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How to make a good charcuterie board

I can tell you straight up that I am not the hostess with the mostess. When it comes to cooking and creating, I’m golden, but if I’m asked to host something sweet and swanky, I just don’t do that well. I don’t like to plan parties, and I typically just make a mess of everything. When I do get to become a host, my best efforts are usually in my charcuterie board, and I’m going to teach you how to make a good charcuterie board that any party guest will fawn over.

Charcuterie is the best way to show off your tastes, but also show your guests that you are in tune with what they like. This board is usually a love letter to my friends, most of whom are from completely different places. I also like to take a little liberty with my boards and make them fun and eclectic.

  1. Flavors should complement one another
    1. Your board may seem like a bunch of random pairings, but stop that thought, IMMEDIATELY! It sounds so cheesy, but your charcuterie board should take you on a journey. What you place there should be complementary to everything you decide to add to the board. When you decide on your pairings, think of things that really bring out the best in each other. Sweet meets salty. Tangy meets fragrant. Soft meets crunchy. It’s all about making pairs that raise some eyebrows.
  2. Don’t be afraid to do something unconventional.
    1. I once made a charcuterie board that I called “the southern mess.” It had pickles and fried chicken on it. My friends laughed, but it became a really interesting part of our conversation. I have foodie friends, so of course, we talked about our favorite Fried Chicken, and they loved making mini sandwiches¬†with mustard, coppa and fried chicken on rosemary toast.
  3. Cut things into shareable pieces so your guests don’t have to do much work
    1. One thing I hate to do with charcuterie boards is any work. If I’m grazing one at a party, I don’t want to have to do much work to put my plate together. Get things into bite-sized pieces ahead of time, so your group can graze without too much effort.
  4. Consider your drink pairings
    1. Your drink pairings are a highly important part of your charcuterie board prep. Are you serving red, or white wine? Bubbles? Sparkling water? Your choices should be in synch with what you’re serving. Granted – you won’t be able to make everything work together, but you can get multiple pairings out of a board.

The Anatomy of my favorite charcuterie board.


My favorite board is pretty eclectic. I start with toasted rosemary french bread, with a little bit of dijon mustard. Then I place some Marcona almonds,¬†McClure’s Pickles (this brand specifically). Some crispy fried chicken breast, sharp Cheddar Cheese cubes, coppa, prosciutto and salami, and some blackberries. There’s something for everyone here! To me, it pairs best with light wines to balance out the richness of some of the items on the board. But it’s the most fun board I build, and it reminds me that I make a MEAN fried chicken.

The one in the photo above has a mix of flavors and textures: salty, crunchy, sharp, garlicky, fragrant, fancy, fruity, and french. Totally doesn’t follow any true rules.

What’s your favorite way to make your board?




  1. November 29, 2017 / 2:20 pm

    Me and my husband love charcuterie and usally we just throw whatever we have onto the board. These are great tips! I’m going to try them out.

  2. val
    November 16, 2017 / 6:01 pm

    Great tips! Love me a good charcuterie board!

    • Mila
      November 17, 2017 / 7:53 am

      SAME! Give me a good charcuterie board anytime, and I’m a happy woman!

  3. Shannon | Mom Without Labels
    November 15, 2017 / 9:33 pm

    I’m definitely not an amazing hostess either so I love these tips! Thanks girl!

  4. Bridgette
    November 15, 2017 / 6:04 pm

    I tried to impress my NYE date.. I’m a little different so instead of traditional meats I included these firecracker chicken meatballs and boudain balls.. 3 cheeses, green grapes and wine on the side.. he ate it all. Lol


    • Mila
      November 15, 2017 / 9:30 pm

      I think your New Year’s date may have had the best snacks of all time! Your board sounds AMAZING!

  5. Julie Hood
    November 15, 2017 / 1:29 pm

    This is such a cute idea and I’m definitely going to have to try this for my friend’s 27th bday this Sunday (that I’m probabbblyyyy hosting)

    • Mila
      November 15, 2017 / 9:29 pm

      Do it, Julie! You’ll be surprised at how easy it is, and if you want to jazz it up, you can make little signs to label everything on your board, or use little trinkets as embellishments. If you do it, I would love to see your board!

  6. hanna - platforms and pacifiers
    November 15, 2017 / 4:49 am

    This looks really great!! We have a friend who ALWAYS makes BOMB Charcuterie Boards, she like seriously is magical at it!! That fried chicken one sounds great to me!

    • Mila
      November 15, 2017 / 9:28 pm

      I need her recipes! It’s such a gift to be able to throw something together that a bunch of people can enjoy.

  7. Chevelle
    November 14, 2017 / 10:27 pm

    I love the idea of having a theme and experimenting a bit. I tend to be so boring when I create these! Thank you for sharing

    • Mila
      November 15, 2017 / 9:27 pm

      That always helps me come up with something new. I try to think of a country, or a region to emulate. Sometimes I just go with what pairs best with the wine around me. The best part about these is that you can’t go wrong!

    • Mila
      November 15, 2017 / 9:26 pm

      I so agree! If I could do a cheese board every day, I totally would!

  8. adriana
    November 14, 2017 / 3:48 pm

    This looks so good! This is my favorite thing to make for parties and get togethers, so fun and SO yummy!! I love your tips, this really does look amazing!

    • Mila
      November 15, 2017 / 9:26 pm

      Thank you! I find that it makes me look like a fancy pants, without a whole lot of work! I also love that it appeals to so many palates!

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