How to Make a Grocery Store Charcuterie Board

Charcuterie board in full display.

Today I’m sharing How to Make a Grocery Store Charcuterie Board! This is a great charcuterie table for beginners since it’s super simple and quick to assemble.

All the ingredients can be purchased right at the grocery store, then placed right onto your charcuterie boards or platters to serve. Easy peasy….I love it!

The Easy Recipe for Making a Grocery Store Charcuterie Board or Charcuterie Table

Delicious charcuterie board elements on display.

Howdy! Chef Alli Here. Let’s Get You Cookin’….Shall We?? 🙂

Charcuterie boards are every where. It’s no wonder!

If making a charcuterie spread seems a little overwhelming at first, have no fear. I’m so glad to show you an EASY way to make the perfect charcuterie.

You know what? Simply think of charcuterie as a big party platter of appetizers….right from the shelves of your favorite grocery store. Looking at it from this perspective can really take the pressure off.

What to love about making a grocery store charcuterie board –

  1. Charcuterie tables (charcuterie boards) are trendy and fun. Super popular with everybody!
  2. It’s a grab-and-go type of appetizer…you can get everything right at the grocery store.
  3. There is zero cooking involved – all ya gotta do is ASSEMBLE.

Which grocery store items should I purchase to make a good charcuterie board?

Classic Charcuterie Board Ingredients

  • Cured meats and sausages
  • Cheeses – assorted block, cracker cut, and cubed cheeses of different varieties
  • Fresh seasonal fruits and berries….and dried fruits
  • Spreads – mustards, mayos, etc.
  • Preserves, jams, and chutneys – these are delicious over goat cheese and cream cheese and served with crackers and toasted breads
  • Dips and hummus
  • Olives, pickles, pickled jalapenos (I like garlic stuffed olives, especially!)
  • Crackers, toasted crostini, pretzels, chips
  • A few sweets – chocolates, small cookies, cupcakes, candies, chocolate-covered pretzels
  • Complimentary beverages – wines and craft beers that pair well – I like white wine for summer charcuteries and red for winter charcuteries but that’s just a personal preference. Cocktails are always a big hit served with charcuterie tables, too.

Classic Charcuterie Cheeses –

  • Smoked Gouda
  • Brie
  • Havarti
  • Mozzarella
  • Provolone
  • Bleu cheese
  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Mini fresh mozzarella balls in olive oil and herbs

Classic Cured Charcuterie Meats –

  • Salami
  • Beef or turkey sticks
  • Prosciutto
  • Pepperoni
  • Sweet Sopressata (a cooked pork sausage that’s seasoned with spices and lots of whole black peppercorns)

Grocery Store Take-and-Make Charcuterie Board.

Common Questions Asked About
Charcuterie Boards

So what IS charcuterie?

  • Charcuterie is a French term that translates to “pork-butcher shop” or “smoked meat-butcher shop”.
  • Now-a-days, charcuterie is actually the art of assembling cured meats along with other accompaniments, such as cheese, spreads, dips, toasted breads, fruits, crackers, pickles, olives….plus anything else you’d like to toss in!
  • The sky is the limit, when it comes to charcuterie boards, truly. There are no defined charcuterie board rules….praise the Lord, people.

A charcuterie board is just a glorified meat and cheese tray then?

  • Well…..YES! But in a glorified manner, let’s say. You start with meat (any type of cooked meat, such as salami, beef sticks, etc) and cheese, then add other elements to it…whatever you please. Such as smoked almonds, olives, chocolates, mustards, crackers, pretzels…there are no rules. You can keep it simple, or you can go hog-wild and build an entire charcuterie buffet!

How is charcuterie pronounced? (charcuterie pronunciation)

  • Such a great question – I asked the very same thing when I was first introduced to this way of entertaining. Here’s the proper pronunciation: “shar-koo-tuh-ree”.

Are there rules when it comes to making charcuterie boards?

