How to Create a Simple Charcuterie Board

A simple charcuterie board can be a beautiful way to serve meats, cheeses and other finger foods at a party, for a snack or an easy way to serve a fun family meal.

Salami, pepperoni and beef sticks with cheese, fruit, tomatoes and candy on a simple charcuterie board

The first thing most people think of when hearing of a charcuterie board is party food. A charcuterie board is a great way to display a variety of food in an eye-appealing way at a party. These boards can also be an easy and fun way to put lunch or dinner on the table for your family.

Simple Charcuterie Board

Charcuterie boards can be as cheap and simple or as complex and fancy as you would like. We enjoy creating a board with the kids help so they are even more eager to eat!

Smoked meats like salami and a variety of cheeses are found on traditional charcuterie boards. We have learned to be creative to build a board and meal that everyone in our family can enjoy.

Don’t limit yourself to tradition when building a board. Crackers, pretzels, grapes, oranges, apples, sliced peppers, celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, olives, candies, marshmallows and other small dessert items. Combining salami and cream cheese to make Salami Roll-Ups also makes a great addition as do our flavored Spicy Pretzels.

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The best charcuterie board for kids and our family has a 3 to 4 smoked meats like salami, pepperoni and beef sticks, 3 to 4 cheeses like mozzarella sticks, swiss, Colby and cheddar served alongside 2 fruits and 2 vegetables. We love to garnish the tray or fill in the holes with gummies, Cake Bites, or small individually wrapped pieces of chocolate candy.

Begin building the board in the center with foods you have the biggest volume of. Work from the center out and put smaller items that you just have a few of around the edges.

Allow for 2 to 3 ounces of meat, 3 ounces of cheese, 1/2 cup of crackers and 1 cup combined of fruit and vegetables per person when creating a board for a meal. Smaller quantities work well for an appetizer.

Easy Charcuterie board with meats, cheese, veggies and heart candy with an easy red and white theme

Ever since the kids have been in hybrid mode schooling and home a lot more we’ve been looking for more easy dinner ideas for the kids and the family.

Our first charcuterie board is pictured here and has been the most fun our family has had eating lunch in quite a while.

What is a Charcuterie Board?

A charcuterie board started as a board decorated beautifully with fancy cheeses and smoked meats, but has become a more casual board that can include your favorite deli meats, cheese, fruit, vegetables and even dessert.

A variety of food are arranged in an eye appealing manner on a wooden cutting board or any wooden board to create a charcuterie board.

Charcuterie is pronounced shaar·koo·tr·ee or shar·ku·tuh·ree and sounds much more difficult to create than it actually is.

Common fruit, meat, cheese sticks and slices and candy on a cheap charcuterie board

The biggest difference in a traditional Fruit Tray or Vegetable Tray and a Charcuterie board is that a wider variety of foods are served on a wooden or marble board. Charcuterie boards are a modern trend that is growing in popularity.

Make a Special Valentine’s Day Board

A fun way to build holiday charcuterie boards is by choosing a color scheme and a purpose. We made a lunch tray for Valentine’s Day with red and white foods and accented with a few pieces of candy wrapped in silver foil.

We like to peruse the grocery store for red and white foods like:

  • Grape or cherry tomatoes
  • Red peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Apples
  • Salami
  • Pepperoni
  • Beef sticks
  • Bacon
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Pink or red gummies
  • Red heart shaped candy
  • Pink and white animal crackers
  • Strawberry (light red) or raspberry (pink) yogurt dipped pretzels
  • Kisses
  • M&Ms

Our 12 year old created a cheaper charcuterie board that he and his sister loved for lunch!

A charcuterie board made by kids for an easy lunch or fun party with meat, cheese and crackers

We find the easiest way to make a charcuterie board is simply placing edible items on the board. With young kids that seems to be the easiest way to go. It also saves time on set-up and clean-up.

If you want to step up your game use small white dishes, small heart shaped dishes or a cookie cutters flat on the board to hold candy or smaller crackers.

Small dishes and cookie cutters to be used to create a charcuterie board

To make a generic board we found heart shaped candy wrapped in red and silver foil without any writing on the package to be the cheapest candy.

DIY Holiday & Seasonal Boards

An Easter Charcuterie board might feature pieces of rolled up ham held with a decorative toothpick or thicker slices cut in strips or triangle shapes along with fruit and cheese. If there’s a bigger crowd a small dish of Cheesecake Dip for Fruit or Cinnamon Fruit Dip is a great way to enhance a spring tray.

A Halloween Charcuterie board can be rich with black foods like olives, black tomatoes, black licorice, dark chocolates, orange foods like oranges, orange peppers, carrots, orange tomatoes, dried apricots, and pumpkin candies. Pumpkin Fluff is perfect for dipping graham crackers or pretzels in.

A Christmas Charcuterie board could feature red and green foods with gold or silver candy.

A spring, summer, fall or winter board can feature seasonal items, go along with someone’s favorite colors for a theme or simply feature items that are on sale at the grocery store.

Simply shopping for your favorite items and arranging them on a board is a great DIY snack, appetizer, or easy meal. Grapes, peppers, oranges, pretzels, crackers, nuts, salami, pepperoni, Colby Jack, Colby, Swiss, and cheddar cheeses are always great sliced and mozzarella cheese sticks are perfect any day of the year to include on a charcuterie board!

More Easy Appetizer Recipes:

Printable Charcuterie Board Recipe

Sliced cheese, salami, red peppers, tomatoes, pretzels and candy on a charcuterie board

Simple Charcuterie Board

Servings 4 people
Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life
A simple charcuterie board can be a beautiful way to serve meats, cheeses and other finger foods at a party, for a snack or an easy way to serve a fun family meal.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 6 ounces salami
  • 3 ounces pepperoni sliced
  • 3 ounces beef snack sticks or summer sausage
  • 4 sticks mozzarella cheese cut in half lenghtwise
  • 4 ounces Swiss cheese cheese sliced
  • 4 ounces White cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack cheese, sliced
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 sleeve crackers

Instructions
 

  • Choose a board and set out ingredients to be laid on the board.
  • Look for the item that is largest in size or volume and begin by putting that item in the center of the board. Lay items that contrast in color and texturs on each side.
  • Slices of cheese and strips of vegetables help create lines and space between other ingredients.
  • Save small items like candy or raspberries to fill in holes throughout the board and to finish off the edges.

Notes

  • Begin building the board in the center with foods you have the biggest volume of. Work from the center out and put smaller items that you just have a few of around the edges.
  • Allow for 2 to 3 ounces of meat, 3 ounces of cheese, 1/2 cup of crackers and 1 cup combined of fruit and vegetables per person when creating a board for a meal. Smaller quantities work well for an appetizer or snack board.
  • If there is not sufficient room for crackers on the board they may be served on a separate board, tray or on individual plates.
  • Leftovers should be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Calories: 772kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 40gFat: 54gSaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 123mgSodium: 2284mgPotassium: 614mgFiber: 4gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 702IUVitamin C: 38mgCalcium: 512mgIron: 4mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Plowing Through Life” is not a dietitian or nutrition professional. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate and can vary greatly depending on specific products are used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator of your choice.

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