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How to Create a Charcuterie Board

By Tiffany Huang, Class of 2026

Planning to WOW your guests this holiday season? A charcuterie board display is an excellent option to impress everyone, and it doubles up as a great photo opportunity in your food pictures! After researching popular charcuterie board companies on Instagram, here is how to concoct your holiday charcuterie board:

1. Decide how many guests there will be. I suggest:

  • 4- 6 guests: 2 cheeses and one charcuterie meats

  • 6- 8 guests: 3 cheeses and 2 charcuterie meats

  • 10-12 guests: 4 cheeses and 3 charcuterie meats

2. Popular cheese to choose from:

  • Spreadable cheese: Saint Andre or De Bourgogne (creamy), herbed cream cheese (affordable), goat cheese (varies but most are pungent)

  • Soft cheese: Brie (creamy and mild, burrata, mascarpone, stracchino

  • Semi-soft cheese: Gouda (nutty and buttery taste), white cheddar (nutty and sharp taste), gruyere, colby, havarti, muenster

  • Hard cheese: Parmigiano reggiano* (personal favorite), manchego (pairs well with filler items), aged gouda, asiago

3. Popular charcuterie meats to choose from:

  • Italian dry salami (pairs well with wine), prosciutto (salty and savory), coppa (spicy and smoky), soppressata, saucisson sac (for soft cheeses and crackers), bresaola (meaty flavor), chorizo (hot and spicy), pancetta (like-bacon), pate (unique texture variation)

4. Sides to fill in the gaps:

  • Fruits (fresh or dried): grapes, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, apricots, tangerines, oranges, raspberry, blackberries, cherries, blueberries, apples, grapefruit, figs, kiwis, cucumbers, dragon fruit

  • Nuts: almonds, pistachio, cashews

  • Other: pickles, olives, jam, honey/honey comb, herbs, water crackers, crostini, herb crackers, pita crackers, parmesan cheese chips, multigrain crackers, hummus

  • Non-edible: flowers

5. Pick a vessel for placing all that delicious-ness on: cutting board, baking tray (lined with butcher paper or parchment paper), large plate, sheet pan. If you have none of these, laying butcher or parchment paper on the table is also an excellent option.

6. Place your cheeses and meats first, in an aesthetic way. Arrangements to try: laying out the cheese/meat in ratatouille style, folding in half, creating a charcuterie meat flower, rolled in a cylinder shape.

7. Place the filling items to fill in the gaps and add color.

8. Take a picture, share it on your Instagram, and then ENJOY!

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