Designing and creating a DIY Charcuterie board is an absolutely magical process. Whether you are entertaining guests on a warm summer evening or having a small intimate dinner with a loved one, a charcuterie board is a perfect way to set the mood. Your creativity is unlimited and you get to share and enjoy your creation.
Building a DIY Charcuterie board requires a few props and as much snack-able food as you wish to add. In this blog post I will guide you through my process on building a beautiful DIY Charcuterie Board. I absolutely love creating these boards and would love to see how yours turn out as well. Make sure to tag me in your pic on Instagram (@mytinylagunakitchen) or leave a comment below. Let’s get creating!
Supplies Needed for Your DIY Charcuterie Board
Before we get started, let’s run through a quick checklist of supplies needed to make a beautiful DIY charcuterie board. First and foremost, you need a beautiful board. There are a few things you have to take into account when selecting your perfect board. The first decision is whether you are going to place food directly on the board, or in little containers on the board. If you are placing food directly on the board, I’d suggest an all natural wooden board. Make sure you clean it thoroughly as well!
Next, you will most likely want some small bowls/ramekins and spoons. These are for more of the sauces and harder to clean foods like honey or berries that might roll around. If you are serving foods that roll like olives or berries, provide some helpful toothpicks with the board!
Finally, you will want a little parchment paper if you plan on putting creamier foods like cheese on the board. It just saves a bit of the mess and saves your board for future use.
Now that we have our supplies, let’s jump to the fun stuff, the food!
Tasty Foods to Include
The food is where you can get extremely creative with your DIY charcuterie board. There are literally so many delicious options! The only real guideline I go by when choosing food for my charcuterie boards is to make sure it’s more snack-focused. I usually serve a charcuterie board along with a main option or as an appetizer.
Here are my favorite foods to include on my boards:
- Olives: Olives complement so many different flavors and the varieties are endless. I usually include one or two kinds of speciality olives on my board. Make sure to have toothpicks to easily grab the olives.
- Pickles: Honestly, pickles are my favorite! I absolutely love the little, crunchy, baby dill pickles to go with the prosciutto and cheese. I usually eat most of the pickles before they go on the board!
- Prosciutto: Thinly sliced prosciutto is absolutely divine! Make sure you get a sustainably sourced, naturally raised prosciutto and enjoy!
- Crackers: You must have some delicious crackers to serve with your board! With all the snacks, crackers pair perfectly. Try Cult Crackers, they are non-gmo, gluten-free, and absolutely delicious!
- Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, really any berries that you love. The slight sweetness mixed with the other flavors is very luxurious and complementary.
- Fresh Fruit: Plums, figs and/or apples provide a nice snack to go with the lighter fare that I usually serve on a charcuterie board. They also add that fresh look that we are going for with the design.
- Dried Fruit: in the winter months when fresh fruit and ingredients are harder to come by, choose dried fruit for a beautiful and accessible option.
- Honeycomb: Honeycomb not only looks beautiful, but it will add a little pop of flavor and texture to your board. When the temperatures are warmer, the honey will slowly drip out of the honeycomb leaving you extra sweetness to dip your snacks in!
- Cheese: Cheese is a must! If you are vegan, spreadable vegan cheese like Kite Hill or Sperro cheese works perfectly on a charcuterie board. I usually take the cheese out of the container and place it on the board so it’s easier to eat with a cracker or salami.
- Salami: Another favorite on the board is salami. You can find a variety of different types of salami, but once again make sure to choose a naturally sourced option. One of my favorites is a truffle salami I found at Electric City Butcher in Santa Ana.
- Nuts: Nuts are a super healthy option that can pair nicely with some of the other snack based foods on your board. Especially the dried fruits!
- Hummus: If you don’t want cheese on your board, I’d recommend hummus. It’s perfect for dipping and sharing!
- Edible Flowers: Edible flowers give the board that over-the-top beautiful vibe. I love to include any type of vibrant, edible flower with my DIY charcuterie boards.
How to Design a Charcuterie Board
Here’s where your ultimate creativity comes in, designing your charcuterie board. Making your design come to life is a wonderful process, but sharing it with friends is even better.
The first step I take when planning my board is coming up with the design. The arrangement is half of the fun. I usually group similar foods together or ones that pair well. In the photos below, I separated the board into thirds which really helped with the spacing and grouping of foods. Each third of the board included unique and delicious snacks that paired well together.
The next step is to add the essentials such as pickles, prosciutto, and cheese. These are the pillars for my board and I place the other snacks around them. Sometimes I place these in a linear fashion, or at least a grouping of some sort so the complementary foods are easier to find. One quick note is it’s a good idea to place the meats and cheeses together. They pair so nicely and your guests will probably group them anyway. This is also a very traditional charcuterie style which is beautiful.
After I set up my essentials, I add bowls and fill them with messier snacks such as hummus and olive dips. Now that I have the base layout designed, I can place these accordingly.
Finally, I fill in space with fresh fruits, extra pickles, honeycomb, or any of the other snack items you’d like to share. Make it look natural and flow nicely. You will have a gorgeous design that’s easy to snack from and all of your guests will enjoy it.
How to Serve a Charcuterie Board
Serving your charcuterie board is the most rewarding part of the process! Not only will your guests be amazed, but you also get to eat your beautiful creation! When serving a charcuterie board, make sure to serve it as an appetizer or before the main course. If you don’t plan on having a big dinner, you can just serve the board and enjoy!
Some helpful tips are to keep crackers and bowls nearby. This allows guests to place a few snacks in a bowl and bring them over to their plate. I also tend to run out of crackers faster than anything else, so having crackers nearby is a must. Toothpicks are another supply I like to have so guests can easily snack on other foods easily.
I’d absolutely love to see your beautiful creations! If you have questions, design ideas, or just want to share, add a comment in the comments section below or tag me on Instagram (@mytinylagunakitchen). Happy Snacking!
- 1 jar of olives
- 1 jar of cornichons (baby pickles)
- 1/2 pound of thinly sliced prosciutto
- 1 package of sliced sausage
- 1 box of crackers
- 1 package of raspberries
- 1 package of blackberries
- 1 package of figs
- 1 package of strawberries
- 1 honeycomb (for dipping)
- 1-3 packages of soft cheese
- Edible Flowers for garnish (optional)
- Prepare cheeseboard with parchment paper.
- Place the soft cheeses on the board, this will help you to design your board by working around the cheeses as a central place.
- Place your honeycomb near the soft cheese.
- Slice meats and place on the cheeseboard.
- Wash and slice the strawberries, and bigger fruit like the figs!
- Place pickles or olives in small bowls, you can also apply directly to the cheeseboards!
- Fill bowls around the cheeseboard with crackers.
- Fill in the blank areas with sliced salami, cheese, or more berries!
- If you are vegan, exclude the meat, you can add in hummus, nuts, or seeds for extra protein. All exclude any dairy cheese, but use soft or slicked vegan cheese!