Get ready to entertain like a boss with this ultimate charcuterie board guide, y’all! The perfect snacking board filled to the brim with cheese, hearty meats, crackers, fruit, and so much more. This guide will teach you everything about putting together your own homemade charcuterie board with a video component to help!
Listen y’all, I am so thrilled about this new post! One of my favorite things to whip up in the kitchen is a bomb charcuterie board. I develop one almost every single time I’m entertaining folks at my crib. They’re the perfect conversation piece and they provide a lil something for everyone to enjoy before the main course. Also, there are infinite ways to bring one to life. That’s right, it’s the customization piece, for me!
I’m so obsessed with cheese boards and have been wanting to develop one for so long. Now that we’re on the heels of summer (peak entertaining + charcuterie season might I add!), ya girl is stupid excited for this new arrival. To be honest, there is no real charcuterie board recipe as this one is all rooted in personal preference. However, I want you to think of this blog post as a guide, your cheese board bff, if you will.
Thank You, Murray’s Cheese, For Sponsoring This Post
DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by Murray’s Cheese who I’m so excited to partner with; all thoughts expressed here are my own. Murray’s Cheese is one of New York City’s oldest artisanal cheese and specialty foods retailers. Not gonna lie, I was absolutely geeked when they reached out to me about collaborating together. Their website is a complete playground of all kinds of charcuterie and cheese board goodness. Almost everything on my board came from Murray’s– the cheese, the meats, and everything in between!
As I mentioned before, a charcuterie board can really be whatever you want it to be. Plain and simple. Although, my guide will give you the 411 on all the things and hopefully inspire you to make your own because I’d love this for you. Plans to entertain or just want to whip up a board for one?…I got you.
What Is A Charcuterie Board?
Charcuterie (pronounced “shahr-ku-tuh-ree“), is derived from a French term to describe the preparation or arrangement of meat products. For example, cured meats like prosciutto, salami, bacon, pepperoni, and pancetta. In the general sense, you will typically find a great charcuterie board to be filled with cured meats, cheese, crackers, fresh fruit, vegetables, jelly/jam, olives, nuts, and other various finger foods.
Additionally, a charcuterie board is often just called a cheese board (in layman’s terms), too. Again, charcuterie includes cured meats while a cheese board refers to an assortment of cheeses. However, some folks like to interchange the terminologies and that’s okay as well- sometimes things are confusing.
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Let’s Talk About That Cheesy Goodness!
>> So, you wanna build an epic cheese board, right? Let’s start with the basics! <<
The cheeses. For starters, there are different types of cheese for a charcuterie board. A great board will have different textural components in cheeses for a nice variety. Here are some examples:
- Aged cheeses (aka hard cheese): This is a type of cheese that has a lower moisture content due to the cheese aging for a long period of time. Aged cheese results in a cheese with stronger flavor. Examples include: Asiago, Sharp Cheddar, Gouda, Parmesan, Grana Padano, Gruyere, and Parmigiano.
- Creamy cheeses: This buttery moist type of cheese has a distinct texture in being ultra soft and/or crumbly. Examples include: Brie, Feta, Goat, Blue, Roquefort, Buffalo Mozzarella, and Burrata.
- Firm cheeses: This type of smooth cheese is more dense than soft cheese and has a large variety as well. Examples include: Fontina, Havarti, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, and Mozzarella.
- Smoked cheeses: Traditionally, smoked cheese, is any cheese that has been treated by a smoke-curing process. This yields to the cheese having extra smoky flavor (one of my most favorites!). Examples include: Smoked Gouda, Smoked Gruyere, and Smoked Provolone, and Smoked Cheddar.
How To Make A Charcuterie Board (Video)
Where are all my visual peeps at?! Watch me bring this gorgeous charcuterie board to life below!
Hearty, Savory, Filling…The Meats!
