|

The Ultimate Appetizer Board

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, please visit my disclosure page.

The holiday season is upon us and most people end up trying to do too much in a short amount of time! The holidays are the perfect time for get togethers with family and friends and believe it or not, those get togethers do not need to be stressful!!

I created The Ultimate Appetizer Board using delicious ingredients that are readily available at your local grocery store to keep things as stress-free as possible.

A large round board topped with slices of meats, cheeses, bread, crackers, dried apricots and cherries, grapes, and nuts.

What could be more impressive than a large board covered in sliced meats and cheeses, assortment of crackers, fresh and dried fruits? Then of course you have the condiments like mustard, basil pesto, and fruit preserves to tie all of the flavors together!

Post and images updated October 15, 2021. The image below may be the image that brought you here from Pinterest. No you are not loosing your mind, you landed in the right place!!

Msg 4 21+ The Ultimate Appetizer Board for impromptu parties featuring #Chardonnay | cookingwithcurls.com #Chardonnation #ad #NotableHoliday

You may have noticed that Charcuterie Boards are all the rage right now. The terms may be different, but it basically means meat and cheese board. There is no right or wrong way to create your appetizer board, pile on your favorites and dig in.

What to put on a Charcuterie Board:

First things first, you need a board or some kind. It can be as simple as a wood cutting board or baking sheet out of your kitchen, or a serving tray that you have stashed away for special occasions. You can go really fancy and order a custom wood board online, or pick one up in a local shop.

Think about how many people you are serving and any seasonal theme that you have planned and let that be your guide.

Try to choose a wide variety of textures, colors, and flavors to appeal to the greatest amount of people, keeping the tastebuds in mind; salty, savory, sweet, and spicy.

Utensils

If you are serving condiments, you will need small bowls or ramekins, spreaders and serving utensils. If you are buying blocks of cheese, don’t forget the cheese slicer or a sharp knife.

The cheeses

Blackberries, sliced meats, brie, bread slices, crackers, cheddar cheese, chocolate almonds, and mustard on a large appetizer board.
  • You want to choose a rounded out selection of 2 to 3 types of cheeses (hard, semi-hard & soft cheeses).
  • 2 ounces per guest as an appetizer, or 3 ounces per guest as a main course.
  • I chose Pepper Jack that I cut into cubes and sharp cheddar that I broke off in chunks. In the upper left corner we have a half-round of brie, and a half-round of Gouda over on the right hand side.

The meats

Folds of deli meats, crackers, sliced salamis, dried cherries and apricots, mustard, and chocolate almonds on a round board.
  • Add 3 types of various cured meats & a meat spread such as pâté. For visual appeal leave some meats whole, slice others, loosely pile sliced meats & fold others into halves & quarters.
  • 2 ounces per guest as an appetizer, or 4 ounces per guest as a main course.
  • Up front we have sliced Genoa salami, black forest ham to the left, and black pepper crusted salami to the upper right. At the top of the board we have thin slices of prosciutto and spicy capicola that are folded into quarters.

Crackers & breads

Looking down on sliced meats and cheeses, nuts, fresh and dried fruits, crackers and sliced bread with bowls of pesto, mustard, and preserves.
  • Add a variety of delicious breads and crackers to your board. These will make for the perfect bites of food & will add a variety of textures and flavor to your appetizer board.
  • 4 ounces per guest for an appetizer, 7 ounces per guest as a main course.
  • Up at the top you will find the baguette slices and to the left we have round wheat crackers. Rectangle vegetable flavored crackers are at the bottom, round butter crackers are on the right next to the everything bagel chips. I purchased a collection of four varieties or crackers to keep things simple.
  • Believe it or not, every store in town is out of those dry, Italian breadsticks that would normally be served with this appetizer board.

Fruits & vegetables

Sliced salami, crackers, green olives in a small bowl, dried cherries and apricots on a large appetizer board.
  • Add a selection of nuts, dried & fresh fruits, fresh & pickled vegetables to help balance out the richness of the meats & cheeses. They also add a bit of palate cleansing for your guests.
  • 2 pieces / 2 ounces per guest as an appetizer. 4 pieces / 3 ounces per guest as a main course.
  • Roasted cashews are next to the Pepper Jack cheese, chocolate covered almonds are in the center to add some chocolate to the board.
  • There are red grapes and blackberries up at the top, and black grapes at the bottom. Dried apricots are near the bottom and dried cherries are used to fill in blank spaces.
  • Spanish olives and cornichons are in a small bowl near the bottom.

Condiments

Cherry preserves in a small bowl with a wood spoon surrounded by grapes, crackers, meats, and chocolate covered almonds.
  • Add a variety of good-quality spreads, oils, mustards, flavored butters, fruit preserves & dips to your appetizer board.
  • Popular options are whole-grain mustard, basil pesto, fig spread, and cherry or berry preserves.

