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Party Charcuterie Board Ideas for Your Next Gathering

January 19, 2024 by Anna-Bet Stemmet

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Are you ready to elevate your snack platters to a whole new level of epic deliciousness in 2024? Fantastic! We’ve assembled our top charcuterie board ideas for a party at home, and it’s looking super tasty. Let’s dive right in.  

A short history of charcuterie boards

Close up image of two women carrying charcuterie platters out to share with their friends at a daytime gathering

Charcuterie board party ideas may seem like a modern invention, but this delicious way of entertaining actually has quite a rich history.  

The art of charcuterie initially emerged in the quaint villages of medieval France, as skilled craftsmen, known as charcutiers, honed the craft of preserving and cooking meats, giving birth to what has now become a timeless tradition.  

Over the centuries, the practice evolved, with these purveyors of flavour expanding their repertoire beyond pork to include an array of meats and innovative techniques. In the mid-20th century, a cultural shift towards home entertaining set the stage for the transformation of charcuterie into a communal art form. 

As the 20th century unfolded, the concept of presenting cured meats and delectable accompaniments artfully gained momentum. Modern charcuterie boards, inspired by the French tradition, blossomed into diverse spreads featuring an array of cheeses, fruits, nuts, and more.  

From its medieval origins to the present day, the charcuterie board has become a global symbol of conviviality, celebrated for its versatility, creativity, and the joy it brings to gatherings and social occasions. 

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The ABCs of assembling a charcuterie board

Close up of a woman's hand assembling a charcuterie platter, placing nuts and cheese in neat rows on a wooden platter

Before we get to our favourite food board party ideas, let’s take a quick look at the basics of assembling a charcuterie board at home. Here’s a general guide on how to assemble a grazing platter that will impress: 

Select a board or surface. Choose a large wooden board, slate, or marble surface as the base for your charcuterie board. 

Variety of cheeses. Pick a diverse selection of cheeses, including soft, semi-soft, and hard varieties. Examples could include brie, cheddar, gouda, and blue cheese. 

Assorted meats. Add a variety of cured meats such as prosciutto, salami, and chorizo. Arrange them in different patterns to enhance visual appeal. 

Breads and crackers. Provide a selection of crackers, breadsticks, and sliced baguette to pair with the cheeses and meats. 

Condiments and spreads. Include accompaniments like mustard, honey, fruit preserves, or chutney to complement the flavours.  

Fresh and dried fruits. Integrate a mix of fresh fruits like grapes, figs, and apple slices, along with dried fruits such as apricots or dates. 

Nuts. Add a crunchy element with a variety of nuts like almonds, walnuts, or pecans. 

Pickles and olives. Include a selection of pickles, olives, or marinated vegetables for a tangy contrast. 

Garnish and herbs. Sprinkle fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme for a touch of greenery and additional aroma. 

Arrange artfully. Organise the components in an aesthetically pleasing manner, considering colours, shapes, and textures. 

Personalise. Tailor the board to your preferences, adding unique items or local specialties for a personalised touch. 

TOP TIP! Serve at room temperature. Allow cheeses and meats to come to room temperature before serving for the best flavour experience.  

Now, let’s explore specific recipes for different charcuterie boards, shall we?  

1. Classic charcuterie board

Top view of a classic charcuterie board featuring meats and cheeses, on a table surrounded by other salads, snacks and wine

No list of charcuterie party ideas would be complete without the OG! The classic charcuterie board features timeless favourites, and is almost always a complete hit.  

Ingredients: 

  • Assorted cheeses (brie, cheddar, gouda, blue cheese) 
  • Cured meats (prosciutto, salami, chorizo) 
  • Crackers and baguette slices 
  • Mustard, honey, and fruit preserves 
  • Grapes and figs 
  • Almonds and walnuts 
  • Pickles and olives 
  • Fresh herbs for garnish 

Instructions: 

  1. Arrange cheeses and meats in separate sections. 
  2. Place crackers and breadsticks between cheese and meat sections. 
  3. Add small bowls for condiments like mustard and honey. 
  4. Scatter grapes, figs, and nuts throughout the board. 
  5. Fill empty spaces with pickles, olives, and fresh herbs. 

Cocktail pairing suggestion: Old Fashioned 

The rich and robust flavours of an Old Fashioned, with bourbon or rye whiskey, sugar, and bitters, complement the variety of cheeses and cured meats on this classic charcuterie board. 

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2. Breakfast pancake & waffles charcuterie board

Close up of a breakfast pancake and waffle charcuterie board

If you are on the lookout for charcuterie board theme ideas that are a little out of ordinary, this breakfast-inspired spread could very well be your new favourite.  

Ingredients: 

  • Pancakes and waffles (mini-sized) 
  • Maple syrup and whipped cream 
  • Fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries) 
  • Breakfast sausages or bacon strips 
  • Greek yogurt 
  • Nutella or chocolate spread 
  • Granola and sliced bananas 
  • Chopped nuts (pecans or almonds) 

Instructions: 

  1. Arrange mini pancakes and waffles on the board. 
  2. Provide small bowls for maple syrup and whipped cream. 
  3. Place fresh berries and sliced bananas in attractive patterns. 
  4. Add cooked sausages or bacon strips to the board. 
  5. Include bowls of Greek yogurt and Nutella for dipping. 
  6. Sprinkle granola and chopped nuts for texture. 

Cocktail pairing suggestion: Mimosa

The light and bubbly Mimosa, made with Champagne and fresh orange juice, adds a refreshing and citrusy touch to the breakfast-themed spread.  

