A cool charcuterie/cheese board is the sort of thing that can turn any average dinner party into an exquisite feast with friends and family!
The best part about them is you can load them up with pretty much anything you want and get creative by experimenting with new flavor combinations.
However, sometimes it can help to have some inspiration for how to assemble your next board and that’s why we’re here to help!
What Is A Charcuterie Board?
The definition of a charcuterie board isn’t very strictly defined. It’s basically an assortment of cheese, meat, olives, fruits, bread, crackers, or pretty much anything you want!
The skill of assembling a good charcuterie board is in finding the perfect combinations of different tastes and textures on the same board. However, you can’t really go wrong with any high-quality ingredients! With that out the way, here’s our list of the 30 best charcuterie board and cheese board ideas:
The first idea we’re going to look at isn’t actually a board at all. Hey, nobody said all charcuterie needs to be traditional! You won’t be able to fit as much onto a flatbread as an entire wooden board but it certainly creates an interesting appetizer.
Even more, interestingly, the recipe also suggests substituting the flatbread for naan bread for an even more exotic twist. Top the bread with cured meat, pistachios, oil, and cheese to create some delightful, bite-sized treats!
This is one of the most classic, traditional charcuterie board recipes you could get. At first glance, you’ll see all the typical ingredients like cured sausage slices, green olives, brie cheese, and cheddar cheese.
However, once you look closer, you realize that the combination of these classic ingredients with artichoke hearts, roasted beets, and endive stuffed with goat’s cheese and fresh basil is a stroke of genius.
Butternut squash is the first thing that pops out from this board. It’s such a seasonal vegetable that provokes all kinds of feelings of nostalgia about the holiday period that you can’t really go wrong with it.
The butternut squash cheeseball is definitely the centerpiece of this board and you can surround it with pretty much anything you want. The sliced apple and honeycomb is a nice touch that definitely works with these flavors, though.
Certainly a unique twist on the typical charcuterie board, this TikTok inspiration makes use of some seriously tasty flavor combinations. With plenty of different berries and fruits on the board, it’s really hard to not enjoy the display of colors on this board.
Not to mention, switching out traditional bread or crackers for pretzels is a super fun idea that will definitely get people talking about it at the dinner table.
A rival to the TikTok fruitcuterie, this creation by PureWow certainly puts up a tough competition. It definitely goes for a more complex board, with a huge variety of different fruits from top to bottom.
This will definitely be a more challenging board to create yourself, as there are so many unique and exotic fruits you’ll need to acquire. No need to worry about much else, though- just a few good kinds of cheese are all you need to complete this board.
For this board idea, the centerpiece is a magnificent ball of burrata cheese, covered with truffle oil, pesto, balsamic vinegar, or all three! This gorgeously creamy cheese works well with just about any flavor so your choice of sauce can never be too bad.
It doesn’t take much else to complete this board, just some simple cured meats, olives, and crackers.
Whilst this is technically a platter and not a board, it still provides the same fun, snacky start to a dinner party. Instead of the typical cured meat array, why not give some smoked salmon a try?
So many viral recipes on social media have these bright pink slices of salmon all over them so this board is sure to look fantastic. You might not want to go with many fruits to accompany the fish slices but there are plenty of veggies that will work.
One thing that’s sure to impress any dinner guests is a sweet board to be enjoyed after the main meal. It’s a stroke of genius to combine some traditional charcuterie like cheese, nuts, and crackers with gooey chocolate truffles.
It might take some slightly more complex work to assemble this full board but it’ll definitely be worth it.
This cheese board inspiration is perfect for serving as an appetizer or just leaving it on the table for an hour or two before dinner is served.
As the name suggests, all the ingredients here are light and have flavors that complement each other well, leaving you with a happy palate and enough room in your stomach for the main course!
This board is an elegant way to transport your dinner guests to the Mediterranean with every bite. Tapas is one of the most enjoyable ways to enjoy a variety of different flavors, so using them for your charcuterie board is a great way to go.
Depending on where you live, finding all of the authentic Spanish ingredients in this recipe might be a bit of a challenge. However, there are plenty of substitute ingredients you can use for everything.
As you’ve probably worked out by now, most charcuterie boards are a nightmare for people who can’t eat dairy. That’s why this board, centered around a dairy-free cheese roll is perfect for pleasing everyone at the table.
You’ll have to make enough of the roll for everyone to get a piece because everyone will want some! Then, simply pair it with any combination of wonderful cured meats and fruits.
Another unique twist on a classic charcuterie, this recipe adds the fun elements of brunch to the dinner table. Assemble a board strewn with waffles, bacon, fruits, and syrup to make this a delightful treat for your guests.
It also doesn’t have to be an accessory to a dinner party but could easily be enjoyed for brunch too.
If you’re lucky enough to have tried fondue before, you’ll know just how stunning it can be. After all, what could be better than dipping snacky foods into a pot of melted cheese?
The key is to find some high-quality cheeses to create the fondue dip and you’ll need to source some of the highest quality European stuff you can get your hands on. After that, you can stick to the suggested accompaniments or go off-piste and add whatever you like!
This is a good recipe to have a go at if you’ve never made a charcuterie before. It has all the basic components you’ll need and gives you a chance to practice assembling one before branching out and experimenting with new flavor combinations.
What’s more, all of the ingredients in this recipe are pretty easy to find anywhere in the US.
The name doesn’t lie- you really could serve this board as an entire dinner meal! It has all the classics you’d expect, along with some roasted veggies and cornichons to provide a great depth of flavor.
You will need to spend some time cooking the vegetables but other than that there’s very little work required.
If you’re looking for a cheese board recipe that covers all the bases and doesn’t require hours of preparation and cooking time, this is the one for you. It really does include every ingredient and treats you could expect to find in any good spread.
