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You’ve probably heard of charcuterie boards as starters for dinner, and maybe you’ve even ordered one at lunchtime or as an early afternoon snack. A classic charcuterie board is composed of a variety of meats, cheeses, crackers, fruit, vegetables, and spreads—all flavors that lend themselves to the perfect (mostly) savory bite later in the day. But who says that you can’t enjoy charcuterie in the earlier hours?
As with many of the best things in life, when it comes to charcuterie, there should really be no rules. It’s about time breakfast charcuterie became a thing.
There are many ways to put together a breakfast charcuterie board to serve for a special morning meal or for Sunday brunch. Breakfast charcuterie is ideal for large groups or for a day when you’re hanging around the house and want to pick at a selection of yummy ingredients before you get on with the rest of your schedule.
This guide will inspire you to create bagel charcuterie boards, waffle charcuterie boards, French toast charcuterie boards, and more. Keep scrolling for ideas and plenty of suggestions for breakfast charcuterie ingredients. You’ll never look at charcuterie the same way again!
Hosting a crowd for breakfast or brunch? Bagels are an excellent choice for groups of any size because they’re simple to serve and are easy to scale for different types of gatherings. But the days of putting out bagels and toppings on plain old plates are over!
Bagels, spreads, and tasty toppings can be arranged on charcuterie boards just like meats, cheeses, crackers, and other typical charcuterie items. It’s all about the presentation! Serve cream cheese and other bagel spreads in pretty bowls on larger boards or platters playing canvas to smoked salmon, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, radishes, fruit, meats, and cheeses. Stack or fan out the bagels on the same board—or a separate one—and you’ll have yourself a one-of-a-kind charcuterie spread. Keep a toaster nearby for those who want to warm things up.
If you really want to take your bagel charcuterie board to the next level, make homemade bagels! Your guests will be so impressed.
If your guests or loved ones love waffles, making them to order isn’t the only option. Instead, set them out as a waffle charcuterie board. It adds a fun DIY element, takes some pressure off of you, and looks really cool, too. (Note: You can also do the same spread with pancakes!)
To assemble your waffle charcuterie board, prepare enough waffles to serve the group. If you have a waffle maker for Belgian waffles, that’s ideal; otherwise, just warm up frozen waffles. Larger waffles can be cut into halves or quarters and arranged on a serving board or platter along with a selection of other waffle charcuterie items, such as fresh fruit, jams, jellies, nut butters, syrups, whipped cream, sprinkles, chocolate chips, and powdered sugar.
If you’d like to break up the sweetness a bit, you might also add some savory items to your charcuterie, which your guests can enjoy as side dishes for their waffles. Throw some bacon or sausage into the mix!
You can apply similar principles and ideas to putting together a French toast charcuterie board. Start with a basic French toast recipe like this one from The Spruce Eats. It calls for eggs, milk, salt, sugar, butter, and bread and makes four servings, but you can adjust the quantities as necessary. Make enough slices of French toast to accommodate your group, then set them out as you would crackers on a standard charcuterie board.
Next, it’s time to add in the toppings and extras. Like waffles, French toast is delicious when jazzed up with butter, jelly, nut butter, whipped cream, chocolate chips, jam, fruit, and the like. Make sure your guests have access to serving utensils so they can prepare the French toast of their dreams.
Add breakfast extras like bacon and sausage for people to have on the side.
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Whether you choose to serve a bagel charcuterie board, a waffle charcuterie board, a French toast charcuterie board, or some other variation of this breakfast treat, there are a few ingredients that will almost always be appropriate, not to mention delicious.
Keep reading for lots of inspo to add to your breakfast charcuterie shopping list.
For the non-vegetarians in your life, any of these breakfast meats will do!
- Sausage links
- Sausage patties
- Turkey sausage
- Lox/smoked salmon
- Canadian bacon
Consider serving a variety of yogurts, both in terms of flavor and type. Your guests will likely want to choose from classic flavors like strawberry, blueberry, chocolate, and coconut (and the list goes on!), but you should also bear in mind the wide range of yogurts that are now available for various preferences and allergies.
- Whole-milk yogurt
- Greek yogurt
- Almond milk yogurt
- Coconut milk yogurt
- Oat milk yogurt
- Cashew yogurt
Choose your favorite cereals from the grocery store or make your own! A mix of different types of cereal, including granola, muesli, flakes, shredded wheat, and more will add some crunch, whimsy, and fun to your charcuterie.
Here are a few syrups to serve at any breakfast table:
- Maple syrup
- Strawberry syrup
- Chocolate syrup
- Blueberry syrup
- Raspberry syrup
When you’re talking charcuterie breads in the morning, you can’t forget about croissants! Offer your guests a few different flavors to choose from.
Crepes and Fillings
If you know how to make crepes, your guests will be thrilled to taste them at your breakfast table! Serve crepes with a variety of cream cheeses, fresh fruits, jams, jellies, nut butters, and other sweet treats for maximum customization.
These spreads should be on your shopping list if you’re planning to assemble breakfast charcuterie:
- Cream cheese
- Flavored cream cheese
- Sour cream
Jams and Jellies
- Strawberry jam/jelly
- Grape jam/jelly
- Raspberry jam/jelly
- Orange marmalade
- Apricot jam
- Peach jam
- Mixed berry jam/jelly
- Rhubarb jam
- Plum jam
If you’re serving guests, it’s always smart to check for nut allergies, but once you’ve done that, add any (or all) of these to the mix:
- Peanut butter
- Almond butter
- Cashew butter
- Hazelnut butter
- Pistachio butter
Sunflower butter or tahini is a good alternative if there are allergies in the group.
Don’t forget about classic charcuterie boards, like the ones you might prepare at lunchtime. A lunch charcuterie board usually incorporates any combination of meat, cheese, fruits, vegetables, crackers, breads, and spreads. You can enjoy one as an appetizer or as a main dish.
A dinner charcuterie board is generally pretty similar to a lunch charcuterie board, though it might be a little heartier!
And while you have charcuterie on the brain in the evening, you might as well take it to dessert. Dessert charcuterie incorporates various chocolate-covered treats, fruit, candies, cookies, pastries, and other sweet goodies. It might just be the best way to serve the best meal of the day.
Do Breakfast Your Way!
One of the best things about charcuterie—at any time of day—is that it’s completely customizable. You can set out ingredients of your choice and your guests can then create their meals using ingredients of their choice. What’s not to love?
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