A cheese and meat platter (or as the French say…. a charcuterie board) is always a huge hit at parties. And they’re actually really easy to make! I’m sharing some of my favorite finds below!
How to build a cheese and meat platter everyone will love.
Well obviously you need cheese and meat am I right? 🙂 Its good to have at least two meat choices and 2-3 cheese options. I like to mix a creamy cheese (like the triple cream brie from Trader Joes) with a sharper more crumbly cheese like a coastal cheddar for a nice variety of textures. A good charcuterie board will have a healthy balance of sweet and savory and lots of “texture options.” And by that I mean mixing smooth dips with crunchy crackers and nuts or chewy breads and dried fruits.
Let’s make this a bit easier shall we?
Checklist for the perfect charcuterie board:
Here are the different options you should always consider no matter how big or small your cheese and meat platter is.
1. CURED MEATS: prosciutto (I actually have a great recipe for a prosciutto app HERE), soft salami and harder salamis (some popular options that are easy to find are sopressata, genoa and caccioatore). I usually keep it super simple, and I buy the three pack from Trader Joes. I actually buy most of my cheese and meat platter items from Trader Joes because their selection is so good. And no, this is not a sponsored post! LOL
2. NUTS & CRACKERS: Nuts and crackers give that perfect crunch to your charcuterie board. Crackers are also great for dipping and eating with your spreads. There’s also so many unique varieties of nuts. You can get creative if you want, and opt for some that have a special seasoning. Have fun with it!
3. DIPS & SPREADS: This can be anything and everything from an olive tapenade, to a spicy mustard. I even used the garlic dip from Trader Joes. So good!
4. RELISH TRAY OPTIONS: Olives, peppers, artichokes, cornichons: I just love olives! They’re always so good on a fun platter. They add just the right salty texture. You can find these other options listed in marinated jarred varities that make them so good!
5. CHEESE: I’ll file this under both the “sweet” & “savory” categories. Why? Because for instance, it’s nice to have a creamier sweeter option for layering with something like a soft baguette and jam, and then to use a stronger or even crumbly cheese to pair with sharp crackers and salty deli meats.
1. HONEY! I can’t say this enough.. having a delicious honey to drizzle on a soft baguette with an even softer cheese is pure heaven. I can even buy honeycomb at my local Trader Joes or Costco and that’s always a hit!
2. CHOCOLATE: Whether it be chocolate covered espresso beans etc or any little bits of chocolate once you scatter them around your platter people will thank you for it. 😉
3. CHEESE: Yes, here it is again, and for good reason! There are some really sweet cheeses out there that pair so nicely with cured meats or yummy breads. For an easy one sheet grocery list of all my charcuterie favorites just click here and I’ll send you a free copy! It will make your shopping trip super fast!
4. FRUIT: This can be applied to dried fruit as well. Fresh berries and grapes are always a great choice, so are dried apricots or figs.
5. JAM: When you think of spreads and dips don’t forget the power of a good jam! For example, a fig jam would be super delicious with a creamy brie.
Shoppable links for some of my favorite platters.
I include these links to make your busy life easier. If you use one of these links I will earn a small commission, but at no extra charge to you!
Here are some of my favorite plates and platters for building your charcuterie board.
Easy tips for creating a cheese and meat platter.
- Balance: be sure to balance equal amounts of everything on either side or your board. Or you can also do this in each corner. For example, you could sprinkle some crackers in each corner where there is some cheese or a dip.
- Use cute bowls and serving utensils: Anthropologie, World Market and Target are my go-tos. I use everything from tiny ceramic bowls for dips and spreads, to teeny spoons and knives for slicing cheese and serving up jam.
- Don’t be afraid to use plants. I always like to add fresh sprigs of rosemary! Its an edible herb that adds a nice touch of greenery to your platter and smells great too. Other plants you could use for decorations would be mint, wildflowers and edible flowers.
- Make “flowers” out of prosciutto or salami. Its so easy to do! Take a round piece of salami and fold it over a few times. From the underneath pinch it together in the middle with your fingers. Poke a hole through the bottom of the bunch you are holding, and voila! Now you have a cute meaty flower lol.
No matter how you make your cheese and meat platter just have fun with it! Even if its only a handful of ingredients. You really can’t go wrong!
What are some of your favorite charcuterie boards? Let me know in the comments below!
Connect with me daily over on the gram! And find my boards on Pinterest where I curate all my favorite finds! As always, thanks for stopping by. 🙂