Greens

  • Fill in small spaces on the board with fresh herbs and micro-greens. They add freshness and and a nice pop of color to your board and help finish off the edges.
  • I used fresh sprigs of rosemary, but thyme and fresh micro-greens would be really nice as well.
Opt-in box for a free pdf guide how to make a gorgeous charcuterie board.

How to assemble an appetizer board

  • Start with the bowls first, then layer and arrange around the bowls. The meats and cheeses come next, then the crackers and breads.
  • Fill in the gaps with your fruits and nuts, trying to spread the colors and textures around the board. Finish with the greens and make any small adjustments that might be needed.

What to serve with your appetizer board

For white wine lovers a lighter-bodied white wines like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio pair nicely with savory meats.

For red wine lovers a nice Pinot Noir or Merlot goes perfectly with a soft-ripe cheese like brie, or semi-hard cheese like gouda. It is also the perfect pairing for pork selections like prosciutto and salami. Le Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is my personal favorite in case you were wondering.

Tools used to create this Appetizer Board

You can see the rest of my favorite kitchen tools and gadgets here in my Amazon Affiliate Page. I earn a small commission when you purchase through my links, at no cost to you, so I can keep bringing you more delicious recipes!

Party Tips:

  • Make sure you have appetizer sized plates and lots of wine glasses ready.
  • Place your Chardonnay in the refrigerator when you walk through the door.
  • Don’t forget the bamboo forks or large toothpicks so your guests can pick-up their meats and cheeses.
  • Have tongs available for picking up crackers, nuts, and dried fruits.
  • Cheese knives to slice the different types of cheeses, unless you pre-cut them yourself.
  • Allow the brie to sit out for 30 minutes before serving.
  • Serving spoons for the bruschetta and pesto, and a knife for spreading the mustard.
  • Wash and dry the grapes, or any fresh fruits that you will be serving.
  • Napkins, lots of napkins!!

Most importantly, a cork screw to open your bottles of wine!

Appetizer Ideas

Now that I have shown you what you can do with ready made products and the deli section, how about I give you a few more options just in case you aren’t short on time. You know how I love options!!

If you love this recipe, please rate it five stars and help me share on facebook and to help other readers in our community!

Enjoy!!

A large round board topped with slices of meats, cheeses, bread, crackers, dried apricots and cherries, grapes, and nuts.

The Ultimate Appetizer Board

The Ultimate Appetizer Board is perfect for an impromptu party using ingredients that are easily available at your grocery store!
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: easy charcuterie board
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 787kcal
Author: Lisa Johnson

Ingredients

  • 7 ounce wedge or round of soft-ripened Brie
  • 4 ounces Gouda cheese cut into squares or served as a sliced half-round
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese broken into chunks with a fork
  • 4 ounces Pepper Jack cheese cut into small cubes
  • 4 ounces Genoa salami, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces summer sausage thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces prosciutto slices or spicy capicola
  • 2 bunches fresh grapes at least two varieties
  • 8 ounces fresh berries
  • 10 ounces bagel chips, breadsticks, sliced baguette, and assorted crackers
  • 8 ounces dried apricots and cherries
  • 3 ounces dark chocolate covered almonds
  • 3 ounces roasted and salted cashews
  • 1 jar cherry preserves
  • 10 ounce jar basil pesto
  • 1 jar Dijon mustard

Instructions

For the Appetizer Board

  • Pour the preserves, mustard, and pesto into small serving bowls and place on the board.
  • Arrange the meats and cheeses arranging larger items like wedges and blocks on the board first.
  • Add the crackers and breads next, spacing them apart on the board.
  • Fill in gaps with the fresh and dried fruits and nuts.
  • Garnish with greens and serve immediately.

Notes

  • Make sure you have appetizer sized plates and lots of wine glasses ready.
  • Place your white wines in the refrigerator when you walk through the door.
  • Don’t forget the bamboo forks or large toothpicks so your guests can pick-up their meats and cheeses.
  • Have tongs available for picking up crackers, nuts, and dried fruits.
  • Cheese knives to slice the different types of cheeses, unless you pre-cut them yourself.
  • Allow the brie to sit out for 30 minutes before serving.
  • Serving spoons for the bruschetta and pesto, and a knife for spreading the mustard.
  • Wash and dry the grapes, or any fresh fruits that you will be serving.
  • Napkins, lots of napkins!!
Most importantly, a cork screw to open your bottles of wine!

Nutrition

Calories: 787kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 56g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 1494mg | Potassium: 658mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 1805IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 418mg | Iron: 4mg

Similar Posts

3 Comments

  1. Lisa, it’s a work of art! I had to get up in the middle of reading this post for a piece of cheese – it’s making me hungry! I love what you did with the music notes – I”ll have to look for mini cutters. I’ll be featuring this tomorrow night at Best Of The Weekend!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating