Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving with family or friends, a charcuterie board is a unique and aesthetically pleasing way to feed your guests. Charcuterie boards require little to no culinary skills and can be customized to your taste. We’ve come up with six easy pointers to help you create the perfect Thanksgiving charcuterie board.
1 - Put the “Pie” in “Statement Piece”
First, deciding on a statement piece or focal point for your charcuterie board can ease any creative block. Mini pumpkin pies are a classic nod to the autumnal season and can be doused in delicious whipped cream. But no matter the flavor, small-sized pies can be easily divided up among an intimate gathering. Not a pie person? Cinnamon rolls are a favorite treat for many people and still give off a cozy, festive vibe.
If you’re looking to skip out on dessert or are worried about gluten allergies, you can still create a focal point with mini pumpkins (real or faux) from your Halloween decoration collection. This will give the charcuterie board that extra umph. Plus, it’s always nice to use those spooky-season trinkets a second time.
2 - Leaf-shaped Cheese, Please
Cookie cutters aren’t just for cookies; they can also cut the perfect pieces of cheese that will have your guests in awe of your culinary wizardry. Purchase a block of cheddar, Colby-Jack, pepperjack, or whatever cheese you please, and cut standard rectangular slices with a knife. Go back over your freshly cut cheese slices with a leaf-shaped cookie cutter and gently peel back the part of the cheese that didn’t make the cut. Arrange your picture-perfect leaves con queso how you see fit: around your focal point, along the edges of the board, or you can create mini piles of leaves!
3 - Pretzel and Cracker Crunch
If cheese is served, chances are your guests will appreciate a crunchy, savory snack to go along with it. Pretzels add a deeper brown color to the palette and can come in many shapes and sizes, perfect for getting creative with the layout. Crackers (like Wheat Thins, Ritz, and Club crackers) have a classic flavor that complements cheese and cured meats. If one of your guests has a gluten sensitivity, mini rice cakes or popcorn can also add some extra crunch.
4 - Go Ham and Go Nuts
If you believe that turkey is a Thanksgiving must-have, you can squeeze in some traditional meat touches by rolling up sliced turkey—just be sure to use a toothpick to make it easy to grab and to keep things sanitary. Add an olive or cranberry to seal the toothpick, and for an extra pop of color and texture!
Not sure what all the turkey hubbub is about? Pepperoni, honey-baked ham, bacon, and salami are other types of meats that would still imitate the look of a Thanksgiving feast.
You can also add some nutty flair to the board! Marcona almonds, pistachios, and roasted peanuts are healthy snacks that can keep your guests from getting hangry. If you’re looking for a sweeter alternative, cinnamon-roasted almonds not only look and smell delicious, but can get just about anyone excited for the upcoming holidays.
5 - Break Up the Beige
Crackers, cheese, nuts, and pies are all, well, beige. The all-beige look might be a trend when it comes to interior design and clothing, but it may be not so appetizing when it comes to a charcuterie board.
Break up the beige with some berries. Blackberries will add a deep contrast to your array of edible art. For a touch of red, decorate the charcuterie board with some dried cranberries or red grapes. Sweater season is also pomegranate season, so be sure to incorporate ruby-like pomegranate seeds by placing them in a small glass or ceramic bowl.
6 - Garnish Graciously
Every charcuterie board needs that je ne sais quoi, which is where garnishing comes to play. Rosemary stalks will give your festive arrangement a pop of lush green, and its scent will be complementary to the savory cheeses and cured meats.
Cinnamon sticks also make for great garnishes and add a touch of warmth to the charcuterie board. After your guests gobble down your palatable masterpiece, have them take the cinnamon sticks home. Cinnamon sticks can be used to create a natural room spray, stovetop potpourri, or future holiday decor.
How do you envision your Thanksgiving charcuterie board? Tag us on Instagram @walkeredisonco and show off your festive foods.