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How to make a festive christmas charcuterie board

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Have you ever wanted to make a festive charcuterie board for the holiday season but don’t know where to start? Today I am excited to share all of my tips and tricks for creating a Festive Christmas Charcuterie Board that is perfect for any holiday party.

A finished Christmas Charcuterie board with salami roses.
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What is a Charcuterie Board?

A charcuterie board is a combination of select meats and cheeses that are surrounded by foods that pair well with them.

Oftentimes those items include crackers, fruit, olives, vegetables, nuts and dips. The fun part is that this is where you can get creative.

There are not any rules, so the sky’s the limit and you can customize it to be whatever you want it to be.

The best part is that a holiday charcuterie board is not hard to put together.  You can also make individual charcuterie cups or even mini boards without much effort.

What do I put on a Christmas Charcuterie Board

A Christmas board should be a beautiful board that is bursting with holiday flavors.  It is time to let all of the seasonal fruits and produce do some of the work for you while also getting creative.  

Going with what is in season ensures that everything will taste amazing and be affordable.  I always suggest that you go with your favorite holiday foods.  Think peppermint, gingerbread cookies, holiday fudge, cranberries and other sweet treats.

Step by Step Guide for Choosing Food

Meats

A variety of meats is always the way to go.  Slices of salami, prosciutto, soppressata and pepperoni are all great options. You can also go with your favorite meats from the deli section, like turkey or ham slices.

You can also elevate the look of the meats by folding them in different patterns or even making them into gorgeous and simple salami roses.  

Cheeses

Go with a variety of cheeses.  I love to start with a wheel of brie but goat cheese and mozzarella balls are also great soft cheeses.  I also suggest adding hard cheeses so that there are a variety of choices. 

There are so many delicious cheeses and they can be found at almost any supermarket. 

Starches

A typical charcuterie board always has a variety of everyone’s favorite crackers. You could also use baguette slices, pita chips or thin pretzels.  It is also fun to add mini baked goods like I did with this Breakfast board.

A close up of a Christmas Charcuterie Board.

Fruits & Vegetables

Start with your favorite fresh fruit.  Seasonal produce like apples, figs, green grapes, cranberries, pomegranate seeds and seasonal stone fruit are a great way to put a holiday twist on the board.  Of course you could always use a variety of dried fruit which is easy to find all year long {and shelf stable}.

Using seasonal veggies from a farmers market or the local grocery store is great because everything you find will be ripe and ready to use.  I love using colorful vegetables like cherry tomatoes and go with the color scheme.

Dips

A good dip is a great idea to add.  I always think of fig jam when I am making a Christmas snack board but cranberry butter and pumpkin hummus would both be a great seasonal addition.  You can also never go wrong with onion dip or ranch dressing.

Accompaniments

Every good board has a few sweet elements. Make your life easier and go with store bought treats that everyone will love. Small cookies and candies are always my go-to but dark chocolate with peppermint is especially wonderful this time of year.  

Try to keep all of the desserts bite sized so that they don’t take up a ton of room on the board.  These Pecan Pie Cookie Cups and Mini Chocolate Chip cookies would be delicious additions if you wanted to make your own.

Cut finger sandwiches into fun shapes {like snowflakes or trees} using a cookie cutter.  You can also use a cookie cutter to shape your go-to cheeses.  Adding a Monterey Jack snowflake to the board brings a winter touch in an easy way.

Final Touches

Using edible flowers, fresh sprigs of rosemary and a few candy canes are a fun way to add a nice pop of color to a holiday board.  Add them at the end to give the appetizer board the perfect finishing touch.

A close up of a charcuterie board made for Christmas.

Expert Tips

  • Get creative with what you use for the base. A wooden board is traditional but there are so many items you can use. Lay brown paper on the counter, use a baking sheet or wood crate for other options.  It would also be fun to arrange the items into a tree shape.  You can find a christmas tree charcuterie board and assemble the ingredients into the shape of a Christmas tree..
  • Know how many people you are serving and the size of the board you want to use before going shopping. Both of these numbers will determine how much food you need to purchase and make shopping so much easier.
  • Always start with the larger and main ingredients first. Adding the meat products and cheeses first allows you to arrange all of the supporting ingredients around them.
  • Have a combination of fresh and shelf stable items. During the winter months, fresh items are important but require that you only purchase them a day or two in advance. Foods like crackers and nuts can be bought ahead of time and will last long after.
  • Use small bowls to contain items you don’t want rolling around the board.  Using bowls for smaller items like olives, pickles and fruit can keep everything in place and help with pulling it all together.  You could also hollow out a red pepper to use as the bowl for a super festive touch.
  • Go back and add in smaller foods like nuts and candies to fill in any empty spaces.  To get a lush and gorgeous Christmas charcuterie board it should be bountiful and every inch should be covered.
  • Always add serving utensils to make grabbing items easier.  Small spoons, cheese knives and tongs are all great additions.

Charcuterie FAQs

How far in advance can I make the board?

If you are making a portable grazing board it can be made up to 4 hours in advance.  Just wrap it with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving.  

If you plan to do more of a charcuterie table or one that can’t be moved it should be made within a half hour of serving so that it is fresh.

What is the 3-3-3-3 rule?

The rule is that you need at least 3 meats, 3 cheeses, 3 starches and 3 accompaniments for a complete board.

Where do I serve a charcuterie board?

There is no wrong time to serve a charcuterie board.  During the Christmas season there are so many times to serve one.  Take one to holiday parties, Christmas eve, Christmas dinner or anytime when finger foods are served.

A close up of a Christmas charcuterie board with seasonal ingredients.

Do you love making Charcuterie Boards? Try these…

Did you try this recipe?Leave a ⭐️ review below and tag @practicallyhomemade on Pinterest!

A finished Christmas charcuterie board that is festive.

How to Create a Festive Christmas Charcuterie Board

Learn all of my tips and tricks for creating a super festive and fun Christmas Charcuterie Board that you can serve all season long.
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 856kcal
5 from 1 vote
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Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cured meats {or deli meats}
  • 8 ounces cheese {in a variety of flavors}
  • 8 ounces crackers {or other starches}
  • 6 ounces seasonal fruit {like cranberries and pomegranate seeds}
  • 6 ounces seasonal vegetables {in Christmas colors}
  • 1 cup olives {black or green}
  • ½ cup pickles
  • 1 cup candies {peppermint is a great option}
  • 2 cups cookies {gingerbread are a good option}
  • fresh herbs and edible flowers {for garnish}

Instructions

  • Add the large items {meats & cheeses} to the board. Then place the crackers around the board.
  • Next, arrange seasonal fruits and vegetables around the meat and cheese. Add bowls of dip, olives and pickles {or whatever you prefer}.
  • Fill in any empty areas with candy and cookies. Finally, go back and fill in any areas and add fresh herbs and edible flowers. Serve or cover for up to 4 hours in the refrigerator.

Notes

  • Get creative with the board you choose.  You can even use a Christmas tree shaped board and arrange the ingredients into a tree shape.
  • Use seasonal ingredients like peppermint, gingerbread and cranberries.
  • Use small bowls to contain ingredients like olives, pickles and dip.
  • Go back and fill in blank areas with small items.  The key is to make the board look full and plentiful.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 856kcal | Carbohydrates: 81g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 1649mg | Potassium: 296mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 1620IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 306mg | Iron: 4mg
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