When you think of charcuterie boards, you probably think of traditional platters of meats, cheeses, and crackers. (After all, the word charcuterie is a French term that refers to prepared meat products.) But charcuterie boards have evolved beyond that traditional definition, and today, you can create out-of-the-box boards filled with all kinds of different foods. Want a fresh take on a snack platter to bring to a party or serve at your next gathering? Check out these unique charcuterie board ideas.
Unique Charcuterie Boards
Ready to break out from traditional meat-and-cheese platters? Try these unique charcuterie board ideas to create a snack tray for any gathering (or just for yourself!).
1. Breakfast Charcuterie Boards
Breakfast is the perfect meal for a charcuterie board. By creating a large platter of breakfast foods, you can incorporate a wide range of options, so every one of your family members or guests can find something they like. Pile an array of different items onto one big breakfast charcuterie board—including croissants, mini quiches, sausages, and fruit—or create a themed board around one main breakfast item, such as:
- Avocado toast board: Allow your guests to make their perfect piece of avocado toast. First, lay out pieces of toasted bread and slices of avocado, and then add toppings such as bacon, tomatoes, and slices of hard-boiled eggs.
- Waffle or pancake board: Start with a layer of waffles or pancakes, and then load up the rest of the platter with toppings, such as fruit, chocolate chips, nuts, jams, and syrups.
- Yogurt parfait board: In the center of your board, set a big bowl of yogurt, and then surround it with fresh berries, granola, and chocolate chips.
2. Birthday Charcuterie Boards
Celebrating a birthday? Try creating a birthday charcuterie board by filling in cardboard numbers with ingredients like meats, cheeses, and fruits. Check out your local craft store for the cardboard numbers, and use a box cutter to carefully cut off the top. Line the inside of the numbers with wax paper, and then fill them up with festive snacks!
3. Pizza Charcuterie Boards
There are a few different ways to approach a pizza charcuterie board. For a more interactive experience, make a create-your-own-pizza platter. Start with a few bowls of different pizza sauces—red sauce, pesto, and white sauce, for example—and then layer in shredded cheese, meats, and veggies. Roll out some pizza dough and let your guests go wild!
For a more ready-made pizza charcuterie board, start by filling the platter with different types of pizza and side dishes—like traditional and thin-crust slices, cheesy breadsticks, and garlic knots. Add in a few pepperoncini and dips (pizza in ranch, anyone?) and let your guests graze on their favorites.
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4. Picnic Charcuterie Boards
When the weather warms up, bring your charcuterie board outside! To make a picnic charcuterie board, it’s essential to think ahead and keep things simple. For example, if you’re planning on serving cheese at your picnic, select varieties that you can slice ahead of time, like cheddar or gouda, rather than soft cheeses, like brie. Sliced meats, chopped veggies, berries, or even slices of a cheese-and-herb pie are also easy-to-serve options to include. And don’t assume you have to miss out on fun accouterments like honey—try getting individual honey sticks online or at a local farmers’ market.
5. Candy Charcuterie Boards
Need a treat for movie night? Try a candy charcuterie board! Laying out a wide variety of sweet treats will ensure that everyone has access to their favorites. While you may be tempted to limit your charcuterie board to one type of candy—like all chocolate or all sour candy—don’t be afraid to mix it up. Adding piles of M&Ms and mini candy bars next to gummy bears and sour straws will add color and texture to your board.
6. Themed Charcuterie Boards
If you don’t want to center your platter around a particular type of food, like pizza or candy, try creating themed charcuterie boards. Here are a few charcuterie board themes to try:
- Holiday-themed charcuterie boards: Holidays are easy charcuterie themes. For Valentine’s Day, for example, create salami roses, use small heart-shaped cookie cutters to create cheese hearts, and add in some chocolate covered strawberries.
- Seasonal themed charcuterie boards: Lean in to the season and add foods to your platter that are appropriate for that time of year. A fall charcuterie board, for instance, might include cranberry goat cheese, pumpkin crisps, and a few maple-flavored cookies.
- Color-themed charcuterie boards: Events with a set color palette—like bridal showers, baby showers, or even sports events—are perfect charcuterie board themes. Simply choose foods that align with your color palette, and arrange them on the platter!
7. Mediterranean Charcuterie Boards
Mediterranean charcuterie boards are also referred to as mezzes—which makes total sense, given that “mezze” translates to “sharing” in Arabic. Start your platter with dips like hummus and tzatziki. Then, layer in items to dip, like sliced cucumber, pita bread, grape tomatoes, and artichokes. Also consider adding in dolmas (stuffed grape leaves), cheese-stuffed peppadews, olives, figs, and cheeses like halloumi or marinated feta. You’ll end up with a flavorful and diverse board that’s bursting with Mediterranean flavors.
8. Mexican Charcuterie Boards
If you’re in a south-of-the-border snacking mood, go beyond the traditional chips and salsa and put together a Mexican charcuterie board. Start with a few dips, including salsa—traditional and tomatillo—queso, and guacamole. Add chips, of course, but consider other dippers too, like peppers, tortillas, jicama, and cucumbers. Like a traditional charcuterie board, you can also add meats, like chorizo or thinly sliced carne asada.
Serve Up Something Special
Charcuterie boards are a great way to provide a variety of food to your guests in a casual, convenient, and aesthetically pleasing way. When you think beyond meats and cheeses and embrace out-of-the-box charcuterie themes, it’s possible to create snack boards for every occasion—and with any type of food!
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