An easy guide featuring 10+ Gorgeous Charcuterie Board Ideas! These trendy antipasto platters are great for parties, and they’re incredibly simple to make.
The Best Charcuterie Board Ideas
When it comes to charcuterie, just about anything goes. From the traditional meat and cheese combo, to themed platters, and almost every snackable ingredient under the sun. It’s so easy to take any party up a notch with a simple plate, or go all out with a full platter. Either way, with a little inspiration, putting together a charcuterie board is a cinch.
All you need is a serving board or platter, maybe some cheese knives, and a few small bowls if you desire, for things like spreads or preserves. Then gather your choice of charcuterie for arranging! These stylish platters are great for casual happy hours to holiday parties and beyond.
Below I’ve rounded up some of my favorite ideas for fabulous charcuterie boards. And be sure to check out further down this post for more tips for making the best charcuterie platter!
What is a Charcuterie Board?
So, what is charcuterie, anyway? Charcuterie is a bit of a lost-and-now-found art of preparing a grazing platter. It can be as simple as a cheese board, or the ingredients can be broadened to include other nibbles like nuts, fruit, olives, breads, cured meats, pates, and other antipasto items.
If you’ve ever ordered a charcuterie board in a restaurant, you’ll know it’s usually served as an appetizer or starter and presented on a board or platter of some kind. They’re also great for feeding a crowd, and you’ll be making your own in no time with these easy ideas!
Tips for the Best Charcuterie Board
For all you budding charcuterers, here are some helpful pointers when planning and making your beautiful platters:
- Plan per Person: Are you having a low-key night with the gals, or a full-blown holiday feast? Factor in the number of people you’ll be serving when planning your ingredients, so you’re sure you’ll have enough for everyone. I suggest aiming for about 3-4 slices of cheese and meat per person when serving charcuterie as an appetizer. Double if you’re serving it as a main or for a larger crowd!
- Easy Clean Up: Make cleaning up even easier and lay a piece of parchment paper over your platter or board before you load on the charcuterie.
- Arrangement Tips: If you’re new to the world of platter arranging, use a photo for reference! Otherwise simple things, like varying the textures and colors of your ingredients, go a long way towards adding interest. Give your guests lots of choices!
- Mind the Cheeses: If you’re showcasing a mix of different cheeses, it’s a good idea to arrange the more strong-flavored cheeses away from the more milder ones (this keeps the flavors from bleeding over). If some cheese choices are particularly pungent or funky, you may also want to consider labeling them so as to not take your guests by surprise!
- Serve Cheese at Room Temperature: Cheese tastes the best when it’s taken out of the fridge about 30 minutes to an hour before serving.
- Use Garnishes: Garnishes are a great way to round out a charcuterie board. Herb sprigs like thyme and rosemary, or basil, parsley, and flowers can be added for a nice pop of color that also fills up any bare spots.
Can I Prepare My Board in Advance?
Another major win for charcuterie boards? You can 100% make them ahead of time! Get your arrangement ready a few hours before, cover it with plastic wrap, and then take it out an hour or so before serving so the cheese can warm up a bit.
One thing to remember: leave the crackers off while the board is in the fridge! The cold will make the crackers soggy, so only add them on before you serve it.
How Do I Store Extras?
Store leftover meats and cheeses airtight in the fridge. Cured meats and most cheeses will actually keep for quite a while when properly stored. Other ingredients like nuts and preserves have extended shelf life and can be placed into airtight containers or jars.
Many of the ingredients, including the veggies, are perfect to use up in tasty sandwiches and wraps, salads, and even frittatas. You can also store and save charcuterie leftovers to use for pizza toppings!
Have extra grapes? Try my recipe for Spiced Chicken & Grapes on the Grill. Or use up leftover breads and vegetables to make an Easy Grilled Vegetable Panzanella Salad.