>> A charcuterie board is absolutely nothing without some delectable cured meats! <<
The meats. There are many varieties of cured meats that will make your cheese board sing in its abundance, my friends. I always like to recommend different types of meats for a tasty experience:
- Prosciutto: This popular Italian-style cured meat (ham) is perfect for cheese boards. It’s usually found to be sliced super thin with a chewy texture. Pairs so nice with a variety of cheeses, fruit, and wine too!
- Salami: A cured sausage made from fermented/air-dried meat (typically pork). It’s fattier and salty with a spicy and sweet flavor. Another stunner for charcuterie boards for a lovely taste on the palate.
- Soppressata: An Italian dried salami that comes in a few different varieties depending on the region in which it’s found. You’ll find soppressata to be a cured meat that comes well seasoned with nice spice.
- Sobrasada: This type of spreadable spiced Spanish meat is super similar to ‘Ndjua or pâté. It’s flavored with salt, pimentón, and garlic. Super delicious with bread, crackers, and pickled veggies.
- Honorable mentions: Other great cured meats for charcuterie boards include: Pepperoni, Kielbasa, Calabrese, Mortadella, Coppa/Capicola, Chorizo, Guanciale, Jamón Ibérico, and Pancetta.
Where To Buy Cheese, Meats, And More…
As I mentioned earlier, I cannot recommend Murray’s Cheese in New York (they ship!) for all things cheese board. They truly have a fantastic assortment on literally everything right along with ideas and plenty of visuals! However, some of my other favorite places to grab cheeses, meats, and other items for my charcuterie board include: Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Publix, ALDI, Sprouts, and your local grocers too.
Additionally, it’s important to note that you can build a charcuterie board with inexpensive ingredients as well. Many folks like to think that a cheese board is some fancy unattainable thing and it is totally not. You can source some really affordable cheeses and meats just the same as you would find higher priced items.
Quintessential Charcuterie Board Must Haves
- Breads and/or crackers: You’ll want to enjoy all that cheese and meat with something right? I love nice crackers like these la panzanella mini croccantini crackers or even simple water crackers. Also, these artisan crisps are so flavorful and great with many cheese board eats. All in all- any bread, cracker, chips, or crisps (go for a variety so there is a little for everyone!) that you enjoy will do the trick.
- Jams/Jellies/Chutney: Big fan of adding jarred jams + jellies to my board for a nice contrast in flavors! Any of your favorite fruit preserves add such a lovely pop of sweetness. Some of my faves include fig jam, peach preserves, and/or strawberry jelly. And this chutney from Murray’s is insanely delicious, y’all!
- Honey: I love the aesthetic and elegant touch of real honeycomb for that charcuterie board wow factor. However, you can surely just use regular honey and add some in a small bowl on the board too.
- Nuts: Think marcona almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, or a variety of your favorites!
- Chocolate: Anything you + your guests enjoy that is chocolate covered; for example: chocolate covered nuts/pretzels, chocolate covered strawberries, actual pieces of chocolate, and so much more.
- Other accompaniments: Olives (love castlevetrano olives!), pickled carrots, cornichons (tiny French pickles), dried fruit, fresh fruit and/or vegetables, and whole grain mustard (pairs well with cured meats).
Tips + Tricks On Assembling A Charcuterie Board
You’ve got all the cheese, meats, and goodies…now let’s make a gorgeous board!
- Types of boards: I personally like wooden boards for that signature rustic wood vibe. Additionally, you can also use a marble platter or really any kind of board or platter that you own. Most of the top of your chosen vessel will hopefully be covered so don’t get too caught up on this- use whatever you have!
- Cheese handling: Take the cheese out at least one hour before serving/assembling the board. Cheese is best served at room temperature and not super cold straight from the fridge. Also, cut a few slices/crumbles off of each cheese for aesthetic purposes.
- Order of items placed: I like to start out by placing my empty bowls onto the board (then fill them), followed by the cheeses, the jarred items, the meats, and then filling in the gaps and open spaces with the other items. A really beautiful board will have elements placed in different sections and placed neatly for a visually appealing look. Organizing your goods from the largest to the smallest items helps!
