One of the best things about a charcuterie board is how versatile they can be.
But it’s easy to get stuck in the same routine of buying and arranging your favorite ingredients. So, if you’ve been serving the same mix over and over again—your standard cheese, meat, and fruit—you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of ways to branch out.
One easy idea: Make the theme of your board match the current season.
The key to making a successful seasonal charcuterie board is to use ingredients that are mainstays of the time of year. Think toasted pumpkin seeds and apples in the fall, orange slices, and cranberries in the winter, green beans and apricots in the spring, and strawberries and basil in summer.
Of course, that’s just the beginning of how to create a beautiful, mouthwatering charcuterie plate that’s perfect for the season. Read on for all our ideas!
Fall Charcuterie Board Ideas
Celebrations abound in the fall, and kicking them off with a fall-themed charcuterie board is a great way to get your guests in a festive mood. Here are two of our favorite types of fall boards.
Fall Appetizer Charcuterie Boards
It’s getting colder outside, so everyone is craving comforting, seasonal food.
Start your fall-inspired charcuterie board with some good cheeses, and let them sit out a bit before serving—most cheese tastes best served at room temperature. Mix and match your cheese—with a soft option (like brie or camembert), a hard cheese (like cheddar or gouda, both of which pair well with apples), and something with a kick to it (like bleu), you’ll have something to please everyone. Be sure to include some crackers or a sliced baguette to go along with them.
Then, choose your produce. Apples and pears can be tricky in a charcuterie board, since they can brown quickly once sliced, so only include them if you’re fairly certain your guests will eat right away. Mini pumpkins look adorable on an autumn charcuterie board, though they’re strictly for aesthetic purposes—consider peeled clementines, which give the same seasonal effect while still being edible.
Then, add the finishing touches. Olives, cornichons, dried cherries or cranberries—sprinkle them in liberally. To make your board more whimsical, place a few fall leaves around the platter, or sprinkle those little candy corn pumpkins on top. There’s nothing wrong with serving a little sweetness with your savory!
Halloween Charcuterie Boards
To make your fall charcuterie board even more fun, dress it up for Halloween!
Charcuterie boards don’t have to stop at appetizer time. For your Halloween parties, a dessert charcuterie board couldn’t be more appropriate.
There’s your basic Halloween charcuterie board, in which you arrange a variety of candy in a cute way and set it out for your guests to enjoy. You can also get a bit more creative and mix your candy up with other treats. Think those aforementioned peeled clementines, Halloween cookies, chocolate-covered pretzels, Halloween Oreos, Reese’s Pieces—the sky’s the limit!
Winter Charcuterie Board Ideas
With the temperatures really dropping, winter boards will get everyone excited to cozy up indoors. Fill your appetizer winter charcuterie board with a variety of cheese and meats. Add wintry accents like walnuts, cranberries, sliced oranges, and cinnamon sticks—or a sprig of pine or holly for some festive cheer. You could even serve baked brie topped with candied walnuts and cranberries as your centerpiece on the board.
Antipasto Charcuterie Boards
A great board to make in winter is the antipasto charcuterie board—the ingredients aren’t only filling, but many of them come in festive holiday shades of red, green, and white.
Antipasto is Italian for “before the pasta” and typically consists of traditional Italian appetizers. Think provolone, mozzarella balls, salami, and pepperoni for your main ingredients. Then, serve bowls of marinated artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, chickpea salad, and pimento-stuffed olives.
Fresh sliced bread is essential for something to eat along with all the goodies. Little forks or toothpicks help, too, as this kind of charcuterie board tends to be a little messier.
Holiday Dessert Charcuterie Boards
Don’t forget about the dessert charcuterie board during the holidays, either!
For the holidays, nothing can be easier. Just arrange your holiday cookies and candy on a tray, in the shape of a tree or wreath (or not). For ideas on some homemade goodies, try gingerbread cookies, chocolate caramel turtles, nut brittle, or even sugared poinsettia flowers. Or, keep things simple with store-bought butter cookies, holiday M&Ms, and chocolate-covered pretzels. No matter what your method, it’s sure to be a hit.
