A Step-by-Step Guide to the Perfect Summer Charcuterie Board (2024)

A Step-by-Step Guide to the Perfect Summer Charcuterie Board (1)

Seasonal charcuterie boards are a simple and tasty dish to make–especially in the summertime when you don’t feel like cooking. Expert skills aren’t required, and with so much fresh and colorful produce this time of year, it’s sure to be a family favorite. Here is our step-by-step guide for how to assemble a delicious and beautiful summer charcuterie board.

A Step-by-Step Guide to the Perfect Summer Charcuterie Board (2)

1. Pick your board.

To get started, you’ll need to pick the foundation of your charcuterie board. You can use any type of board, but make sure it’s hard, flat, and big enough to fit all ingredients.

Our summer favorites:

  • Wood
  • Granite
  • White marble

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2. Arrange your cheeses.

Scatter three to five cheeses in a variety of shapes, milk sources, and colors on your board. Choose a few mild, medium, and strong cheeses and a mixture of soft, semi-soft, crumbly, semi-hard, and hard cheeses.

Our summer favorites:

  • Mozzarella
  • Chèvre
  • Burrata
  • Gruyère
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Pecorino
  • Camembert

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3. Add meats.

Arrange three to four of your favorite cured meats on your board. Incorporate a variety of textures and pre-slice the meats for easy grabbing.

Our summer favorites:

  • Prosciutto
  • Salami
  • Salmon

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4. Add grains.

Offer an assortment of grains so there is something for everyone. Mix it up with different shapes, flavors, and sizes.

Our summer favorites:

  • Grilled baguette slices
  • Mini toasts
  • Water crackers
  • Pretzel thins

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5. Add condiments.

Add some flavor to your board by using both sweet and savory condiments, spreads, and dips. Use a combination of small bowls and jars, and don’t forget spreaders.

Our summer favorites:

  • Honey
  • Fig spread
  • Berry preserves
  • Mango chutney
  • Grainy mustard
  • Pesto

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6. Fill in the gaps.

The key to a beautiful charcuterie board is no empty space. Fill in any gaps with seasonal fruits, veggies, and nuts. It’s likely your board has lots of earthy tones, so now is the time to add some color with fresh produce.

The best summer charcuterie board might include:

  • Almonds
  • Pistachios
  • Candied walnuts
  • Cherries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Berries
  • Stone fruits
  • Figs
  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Baby zucchinis

To make the most of your seasonal produce and keep it fresh and tasty for longer, check out ""

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7. Garnish.

No board is complete without some decoration! Sprinkle in some of your own summer charcuterie board ideas for a final touch or add some festive décor, seasonal herbs and plants, or greenery.

Our summer favorites:

  • Thyme sprigs
  • Arugula
  • Mint
  • Edible flowers

Pair Your Seasonal Charcuter Board with a Refreshing Mocktail!

Now you have a delicious summer charcuterie board to munch on, it's time to really savor the season with these "5 Mocktail Recipes That are Perfect for Summer."

Seasonal Charcuterie Board FAQs

What is a charcuterie board?

A charcuterie board is a sharable appetizer dish that’s usually presented on a wooden or slate board. It typically includes foods such as cheese, crackers, cured meats, dried fruits, and pickled vegetables.

What are the two main charcuterie items?

The two main items in a charcuterie board are meat and cheese. Still, the goal is to provide a variety of meats and cheeses to suit all tastes. You can also accompany the meat and cheese with crackers, fruits, nuts, and more.

What do you put on a charcuterie board in the summer?

Add a variety of in-season fruits and vegetables to your summer charcuterie board. Summer fruit and vegetable ideas include peaches, berries, mangos, cucumbers, tomatoes, and okra.

How do you keep a charcuterie board cool outside?

The easiest way to keep a charcuterie board from getting hot is setting it in the shade. You can also invest in a chilled serving platter or use ice packs or gel packs underneath the board or in between foods to keep it cool.

What kind of cheese do you put on a summer charcuterie board?

You might consider low-moisture cheeses to add to your summer charcuterie board. Low- to medium-moisture cheeses include Parmesan, mozzarella, and Manchego.

What is the 3333 rule for a charcuterie board?

The 3333 rule applies to the number of foods to create the perfect board. To follow the 3,3,3,3 rule, stick to three cheeses, three meats, three starches, and three accoutrements.

How do you calculate charcuterie per person?

Your board should include enough for everyone to share and enjoy! Typically, 3 ounces of meat and cheese per person can satiate a crew.

What do you not put on a charcuterie board?

