Do you know what are some of our favorite recipes? The easy ones, minimal to no cooking needed, and are liked by many. On top of that, you can alter the ingredients and make it as affordable as possible – what a win. Today we are talking about easy charcuterie board recipes and recommendations. In simple terms, a charcuterie board is a fancy term for an adult Lunchable. Think of a smattering of meats, cheeses, crackers, and some accouchements like nuts, jams, olives, fruit, and honeycomb to finish off the dish.
Here is our breakdown of creating the ultimate charcuterie board selection without the hassle.
PROTEINS / MEATS
One of the stars of the dish is proteins. You can alter the selection to fit your favorite flavor profiles. Top recommendations include salami, honey ham, prosciutto, and smoked salmon. If you want to add additional delicacies, filet mignon, and bone marrow are excellent choices as well.
What takes a charcuterie board to the next level is your selection of dairy or vegan cheeses. In addition, it’s important to have a variety of textures and flavors. Including an assortment of these will take your charcuterie board over the top.
Here is a breakdown of the types of cheeses you could consider including:
- Hard Cheese: think chunks of parmesan, aged gouda, and asiago.
- Firm Cheese: think all-time classics of manchego colby, gruyere, comte, swiss, and cheddar
- Semi-Soft Cheese: think brie, Havarti, butterkase, and muenster
- Soft Cheese: think spreadable like burrata, mascarpone, stracchino, and mozzarella
- Blue Cheese: think more pungent like gorgonzola, dunbarton blue, and marbled blue jack
- Crumbly Cheese: think what you would top on salads like feta and goat cheese
Another addition can be flavored cheeses such as hot honey-infused cheese, pepper jack for an additional kick, or a mixed fruit-flavored goat cheese.
CRACKER AND BREAD
The base of each bite includes a crunchy, delicious carb – whether in cracker or bread bite form. Crackers and chunks of bread are a must-have on each charcuterie board, as it brings all the flavors together while being the vessel from board to mouth.
Just as you did for the cheese, you need a variety of flavors and textures for your crackers. The top crackers we recommend based on taste, quality, and less chance of cracking include the following:
- Artisan Crackers – think whole grain flavors that complement the contrast of meat and cheese. These are fantastic with brie and salami.
- Crostini – think a little bite of crunchy and soft heaven. The ultimate piece of bread. Exceptionally delicious with spreadable and soft cheeses like burrata and tomato.
- Buttery Crackers – think a rich flavor of butter typically topped with sesame seeds. We highly recommend trying it with ham, smoked, salmon, and gruyere cheese.
- Multigrain Crackers – think like artisan crackers, but with various grains packed with nutrients and earthy tones. This cracker in particular, pairs well with most meats and exceptionally well with harder cheese options, such as turkey and cheddar.
- Herb Crackers – think whole grain crackers but packed with delicious herbs baked in them. Due to the aroma and flavorful profile, we recommend pairing this cracker with the savories of pepperoni and a swiss cheese. It tastes kind of like a healthier version of pizza, right?
- Classic Italian Breadsticks – think an all-time crowd-pleaser. Unexpected but oh so welcomed. The closest option to the crostini, but with hits of garlic and classic Italian seasonings, this vessel of carbs is delightful with cheddar cheese and a slice of a crisp apple.
This is where your creativity will shine. The accoutrements all depend on what you want to include. These can be a selection of seeds, nuts, jams, olives, dressings, fruits, vegetables, and more. We recommend including a little of all and thinking of coordinating colors. Is it overwhelming and unclear where to start? No worries, we will break it down for you.
For example, first, consider how large your board is and its shape. If it is a traditional rectangle, it’s important to highlight each corner of the board as anchors with complimenting hues. For example, we recommend choosing a similar color, such as a tomato for another topper, if including strawberries. If interested in including honeycomb (which is delicious and compliments cheddar tones), a beautiful handful of raspberries and green olives next to it will be divine.
Additional Ingredients To Consider:
- Fresh Basil
- Blueberry Jam
- Fresh Rosemary
- Mango Chunks
- Grapes (Red or Green)
- Caramelized Onions
- Dill Pickles
- Roasted Red Peppers
- Pesto Sauce
- Pomegranate Seeds
- Balsamic Glaze
- Pumpkin Spread
To fill in more space, rather than using handfuls of food and dropping on the board, or arranging them in a line, take up more area by designing the food in wave-like shapes. In addition, you can add sauces, nuts, and olives in bowls. This step will bring additional height and overall interest to your dish.
This is all customizable and yours to choose. There is no failure when it comes to creating a charcuterie board, as it is personal and tailored to your liking. The best part, there is minimal clean-up.
If some of the selections above are potentially too fancy for your children to enjoy, have no fear. But, of course, keeping in mind what your child is capable of eating per their age recommendation, we have a few ingredients to keep in mind for your next board.
- Hot Dogs
- Chicken Nuggets
- Chunks of Ground Hamburger
- Cut Deli Meat
- American Cheese
- Swiss Cheese
- Small Hot Dog Buns
- Italian Breadsticks
- Hawaiian Slider Burger Buns
- Mini Dill Pickles
- Black Olives
We hope this breakdown of sweet, savory, salty, and smokey ingredients helps you feel confident creating an easy, affordable, and the best charcuterie board. If you are seeking boards to use, check out our high-quality and Made-in-America cut-and-serve board selection in-store and online.
Happy Cooking, friends!