Whether you’re hosting a Galentine’s bash with your besties, a romantic night in, or a fun foodie spread for your kids, a festive charcuterie board is the perfect way to celebrate the day of love. From fruit to fancy cheese, our charcuterie board styling tips will help you arrange a delectable Valentine’s Day spread that anyone will enjoy.
Choose Your Base
Want to enjoy some casual grazing with a couple guests while your favorite romcom plays in the TV room? Opt for a long wooden cutting board or serving platter. Going for a more romantic feel for two? Rather than a large board filled with food that might go to waste, lay out a small cheese board or cutting board. Hosting a large Galentine’s get-together or Valentine’s work party? Skip the board altogether and lay down some parchment or butcher paper along the table, and arrange your meats, cheeses, sweets, and sandwiches straight on the table in a strategic array.
Gauging how to accommodate your guests and measuring how much food you’ll need for the occasion can help you know exactly where to start and what you’ll need to serve the food on. Choose a marble board to offer a classy, neutral aesthetic to the spread. Or opt for a wooden base to accent your rustic or Scandi interior. More of a modern or urban decorator? Lay out a cool, charred wood or gold-painted charcuterie board.
Be Strategic with the Layout
It can be daunting to know where to start when building out the perfect charcuterie spread. Nailing a Pinterest-worthy aesthetic all comes down to the tiers of your display. Begin with your large items first. What are you offering your guests that will be the most filling? Cheese? Bruschetta? Waffles? Your large cuts or blocks of cheese can be angled at the corner of the board to make room for other items at the center. Fan out your crackers and bread or arrange them into an “S” shape to look cohesive.
Next will be your small bowls of sauces, dips, or garnishes. Place these where they make sense—such as dip at the center of your chip display, hummus near the carrots, or honey near the fruit. You can even arrange the complementary items around the bowl with artistic strategy. Lastly, you’ll want to use your filler items like fruit, nuts, candy, or even meats to nail the aesthetic of the layout. Fill the blank spaces with grapes, sliced apples, folded meat cuts, pretzels, a handful of almonds and berries, or red and pink M&Ms.
Sweet and Savory
Offer treats both savory and sweet on your board to appeal to everyone’s palette. Here are some savory snack ideas that would make the perfect addition to your festive spread:
- Folded cuts of meat like prosciutto, salami, ham, sausage, or even bacon
- Salty crackers
- French bread or sourdough
- Soft cheeses like burrata, mascarpone, or a garlic and herb spread
- Hard cheeses such as parmesan, gouda, asiago, Colby, or cheddar
- Baked feta cheese
- Nuts like cashews, roasted almonds, or macadamia
- Hummus or chutney
- Italian breadsticks
A Valentine’s spread wouldn’t be complete without some sweet treats. Here are some ideas to sweeten up your spread:
- Caramel-covered pretzels
- Jelly or jam
- Chocolate-covered strawberries
- Peanut brittle or peanut clusters
- Fresh fruit like grapes, berries, grapefruit, or apple slices
- Waffles or mini pancakes
- Chocolates or chocolate truffles
- Caramel popcorn
- Candy like conversation hearts, Sweetarts, or licorice
- Cake pops
Nothing lends an ode to the day of love quite like heart-shaped treats. Once you’ve established the layout of your board, add some fun heart-shaped confections to the display. Whether you rely on a cookie cutter to give items their Valentine’s Day-worthy shape, or use heart-shaped bowls to display your sauces and garnishes, these festive additions are sure to spruce up your spread.
Serve anything from heart-shaped cheese, crackers, cookies, or candy. For a really fun twist, rather than spreading out groups of grapes, display heart-shaped grapes on a skewer. Cut single grapes horizontally, align the two pieces until they resemble a heart shape, and skewer them together. Lay the unique fruit skewers on the charcuterie board, or place them over your cocktails and mocktails for a festive garnish.
X’s and O’s
Hearts aren’t the only shape that lets your guests know it’s February 14th. Create X’s and O’s from candy, breads, waffles, fruit, or pretzel sticks to deck your snack board with a festive nod toward Valentine’s Day. You can essentially form X’s and O’s from anything, from slices of bread to your cuts of cheese. If you don’t have a circular cookie cutter to form the “O,” simply use the open end of a round drinking glass. For the X’s, you can fasten pretzels together with chocolate, or simply use a cutting knife to create an “X” from your food of choice.
Colors of the Season
Red, pink, and white should take center stage if you want your platter to be one in vermillion. Serve up sweet treats like strawberries, cranberries, powdered donuts and jam, cookies with pink frosting, colored candies, and white chocolate-coated pretzels. Offset the sweet side with red, pink, and white hearty snacks, like mozzarella sticks with a bowl of marinara or salami with white cheese. Don’t have that many snacks on your spread that are naturally red or pink? Turn your finger foods into works of art fit for your charcuterie display with red and pink food coloring.
Add a little umph to your charcuterie board display with small pieces of Valentine’s Day décor. Spell out “Love,” or “Be Mine” with wooden letter pieces or garnish the charcuterie board with red and white roses or baby’s breath.
Lovingly announce what flavors and unique tastes are on your board by sticking a toothpick in the cheeses, chocolates, and other snacks and identify them by writing on heart-shaped tags or tiny envelopes.
What’s going to be on your Valentine’s Day charcuterie spread? Show off your festively decorated charcuterie board ideas and tag @walkeredisonco on Instagram.