  • Nope. The sky is the limit! When it comes to charcuterie boards, there are no defined charcuterie board rules….praise the Lord.
  • If you check out charcuteries on Pinterest, you’ll see why there are no hard and fast rules – whatever you can think of, you can do via a charcuterie – desserts, breakfasts, Autumn, Christmas, New Year’s, brunch, Easter, kids, Halloween….just have fun and gather things together in a way that’s pleasing to the eye.
Charcuterie elements all purchased from the grocery store.

What tools are helpful for making a charcuterie?

  • Cutting boards – any type and size that you have on hand works fine. You can use a combination of several smaller boards or you can use one single large one. There are tons of options available and they don’t have be expensive, either.

    FYI – a pizza peel also makes a good charcuterie board, too. I recently got a charcuterie board that spins and just love it! Soon, I’d love to get a cheese board with a drawer that has a cheese knife set included.

    Granite slabs for cheese boards and marble charcuterie boards are pretty cool, too.
  • Brown wrapping paper or butcher paper – this is a great and fun alternative if you don’t have cheese boards to use for building a charcuterie. I do this ALL the time and it’s a great option. You can place your charcuterie elements right onto the paper!
  • Platters – don’t be fooled into thinking that you have to have cutting boards to make a charcuterie spread – it’s absolutely not true. Platters work just fine. Heck, you could even use cookie sheets for that matter.
  • Cheese buttons – these are buttons that you stick into blocks of cheese so guests can hold the button to keep the cheese from escaping while they are cutting into it. Super handy!
  • Cheese knives are a good investment for charcuterie spreads. You can purchase sets of small cheese knives that are easy to handle and inexpensive to purchase. (I really like this knife set!)
  • Cheese markers – write on these to identify cheeses for guests. (They come with dry-erase markers.)
  • Bowls of various sizes for holding nuts, candies, pickles, mustards, etc. I really like white bowls and other small white vessels that are different shapes and sizes since they are functional for any time of year and any type of charcuterie. But again, use what you’ve got on hand!

    Thrift stores are a great place to get assorted bowls and small platters for charcuterie boards. There’s a ton of variety and they are just pennies on the dollar to purchase.
  • Small cake stands and small dishes with stems make good elements for charcuteries since they give added height to your display.
  • Small spoons for servings dips, hummus, jams, chutneys, etc.
  • Tongs of assorted sizes for picking up chips, crackers, pickles…
  • Pickle forks are fun!
  • Spreaders of various sizes.
Sweet and savory elements for a charcuterie board display.

Do only certain ingredients belong on a charcuterie board?

  • Pretty much whatever your pea pickin’ heart desires…..anything good for noshing. Thankfully, you can find tons of ready-made options at the grocery store – yea!!
  • It’s good to consider your guest list and figure out what you think they will enjoy most. (Meaning, should it be super casual, or a little more fancy?)
  • I usually start with my favorite cured meats (such as sausages, salamis, beef sticks, etc.) then add an assortment of cheeses.
  • Next I throw in a couple of dips and hummus with crackers. I like goat cheese (or cream cheese) topped with pepper jelly, served with toasted baguette slices.
  • Nuts, chips, pretzels, snack mixes, mustards, jams, chutneys, berries, assorted pickles, and olives are good additions.
  • I usually offer some sweets with my charcuterie spread – chocolates, little cakes (yes, like Little Debbie cakes!), shortbread cookies, chocolate covered pretzels, etc.

How do I make charcuterie boards that have a seasonal theme?

You can make charcuterie boards seasonal just by including a few added seasonal elements and decor.

As an example, for making an Autumn charcuterie, add some mini pumpkins and gourds, and Fall leaves or a garland, burn a pumpkin spice candle. Serving a cider punch or apple pie moonshine is a neat Autumn touch, too.

