Easy Recipes, Meal Planning

Holiday Charcuterie Boards

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I shared in a previous post, a couple of weeks ago, Christmas Dinner Planning Made Easy,  that Russell and I love to do Charcuterie Boards for Christmas Eve.  It’s so easy to do, especially for just the two of us.  It’s easy prep, and easy clean up, and the idea of finger foods makes the meal more enjoyable on a night that can be really hectic with religious services, family gatherings and wrapping last minute gifts.

SPECIAL NOTE:  My friend Heidi, and her family have made it a tradition to do different Charcuterie Boards every Sunday for dinner and her kids love it!  (All photos posted here, as samples of what Heidi and her family have done over the past few weeks.) 

Thanksgiving themed Charcuterie Board
Thanksgiving themed Charcuterie Board

What to put on your Charcuterie Boards

I personally love the flexibility of Charcuterie Boards.  Mix and match the meats, cheeses, fruits, and other items you love to eat and allow those participating in your meal to pick and choose their favorites.  So how do you create the perfect Charcuterie Board?  According to PureWow, these are the basics: 

  1. Choose soft, pre-sliced meats (like prosciutto or jamón Ibérico), and a couple harder meats that require cutting (like a log of salami or soppressata).
  2. Place harder cheeses, like a block of sharp cheddar or Manchego, alongside harder meats.
  3. Add at least one spreadable cheese (like chèvre) or a dip (like tzatziki or hummus).
  4. Weave in some complementary snacks. We’re talking crackers, jam, breadpicklesfruithoneycomb and whatever else you fancy.
  5. Dress it up. Beyond serving it on a pretty wooden butcher block or a marble cutting board, consider working in other decorative elements.  Tiny label tags are cute and helpful, while little bowls and plates to hold preserves or fruit add color and dimension to the spread. (Or do like Heidi did and add holiday themed elements.)
Halloween themed Charcuterie Board
Halloween themed Charcuterie Boards

What we like on our Charcuterie Boards

So, what are some of my favorite items on the Stafford Family Charcuterie Boards? 

  • I love prosciutto for its silky texture and saltiness. 
  • I’m a huge fan of fig preserves for their sweet taste, especially combined with Brie cheese.
  • I love the texture and chewiness of dried apricots.
  • Fresh grapes are a fabulous addition to the board.
  • Crunchy, crusty bread, such as a toasted and sliced baguette is delicious.
  • A hard cheese such as Gruyere is wonderful and pairs well with a hard salami.
  • A soft cheese such as a warmed Brie, that is spreadable works with bread slices or crackers.
  • A tangy Bleu Cheese adds a punch of flavor.
  • I’m a BIG fan of olives of any kind: green, black, kalamata, it doesn’t matter to me.
  • Nuts… I love cashews, but Russell is allergic, so I tend to leave them off the board, when it’s just the 2 of us.
  • Dark Chocolate…  Need I say more?
Halloween themed Charcuterie Board
Another Halloween themed Board from Heidi

Pick a Country for your Charcuterie Boards

You can theme your Charcuterie Board to a country or culture as well.

  • Spanish theme:  Iberico Ham, Serrano Ham, Chorizo, Manchego Cheese, Manzanilla Olives, Dates, Fig Jam, Crusty Bread
  • Italian theme:  Prosciutto, Pepperoni, Salami, Mozzarella, Provolone, Asiago, Roasted Peppers, Artichoke Hearts, Olives, Marcona Almonds, Peppadew Peppers, Focaccia Bread
  • Greek theme:  Feta Cheese, Kalamata Olives, Hummus, Pita Chips/Bread, Tzatziki, Cucumbers, Cherry Tomatoes, Dolmas (Stuffed Grape Leaves), Roasted Veggies such as Zucchini and Eggplant
  • American theme:  Salami, Smoked Cheddar Cheese, Water Table Crackers, Spicy Mustard, Gherkin, Apricot Jam, Smoked Nuts
  • Mexican theme: Quesadillas, Taquitos, Queso, Tortilla Chips, Salsa, Black Olives, Sour Cream, Pepitas
Mexican themed Charcuterie Board
Mexican themed Charcuterie Boards

No matter how you build your personal Charcuterie Board, you can’t go wrong!  They are delicious, no matter your taste or the theme you choose. 

Here’s to a fun way of serving up a tasty meal and RESETTING your life!


Organization isn’t about perfection; it’s about efficiency, reducing stress and clutter, saving time and money, and improving your overall quality of life.” – CHRISTINA SCALISE

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