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How to make a good charcuterie board

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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.

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.

Flavors should complement one another

Charcuterie is for grazing

One of the best parts about charcuterie is that you don’t have to eat the same foods over and over.

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 and letting people choose the journey they’d like to take.

Don’t be afraid to do something unconventional.

Charcuterie doesn’t always have to be perfectly placed cuts of meats, and cheeses

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.

Make it easy for your guests

Cut things into shareable pieces so your guests don’t have to do much 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.

Consider your drink pairings

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 sync 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 charcuterie board.

How do you plate charcuterie?

It honestly don’t have to be fancy. Some people will use a marble slab, or a wooden cutting board.

I actually use a pizza stone. They’re super easy to clean, neutral in color, and absorb water and oils well.

The anatomy of my favorite charcuterie board.

The best part about charcuterie is that it caters to just about everyone. You can include items from many different food groups.

Fruit adds a nice sweetness and a dessert feel. I sometimes line my boards with fruits and cheeses as people work their way around the board.

Strawberries, blueberries and grapes are always crowd pleasers. Consider adding other fruits on the size like figs, or plums.

Cheese is where things get fancy and fun. I like to have 2 or three different cheeses on my board of varying texture. I like cubed cheddar or a nice pile of shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, but also spreadables like Boursin or brie.

Crackers are pretty basic, but you can make them shine on your board. get sweet options for neutral cheeses and spreads, or herbed options if you want that extra kick or spice.

Breads are also a nice addition if you have room, and they go with a lot of different things!

Meats can be just about anything. I love salami and prosciutto. But in some cases, I liked cubed chicken. on my board just as much!

Spreadables like jams, mustard or other sauces are a must. They compliment some of the other textures and ingredients.

Nuts and seeds also had some lovely texture and are filling!

I hope that this helps you decide what to do with your next charcuterie board! Be sure to tag me on Instagram if you use any of my tips to make your perfect board!

What’s your favorite way to make your board?

About Mila

Hi! I'm Mila.

I’m earning my Master’s degree in Applied nutrition.

I’m a journalist and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach living with  LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults, a slow-progressing form of autoimmune Type 1 diabetes) I love food, travel, and my kitchen, and teaching you about diabetes self-management.

I’m here to help you live your best life possible diabetes by showing you how to create simple, blood-sugar friendly and delicious meals and tips on diabetes self-care.

Be sure to download my FREE Diabetes Community App Glucose Guide, or reach out for FREE 1:1 diabetes health and habit coaching.

How can I help with your diabetes management?

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17 Responses

  1. 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. 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


  3. 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)

    1. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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

    1. 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!

  6. 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!

    1. 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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