Charcuterie Board Ideas for Summer Entertaining
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Safeway. All opinions are 100% mine.
Entertaining during the summertime is the best! Whether I’m hosting a cookout or pool party, you better believe I’ll be serving some type of charcuterie board. They are the perfect way to please a crowd and, today, I’m bringing you all the best charcuterie board ideas for summer entertaining.
Meat and cheese plates are my favorite appetizer to serve when I’m hosting a party or get together. They are so perfect when you have lots of people over because everyone gets to pick and choose their favorite components. Charcuterie boards are always a hit! My family loves snack boards so much, sometimes we even make a meal out of one!
You will definitely be the hostess with the mostess, when you bring out this spectacular summer-inspired charcuterie board! It looks so impressive, but is made with very little effort. It doesn’t get much better than that!
I shopped Safeway for everything on this delicious platter, including Primo Taglio® premium quality meats and cheeses. Here’s a few reasons why I always choose Primo Taglio products for my snack trays:
- They are made with the finest ingredients, using traditional, time-honored preparation methods, and no artificial flavors or colors, or MSG.** (** With the exception of some classics like American cheese and certain value meats.)
- Many of the Primo Taglio meats use whole muscle meat with no binders or fillers.
- Primo Taglio cheese uses the highest quality milk and old world recipes, which can be naturally aged up to 2 years.
You can find Primo Taglio® premium quality meats and cheeses at the Albertsons Companies family of stores, including Albertsons, Safeway, ACME Markets, Jewel-Osco, Vons, Randalls, Shaw’s Supermarket, Star Market, Tom Thumb and Vons.
What is a charcuterie board?
Charcuterie by definition means cured meats and a typical charcuterie board is filled with cured meats, cheeses, crackers or bread, fruit, nuts and more!
There are no hard rules for making a charcuterie board. Have fun and make it your own, using any favorite ingredients or what you have on hand! Mixing things up is what makes cheese and charcuterie plates so enjoyable, they are always a little bit different.
Ingredients for a charcuterie board:
You definitely don’t need to include everything listed below, but these are some suggestions to get you thinking.
- Cured meats
- Olives and/or pickles
- Dried or fresh fruit
- Crackers, crostini, toasted naan, or baguette bread
- Spreads like jelly, honey, and balsamic glaze
Charcuterie board ideas for summer:
This particular charcuterie board is geared toward summer entertaining and snacking. Here’s the specifics –
- Brie, Goat’s, and mild cheddar cheeses
- Peaches, watermelon, pineapple and strawberries (summer fruit is the BEST!)
- Prosciutto and salame
- Cracker assortment
- Honey and jam
- Fresh sprigs of rosemary
How to arrange a charcuterie board:
- First, you’ll need a board for all your goodies. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. You can even use a baking sheet, several large dinner plates or a wooden cutting board.
- Start by adding the cheeses you’ll be using and then the meats. I like to fold the meat in different ways to keep it interesting.
- Next, add a small bowl or two for spreads or dips.
- Fill in the spaces with fruit, crackers, nuts and any other ingredient.
- Don’t forget some fresh greenery to add a little pizzaz to your board!
How much cheese and meat do I need?
To make sure you have enough food for your guests, I suggest having about 2-3 ounces of cheese and 2 ounces of meat per person, if you’re serving the plate as an appetizer. However, in this case we’re serving lots of extra fruit, so people will likely eat less cheese and meat.
If you’re making a charcuterie board for a meal plan for 4-5 oz. of cheese and 3 ounces meat per person and add plenty of fruits and veggies. I would also suggest using crostini or French bread in place of some of the crackers.
Tips for building the perfect charcuterie board:
- Be sure to remove the cheese from the fridge about 30 minutes to an hour before serving, so it has a chance to come to room temperature.
- Don’t add too much of one ingredient all together on your plate. If you have a lot of one ingredient, spread it out over different areas, like I did with the crackers, Brie and watermelon. This makes your plate look balanced and it will be easier for guests to grab what they want.
- Grab extra add-in ingredients to fill empty spaces. On this platter, I added strawberries and sprigs of rosemary to make this meat and cheese plate look full and delicious.
- Keep your charcuterie board fresh. I like to have extras of everything and then add more as components of the platter get eaten. Another option is to make two smaller cheese boards, and keep one in the fridge until the first one is close to running out.
You simply can’t go wrong with a charcuterie board! They’re easy to make, look beautiful, and there’s a little something for everyone!
More snack ideas
An easy guide for a charcuterie board that's perfect for summer entertaining!
- goat's cheese
- sliced cheddar cheese
- Brie round, cut into wedges
- multigrain and thin white snack crackers
- watermelon, cut into wedges
- pineapple, cut into wedges
- sliced peach
- fresh rosemary
- Take cheese out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving.
- Add all ingredients to a large cutting board or serving platter. Start with cheese and meat, then place bowls on the platter. Next, add fruit and other accompaniments, and tuck your greenery into any leftover space to help your charcuterie board look plentiful. Enjoy!
Substitutions. Use this “recipe” as a rough guide – feel free to use your favorite ingredients or use what you have on hand. Some other ideas I love are crostini, cherry tomatoes and fresh figs. Use Burrata, manchego, fresh mozzarella, or blue cheese in place of any cheeses here.
Equipment. I used a large serving platter for this meat and cheese plate. You can also use a rustic looking baking sheet, wooden cheese board or a regular cutting board. Serve cheese with cheese knives and use small spoons for honey and jelly. Don’t worry about going to purchase fancy tools for your charcuterie board. Shop your own kitchen!