For Christmas, add some pretty red dishes and pine greenery plus some fresh cranberries and pomegranates. Cheese slices cut into stars with a cookie cutter are fun, too. You can even form your charcuterie in the shape of a Christmas tree or wreath! Add a pitcher of holiday sangria and you’re good to go.

I also like adding cranberry chutney to be served with goat cheese on crostini for a Christmas charcuterie. Include some pretty red pepper jelly served over cream cheese with crackers.

Remember those old-fashioned Christmas candies your Grandma always had? Add those to your Christmas charcuterie for a sweet treat. Oh! And chocolate-covered star pretzels are a nice sweet addition to a holiday charcuterie, too.

What are good ideas for making charcuterie boards with a food theme?

Charcuterie board themes seem to have endless options. Breakfast and brunch charcuteries are really popular, as are kids charcuterie boards and dessert charcuteries. I want to make a Mexican-inspired charcuterie spread sometime soon, too.

Hot chocolate charcuteries, strawberry and chocolate charcuteries, French fry charcuteries, and pancake charcuteries are big favorites on Pinterest.

Dill pickles and hummus as part of a charcuterie spread.

Can I make a charcuterie board just for two?

Yes and it’s so fun! Make a small and easy one for date night and add a glass of wine.

Charcuteries are easily transported, too. Take one out to the fire pit, the glider, or in the car when you go for a drive…use your imagination for combining fun finger foods for your special someone.

How do I use butcher paper for making a charcuterie surface?

Butcher paper (or brown wrapping paper like you’d use for wrapping a package to mail it) is super fun for making a charcuterie spread. Cut it to size, then tape it down to cover the entire surface of where you are setting up your charcuterie.

Lay out your elements (see below for the exact how-to!), placing them directly onto the paper. For added coolness, use a magic marker to have fun labeling items on your charcuterie spread that guests may not easily identify (such as cheese types, etc) – add arrows and comments, too. Your guests will love it!

Where should I purchase the ingredients for my charcuterie board?

Great question. If you have access, it’s always a treat for guests if you can offer them a charcuterie board that’s stocked with items you can purchase locally from some of your favorite farmers.

If this isn’t an option, I have found that Aldi has a fantastic cheese and sausage selection, as well as crackers and breads.

What about portion sizes for charcuterie?

Know this going in: your guests will eat as much as you place on your boards because everybody loves meat and cheese, no doubt about it!

As long as you’ve laid out adequate portions of charcuterie elements for your guests, don’t worry if everything is TOTALLY GONE at the end of the noshing time.  This is how it’s supposed to be and an indicator that your charcuterie was a big hit.

Another thing that is very important to consider is plate size. Smaller plates can slow down those who have the ole “my eyes are bigger than my stomach” issues. 

Because smaller plates look fuller much more quickly, this will help your charcuterie elements last a bit longer since your guests can’t quite pig-out as easily as if they were loading up a big plate. 

How much should I purchase when the charcuterie is to be served as an appetizer?

If you are serving the charcuterie as the appetizer before dinner, plan 2-3 oz. of meat per person and 2 oz. of cheese per person.  These portions may seem small, but think of this as the “snack” beforehand, leaving room for the dinner that’s following.

How much should I purchase when the harcuterie is to be served as the main course?

However, if the charcuterie table is laid out to be the main course, double the amount of ingredients per person to 5-6 oz. portions.  Also, be sure there is plenty of toasted sliced bread and crackers since these make good fillers.

A full charcuterie spread ready for devouring.

