a vegetable board to a hot cocoa board, or a meat board to a dessert board. The possibilities are endless! Scroll down for some of our favorite additions to our family charcuterie boards, and a little peek at our pretty Thanksgiving dessert boards, too.
The Set Up
The main thing you need for the set up is a serving board. Depending on how many you’re serving, you can go big or small. Or, try setting out a few across the counter! To add to the visual appeal of the spread, we like adding different layers with every element added. This can be done with a variety of serving bowls, spoons, cheese knives, or even a lazy Susan. We like to stick to similar dishes- so, all clear, all white, etc. Then, use these as a map of sorts so you know where to place each ingredient.
Classic Charcuterie Board
So, now that you know the items needed for the initial set up, let’s start assembling!
Dips & Spreads.
First, we set out our dips & spreads to map out the board.
We tend to gravitate towards hot pepper jams and spicy mustard, but it’s all about personal preference. Keep in mind, different jams pair with different meats! Read tips on that here.
- Spicy Brown Mustard
- Cornaby’s Cowgirl Kisses Candied Jalapenos with Pineapple (#2293)
- Honey Pineapple Mustard
- Cornaby’s Cowpoke Smoke Smoked Candied Jalapenos (#2294)
- AP Popeye’s Spinach Dip (#1423)
Then, we add a few small piles of with nuts – it’s okay if these are messy. Whether you go for candied or salted nuts, they are essential! We like to add a mixture of both, and use them to fill empty spaces.
It’s not a classic charcuterie board without cheese! Althrough it may cost more, we recommend using higher quality artisan cheeses, typically found in delis. Depeding on how big your board is, include a mixture of soft and firm cheeses. We also like to add a variety of some alread sliced, some in a wedge with a cheese knife, some cubed, etc. to add to the visual appeal. Our favorites are:
- Cheeder- white or aged mild
- Pepper jack
Next up is fruit. We recommend using fresh fruit rather than frozen. But, dried fruits work great also! If you’re using fresh, we do find it works best to pat everything dry to help prevent liquid from spreading to dry ingredients. Or, place wet fruits in a serving bowl so they are contained.
- Dried mango
- Dried banana
- Kiwi Slices
- Dried apricot
Now, add a variety of dippers throughout your board. Choose from crunchy crackers or soft baguettes to have some variety.
- Wheat thins
- Rosemary crackers
- Stonefire Original Naan Dippers (#2794)
- Whole wheat crackers
Next up, pile on different flavors and textures throughout the empty spaces. Just like the cheese, you can serve a variety of pre slices and meat logs with a knife nearby.
- Summer sausage
- Margherita Hard Salami Slices (#1688)
- Pepperoni slices
- Lunch Meat – Bridgerland Sliced Turkey Breast (#2100), Smoked Honey Ham (#2101), or Shaved Pit Beef (#2722)
This is where it gets fun! After you have the basics added, you can add extras depending on the season, personal preference, etc. This can be anything from pickles and olives, to holiday candies or fresh herbs.
- Olives- black, kalamata, etc.
- J Morgan Mint Truffles (#1706)
- Pickles- mini dill, sweet pickles, pickle sprears
- AP Yogurt Pretzels (#2716)
- Heavenly Caramel Chocolate Covered Vanilla Sea Salt (#9016)
- Daelmans Caramel Stroopwafels (#1809)
Now, you have a beautiful charcuterie board really for any occasion! Is there anything else you would add?
Dessert boards are fun to put together with loved ones before the big holiday feast. Like classic boards, these really can include anything. Kim Henke, our marketing director, shared this fun board she made up with her mom and daughters for Thanksgiving. It includes an assortment of:
- Mini tarts and pies
- Mini cupcakes
- Teddy grahams, nilla wafers, animal crackers, and other sweet crackers
- Dessert dip
- Cheese ball
- Wheat thins and ritz
- Green and purple grapes