Thanksgiving is all about gathering around a bountiful table with friends and family. And nothing screams bounty more than a charcuterie board overflowing with delicious morsels to entice your guests. The beauty of a charcuterie board, on top of being an absolute feast for your eyes, is that there is always a little something everyone can enjoy. Learn how simple it is to shop for and arrange a stunning charcuterie board for your Thanksgiving table!
What goes on a Thanksgiving charcuterie board?
Every Thanksgiving charcuterie board should include a variety of cheeses, cured meats, crackers, dried and fresh fruits and cheese board accompaniments such as honey, jams, nuts, and olives. The beauty here is that you can select your favorites to create a custom arrangement perfect for your family and guests.
Selecting your cheeses
When shopping for your Thanksgiving charcuterie, you should plan on 2 ounces of cheese per guest. No need to purchase a bunch of different types; start with 2 to 3 varieties but be sure that they each have different textures and flavors.
- Bleu and goat cheese are creamy and funky
- Brie and Boursin are smooth and mild
- Sharp cheddar and aged Parmigiano Reggiano are firm and salty
- Manchego and gruyere are firm and nutty
It’s as simple as selecting a combination that you and your guests enjoy. After all, that’s the point!
Selecting your meats
For your charcuterie meats, plan on 1 ounce of meat per guest. Most grocery stores now have prepackaged charcuterie meats like salami and prosciutto readily available. Some upscale or specialty food stores also have charcuterie available in the deli case that they slice to order. Here you might be able to find some more exciting options like capicola, mortadella, and soppressata. And just like the cheese, it’s best to go for 2 to 3 varieties with different flavors and textures.
- Prosciutto is sweet, soft, and mild
- Salami is firm and sweet and comes in different flavors
- Capicola is soft with lots of marbling
- Mortadella is soft and mild with a pistachio crunch
- Soppressata is firm, has a coarser grind, and can be sweet or spicy
How to arrange your Thanksgiving Charcuterie
Assembling your charcuterie to look beautiful and appetizing can seem like a daunting task. With all those items to arrange it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are some tips to help you food style like a pro!
- Pick a color. When selecting your accouterment decide on 1 or 2 main colors to feature. Orange is perfect for Thanksgiving, and you could go for dried apricots, dried mango, orange cheddar, fresh clementines, or apricot preserves. For green, you could use green olives, snap peas, green grapes, or sliced green apples or pears. You could go for dark purples and buy red or black grapes, fresh figs, fig preserves, dried dates, or fresh blackberries. The choice is yours, so have fun with it! But be sure to stick with only 1 or 2 main colors to avoid your platter looking messy.
- Paint by numbers. Choose one of your items and place it in 3 spots along the rim of your platter in a triangle- basically at 12, 4, and 8 o’clock. We did this with red grapes. Choose a second item (we used the orange cheddar) and follow the same triangle pattern. Now in the center of the platter, place 2 round items. This can be a small dish of olives, nuts or jam or a round of brie cheese.
- Fill it up! Now that you have some of the frame and the center of the platter filled, go in with the rest of your goodies. Start by adding larger items like meats, cheeses, and crackers. End by filling in the gaps with smaller items like nuts and dried or fresh fruits. Just have fun with it!
What To Make With Thanksgiving Charcuterie
- Thanksgiving Chicken
- Triple Coconut Cream Pie
- Perfect Focaccia
- Saucy Apple Pie
- Miniature Pumpkin Pies
- Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
- Coconut Pumpkin Pie
- 2 ounces assorted cheese per person
- 1 ounce charcuterie meats per person
- assortment of crackers
- fresh seasonal fruit
- dried seasonal fruit
- assortment of spreads like jam, mustard or honey
- assortment of nuts
- olives and/or pickles
- Begin by selecting a board for your spread. You can use a wood cutting board, or a marble or ceramic platter.
- Once you know how many guests you will have, you can select your cheeses. Plan on 2 ounces of cheese per guest. 2 to 3 varieties will do, but be sure that they have different textures and flavors.
- Choose 2 to 3 different charcuterie meats with different flavors and textures. Plan on 1 ounce per guest.
- Choose a larger item to start and arrange it in 3 places in a triangle pattern around the rim of your platter by placing the same item at 12, 4, and 8 o'clock. Repeat this pattern with a second item.
- In the center of your platter, place 2 round items. This could be small bowls of nuts, olives or jam. Or it could be a round of cheese.
- Fill in the gaps! Now that you have some of the frame and the center of the platter filled, go in with the rest of your goodies. Start by adding larger items like the meats, cheeses and crackers. End by filling in the gaps with smaller items like nuts and dried or fresh fruits.
- Place spoons with the olives and spreads and set out toothpicks so your guests won't have to use their fingers! Charcuterie is best enjoyed at room temperature so if you are making this in advance, pull it out of the fridge 30 minutes before serving.