How To Make a Charcuterie Board in 8 Steps

  1. Decide where you are setting up your charcuterie spread. Cover the area with butcher paper, if desired.
  2. Gather your display pieces – cutting boards, platters, cooking sheets, trays, butcher paper… whatever you’ve got on hand. Keep it easy and casual.
  3. Next, place your empty serving pieces such as small bowls, plates, dishes, etc. out in a way that looks pleasing to your eye. (Sometimes I even add sticky notes to my serving pieces so I know what I’m putting in each one.)
  4. Add your blocks of cheese, placing them around the serving pieces you’ve already laid out.
  5. Place your assorted cured meats around the cheeses, either on serving trays or directly on the butcher paper. Now add assorted fruits, crackers, pretzels, toasted breads, placing them in spots that are open within the charcuterie board.
  6. Fill your serving pieces with creamy cheeses, olives, pickles, mustards, jams, dips, as desired. If desired, add some sweets.
  7. Garnish the charcuterie spread with fresh herbs, mini peppers, whatever!
  8. Lastly, add your serving tools, such as tongs, spoons, cheese knives, etc.
A charcuterie spread laid out for guests.

7 Secrets to Success for Creating Beautifully Stocked and Crowd-Pleasing Charcuterie Boards

Favorite Cocktail Recipes to Enjoy –

Printable Recipe Card Below: How to Make a Grocery Store Charcuterie Board

Charcuterie board in full display.

How to Make a Grocery Store Charcuterie Board

Today I'm sharing How to Make a Grocery Store Charcuterie Board! This is a great charcuterie table for beginners since it's super simple and quick to assemble. All the ingredients can be purchased right at the grocery store, then placed right onto your charcuterie boards or platters to serve. Easy peasy….I love it!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12 people

Ingredients

  • Your favorite cheeses, I like to include Smoked Gouda, Brie, Havarti, Mozzarella, Provolone, Bleu, Fresh Mozzarella, Mini fresh Mozzarella balls packed in olive oil, goat cheese
  • Your favorite cured meats I like to have different salami, such as Genoa and sweet Sopressata, prosciutto, beef or turkey sticks, jerky, pepperoni
  • Goat cheese or cream cheese, for serving paired with pepper jelly and chutney
  • Fresh seasonal fruits, such as sliced apples and peaches, berries
  • Dried fruits, such as apricots, dates, cranberries
  • Preserves, jams, chutneys
  • Dips and hummus
  • Olives, pickles, pickled jalapenos, peppadew, roasted red peppers
  • Crackers, toasted crostini, pretzels, chips
  • Sweets, such as chocolates, small cookies, mini cupcakes, candies, chocolate-covered pretzels

Instructions

  • Decide where you are setting up your charcuterie spread. Cover the area with butcher paper, if desired.
  • Gather your display pieces – cutting boards, platters, cooking sheets, trays, butcher paper… whatever you’ve got on hand. Keep it easy and casual.
  • Next, place your empty serving pieces such as small bowls, plates, dishes, etc. out in a way that looks pleasing to your eye. (Sometimes I even add sticky notes to my serving pieces so I know what I’m putting in each one….I'm super forgetful.)
  • Add your blocks of cheese, placing them around the serving pieces you’ve already laid out.
  • Place your assorted meats around the cheeses, either on serving trays or right on the butcher paper. Now add assorted fruits, crackers, pretzels, toasted breads, placing them in spots that are open within the charcuterie board.
  • Fill your serving pieces with creamy cheeses, olives, pickles, mustards, jams, dips, as desired. If desired, add some sweets.
  • Garnish the charcuterie spread with fresh herbs, mini peppers, whatever!
  • Lastly, add your serving tools, such as tongs, spoons, cheese knives, etc.
Course: Appetizers
Cuisine: American
Keyword: appetizer board, charcuterie, charcuterie board, meat and cheese board

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Chef Alli

Chef Alli is a home-grown Kansas girl on a mission to strengthen families through enabling kitchen confidence, educating the family cook, and encouraging better food relationships. She believes with her whole heart that time spent with our loved ones and our overall quality of life is greatly enhanced by nutritious food made at home with simple, wholesome ingredients. She loves being able to connect and share this passion with others through her website, her social media presence, and her coveted speaking engagements.

Blog Comments

This looks so fun. Going to make some for the holidays this year!!! I didn’t know there are garlic filled olives. Going to get some of those for sure!!!

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