How To Put a New Twist on the Traditional Charcuterie Board

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I’m going to share with you how to put a new twist on traditional charcuterie boards. If you don’t know what a charcuterie board is you just might be living under a rock 🙂 

A charcuterie board is a fancy version of cheese and cracker snacks of my mother’s era. Well let’s be honest they were called cheese and crackers for most of my era.

For many of us taking our charcuterie board to the next level is what it’s all about. I have created tables that are all about the board. Basically, an hors d’oeuvre smorgasbord.

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Smorgasbord (smôrges,bôrd)

  • a buffet offering a variety of hot and cold meats, salads, hors d’oeuvres, etc.

Charcuterie (shar-KOO-ta-REE)

  • is a specific term with origins reaching as far back as 15th-century France; literally translated, it means the products of a fancy pork butcher.

What I use for my own Charcuterie Board

  • Charcuterie Meats: Salami, Prosciutto, Capocolla, Summer Sausage
  • Soft Cheese: Goat Cheese, Brie, Boursin, Mozzarella, Blue Cheese
  • Hard Cheese: Asiago, Manchego, Parmesan, Aged Cheddar, Gruyere, Gouda
  • Crackers: Pita, Butter, and Pretzels
  • Breadsticks
  • Spreads: Jams, Jelly, or Mustards
  • Dips: Dill Dip, Vegetable Dip, Spinach Dip, Chipped Beef Dip
  • Pickles: sliced dill pickles, marinated olives
  • Fresh Fruit: grapes, raspberries, strawberries, apple slices
  • Dried Fruits: cranberries, apricots, dates
  • Vegetables: Carrots, Celery, Asparagus spears, Haricot Verts, Mini Bell Peppers
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Nuts: almonds, shelled pistachios
  • Garnish: Rosemary Sprigs

Some other things you can add for an extra special fun twist.

  • Deviled Eggs
  • Shrimp Cocktail
  • Sushi
  • Steamed Artichoke
  • Crab Claws
  • Mini Tacos
  • Mini Filet Sandwich
  • Bruschetta

Charcuterie Board Tips & Tricks

Using a cutting board as my serving tray is my go-to. I have them in different shapes and different sizes, that I use depending on the occasion.

I also have an old large wooden board that I use for my large table boards. Handy used food-grade oil to prepare the board for food.

Using gluten-free crackers is something that I do when I don’t know if anyone has gluten allergies. Gluten-free crackers are so good and even your friends who can eat gluten won’t notice.

Holiday Charcuterie Board

I am the family charcuterie board maker for a special occasion. I make very big, elaborate boards for a family gathering. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Weddings, and Showers come to mind.

When making a holiday board, remember to add seasonal fruits and vegetables. We also provide smaller offerings when our friends or neighbors stop by.

Changing Up the Board

My charcuterie platter typically looks a lot the same so I’m committed to stepping up my game.

Annie’s Wedding
Photo Courtesy of Chelsey Barhorst Photography

Green & White Board

I made a board with basically just white and green when we were entertaining this past summer.

Keeping the palate neutral was easy with the cheeses and crackers.

I had to add some meats and that was a little tricky. No one likes green-cured meats!

If you don’t add meats to your board it is really easy to achieve as a cheese platter. Just add some green vegetables and a lovely dill dip.

A green and white board would be perfect for a board in the spring or St. Patrick’s Day.

This board was made by the talented Kara for @littlehouseonchestnut

Dessert Charcuterie Board

This is a fun way to offer a variety of flavors and choices by making a dessert board for special occasions. A variety of cookies, cheesecake flavors, bars,

Brunch Charcuterie Board

How fun would this be with pancakes or waffles with a potpourri of toppings?

The board I’m thinking of has jams, jelly, chocolate sauce, berries, syrup, local honey, and whipped cream.

Christmas Tree Board

Making Christmas Trees out of charcuterie ingredients is a great party platter.

My friend Michele at Vintage Home Designs makes the most beautiful Christmas Board

Bread and Butter Boards

A traditional bread and butter board is a board slathered with flavored butter and pieces of bread on the side.

Being in favor of less of a mess, my board would have some varieties of bread, french bread, sourdough bread, and Hawaiian bread with several different flavored butter all with a be a unique twist.

You can also add in some flavored olive oil. You could add a few different types of cheeses and meats but you don’t have to.

Candy Board

How fun would it be to have a candy board for a Halloween Party or a Hot Chocolate Board for a skating party?

Individual Boards and Charcuterie Cones

This is such a fun idea to have small little appetizer boards before dinner or a cone you can hold at a cocktail party.

You can make these custom charcuterie boards. You would be able to make them personalized for your guest based on their likes or dislikes and the cones could be a variety. Vegan, Dairy Free, Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, Fruit Only, the options are limitless.

Wine Pairing

Pairing wine with your board can also take it to the next level. Check with a full-service liquor store for help if you aren’t a wine connoisseur.

I know I’m not and my local liquor store has very knowledgeable people who never steer me wrong with wine choices.

Boards aren’t Just for Appetizers

Charcuterie boards aren’t just for snacking. They can be a meal!

Handy” and I enjoy having a charcuterie board dinner with a fire and a good movie! That’s the plan for this weekend!


Peace and Love,

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  1. Leslie Watkins says:

    Love this! They are the most fun to create for a gathering! You’ve inspired me!

    1. I do them so often that I always have stuff handy to throw them together. I’m glad I could inspire you! You inspire me!

  2. So many great ideas. I love making charcuterie boards, you don’t have to cook anything. Hugs to you.

    1. It’s my go-to for any kind of entertaining. I love them.

  3. I love a good charcuterie board. Thanks for sharing all of these fun ideas, Lynn. Yum!!