12 Days of Christmas: Charcuterie Board

During the holidays, most great food requires catering or cooking. With some planning, you can put together an excellent snack platter without having to turn on the oven. Impress your friends and family with a simple to assemble charcuterie board!

A charcuterie board is an ensemble of meats, along with other ingredients, artfully laid out on a board or platter. The typical components of a charcuterie board are bread and crackers, cured meat, cheese, sweet, savory, and spread or sauce.

Of course you can buy a pre-crafted charcuterie board, but where’s the fun in that?

When shopping, think about selecting an extra item from a category or two, so you can experiment and see what pairs well together. Pick out what you and your guests like, and maybe try a new item to see if you like it.

Bread and Crackers

Arguably the backbone of the board, bread and crackers act as a vessel to hold ingredients together. Slice and toast baguette or your favorite bread. Or choose your favorite crackers. Actually, why not both?


Cured meat brings in nice savory flavors and depending on the meat, additionally smoky, salty, and fatty flavors. Try salami, prosciutto, mortadella, or if you like, a nice pâté or even smoked salmon.


There are many varieties of cheeses from hard, soft, crumbly, smoked, and blue. Sliced or cubed, it doesn’t matter. Good cheese for charcuterie include cheddar, gouda, manchego, brie, and mozzarella. Be sure to choose your favorite and one to try.


Bread, meat, and cheese bring the fat and salt but balance out the palate with sweet and juicy fruits. Enhance flavor profiles and add an element of texture by adding your favorite fruit.

To keep in holiday theme, red and green fruits are a good choice. Apples, berries, and grapes have bright colors in addition to their delicious flavors. For holiday flavors, figs and fresh cranberries are a good choice to add to your board.


Balance out sweet ingredients with savory ones. Like fruit, they come in a rainbow of colors, so pick ones that match your holiday theme. Radishes, olives, or roasted tomatoes each have unique textures that pair well with different ingredients.

Spreads or Sauce

Sauce serves to add more depth to the ingredients. They can either be sweet or savory. For the holidays use Christmas jam or fig jelly. Honey and hummus are great year round but can be used during the holidays.


For vegan options, cut the meat and cheeses out. Replace them with veggies or legumes like celery, carrots, artichokes, and nuts.

Don’t be afraid to add ingredients not listed here. Give them a try!

Assemble and serve on a large serving platter, maybe arrange the ingredients into a snow man or Christmas tree. Part of the fun of a charcuterie board is mixing and matching things together, visually and through taste.

Combinations are infinite, so try out different flavors and textures with your friends and families over the holidays at the table or at the fireplace!

Mark Watola
Mark Watola

Mark graduated with a B.S in Communications from Kennesaw State University in 2020. Enlisted in the United States Marine Corps from 2012 to 2016, Mark operated as a Photojournalist and Correspondent at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Public Affairs Office. Learning from his time in the military, Mark prides himself on having an adaptable and mission-based mindset with a willingness to work cooperatively to craft quality content.

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