Is there really such a thing as an easy charcuterie board? If you’re like me, you’ve seen the pictures online, and because they are known for being “so pretty”, they equally look delicious. The beauty in charcuterie is they are customizable–just situate your favorite finger foods and you immediately have a meal, that for the most part, doesn’t even require utensils.
I made my first charcuterie board the day after Thanksgiving. Like many, the idea of a full meal just wasn’t all that appealing and we had tons of leftovers. After perusing lots of pictures online, I made my list of what to include in my first ever board and decided that I could use some of the leftovers we had on the board. (In my case, leftover cranberry sauce and dressing cut into small squares fit perfectly).
So, are you ready to make an easy charcuterie board? Here are some suggestions on how not only achieve an easy charcuterie board, but also one that is beautiful and enough for just a couple of people or even a large crowd.
- Choose your serving board.
A serving board can be a variety of sizes, but in order to allow you to arrange your fixings, you will want the board or tray to be mostly flat. I used a wooden serving tray, but a flat cutting board or platter would work fine. Just keep in mind that you will want to have one large enough to accommodate all of your items (trust me, the board will fill up fast). Here’s a board that I saw online that is similar to the one I used.
- Bright colors.
Color really makes your board stand out. A good option for color are fruits and veggies–for example, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, carrots and tomatoes. Vibrant green is another color I would suggest adding–broccoli or snap peas work well. Also, pickles added a bit of flair. I didn’t use any on this board, but olives would look nice. A leftover that I used that added some color was deviled eggs.
- Cheese, cheese and a little more cheese.
There are so many different types to choose from. I opted for the basic and used a block of jalapeño and Monterrey Jack. Slicing in squares allowed me to arrange them neatly by leaning against one another. This shape also served as “divider structures” and provided some support for the items in their assigned sections. Obviously, the sky is the limit when it comes to your cheese choices but I will probably try something like a brie or blue cheese the next time I make a board.
- Crackers and/or bread.
All kinds of crackers can be used but using crackers of varying shapes and textures will add to the look of your board. Triscuits are always nice because of the way they appear woven. I also chose to add small slices of French bread which was nice to make tiny “sandwiches”. Again, I used some leftover cornbread dressing that was cubed–again, a nice texture/color to include.
Not only do meats add color, but they just taste great paired with the other items on the board. I used mozzarella sticks wrapped in pepperoni (a great finger food) and some prosciutto. In addition, since I used leftovers, I included a bit of honey ham (sliced thin).
- Sauces, relishes, nuts, etc.
Again, leftovers were utilized on my board so I decided to add the cranberry relish which not only added color, but was extra tasty with the leftover dressing and meats. I also included some dijon mustard which went nicely with the French bread and prosciutto. And of course a few nuts–in my case, I used basic mixed nuts and in shell pistachios.
In addition to the leftovers that were used, I picked up several items at a nearby Aldi. They have a wide variety fo cheeses, meats, crackers, veggies and fruit at amazing prices. If you’ve never shopped at Aldi–you are missing out! It is by far one of my favorite grocery stores–I’m crossing my fingers that one eventually comes to Mocksville or Advance in Davie County, NC.
This board didn’t take very long to assemble–roughly 30 minutes. It also was kind of like doing an art project and allowed me to be creative. Our family had this as a meal and had plenty of leftovers and clean up was easy, peasy.
A charcuterie board will definitely be something I do more often, not only because they taste and look great, it’s a nice change of pace when trying to decide on what to eat. I’d love to hear what your suggestions are for an easy charcuterie board–the options are endless so I’d love to know how you make yours or what would make a nice addition!