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How to Make a Charcuterie Board: Your step-by-step guide to designing the best charcuterie board for your holiday parties! Load it up with your favorite meats, cheeses, jams, crackers, nuts, you name it!

overhead of a christmas charcuterie board

Easy Holiday Charcuterie Board

Are you stumped about what to serve at your next holiday party? Try a charcuterie board! These snack boards are not only beautiful to look at, but they’re so quick and easy to make and they can be customized just how you like them. They’re also one of the best ways to feed a crowd.

Keep reading for my tips and tricks on how to make the best charcuterie board! Just grab your favorite board or platter and pile it high with all your favorite snacks. This will be your go-to every holiday season!

What is a Charcuterie Board?

Charcuterie, pronounced shahr-cute-uh-ree, is a French word that refers to a display of prepared meat products such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, ballotines, pâtés, cured meats, and confit.

A charcuterie board is a carefully designed snack board that includes cured meats as well as various cheeses, crackers, breads, and other fun additions like jams, candied nuts, quick peppermint bark pieces, and more!

overhead closeup of a finished christmas charcuterie board

What Should Be On a Charcuterie Platter?

Truly, whatever you want! That’s the beauty of a charcuterie board. You can customize it with all of your favorite things. Cured meats, cheeses, jams, nuts, pickles or olives, fresh or dried fruit, crackers…you really can’t go wrong!

See below for some of my suggestions.

Okay, Here’s How to Make a Charcuterie Board:

Here is my step-by-step guide for putting together the best looking snack board out there!

  1. Start with the platter: Grab your favorite platter, cutting board, or marble slab to fill with the snacks. Make sure you pick one that you can fill up completely with the food. Use a big one for more food and a small one for a more personal-sized snack board.
  2. Add the cheese: Plan for about 3 ounces of cheese per person. I recommend a variety of cheeses (3 or more) depending on how many people you’re serving. Try cow cheese, goat cheese, sheep cheese, hard, aged, soft, you name it. You can even use vegan cheese!
  3. Add the meats: Cured meats, pâtés, and sausages are great for charcuterie boards. Again, try to pick a variety and ones that are easy to eat on-the-go. Roll up any larger ones so they are easier to pick up.
  4. Fill in with crackers and breads: I like to provide an assortment of crackers and little bread slices so there’s something for everyone. You can do gluten-free or not depending on your dietary needs!
  5. Add some nuts: Candied or regular nuts are a great addition. Place them in cute little bowls to set around the board or just scatter them around to fill in any gaps.
  6. Finish with something sweet: Add your favorite fresh fruit, dried fruit, or jams. Place any jam or jelly into small bowls with a spreading knife for easy serving.
side view of a round of cheese next to an apple and a bowl of grapes

Tips and Notes for the Best Charcuterie Board

  • Fill the entire board. If you’re serving a big crowd, use a big board. If you’re serving a smaller crowd, use a smaller board. It looks so much better when the board is completely filled. We don’t want big gaps or open spaces.
  • Add variety. Think sweet, salty, crunchy, creamy, savory, pickled…a little bit of everything means there’s something for everyone.
  • Small amounts are key. Add smaller piles all around the board as opposed to big piles in one place. This makes it much more interesting to look at!
  • Pile them up. If you’re making piles, try to pile them higher as opposed to creating flatter piles. The more depth there is, the more pleasing to the eye it will be.
  • Label ingredients. Make sure you add cute little labels to differentiate between different cheeses, jams, or anything that might not be obvious. That way everyone knows what they’re getting.
  • Use small bowls. Smaller bowls make a more uniform design. Big bowls will just take over the whole platter.
  • Provide utensils. Make sure you add little spoons or spreading knives for spreadable cheeses or jellies. We want everything to be easy to serve. Don’t forget serving plates!
overhead of a charcuterie board.

Making Ahead of Time

Want to prep some of the board in advance? Arrange the meats, cheeses, nuts, crackers, and jams, then cover and store in the fridge for a couple of days.

When you’re ready to serve, set the board out on the counter for 30 minutes or so, add on the fresh fruit, and dig in!

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overhead of a christmas charcuterie board

How To Make a Charcuterie Board Festive For The Holidays!

5 from 1 vote
Your guide to designing the best charcuterie board for your holiday parties! Load it up with your favorite meats, cheeses, jams, crackers, nuts, you name it! 
Servings 10
Prep Time 25 minutes



  • Bacon Jam Recipe Below
  • Fig Jam
  • Grainy Mustard
  • Honeycomb


  • Manchego Cheese Pepper Jack Cheese, Cheddar (Hard Cheese)
  • Brie Humboldt Fog, Forager d’Affinois (Soft Cheese)


  • Bread Sticks
  • Gluten-Free Crackers
  • Other Crackers


  • Applegate Salami
  • Applegate Prosciutto
  • Applegate Salami Trio


  • Olives
  • Rosemary Sprigs
  • Mini Marinated Peppers
  • Marinated Artichokes


  • Apples
  • Pomegranate Seeds
  • Fresh Cranberries
  • Candied Pecans

Bacon Jam Recipe:

  • 1 package Applegate Sunday Morning Bacon
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 tablespoon bacon fat
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1.5 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves picked
  • 1.5 teaspoon pepper


  • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook finely diced bacon until crispy.
  • Drain bacon, leaving 1 tablespoon of fat in the pan. Add butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  •  Slice onion thin and add to pan and cook on low heat for 40 minutes. Add bacon back into the pan.
  • Deglaze pan with ¼ cup water: Deglaze the pan by adding in the water and scraping up the browned bits in the bottom of the skillet for about 30 seconds.
  • Add balsamic vinegar, thyme leaves, and pepper and remove pan from heat.
  • Serve warm on top of brie or in a dish on your board.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, and reheat before serving. Yields about 1 cup of jam.
Author: Lexi

This post is sponsored by Applegate. Find out where to buy product and find other easy and delicious holiday recipes at All thoughts and opinions are always 100% my own! I love the integrity of their products and think you’ll love them too. Thank you for continuing to support LCK and the brands I work with!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I’m in Toronto Canada. Got a huge Paderno Board at Canadian Tire 1/2 price. $70 regular price $140. Making this New Year’s Eve. Very elegant. ? Thank you.

  2. Love this! Any recommendations where to get a nice big board? Ordered one and it is still much smaller than I was hoping.

    1. Home Depot has some inexpensive more basic boards! Which is totally fine since you end up covering them! I often use big wooden cutting boards!

  3. This has my mouthwatering just looking at it. Charcuterie plates are one of my favorite ways to eat all the calories (but so worth it!) My go-to jam for a cheese plate is fig fruit spread…but that bacon jam is calling my name. Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. I love all the things you’ve got going on here. I could seriously just eat this (and dessert!). No main meal required! 🙂