Entertaining guests is one of my favorite things to do! I love inviting people into my home and spoiling them with plenty of food and drinks. In my friend group, I am known as the “glue” that holds the group together. I take a lot of pride in that title and think it’s mainly because I love hosting everyone for good conversation and fun!
Growing up, we always had a Christmas Eve Party that was so much fun and filled with lots of food and laughter! Early on, I knew the importance of bringing family and friends together. I couldn’t wait to do it in my own future house! Well, here I am, in my own house, hosting family and friends!
Okay, now let’s get to the charcuterie part! Charcuterie boards are one of my FAVORITE things to have while entertaining guests. They always look AMAZING, people go crazy over them, and they are surprisingly super easy to make! The Italian in me loves adding all of those delicious meats to the board.
Where to start?
I always begin by deciding which board to use. If I know I’m going to have a lot of guests, I use more than one board or create a massive board using butcher paper across our table. However, if it’s just for date night or a few friends, I use a smaller board. Tip: Large cutting boards make great charcuterie boards!
Here are some great charcuterie board options:
What should I include?
- Italian meats– You want a variety of meats. Some of my favorite to include are salami, prosciutto, capicola, and pepperoni. We recently used peppered salami and people were raving about it!
- Cheese– Again, you want a few different kinds of cheese. I always include at least one soft and one hard cheese. My go to soft cheese is always brie! If you’re not a fan of brie, you could use blue cheese or fresh mozzarella. Some of my favorite hard cheeses include manchego (my husband got me hooked on this!), gouda, asiago, and cheddar (seems to be popular with everyone)! Tip: I always like to slice the hard cheese ahead of time because it makes it easier for guests to grab. If it’s not sliced, I find that people don’t always feel comfortable being the first to dig in!
- Crackers/Bread– These help add good texture to your board and bring all of the different flavors together. I love to use wheat thins, club crackers, triscuits, baguette crisps, and even pretzels.
- Fruits– Fruit gives so much life to your board! It creates pops of color to make your board look even prettier. Grapes and berries always work well and are well received.
- Nuts– These are great savory snacks that are easy for guests to grab. Almonds are my number one, but other good options are cashews, pecans, and walnuts.
- Olives– To be honest, I’m not an olive fan but people like them! They also look nice on the board, so I always add them!
- Extras- There are so many other fun items to include on your board. Some other ideas include jams, honey, dips, hummus, tapenade, etc. Be creative!
How do I make the board?
I start by taking my small bowls or ramekins and spread them out on the board. You want to use these for items that you want to keep contained and for the messier foods. I use these for items like nuts, olives, dips, jams, etc. The number of bowls will depend on the size of the board. The bowls can be similar or be all different sizes and shapes. You do what feels right for you!
After I decide the placement of bowls and fill them, I add the meats and cheeses spreading them throughout the board. You want easy access to meat and cheese from all angles of the board.
Next, I add my crackers, baguette crisps, pretzels, etc. You want to place these in close proximity to the meats and cheese. Make sure to spread these crunchy foods out across the board. You don’t want them all in one place.
Last, I add my fruit to the board. The fruit helps fill any gaps on the board and gives that nice color to the board. You can also add some herbs as a garnish to eliminate any gaps you may have.
What do I do now?
You’re done! It’s time to serve your charcuterie board to your guests and watch them enjoy your creation! I love to find a good wine selection that pairs well with the food on my board- it really impresses your guests! I know my friends are always looking for an excuse to enjoy a nice glass of wine with me!!