Whether you’re celebrating love for your partner or love for yourself this Valentine’s Day, we can probably agree that the best way to do it is through food.
A Valentine’s charcuterie board checks off all the right boxes: It’s pretty, it’s easy, and it pairs excellently with a bottle of wine or champagne. It’s also the perfect grazing platter for romantic Valentine’s Day activities like binging your favorite TV show together or sitting next to each other on the couch while browsing online listings for homes you’ll never buy. (Two activities that are just as fun to do on your own, fortunately.)
As for how to make an oh-so-sweet Valentine’s charcuterie platter, we’ve gathered everything that you need to know. Read through the basics of how to put one together, then check out our Valentine’s charcuterie board ideas for some creative inspiration.
Valentine’s Day Charcuterie Board Essentials
The secret for how to make an unforgettable Valentine’s charcuterie is simply to apply the same best practices that you would use to make a charcuterie for any other occasion—with some V-Day twists, of course.
The first rule of making charcuteries is that there are no rules. Simply put whatever you’d like on a platter and arrange it in a way that’s nice to look at (or not). Do, however, aim for a mix of flavors and textures as well as items that complement each other to at least some degree, especially if you like to mix and match your bites.
Making a Charcuterie Board for Two vs. for One
The only consideration you’ll want to take into account if you’re making a charcuterie for two versus a charcuterie board for one is the portion size. That being said, if your idea of a treat is a solo date with a charcuterie board, Valentine’s Day or not, you should feel free to go as big and bold as you’d like. That’s what leftovers are for!
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Fun Ideas for Your Valentine’s Day Charcuterie
A standard charcuterie board usually consists of a variety of meats, cheeses, crackers, fruits, veggies, and spreads. You can do the exact same thing with your Valentine’s grazing board, or you can go all in on the festivities with one of these out of the heart-shaped-box Valentine’s charcuterie board ideas.
Go Sweet with a Valentine’s Candy Charcuterie Board
You can enjoy an assortment of department store chocolates any day of the year. But a Valentine’s Day candy charcuterie board? Now that’s something special. To keep it on theme, stick to candies that exemplify the season, including red, white, and pink candies, and lots (and lots) of chocolate.
Arrange a few small bowls (heart-shaped, if possible) around the center of the board and fill them with smaller or softer candies, such as red and pink M&Ms and gummies. Place your larger candies around the outer edge—heart-shaped lollipops, red licorice, and so on. Then you can fill in the gaps with whatever else has a place on your Valentine’s candy charcuterie board. Red hots, dark chocolate squares, peppermint bark, conversation hearts, and Hershey Kisses are all delicious additions.
Heat Things Up with a Spicy Valentine’s Charcuterie Board
Valentine’s Day is an inherently spicy holiday, so you may as well bring even more heat with your charcuterie board. Staples of a spicy charcuterie board for two (or one!) include hot snacks like Takis, Cajun-spiced nuts, pepperonis, and pickled jalapenos—and don’t forget the spicy mustard and hot sauce.
Cool it all down with fresh additions like celery and carrot sticks and lightly salted crackers. And because sweet and spicy are themselves a match made in heaven, sprinkle some sugar around the board with chocolate and vanilla truffles (red and pink sprinkles optional but appreciated).
Use a Heart-Shaped Charcuterie Board
If you use a heart-shaped charcuterie board as your base, then it doesn’t really matter what you put on top of it. Keep it traditional if you’d like, with an assortment of rolled meats, freshly sliced cheeses, crackers, and candied nuts. To bring a little festive color to your heart-shaped charcuterie, add some sliced red pepper, red apple, and red beet or lentil hummus to the plate too.
Want to take the heart theme even further? Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to slice your cheese and layer the slices around the board.
Build a Boozy Valentine’s Grazing Board
Surely we couldn’t share our favorite Valentine’s Day charcuterie board ideas without bringing in one with a boozy twist. Swap out salami sticks for mini bottles of Prosecco and cheese for Chablis. A bowl of vodka-soaked red and pink gummies and a couple of chocolate bourbon balls will bring some much-needed balance to the board, as will some salted bar pretzels next to a bowl of beer cheese.
Note: a boozy charcuterie board for one or for two is best not to be enjoyed on an empty stomach. Keep the night going by indulging in something more substantial as you make your way through your boozy board, such as a heart-shaped pizza from your local pizza place.
Make a One-of-a-Kind Charcuterie Board for Valentine’s Day
Rather come up with your own Valentine’s Day charcuterie ideas? There are few things more simple to personalize than a charcuterie board, so test out the limits of your creativity and see what you can come up with. Here are just a few quick tips to help you keep it on theme:
- Focus on aphrodisiac ingredients. When it comes to how to make a charcuterie board for two on Valentine’s Day, let’s not forget about those ingredients that are proven to bring you closer together. You probably don’t want raw oysters on the plate, but chocolate, figs, strawberries, and juicy watermelon could all help work some magic.
- Don’t include anything too heavy. It’s hard to snuggle up when all you want to do is sit by yourself with your sweatpants untied. Try to avoid fried items as well as an abundance of super-processed snacks, on your Valentine’s Day charcuterie board.
- Add the ingredients you (and your partner) love most. All of the Valentine’s Day charcuterie board ideas in the world won’t count for much if they don’t align with your personal preferences. Show the love by sticking to items that are uniquely special to you and, if applicable, your other half, even if just ends up being a heart-shaped charcuterie board topped with one or two of your most favorite indulgences.
All of these ideas work just as well as a charcuterie for one as they do for two, so don’t let a solo holiday hold you back from enjoying a mish-mosh of all things good and tasty. While you’re at it, feel free to enjoy a Valentine’s Day candy charcuterie board whenever the mood strikes—even if that’s in the middle of June. After all, celebrating love—and food—is something we should be doing all year round.
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