How to Make Easy Charcuterie Boards

Entertaining: Parties
How to Make Easy Charcuterie Boards

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December 2 2020

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There's a reason charcuterie boards have been trending... they're delicious and SO easy! If you're just learning how to build your own, let's start with the basics from our certified cheese specialists and cheesemongers. You'll want the best selections of cheese, meats, spreads, crackers, and garnishes. You'll find everything you're looking for right here. 

  1. Service with Style

    Select a cheese or cutting board, tray, platter, or pizza stone to plate foods on and small bowls and cheese knives from Hy-Vee. Opt for a foundation sized to accommodate the foods it will hold. If needed, line it with parchment paper for food safety or to protect the tray. 

  2. Start with the Meats

    Cured and other meat products add additional savory choices. Meats may include smoked ham, prosciutto, salami, and spreads. Your Hy-Vee butcher will be able to help you decide how much of each one to buy. As a general rule of thumb, plan on 2 to 3 ounces of meat per person for an appetizer party.

    See 6 Italian Meats That Aren't Pepperoni for ideas.

  3. Then Add Cheese

    Choose cheeses for diversity of flavor and texture. A good mix is three to five cheeses, at least one from each of the following categories: hard (Manchego, Parmigiano-Reggiano); soft (Brie, Chevre), Blue (Gorgonzola, Roquefort); aand Aged (Cheddar and Gouda). If you’re not sure, your Hy-Vee cheesemonger will be able to guide you through the selection process (and offer tasty samples). Or you can sort through different cheese families by exploring our Cheese Guide. Also, check out the Best Picks for a Cheese Board.

  4. Don't Forget Spreads and Crackers

    Bases, such as crackers, breads, and toasts, provide surfaces for guests to build a small appetizer on, and spreads, the yummy glue to hold it all together! Provide at least two bases or bread options. Bases may include: plain or toasted baguette slices, breadsticks, little biscuits, crackers, and gluten-free options. Spread choices at Hy-Vee include several types of honey, jellies, jams, and mustards.

  5. Pass the Fruits and Nuts

    Master the art of designing a winning cheese board by including the extras. Sweet additions include fruit salsas, dried or fresh fruit, candied nuts, and chocolate. Savory choices are olives, pickles, salty nuts, roasted peppers, tapenade, and hummus. 

  6. The Grand Garnish

    Round out your board with nuts, olives, whole grain mustard, or pickled vegetables. Remember, it’s your board, so get as creative as you like. Just be sure to leave room in between items so guests can easily dig in as the cravings strike.

  7. Pass the Vino

    Light and fruity blush or white wines and even Proseccos are best paired with antipastos like charcuterie, but just remember one simple rule: When it comes to wine, if you don’t like it, don’t drink it. Always select a wine you enjoy—even if it isn’t the classic pairing.

    Check out 10 Go-To Table Wines Under $20.

    Hyvee Culinary Expert Tip
    Blush wines are not quite as bold as red wine, but have slightly more body than white wines. They have a fresh, fruity flavor that helps cleanse the palate between bites from a charcuterie board.
    Hy-Vee Wine & SpiritsThe Drink Experts
  8. The Backup Plan

    If you're short on time or just not up for building your own charcuterie board, you can always order one of our pre-made charcuterie or cheese boards