Learn how to make a charcuterie board that’s gluten free! A meat and cheese board is a trendy way to serve cheese and crackers that’ll have your guests raving. Get all the charcuterie board ideas you need to make the most epic appetizer!
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Cheeseboards and Charcuterie Boards are all the rage right now. I’ve seen plenty of memes going around saying that millennials (like me, who are 100% on board 😉 with this craze) love them so much because we grew up on Lunchables.
Basically, the lowest level of charcuterie you can get. Clearly, we’ve made some (ie vast) improvements and taken them to the next level.
A simple Charcuterie Board is one of the easiest things to throw together for any size party or get together. Make a small board for a couple people or a large board to feed a crowd. They’re perfect for any type of occasion, whether it’s casual or formal.
What is a Charcuterie Board?
Charcuterie is cold cooked meats, usually cured. So a Charcuterie Board is basically a fancy cheese board but includes cold/cooked meat, an assortment of cheese, crackers/bread, and a variety of items like honey, chutney, cornichons, olives, dried fruits, fresh fruits, salted nuts, etc.
It’s important to hit all the flavor profiles when building the perfect charcuterie board – savory, sweet, sour, spicy, bitter, and salty.
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Key Ingredients for Building the Ultimate Charcuterie Board
- Charcuterie – Salami, Peppered Salami, Sopresetta, Proscuitto, Pepperoni, etc. are all great to include.
Cheese – Pick an assortment of cheese ranging from Soft, Semisoft, Semi-hard, and Hard.
Personally, I generally go with 1-2 kinds of Aged Cheddar, a semi-hard Gouda and/or Pepper Jack or an Aged Goat Cheese, and a soft cheese like Brie or Fresh Mozzarella/Marinated Mozzarella Pearls because that’s what my family likes. If you like soft goat cheese, blue cheese, etc. – go with those. The important thing is to pick cheese that you enjoy.
Accompaniments – The accompaniments are where you can experiment with hitting your different flavor profiles – salty, sweet, spicy, briny, etc.
Nuts – you can use sweet/candied nuts, spicy nuts, or traditional salted nuts or put out several varieties to mix and match.
Briny/Vinegary – pickles, cornichons, marinated artichokes, olives, etc.
- Honey – I always, always like to add honey to my charcuterie boards and cheese boards. The sweetness pairs so well with different cheeses, especially aged cheddar. In addition to regular honey, I like to use honey comb (when I can find it) or hot honey to add some kick.
Dried Fruit – dried apricots, dried cranberries, dried cherries, etc.
Chutneys and Fruit Spreads – smoked or spicy preserves add an amazing depth of flavor. I love to experiment with different fruit spreads that I find at the Farmer’s Market.
Fresh Fruit – use seasonal fruits if you can but red and green grapes are pretty typical to include and are readily available year-round.
The options and cheese board ideas are endless but as I mentioned before, you should have at least one item for each flavor profile.
Equipment Needed to Make a Meat and Cheese Board
- Serving Board or Tray – If you’re serving a crowd, go with a big board for your charcuterie platter. Personally, I like using a half-sheet pan (with rimmed sides) because I don’t have an extra-large cutting board.
- this board is on my wish-list – kicking myself for not getting it for these photos!
- Cheese Knives – a good cheese knife set is great to have. I have a set with a variety of knives and a serving fork. I just stick one knife with each cheese and once the cut cheese is gone, guests can start cutting their own. And try reading that without laughing as much as I am 🤣
- Mini Bowls – I love to put the accompaniments in mini bowls with small spoons or forks as needed to help with scooping, spooning, spreading, etc. These are very similar to the salt spoons that I have, they’re the perfect size for condiments. You can use small wood bowls or fun colorful mini bowls.
- Honey Dipper – optional but great for drizzling a small amount of honey.
- Toothpicks – toothpicks make it easier for people to grab anything from a few pieces of cheese or meat to dried fruit, etc. without having to use their fingers.
How to Make a Charcuterie Board
Step 1. Choose your cheese, charcuterie, accompaniments, and crackers.
