How to Make Easy and Simple Charcuterie | SHIFTING ROOTS

How to Make Easy and Simple Charcuterie

Have you ever looked at those beautiful images of charcuterie boards on Pinterest or Instagram and wished that somehow you could put one together?  But you felt so overwhelmed.  How do I pick the meats?  What about the cheeses?  How do I make it look pretty?  What about keeping costs down?

Every wondered how to make a simple and easy charcuterie board? I'll show you how to combine meats, cheese, fruit, and jam into a lovely platter that's perfect for a Christmas party, New Year's, Thanksgiving, or anytime! It's so simple anyone can do it. #charcuterie #appetizer

You’re in luck.

I’ve assembled an easy guide to make your perfect charcuterie board, including some options for my friends who don’t eat pork.

Don’t be intimidated.  If you’ve made a meat and cheese sandwich or set out a plate of cheese and crackers, you can do this.

P.S.- It’s pronounced char-koot-air-ree.  You’re welcome. 😉

This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase anything, I earn a small commission at no extra charge to you.  Thanks for your support!

Entertaining this holiday season? Create a simple and easy charcuterie board using a variety of meats and cheeses. I'll show you how to make a cheese board that looks beautiful and tastes delicious. It's the easiest appetizer you'll make this Christmas; perfect for beginners. #charcuterie #cheeseboard #meatandcheeseboard #entertaining #appetizer #holiday #christmas #diy #easy #simple #recipe #beginner #tutorial #partyfood

What do you put on a Charcuterie Board?

The makings of a good charcuterie board are simple: meats, cheeses, crackers, decorations, and jam.  Variety is the name of the game.  You want a combination of hard, soft, firm, creamy, sweet, spicy, and savoury.

However, if you don’t like blue cheese and you know no one at your party will eat it, don’t buy blue cheese.  In the end, it’s your charcuterie board.

Learn how to assemble a drool-worthy charcuterie board. It's easier than you think!Click To Tweet

Meat and Cheese Suggestions

In these pictures I’ve used 5 different types of meats and cheeses, but you can use as few as 3.  Around Christmas and New Years, grocery stores carry pre-done packages of meats, cheeses, and crackers that are designed to work well on a charcuterie board.  If you’d like to customize your own, here’s some suggestions.

Soft Cheeses

Brie, goat cheese, camembert, neufchatel, mozzarella, burrata, stilton

Semi-soft Cheeses

Gouda, jarlsberg,blue cheese, gorgonzola

Semi-hard Cheeses

Manchego, grève, provolone, comte

Hard Cheeses

Asiago, aged Cheddar, vaesterbotten, parmesan, aged gouda

When picking my cheeses, I like to make sure that at least one cheese is plain, and at least one other has a little surprise in it, like fruit, herbs, or heat.  Your local grocery store will likely have plenty of options.

Low cost tip! Cut your average block of cheddar or mozzarella cheese into a large triangle like I’ve done on my board.  It will be our little secret.

Then you have more money to spend on one of the fancier cheeses you’ve had your eye on.

Entertaining this holiday season? Create a simple and easy charcuterie board using a variety of meats and cheeses. I'll show you how to make a cheese board that looks beautiful and tastes delicious. It's the easiest appetizer you'll make this Christmas; perfect for beginners. #charcuterie #cheeseboard #meatandcheeseboard #entertaining #appetizer #holiday #christmas #diy #easy #simple #recipe #beginner #tutorial #partyfood

Sausages

chorizo, sopressata, finocchiona, summer sausage

Cured Meats

Prosciutto, salami, lomo de cerdo, bresaola (beef option)

Non-Pork Options

Typical charcuterie boards are made up almost exclusively of pork products.  Here’s a few ideas to avoid pork.

  • Look for turkey, chicken, or beef sausages, cook them, and slice them thinly on a diagonal.  Big Franks and Vegan sausages work for the vegetarians in the crowd.
  • Ask for shaved turkey or chicken slices at the deli counter.  This is also an easy way to add in an extra flavour to your board, as there are often smoked and spicy varieties.
  • Cook Turkey bacon and chop into fine slices.  You could also use beef bacon, but I personally find it a bit too tough for a charcuterie board.

Low Cost Tip!  Grab cheaper cuts of sandwich meat at the deli counter and ask for it shaved.

Entertaining this holiday season? Create a simple and easy charcuterie board using a variety of meats and cheeses. I'll show you how to make a cheese board that looks beautiful and tastes delicious. It's the easiest appetizer you'll make this Christmas; perfect for beginners. #charcuterie #cheeseboard #meatandcheeseboard #entertaining #appetizer #holiday #christmas #diy #easy #simple #recipe #beginner #tutorial #partyfood

Putting it all together

In addition to meats and cheeses, you’ll need a board, some filler such as rosemary, mint, lettuce or kale, and decoration items like cranberries, oranges, grapes, or berries.

Start by arranging your filler around the edge of the board.  Next, assemble the cheeses.  these are the rocks of your arrangement.

Fill in the meats in the large spaces between cheeses.  Finally, fill the remaining spaces with crackers.

Entertaining this holiday season? Create a simple and easy charcuterie board using a variety of meats and cheeses. I'll show you how to make a cheese board that looks beautiful and tastes delicious. It's the easiest appetizer you'll make this Christmas; perfect for beginners. #charcuterie #cheeseboard #meatandcheeseboard #entertaining #appetizer #holiday #christmas #diy #easy #simple #recipe #beginner #tutorial #partyfood

Fill any remaining small spaces with oranges, cranberries, and small sprigs of rosemary.

Pro tip: if you’re going to a party, bring along the rest of the cheese and cut up meats that you didn’t use in a large container.  Refill the board half-way through the party if necessary.

Jams and Extra Toppings

Wait, there’s more!  Every charcuterie board can be taken to the next level with a bit of jam or chutney.  This is an excellent opportunity to use your preserves that you made in the fall.  I used my Maple Spice Crab Apple Butter.

You can also add pickles, nuts, dried fruits, or olives to your board for even more variety.

Entertaining this holiday season? Create a simple and easy charcuterie board using a variety of meats and cheeses. I'll show you how to make a cheese board that looks beautiful and tastes delicious. It's the easiest appetizer you'll make this Christmas; perfect for beginners. #charcuterie #cheeseboard #meatandcheeseboard #entertaining #appetizer #holiday #christmas #diy #easy #simple #recipe #beginner #tutorial #partyfood

Finally, it’s time for the best part. . . eating!

What will you put on your charcuterie board this holiday season?

Pin me for later

Entertaining this holiday season? Create a simple and easy charcuterie board using a variety of meats and cheeses. I'll show you how to make a cheese board that looks beautiful and tastes delicious. It's the easiest appetizer you'll make this Christmas; perfect for beginners. #charcuterie #cheeseboard #meatandcheeseboard #entertaining #appetizer #holiday #christmas #diy #easy #simple #recipe #beginner #tutorial #partyfood

SaveSave

SaveSave

Kristen Raney

Kristen Raney

Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots.  She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden.  She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Grow roots with us

Kristen

Welcome!

Hi, I'm Kristen and I help new gardeners learn to grow their own vegetables and beautify their yards. I also share recipes that use all that delicious garden produce. Grab a coffee (and your gardening gloves) and join me for gardening tips, simple recipes, and the occasional DIY, all from the lovely city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

P.S. First time gardener? You'll want to download the quick start gardening guide below!