This Christmas charcuterie board is the perfect easy-to-make appetizer for your holiday get-together! Using the same ingredients, we give you 3 ways to make the perfect holiday charcuterie boards - everyone will love!
Why You'll ❤️ This Holiday Charcuterie Board
"Everyone loves a classic cheeseboard with sausage and crackers in my household I make this charcuterie board every Christmas Eve. It is so easy, and my whole family loves it!
Use fresh rosemary to make a cute wreath or tree shape - then fill in the spaces using your favorite meats, cheeses, fruits, nuts, and more.
Charcuterie boards are great because you can change the theme for any holiday or get-together. Get creative with meat, cheese, and fruits all year long!
Same Ingredients 3 Ways
One of my other favorite things about a charcuterie board is there is such a variety of ingredients you can use to make them. There are also endless ways to display the board - in this case, a large wreath, a Christmas tree, and a smaller, more simplified wreath. Same ingredients - 3 ways! (Note: I did add small mozzarella balls to the small wreath).
Most boards are made up of items that are low-carb, keto-friendly as well as gluten-free! Adjust the ingredients used to meet you and your guest's dietary needs by replacing them with diet-friendly items.
What You'll Need
Here are the ingredients you will need to make a Christmas charcuterie board:
- Salami - choose your favorite varieties! I like to use genoa, hard salami, spicy soppressata, prosciutto, etc. Salami can be sliced or rolled, depending upon its thickness - or you can use whole salami and provide a knife for cutting.
- Cheese - choose any variety of cheese you like. I like to pick out beautiful, fragrant, and mild varieties to suit many palettes. Some options are aged cheddar, pepper jack, baby swiss, goat cheese, or fresh cheese curds. In the large wreath and tree, I used a cranberry jack, sage derby, port wine derby. For the stars and gingerbread figures, I used smoked gouda slices cut with small cookie cutters.
- Olives - you can use any pitted variety of olive. Stuffed olives are wonderful! I used kalamata, black olives, and castelvetrano.
- Nuts - again, you can use your favorite varieties - cashews, pecans, and walnuts are a beautiful addition. For the wreath and tree, I used lightly salted and roasted almonds, roasted macadamia nuts with sea salt, pistachios, and sugared pecans.
- Dried Fruit - you can use dried or fresh fruit. Dried fruit is an easily preserved item that holds its integrity over time. Options could be raisins, apricots, dates, or many more.
- Fresh Fruit - thinly sliced red apple slices makes a beautiful presentation, be sure to drizzle lemon juice on them to prevent browning. Avoid any fruits that would create a lot of juice. Avoid apples if you want to assemble your platter in advance.
- Fresh Vegetables - raw vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, cauliflower florets, radishes, broccoli, and celery sticks all make perfect additions with their red and green colors.
- Crackers - adding a variety of crackers in shapes and taste is always a good way to go. Most stores sell a variety pack of fancy crackers if you're not sure.
Example: This is an example of the ingredients used to make both the wreath and the Christmas tree charcuterie boards. The exact same ingredients were used for both:
How To Make It
Here are the step-by-step instructions for making a Christmas charcuterie board:
Decide Which Shape
Decide which shape you want to go with. A wreath presents best on a round board, and a tree on a rectangle board.
Design tip #1: everything looks better in clusters and odd numbers in 2' and 3's. Cluster the same types of ingredients in 2 or 3 different places. This balances everything visually. For example, take a look at the salami on the large wreath - I placed clusters of it in 2 or 3 places.
Assemble and Layer
Start by laying rosemary down in the shape of a wreath or a tree. Alternatively, if you don't have a lot of rosemary, shape the ingredients and tuck in rosemary as a filler.
Place any small dishes you might be using. Use 2 or 3 to balance them visually.
Start with the larger pieces, meats, and cheeses.
Next, shingle or cube your cheese slices on your board in any design you like. If you are using crumbled cheese, you can put it in a small pile on the board or use a small dish and place it on the board.
