The holiday season is officially here! For many of us, this time of year means spending time with family and friends and enjoying food, drinks, gifts, and other traditions together. Whether you’re hosting loved ones or attending a holiday party elsewhere, a charcuterie board is a perfect dish to serve your family and friends. Today we’ll walk you through how to make the perfect holiday charcuterie board that guests will rave about!
What is a charcuterie board?
If you haven’t heard of these already, charcuterie boards are a display of meat, cheeses, and various other appetizer-type foods. Think dried fruit, olives, nuts, etc.
What will I need to make my board?
Every charcuterie board starts with a great cutting board. The size of your board will depend on the size of your party, but we love this one from Crate & Barrel. Next up you’ll need meats and cheeses, and anything other add-ins you want to include for your guests. Here are some ideas:
No charcuterie board is complete without cheese! We like to have a variety of cheeses; some hard, some soft, and some in between. Here are some ideas:
Soft cheeses: Ricotta (pro-tip: pour some honey on top!), Burrata
Firm cheeses: Gruyere, Cheddar, Parmesan
In-between cheeses: Brie, Gouda, Manchego
A little protein goes a long way! Try pairing these meats with your cheeses:
You will need a vessel for your meats and cheeses. We love these Italian herb crackers, pretzel thins, or just plain water crisp crackers. You can even get fresh bread from your local bakery and slice it into round pieces to really elevate your board!
For the holidays, adding in some seasonal ingredients can really take your board up a notch. Here are some ideas:
Olives: Can you ever go wrong with olives? Our answer - no!
Nuts: Adding in some sweet and savory nuts can help add volume (and protein!) to your board.
Dried cranberries: This is perfect to add some sweetness while still giving it a touch of holiday spirit!
Spreads/dips: We love including several spread and dip options. An apple jam or hot honey would be the perfect seasonal addition to spice things up. Hummus is a dip I almost always include.
Rosemary sprigs: Add this around the board for a festive touch!
Assemble I like to add dishes on top of my board to keep any liquids (from olives, dips, etc) contained. Start by placing these dishes first and then place your meats and cheeses around them. Pinterest is always a great place for inspiration if you need some help with a layout!
When serving cheese, you can include the whole block on the board. But, cut up a few pieces to make the board a little more inviting to your guests!
I love to stack meats in various places or roll them up. If you have an artist’s touch, you can even create flowers using meat. We love these directions (make sure you watch the video!) for how to do so.
Most importantly - don’t forget serving utensils! Add small cheese knives or spreading knives so your guests can enjoy your board.
And there you have it! Though they sound complicated, charcuterie boards really are quite simple, and we hope these tips have made it even simpler. Just compile cheese, meat, and some various add-ins and you’ll have the perfect holiday appetizer that your family and friends will snack on all night long. Enjoy!