How to Build the Perfect Charcuterie Board

A simple guide to the essential meats, cheeses, and fruits needed to build the perfect charcuterie board for any occasion.

You’re obsessed with charcuterie boards; I’m obsessed with charcuterie boards. I know it and you know it. But what makes the perfect charcuterie plate? As self-proclaimed cheese and meat connoisseurs, Patty and I worked on building a well-rounded cheese platter for every occasion. Or if you’re like us, you can make a meal out of it (which is insane but who cares).

How to Build the Perfect Charcuterie Board

Our charcuterie obsession all started in Quebec, Canada at the bar inside the Château Frontenac. The board was an awesome assortment of cured meats and hard and soft cheeses accompanied by honey, fruit, and fruit purees. That led to cheese board after cheese board at countless restaurants and bars.

Anyone can do cheese and crackers, but a well-crafted, well thought out charcuterie board is so much more than that. It’s like the Rolls-Royce of cheese platters.

There are no rules to building your cheese board, but below is a few of our favorite combinations to get the inspiration juices flowing. My personal philosophy is all about mixing and matching complementary and savory flavors. I would choose two or three (or more) options from each of the categories below for starters.

Remember, this is not an exhaustive list and it’s all about preference—we switch up variations every time. A final note; my absolute favorite combo and one worth trying is brie cheese drizzled with honey on a crispy bagel chip. I’m addicted, and I think you will be too.

Charcuterie Board Ideas and Inspiration

Salty Additions

  • Baby dill pickles
  • Fresh green olives
  • Spanish almonds
  • Pickled red onions

Fruits and Spreads

  • Raspberries
  • Honey
  • Truffle honey (truffle oil and honey)
  • Sliced fresh fig
  • Fig jam spread
  • Grapes
  • Sliced pears

Cheese

  • Gruyère—firm, mild, sweet, and salty cheese from Switzerland.
  • Cheddar—everyone knows what cheddar cheese is.
  • Brie—rich and creamy cheese from France.
  • Fresh mozzarella—go with the 8 ounce ball of mozzarella.
  • Manchego—a firm, nutty tasting cheese from Spain made from sheep’s milk.
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano—hard Italian cheese similar to Parmesan.
  • Pepperjack—American cheese flavored with hot chili peppers.
  • Port wine cheese—creamy spreadable cheese flavored with port wine.

Bread and Crackers

  • Sea salt bagel crisps
  • Thinly slices toasted French bread
  • Pretzel chips

Meats

  • Prosciutto
  • Genoa Salami
  • Cappocola
  • Mortadella

The recipe below is the board we made pictured here. Good luck!

How to Build the Perfect Charcuterie Board
Our ideal charcuterie plate is made up of cheese, meat, and fruit.
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How to Build the Perfect Charcuterie Board

  • Author: Shawn
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Total Time: 20

Ingredients

Cheese

  • Gruyère
  • Sharp cheddar
  • Brie
  • Pepperjack
  • Port wine cheese

Meats

  • Sliced prosciutto
  • Sliced Genoa salami

Fruits & Spreads

  • Raspberries
  • Red grapes
  • Fig jam spread
  • Honey

Salty Additions

  • Fresh green olives
  • Salted Spanish almonds
  • Baby dill pickles
  • Sea salt bagel chips

Instructions

  1. Grab a large wooden platter or cutting board and arrange all meats, cheeses, and fruits. Serve with plenty of cheese knives and spreaders.