Not to mention, once it’s all assembled, this board will look incredible!
It’s not a combination many people have come across before but it does actually work. Sweet fruits and salty meats often come across as a bit too strange of a couple but thankfully melon is the perfect fruit to balance out the flavor crossover with some mellow tones.
You can serve the melon slices wrapped in sliced cured meats and your guests will enjoy every bite.
Some of the best charcuterie boards you can make are ones that have a unique twist on them, just like this one. Including a universally loved food like hamburgers is a sure-fire way to keep everyone at the table happy.
Instead of fruits, you might want to include a selection of vegetables with this board but any cheese will work as well.
For many people, fine cheeses are the most important part of a charcuterie board and Italy probably has the best selection of any country in the world! Sticking to a national theme like this gives your board an interesting backstory, too.
That’s why it’s a fun challenge to pair your Italian cheese selection with as many other authentic Italian ingredients as you can find.
In a similar vein to the hamburger board we looked at earlier, why not give chicken wings a try? They’re a well-loved food in most meals and are often served as snacks at gatherings anyway.
If you can assemble a good selection of different dips, sauces, and vegetables with some well-seasoned wings, you really can’t go wrong.
Buying some fancy cheeses at the store is an easy way to impress guests but the best dinner hosts will put some effort into marinating and cooking some aspects of a charcuterie board, too.
This recipe for marinated tomatoes and a good selection of vegetables to grill combine flavors immaculately with all kinds of cheeses and bread you can serve with them.
For creating a theme around your charcuterie and cheese boards, the holiday season throws out a lot of great food suggestions. Crunchy, zesty pomegranate seeds and soft, mellow cheese combine beautifully on a cracker or slice of bread.
You also have the chance to decorate the board with all manner of festive adornments and herbs to liven up the table.
This is another idea that incorporates mellow fruit flavors with some exquisite meats well. It doesn’t go too heavy with the variety of cheeses but does suggest serving the cheese with tomatoes and seasoned olive oil which you definitely won’t regret trying.
This is the second dessert-style charcuterie board we’ve looked at but this one definitely goes all in with the sweet treats! Any manner of small chocolates, cookies, fruits, and sweet spreads will work on this board.
You can make it as fancy as you like with artisanal chocolates and nuts or go wild and fill the board with any chocolates and candies you can find at the grocery store. Either way, this one will be delicious after a meal!
Charcuterie definitely has a reputation of being fancy and grown up but it doesn’t necessarily always have to be that way. You can cram plenty of child-friendly treats like crackers, plain cheeses, and sausage slices onto a charcuterie board.
The best part about this idea is that everyone can enjoy these simple flavor combinations, even the adults!
Charcuterie/Cheese Board Suggestions
Now that we’ve gone over some specific recipes and ideas for what to put on your board, we’re now going to look at some ideas that you can apply to any kind of board you already have assembled.
This is the chance to let your creativity flow!
Choose A Theme
One of the most common themes that have come up in our list is some kind of nationality. European nations each have their own unique selections of charcuterie foods that vary in flavor depending on the climate and what other dishes they have there.
For example, Switzerland has a great variety of cheeses that will excite your guests’ palates. Similarly, a good range of Italian cured meats is an absolute treat that will work for any charcuterie board!
Experiment With Contrasting Flavors
Part of the joy of assembling a charcuterie board is finding out which flavor combinations that you may never have tried before work really well together. For example, cheese and fruit aren’t something that goes together in most dishes you’d serve for dinner because the contrast in flavors can be a little overwhelming after a while.
However, it’s perfect for a charcuterie board because your guests will have the freedom to roam around the board and pick at lots of different flavors. You might even be surprised at the delicious combinations your guests come up with that you never even thought of!
Think About Color
Charcuterie boards are equally about presentation as they are about flavor, so assembling something that looks good is very important. It starts with your selection of ingredients. You won’t find much diversity in color with meats and cheeses so you should think more carefully about selecting good fruits and vegetables to create a rainbow on your board.
Then, when you come to assemble the board, try to play around with how things are arranged to keep contrasting colors away from each other and have the whole affair blend together seamlessly.
Include Plenty Of Dairy Free/Vegetarian Goodies
Unless you know all of your guests’ specific dietary requirements, it’s always a good idea to cover a wide range of bases in terms of allergy-risk foods and meat. Of course, the beauty of a charcuterie board is that it’s easy to include a lot of different foods so it shouldn’t be too difficult to achieve this.
The only thing to bear in mind is that you shouldn’t go too heavy on meat or cheese specifically and provide plenty of other options for people to choose from.
Include Seasonal Ingredients
This is a really fun way to bring your charcuterie/cheese board to life and give it a story. You can explain to your guests how a certain fruit was selected because it’s in season and sourced locally. Not only is this a fun way to entertain, but it also improves the overall quality of your board because in-season ingredients will almost always taste better.
Frequently Asked Questions
Charcuterie boards/platters offer you a lot of freedom over what you want to put on them, so there’s nothing that SHOULD be on everyone. However, these are some of the most commonly used food items that can never go down badly:
A selection of cheeses
The most popular cheeses vary depending on location, but these are some of the universally most popular for cheese boards:
Hopefully, you’re now much better equipped to assemble your very own charcuterie/cheese board for your next dinner party or gathering.
Like we said at the start, there’s no strict definition or set of rules that determine what can and can’t go on a charcuterie board so don’t worry about sticking to an ‘authentic’ or ‘traditional’ set of ingredients and get creative with it.
However you choose to go with your board, your dinner guests are sure to be impressed with the level of effort you put into it and they’ll be delighted at how sophisticated it makes the whole event feel.