Spring Charcuterie Board Ideas
While there are fewer major holidays in the spring, that doesn’t mean your charcuterie boards have to be boring. Here are some of our favorite ways to do it up as the flowers bloom and the weather gets warmer.
Spring Veggies Charcuterie Boards
There are a lot of delicious veggies produced in the spring, which makes it an ideal time for a crudité-based charcuterie board.
Green beans, sliced carrots, broccoli and cauliflower florets, and any other readily available and easily dippable veggies are the perfect base for a colorful, healthy board. Of course, don’t forget the dip—like Greek yogurt with dill, whipped ricotta, French onion, or anything else you may desire.
Add in some cheese, perhaps some deli meats, and some crackers for variety. And to make it even more visually appealing, throw in a fresh flower here and there—bonus points for edible flowers!
Spring Brunch Charcuterie Boards
Did you know you can serve charcuterie boards at breakfast and brunch, too?
Spring is the perfect time to host a brunch party, and a charcuterie board is the perfect thing to serve.
The key ingredients to any brunch charcuterie board are pastries, fruit, and cheese. Then, depending on how breakfast-y or lunch-y you want to make it, consider including mini bagels and cinnamon rolls, maybe with little pots of cream cheese. Or, go more lunch-y and serve rolls and meats for DIY mini sandwiches.
Yogurt dips are a delicious, ideal-for-brunch pair with fruit. Some other possible additions: sausages, bacon strips, deviled eggs—there really is no way to go wrong!
Summer Charcuterie Board Ideas
In the warmer months, you’ll likely be hosting outdoors, so keep that in mind when you make up your board, and avoid using anything that will melt quickly.
Here are two of our favorite boards to serve in the summer.
Traditional Summer Charcuterie Boards
The key to making your board summery is using seasonal fruit. Fresh peaches, strawberries, kiwis, cherries, and sliced watermelon are always crowd-pleasers, and figs are in season at the end of the summer, too.
For cheeses, burrata is a great option, owing to its soft and creamy texture. You can also try fresh goat cheese, fresh ricotta, or cheese from warmer climates like manchego.
Fresh herbs also go a long way in summer. Basil goes well with mozzarella and ricotta, as well as with strawberries. Slice some tomatoes off the vine, as well as fresh bread, and you’ll be good to go.
One way to make it even fancier? Fresh honeycomb! (Though watch out for the insects. If you’re in a bee-heavy climate, you may want to skip this one.) Or, if you’re hosting a 4th of July party, throw in some patriotic snacks, like red, white, and blue cookies.
Summer Grilled Charcuterie Boards
There’s nothing that says summer more than grilling, so why not make that the theme of your next summer charcuterie board?
The key here is kabobs. Chop up your veggies—bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, and zucchini are perfect for grilling—into bite-sized pieces. Then on to your meats: Chicken and steak are always a safe bet, as are small pieces of grilled salmon or other fresh fish. If you’ve invited vegetarians or vegans, serve paneer cheese or tofu in with your veggies. Mini hamburgers and hot dogs would be tasty options, too!
Layer your ingredients on sticks, fire up the grill, and before you know it, you’ll have everything you need for a grilled charcuterie board in no time. For some variety on your board, add grilled asparagus, grilled corn on the cob (cut in half for smaller portions), and even some grilled fruit, like watermelon and pineapple.
And don’t forget your toppings! If you have hamburgers and hot dogs, you’ll want ketchup, mustard, sauerkraut, and sliced cheese. For grilled veggies, a dipping sauce like yogurt with dill or spicy mayo is a good bet. For your vegans, throw in some guacamole.
How Will You Make It?
A seasonal charcuterie board is an easy, delicious, and festive way to welcome in any time of year. And the variety of ways you can make it means you don’t have to search all over for the perfect ingredients. Plus, there’s sure to be something on those boards to please everyone. So head to the store (or just scour your fridge), see what you can find, and do it up the way only you can!
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