Read next: How to Host a Brunch Party at Home 

3. Antipasto platter

Top view of a colorful antipasto platter on a blue tablecloth

When it comes to summery party food board ideas, you cannot go wrong with an antipasto platter. We especially love serving this with sundowners on a balmy day.  

Ingredients:  

  • Prosciutto, salami, and capicola 
  • Mozzarella, provolone, and asiago cheeses 
  • Marinated artichokes and roasted red peppers 
  • Kalamata olives and green olives 
  • Sun-dried tomatoes 
  • Breadsticks and focaccia bread 
  • Olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping 
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish 

Instructions: 

  1. Arrange the cured meats and cheeses in alternating sections. 
  2. Place the marinated artichokes, roasted red peppers, and sun-dried tomatoes in clusters. 
  3. Scatter Kalamata and green olives throughout the board. 
  4. Add breadsticks and slices of focaccia bread. 
  5. Provide small bowls with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping. 
  6. Garnish with fresh basil leaves for a burst of color. 

Cocktail pairing suggestion: Aperol Spritz 

The Aperol Spritz, a classic Italian cocktail with Aperol, prosecco, and soda water, complements the Mediterranean flavours of the antipasto tray with its light and slightly bitter profile. 

More hosting inspo: 20 Aperol Cocktail Recipes to Try Today 

4. Fruit and cheese board

 Top view of a luscious fruit and cheese board arranged on a wooden table

Themed charcuterie board ideas are having a bit of a moment, and we like to get a little fruity with it. This salty-and-sweet take on the original can also be served instead of dessert.  

Ingredients: 

  • Brie, goat cheese, and blue cheese 
  • Fresh fruits (grapes, figs, apple slices, berries) 
  • Dried fruits (apricots, dates) 
  • Honey and fruit preserves 
  • Candied nuts (pecans or almonds) 
  • Water crackers and honey wheat bread 

Instructions: 

  1. Arrange cheeses in different corners of the board. 
  2. Scatter fresh grapes, figs, and berries for a burst of colour. 
  3. Fill in spaces with dried apricots and dates. 
  4. Drizzle honey over the brie and goat cheese. 
  5. Add small bowls of fruit preserves for dipping. 
  6. Sprinkle candied nuts throughout the board. 
  7. Serve with a variety of crackers and slices of honey wheat bread. 

Cocktail pairing suggestion: Sangria 

Sangria, a fruity and wine-based cocktail with mixed fruits, pairs well with the sweet and savoury elements of the fruit and cheese board, setting the scene for a delightful combination. 

Check this: 35 BBQ Cocktail & Food Pairings for Summer (2024) 

5. Dessert snack board

Close up of a dessert snack board featuring cookies, fudge, chocolate and other sweet treats

Sweet snack board ideas for a party? We’ve got you covered, friend. A dessert charcuterie board is an indulgent treat perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth.  

Ingredients: 

  • Assorted chocolates (dark, milk, and white) 
  • Chocolate-covered fruits (strawberries, bananas) 
  • Mini pastries and cookies 
  • Candied nuts (pecans, almonds) 
  • Marshmallows and graham crackers 
  • Nutella or chocolate fondue for dipping 
  • Fresh berries and sliced fruits 
  • Whipped cream and caramel sauce 

Instructions: 

  1. Arrange a variety of chocolates in different sections of the board. 
  2. Place chocolate-covered fruits in the center for a delightful centerpiece. 
  3. Add an assortment of mini pastries and cookies around the board. 
  4. Scatter candied nuts for a crunchy element. 
  5. Include marshmallows and graham crackers for a s’mores touch. 
  6. Set up a bowl of Nutella or chocolate fondue for dipping. 
  7. Surround the board with fresh berries and sliced fruits. 
  8. Drizzle whipped cream and caramel sauce for the finishing touch. 

Cocktail pairing suggestion: Espresso Martini 

The Espresso Martini, combining vodka, coffee liqueur, and freshly brewed espresso, provides a perfect balance of sweetness and caffeine kick to accompany the rich and sweet treats on the dessert charcuterie board. 

6. Vegan grazing platter

Top view of a colorful vegan grazing platter arrange on a pink surface

By now we all know we should be incorporating more health-boosting plants in our diets. This vegan charcuterie board is great for plant-based snacking, and ideal when you are hosting guests who have meat-free dietary requirements.  

Ingredients: 

  • Vegan cheeses (cashew, almond, or coconut-based) 
  • Vegan deli slices or seitan strips 
  • Hummus and guacamole 
  • Fresh vegetables (cherry tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper) 
  • Olives and pickles 
  • Nuts and seeds (almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds) 
  • Vegan crackers and bread 
  • Fresh fruit (grapes, apple slices) 
  • Dried fruit (apricots, figs) 

Instructions: 

  1. Arrange vegan cheeses and deli slices in different sections. 
  2. Place bowls of hummus and guacamole for dipping. 
  3. Scatter fresh vegetables, olives, and pickles around the board. 
  4. Add nuts and seeds for a crunchy element. 
  5. Include a variety of vegan crackers and bread. 
  6. Fill in spaces with fresh fruit like grapes and apple slices. 
  7. Integrate dried fruits like apricots and figs for sweetness. 

Cocktail pairing suggestion: Virgin Mojito (Mocktail) 

A non-alcoholic version of the classic Mojito with mint, lime, sugar, and soda water, allowing the fresh and crisp flavours to complement the vegan options on the charcuterie board. 

See? Easy peasy! Now go forth and make some charcuterie magic. Remember to tag us in your Insta snaps, and sign up for our newsletter to get the freshest articles delivered straight to your inbox, foodies 🍷🍇🥖🧀 

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