When it comes to entertaining, a charcuterie board is a go-to for hosts—and a fan favorite of guests—for good reason. While "charcuterie" technically means a range of different cured meats, these platters go beyond salami and prosciutto, typically featuring various cheeses, crackers, spreads and produce. But what exactly makes them so popular? For starters, they're extremely flexible: You can adjust the ingredients for different preferences, scale the portions up or down based on the number of guests, and make them as affordable (or high-end) as you'd like. You can even tie them to a certain theme, like a color, geographic region or season. But perhaps the main reason is that they require zero culinary skills to assemble.
Sure, there's an art to making a charcuterie board look as impressive as the ones you've seen all over Instagram and Pinterest. Don't worry—we're here to give you some wow-worthy recipes and charcuterie board ideas for your next gathering or holiday party.
How to Create a Charcuterie Board
Believe it or not, you don't need to be artistically inclined to make a memorable charcuterie board (though it definitely doesn't hurt). It's actually a pretty formulaic process that's as simple as breaking your board up into categories, then choosing ingredients for those categories that complement each other. For instance, charcuterie boards should have soft, easy-to-grab meats on it that are already sliced (like prosciutto or jamón Ibérico), in addition to harder meats that need cutting (like a log of salami or soppressata). Since the harder meats need to be sliced, they're often placed alongside harder cheeses, like a block of sharp cheddar or Manchego. Many boards also include soft, spreadable cheeses, like chevre, but you can swap in any spread or dip to get the same rich, smooth effect, like tzatziki or hummus.
Once you have your main meats, cheeses and spreads or dips figured out, it's time to decorate with allllll the accents. We're talking crackers, jam, bread, pickles, fruit, honeycomb and whatever else you fancy. In terms of presentation, you'll need a flat surface to serve everything on, like a pretty wooden butcher block or a marble cutting board. Tiny label tags for each component are both cute and helpful, while little bowls and plates used to hold preserves or fruit can add color and dimension to the spread.
Ready to get started?
31 Charcuterie Board Ideas
1. Prosciutto and Fig Salad Board
The tough part about serving salad from a bowl? All the toppings (read: the best part) fall to the bottom. Using a fancy cutting or charcuterie board solves that problem.
2. Fruicuterie Board
If there are vegetarians at the party, build an epic cheese board sans-meat. Here, five types of cheese meet an array of fresh fruits (kiwi! peaches! figs! berries!) that gives the app a naturally stunning appearance.
3. Ultimate Cheese Plate with Roasted Grapes
Every charcuterie board should have something unexpected on it, like herb-kissed roasted grapes. They turn uber sweet and jammy after a stint in the oven.
4. Spanish Tapas Board
If you're having trouble nailing down your cheese board's elements, choosing a specific theme can help. This pick boasts Spanish favorites like heirloom pan con tomate, patatas bravas with saffron aioli, manzanilla olives, marcona almonds and Serrano ham.
5. Presidential Cheese Board
Treat your guests like VIPs. All of the board's components are inspired by past presidents' favorite foods.
6. Dairy-Free Cranberry Rosemary Cheese Roll and Charcuterie Board
Yeah, we’re serious. Soaked cashews and light miso make this dairy-free gem possible.
7. Charcuterie Board Two Ways
8. Summer Charcuterie Snack Board
We’d have this for our last meal, Gaby Dalkin. Catch us munching away on the patio with a glass of vino in hand.
9. Antipasto Appetizer Cheese Board
10. Maple Cream and Apple Baked Brie Board
That crostini bar, though. This autumnal beauty has Thanksgiving cocktail hour written all over it.
11. Brunch Board
12. Meat and Cheese Platter
BRB, stuffing our faces. We love the addition of sweet caramelized pecans, since they cut through the saltiness of the cheese beautifully.
13. Cheese and Charcuterie Board
Yep, we’ll just have this for dinner. And we're going the extra mile by using homemade sourdough bread instead of store-bought.
14. Winter Cheese Board
15. Sweet-and-Salty Fruicuterie Board
A halved pomegranate can make any dish look gorgeous. It's paired with fresh berries, grapes, pretzels (both plain and yogurt-covered, mini marshmallows and goji berries.
16. Easy Spanish-Inspired Cheese Board
Manchego cheese, smoked chorizo and jamón Ibérico? This calls for a fiesta.
17. Simple Charcuterie Flatbreads
If you're only serving a few people, there's no need to craft a massive charcuterie board. Try these individual prosciutto-burrata flatbreads instead.
18. Charcuterie Board with Bacon-Onion Jam
19. Butternut Squash Cheeseball and Cheese Board
20. Dinner-Worthy Charcuterie Board
Hearty enough to play the role of main course. Our favorite part is the homemade basil-artichoke tapenade, hands down.
21. The Lighter Cheese Board
22. Cheese Fondue Board
23. The Ultimate Burrata Cheese Board
Forget the guests—we're betting we can tackle the whole spread solo. The hardest part will be choosing which burrata to have first: balsamic, pesto or truffle.
24. Smoked Salmon Appetizer Platter
Creamy labneh and briny feta hold down the fort on the cheese front, while tender slivers of smoked salmon take over for cured meats. Serve with fresh toast or warm pita.
25. Mediterranean Mezze Platter
Want to take this Greek-inspired app over the top? Start by making your own hummus. (We're partial to spicy avocado hummus in the summer and sweet potato hummus in the fall, but you can never go wrong with the O.G.)
26. Midwest Charcuterie Board
Think venison sausage, mini cheeseballs, Ritz crackers and red pepper jelly over cream cheese for dipping.
27. Breakfast Board
When it comes to making a killer brunch charcuterie spread, the key is making minis of the basics, like silver dollar pancakes, French toast sticks and bite-sized quiches. Instead of cured meat, use bacon and sausage. As for the cheese, we'd pair either mascarpone, ricotta or a mini wheel of Brie with fresh fruit.
28. Chocolate Charcuterie Board
Hey, not every board needs cheese! In fact, dessert charcuterie is (almost) our favorite kind. Watch this video to see how it's done.
29. Candy Land ‘Jarcuterie’
Jarcuterie, aka single-serve charcuterie served in glasses or mason jars, is still all over social media. Our sweet take on the trend stars yogurt-covered pretzels, fun-size candy bars, lollipops and lots of gummies.
30. Dessert Board with Cranberry Chocolate Truffles
First, cranberry-cinnamon goat cheese and cream cheese are whipped until smooth. Then, the mixture is sweetened, spiked with graham cracker crumbs, rolled into truffles and dunked in melted chocolate.
31. Dessert Charcuterie Board with Cheesecake Dip
Additional reporting Alexandra Hough