Step 2. Pick a platter large enough to hold your selections.
Step 3. Place the cheese on your serving board and add the small condiment bowls.
Step 4. Arrange the meat, accompaniments, and crackers around the serving board to fill the space.
Step 5. Serve and enjoy!
Charcuterie Board Ideas
Fall or Halloween Charcuterie Board – Include fresh apple slices (Honeycrisp recommended for sweet, Granny Smith for tart), Applewood Smoked Cheese (such as Gouda), White Wine or Balsamic Cheddar, Apple Chicken Sausage, sliced pears, apple chips or freeze dried apples, and a nut/trail mix with caramel pieces.
Christmas Charcuterie Board – Include fresh pomegranate, sugared cranberries, fresh sprigs of rosemary for garnish, cranberry chutney, pistachios, sliced star fruit, splurge on your favorite cured meats, sliced Bosc pears.
Red White and Blue Charcuterie Board – Include fresh Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.), Blue Cheese, Red Wine Soaked Cheese (such as The Drunken Goat – one of our favorites!), a wheel of Brie, aged cheddar cut into star shapes, cheese sticks wrapped in salami or other cured meats.
Tips for Making the Best Charcuterie Board
- Stick with what you love. It’s fine to try a new cheese, but always be sure to have at least one type of cheese you know you love. The same goes for the meats and accompaniments. And if you know nobody likes olives, don’t include them.
- Fold the meat to make it easier to grab or pick up with a fork/toothpick. First, separate the meat and then fold it in half or fourths. I like to roll prosciutto to make it look like roses.
- Slice at least half of each type of cheese and leave a cheese knife with the rest. Soft cheese can be left whole with knives for spreading.
- Use labels if needed or be available to explain what each type of cheese or meat is and pairing options.
Other Gluten Free Snack and Appetizer Recipes To Try
- Gluten Free Chex Mix
- Sweet and Spicy Chex Mix
- Crack Dip
- Bacon Wrapped Kielbasa Bites
- Cheesy Artichoke Dip
- Pepperoni Squares
- Fried Ravioli
- Muddy Buddies
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Cheese (choose 1-6)
- Triple Crème Brie
- Aged Cheddar (balsamic, wine-soaked, sweet, or Irish, etc)
- Pepper Jack Cheese
- Goat Cheese (fresh or aged)
- Cheese Curds
- Gouda Cheese (try a smoked variety!)
- Cheese Curds
- Blue Cheese
- Fresh Mozzarella, Marinated Mozzarella Pearls, or Burrata
Charcuterie (choose 2-4)
- Dry Salami
- Peppered Salami
- Genoa Salami
- Spicy Sopressata
- Capicola or Dry Coppa
- Honey/Honeycomb or Hot Honey for a kick
- Chutney or Fruit Spread
- Nuts (salted, spicy, or sweetened, or Marcona Almonds)
- Dried Fruit (apricots, dried cranberries, dried cherries, etc.)
- Fresh Fruit (grapes, fresh berries, sliced apples, etc.)
Gluten Free Crackers or Toasts (choose 2-4)
- Schar Entertainment Crackers
- Milton's Gluten Free Cirspy Sea Salt Crackers
- Simple Mills Rosemary + Sea Salt Almond Flour Crackers
- Schar Table Crackers
- Lance Gluten Free Crackers, Original Baked
- Simple Mills Fine Ground Sea Salt Almond Flour Crackers
- Mary's Gone Crackers - Real Thin Sea Salt Crackers
- Gluten Free Baguette - thinly sliced and toasted
- Choose your cheese, charcuterie, accompaniments, and crackers.
- Pick a platter large enough to hold your selections.
- Place the cheese on your serving board and add the small condiment bowls.
- Arrange the meat, accompaniments, and crackers around the serving board to fill the space.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Be sure to check the gluten free status on the Charcuterie you choose. I used Columbus brand because their Charcuterie is labeled gluten free and is made from pork raised without hormones, with no artificial flavors/colors, and no MSG. This isn't a sponsored post, it's just what we use and love.
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