- Cheese knives/utensils: You’ll want to have a cheese knife for each kind of cheese you will have on the board for the flavors to stay apart and keep clean. And little spoons for all of the individual jams/jellies and/or a honey stick (wand) for any honey that you place on the board.
- How long to leave a charcuterie board out for?: Cheese boards are best kept out for about 2-2 1/2 hours depending on the environment in which the board is out in. Boards are best served indoors and not outdoors in direct sunlight. Also, if you’re working with a smaller sized board (like a small round one) you can use one of those picnic net dome covers if outdoors in a covered environment.
- Cheese serving- how much?: When serving as an appetizer, aim for about 1-2 ounces of cheese per person. Alternatively, if serving as a more filling course, double up on that serving size per person.
Go Forth With Your Own Charcuterie Board
Whew, that was all a lot of info, huh. I hope this post leaves you inspired to whip up your own cheese board! The recipe card listed below is just for reference to illustrate everything that you see visually on my board in the photos. Customize this baddie to your hearts content and live your best charcuterie board life, y’all 🖤
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UNTIL NEXT TIME…LOVE AND BUTTER,
Get ready to entertain like a boss with this ultimate charcuterie board guide, y’all! The perfect snacking board filled to the brim with cheese, hearty meats, crackers, fruit, and so much more. This guide will teach you everything about putting together your own homemade charcuterie board!
- 1 lb Murray’s Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1 lb Maple Leaf Smoked Gouda
- 1 lb Point Reyes Original Blue Cheese
- 1 lb Neal’s Yard Dairy Montgomery’s Cheddar
- 1 lb Cypress Grove Truffle Tremor
- 2x4 oz Murray’s Burrata
- 3 oz Murray’s Prosciutto Di Parma
- 4 oz Murray’s Sliced Genoa Salami
- 4 oz Murray’s Sliced Soppressata
- 5 oz Charlito’s Cocina Sobrasada
- 3 oz Tanara Culatta
- 8 oz Z Sea Salt and Olive Oil Crackers
- 6 oz La Panzanella Mini Croccantini
- 5 oz Rustic Bakery Apricot, Pistachio, & Brandy Crisps
Jams/Jellies, Honey, Chutney, Nuts, Chocolate, and more
- Murray’s Fruit Preserves Mini Sampler, 4 pack
- 9 oz Trade St. Chipotle Fig Jam
- 2 oz Le Bon Magot Tomato & White Sultana Chutney
- 12 oz Red Bee Honey Comb Box
- 4.2 oz Murray’s Marcona Almonds
- 5.6 oz Mitica Piedras De Chocolate
- 16 oz Pacific Pickle Works Carriots of Fire
- 12 oz Cornichons
- 5.3 oz Pitted Castelvetrano Olives
- 8 oz Dried Apricots
Fresh fruit and vegetables
- mini bell peppers
- mini cucumbers
- orange slices
- fresh herbs for garnish (thyme, basil, etc- optional)
- Remove the cheeses from the refrigerator one hour before serving.
- Begin by arranging your bowls onto the board first. Followed by arranging the cheeses from largest size to smallest. Also, place the cheeses in different angles to aim for a visually appealing look. Use a cheese knife to cut a few slices/crumbles of each cheese.
- Fill your bowls with your items of choice (cornichons, olives, pickled carrots, nuts, etc).
- Add your jams/jellies and other jarred items onto the board in various areas.
- Next, arrange your meats around the board. I like to fold my salami into fours and ruffle my prosciutto for a more aesthetic look but feel free to arrange your meats as you’d like.
- Place your crackers, fruits, veggies, and other items onto the board- filling in any gaps and spaces as you go. While doing so, make sure all items are in their own sections for a clean/neat look.
- Lastly, garnish the board with fresh herbs and/or flowers, if desired. Snack away and enjoy!
- Category: Appetizers & Snacks
Keywords: appetizers, snacks, cheese, cheese board, charcuterie