A charcuterie board is a quick, delicious and beautiful appetizer idea to feed a crowd. Fill a big board (or platter) with all of your favorite meats, cheeses, and crudités, and follow my tips to make it gorgeous, for the most festive spread this holiday season! Made in partnership with my friends at Applegate!
Charcuterie Board 101
When entertaining season rolls around, a charcuterie board can be such a festive spread to make for your guests! I’ve talked about building them before, but today, let’s talk about creating the ultimate festive charcuterie board with cheeses and fun additions! Plus, you’ll get my Bacon Onion Jam recipe! Meat and cheese boards are customizable, gorgeous, require no cooking, and are the perfect hearty appetizer spread!
What is in a charcuterie board?
Charcuterie (shahr-cute-uh-ree) is a French word devoted to prepared meat products, such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, ballotines, pâtés, cured meats and confit. It is often served with various cheeses, crackers & bread, and other fun additions like jams, candied nuts, and more!
How to Make a Charcuterie Board
Follow these guidelines for making the most epic charcuterie board, with something for everyone.
- Start with the platter! Grab one or two platters or other unique serving idea You may be surprised to find that you may already have things to use at home like wooden boards, wood cutting boards, slate or chalk board, or even a marble slab!
- Next move on to the cheese: You’ll need approximately 3 ounces per person that you plan to serve. Pick your variety of cheeses (3 or more, depending on how many people you are hosting) & add labels and separate knives for each cheese. Try to get a variety of different types of cheese such as cow, goat or sheep cheese, as well as factoring in the different types such as soft, hard, aged, etc.
- Then add in your meats: Cured meats, pâtés and sausages go well. Try to pick a variety, and ones that are relatively easy to eat on-the-go. Roll up any large ones so they are easy to pick up.
- Fill in with Crackers & Breads: I always like an assortment that can work for anyone and everyone! Do a variety of grilled breads or crackers, making sure to get both gluten-free if you can who need it.
- Add some nuts: Candied or regular nuts are a great accompaniment (or just to snack on)! Grab bowls to place around your board to place your nuts in, or scatter around!
- Something sweet: Some fresh or dried fruit is always wonderful, along with jams (a must!). Grab some small bowls to place around your board to place your sweet additions in.
How to Make a Charcuterie Board Beautiful
After you’ve selected everything you’d like to place on the board, go ahead and make it festive! I’ll place a few bowls throughout the spread and add olives, chocolate candies, marinated cherry peppers, etc. I’ll also garnish the board with festive holiday touches such as rosemary, pomegranate seeds, pears, and cranberries.
Make sure to fill in as much blank space as possible with those extra items, because the fuller it looks the more beautiful it is.
Keep some back-up cheese, meat and crackers to fill in as the night goes on.
Watch the video:
The Best Meats and Cheese for a Charcuterie Board
I am so excited to partner with Applegate today to bring you this festive holiday entertaining spread! I truly love Applegate because they offer a wide variety of high quality natural and organic products that I know I can trust. Their animals are raised humanely without antibiotics or hormones and are fed a vegetarian or 100% grass diet. Their meats are free of added chemical nitrites, nitrates or phosphates, and free of artificial ingredients or preservatives. I know I can find my trusty Applegate at a retailer nearby wherever I am during the holidays!
If you like this recipe to entertain a crowd, check out these others:
- How To Host The Ultimate Taco Night
- Our Favorite Healthy Fall Recipes
- Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Recipes
- Bacon Jam (Recipe Below)
- Fig Jam
- Grainy Mustard
- 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
- Rosemary Sprigs
- Mini Marinated Peppers
- Marinated Artichokes
- Pomegranate Seeds
- Fresh Cranberries
- Candied Pecans
Bacon Jam Recipe
- 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.
This post is sponsored by Applegate. Find out where to buy product and find other easy and delicious holiday recipes at www.applegate.com. 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!