Learn How to Make a Charcuterie Platter with cured meats, a variety of cheeses, nuts, and fruits that will please every palate. There’s nothing better than noshing on a cheese board before a meal.

A Cheese Board is highly adaptable. If your meal is French, choose French cheeses. If it’s fall, pick autumnal fruit like apples and pears. Every board will be unique by using your favorite cheeses and accompaniments.

Brie with crackers and fruit on a beautiful wooden cheese board.

Why You Must Make

  • You can customize a basic cheese board with your favorite meats, cheeses, fruit, crackers, and snacks.
  • It can be made to coordinate with the theme of your meal or holiday.
  • A cheese tray like this can easily be expanded for a crowd, so it’s perfect for holiday entertaining.
  • Instead of the tedious chore of making three different appetizers, deck out a large cutting board with an irresistible combination of meats and cheeses.
  • There’s something for everyone on a cheese board!

How to Make a Charcuterie Board

  • Start with choosing the Cheese, then Meats and Accompaniments. If making a simple cheese board, you do not need to add meat.
  • PRO-Tip: Pick out an odd number of cheeses for your charcuterie platter: Try one firm cheese like Cheddar or Swiss, one soft like a Brie or Camembert, and one fragrant like blue cheese. Or add just one crowd-pleaser like Kerrygold’s Dubliner with Irish Stout.
  • Next, select three varieties of cured meats; well, truthfully, I had the experts at Goose the Market pair a few with my cheese. I brought home sliced Italian Toscano salami with a kick; Capicola, another pork salami from Calabria; and finally smoked duck breast slices.
  • The odds and ends were purchased on a recent trip to Zimmerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I added some honeyed pecans, roasted Marcona almonds, Sardinian flatbread with fresh blackberries and dried apricots. Olives and pickles are terrific additions, too.
  • Use the experts at your favorite market, deli, or specialty shop to help you select a variety of ingredients that will delight your guests. They are typically delighted to provide samples for you to taste test. You may even find a new favorite!
  • Cheese boards don’t need cured meats. Charcuterie boards do.

Amounts Needed for Your Board

These recommendations are from America’s Test Kitchen. The amounts will vary depending on whether this is an appetizer before a big meal or whether this is the meal.

  • Cheeses: 2 to 3 ounces per person
  • Meats: 2 to 3 ounces per person
  • Nuts: 2 to 3 tablespoons per person
  • Crackers, toasts, or bread: 4 to 6 ounces per person
  • Fruit or Vegetables: 4 to 8 ounces per person
  • Dips: ½ cup per person
overhead view of wooden cheeseboard topped with fruit, cheese, and crackers.

Expert Tips

  • First, choose the base for your cheese board. A nice wooden cutting board, unembellished ceramic tray, or cheeseboard set with knives.
  • Making a cheese and meat board isn’t difficult. Let the meats and cheeses shine. Serve plain bread and crackers.
  • Fresh fruits like apples, pears, figs, and grapes pair wonderfully with cheese. Adding dried fruit as well provides a variety of textures.
  • Add nuts for some crunch.
  • Don’t forget that jams, jellies, and fruit pastes (try quince paste!) pair deliciously with cheeses.
  • Vary shapes and colors for a more visually appealing platter.
  • Let your cheese rest at room temperature for an hour before serving for maximum flavor.
  • As mentioned above, try to add a variety of textures from hard to soft, brittle to buttery cheeses. A bold-flavored blue or spiced cheese is a lovely touch. Add goat’s milk or sheep’s milk cheese to your cow’s milk selections.
  • Take a little time to artfully arrange your charcuterie platter. You’ll be delighted with the results.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Charcuterie Mean?

The word Charcuterie can be traced back to 15th century France and translates to “the products of a fancy pork butcher.”

How Do You Pronounce Charcuterie?

Charcuterie is pronounced shar-KOO-tuhr-ee.

What Is the 3-3-3-3 Rule for Making a Charcuterie Board?

It refers to having 3 kinds of cheese, 3 types of meat, 3 starches, and 3 extras. This would include soft and hard cheese in various shapes, sliced deli meats (even smoked salmon will do!), and extras like garnishes, jams, fruit paste, fruit, vegetables, and/or herbs.

How Do You Calculate the Amount of Charcuterie for Your Guests?

The rule of thumb is 3 ounces per person. This can vary depending on the other appetizers you serve, whether there will be a large meal afterward, and if you know your guests have hearty appetites.

Overhead view of Charcuterie Platter.

Photo circa 2014

Forest Decor Cheeseboard Giveaway

I instantly fell in love with the gorgeous olive wood cheeseboard and knife set pictured above when I first saw this Forest Decor Set pictured in my photo. Their beautiful products are handmade with 100% olive or forest wood and are completely free of chemicals. They make fabulous gifts for any cook in your life. Think ahead to birthdays and Christmas!

I am offering a giveaway of this lovely Bamboo Cutting Board to one lucky reader! Just pop over to the Forest Decor Website to check out all their products, and let me know your favorite cheeseboard in the comments. That will be your entry into the giveaway. This is open only to those in the 48 contiguous US states. I will use random.com to pick a winner on May 3, 2024. Good luck!!!

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Brie with crackers and fruit on a beautiful wooden cheese board.

How to Make a Cheese Board

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Learn what to put on a cheese board and how to arrange it.


  • Wooden cheese board or large ceramic plate.
  • 3 to 5 cheeses with a variety of textures, pungecy, shapes and flavors. Odd numbers look best.
  • Fruit such as apples, pears, berries. Make sure not to cut the apples and pears early or they will oxidize (brown).
  • Herbs for a pop of green.
  • Condiments such as chutney, jelly, jam, mustard, olives.
  • Crackers, toasts, or a sliced baguette


  1. Choose a cheeseboard or plate with room to add cheeses, crackers, and accompaniments.
  2. Place at least 3 cheeses on your board. An odd number looks best. Vary texture, pungency, and shapes for visual interest.
  3. Fill the spaces with fruit, herbs, crackers. jam or spreads, Add cured meat if you want to make a charcuterie board.
  4. Remove the cheeses from the refrigerator about an hour before you expect your guests. Having them closer to room temperature will allow them to soften and heighten their flavor.


Note: There are no hard and fast rules. Do your cheese board YOUR way!

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