What you decide to add to your charcuterie board is up to you. However, your favorite meats and cheeses may not be suitable for all diners. Consider staying away from stinky cheeses, spoiled fruits, spicy foods, and allergens.

A Step-by-Step Guide to the Perfect Summer Charcuterie Board (2024)

FAQs

A Step-by-Step Guide to the Perfect Summer Charcuterie Board? ›

Creating Interest with the 3-3-3-3 Rule

Choose three cheeses, three meats, three starches, and three accompaniments for a perfect and balanced board, every time!

What is the 3-3-3 rule for Charcuterie boards? ›

Creating Interest with the 3-3-3-3 Rule

Choose three cheeses, three meats, three starches, and three accompaniments for a perfect and balanced board, every time!

What to put on a charcuterie board in summer? ›

Fresh fruits, a variety of cheeses, cherry tomatoes, a little olive oil, and all of my favorite things - this summer board is such a fun way to a put a summer twist on the perfect charcuterie board.

What are 5 things to avoid on a charcuterie board? ›

There are a few that I would stay away from eggplants, brussels sprouts, turnips, beets, zucchini and mushrooms. Many of these vegetables taste best when cooked, and Charcuterie boards generally don't include steamed or cooked veggies.

How to build a perfect charcuterie board? ›

I've found the following ratio works great: 4 types of cheese, 4 types of meat, 3 types of bread/crackers, 1 type of chocolate, 2-3 different nuts, 1 jam, 1 honey, and 1-2 types of olives. Cornichons are a non-negotiable for me and I always have them on a charcuterie board!

What are the rules of charcuterie? ›

When making a charcuterie board, try following the 3-3-3-3 rule:
  • 3 meats.
  • 3 cheeses.
  • 3 starches.
  • 3 accompaniments.
Dec 14, 2023

What cheese is good for summer charcuterie? ›

Many people tend to eat lighter in the summer and not all cheeses and meats stand up equally well to the heat. Select firm cheeses like aged cheddars and parmesan and charcuterie like salami that won't get too melty, especially if you are enjoying them outside.

How do you make a charcuterie board look fancy? ›

Charcuterie Board Styling Tips & Tricks
  1. Consult the guest list. ...
  2. Work with uneven numbers. ...
  3. Keep organized. ...
  4. Start with your bowls or round shapes. ...
  5. Next, move on to your biggest pieces and arrange by category. ...
  6. Avoid same category items touching. ...
  7. Move and adjust as you go. ...
  8. Fill final empty spaces with nuts.
Nov 24, 2021

What are the most common items on a charcuterie board? ›

The term “charcuterie” refers to the preparing of cured meats, like prosciutto, bacon, salami, etc., but these days when people say charcuterie, they are usually referring to a fun, meat and cheese board that typically includes cured meats, a variety of cheeses, crackers, nuts, fruits and vegetables, and dipping sauces ...

What not to put on charcuterie? ›

What should you not put on a charcuterie board? You'll want to avoid overly juicy fruits whose juices will run across the board and turn your crackers and bread soggy. Skip fruits like watermelon, pineapple, and tomatoes and stick with grapes, berries, and apples or dried fruits.

What are 3 good cheeses for a charcuterie board? ›

Here are the best cheeses for your charcuterie board
  • Hard cheese: chunks of parmesan, aged gouda, asiago.
  • Firm cheese: gruyere, comte, manchego, colby, cheddar.
  • Semi-soft cheese: havarti, butterkäse, muenster.
  • Soft cheese: burrata, mascarpone, stracchino.
  • Blue cheese: gorgonzola, dunbarton blue, marbled blue jack.

What is the rule of thumb for a charcuterie board? ›

Rule of thumb: 1 small salami, 1 large salami, 1 whole-muscle meat. "When choosing meats and cheeses, variety is the spice of life," Sam advises. You could focus on the meats of one region (Italy, France, Spain, or domestic) or create a spread of your favorites. Try new things, take risks, and offer contrasts.

What is traditionally on a charcuterie board? ›

The most important elements of a charcuterie board are meats, cheeses, savory accompaniments, sweet accompaniments, and crackers. Cheeses: choose a variety of hard and soft cheese, and cheese made from different animals (cow, sheep, goat).

How do you present cheese on a charcuterie board? ›

Pare down the number of items on the plate.

It's definitely FUN to have five different cheeses on a plate, but it's not NECESSARY. If you're on a budget, choose just one or two cheeses. Cut them into pieces and put each cheese in multiple places on the board so that it still looks full and delicious!

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