Add your meat and shingle in another direction on your board in an appealing way. You can fold the salami in half, roll it up, or make another fun design if you want!
Shingle your crackers on your board along with the cheese and sausage.
Design tip #2: balance the textures and the colors. Put large pieces with small, soft items with hard, salty with sweet, cubes next to flat pieces, and so on.
Save the fruits, olives, and nuts for last. Place your dried fruit in small sections on your board. If you place some on top of the meat or cheese, that is ok!
Use petite bowls for anything you want to elevate, that is wet and needs to be contained, or is hard to scoop up.
Add your nuts into small piles on your board where you can fit them in as well. Let them spill over a little bit to give a more natural look.
Design tip #3: use small dishes to add drama, let the small bits (nuts & dried fruit) spill over slightly.
Add finishing touches, such as chocolates, preserves, or wrapped candies.
Use small Christmas cookie cutters and cut cute designs out of your cheese or salami. This is optional but is always so cute!
How To Serve It
Here are a few ways to serve this Christmas charcuterie board:
Serve crackers on the side and small picks, tongs, and spreaders for serving ingredients.
Serve with your favorite beverages - such as wine or a nice cocktail.
Other dips and appetizers can be incorporated in or served side by side.
Keep chilled and covered in the refrigerator until ready to assemble your board. If doing so, do not incorporate the crackers into the board, as they will become soggy.
Here are a few ways you can vary or make substitutions to this recipe:
- Use any variety of salami, cheese, nuts, fruit, or crackers you would like!
- Make themed boards, such as a "sweet" board with sweet cheeses, fruits, nuts, and chocolates.
- Make a dessert charcuterie board using Christmas cookies, brownies, chocolates, and other desserts!
- Make a Christmas tree out of fresh rosemary if you like that design more.
- A vegetarian charcuterie board can easily be made by omitting the salami completely.
- Incorporate crackers into your board, or serve them on the side. I prefer serving them on the side, so they stay crisp. Do not add crackers to the board if you plan on preparing the board ahead of time.
- Use petite bowls for anything you want to elevate, that is wet and needs to be contained, or is hard to scoop up.
- Choose an appropriate-sized board for the number of people you plan to serve.
- Make your board ahead of time and wrap or cover the top to keep the ingredients fresh until ready to serve.
- If you don't have a lot of rosemary, shape the ingredients and tuck in rosemary as a filler.
You can put anything you want onto a Christmas charcuterie board! That's the beauty of a charcuterie board. To keep it seasonal build it around Christmas colors. Using a small cookie cutter, cut cheese slices into shapes of stars or other favorite holiday shapes. Since it's a special time of year, add some unique cheeses and items. Traditionally there is a type of salami, cheese, a variety of nuts, fruits, fruit spreads, cheese spreads, chocolates, or even veggies. Anything you think sounds good to snack on!
Making a charcuterie board festive, to me, means placing your items on your board to make a picture of something. For Christmas, that would be a tree or wreath to me. Festive could also mean a Halloween board, valentines day, or any other holiday.
I have found that this depends on if you are building around an object or free-handing your board. In both scenarios, I prefer to start with my cheese and salami as these are the most grabbed items on the board, so there is more quantity. Next, the crackers, and then the fruits, nuts, olives, etc.
Store your prepared board in the fridge covered with plastic wrap or a fitted cover until ready to serve. Store leftovers in the fridge the same way or separate ingredients into individual bags or containers until ready to eat again.
✔️ More Appetizer Recipes
If you are looking for more delicious appetizers, check these out:
- Pomegranate Maple Bacon Cream Cheese Dip
- Ham and Cheese Roll Ups
- Cream Cheese Shrimp Dip Recipe
- Stuffed Baked Meatballs (Two Ways)
If you made a Christmas charcuterie board, let me know! I'd love for you to come back and give it a 5-star rating and/or a review in the comments! 🙂 Let's stay connected, so please share photos of your creations with me and others on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest! Don't forget to tag #seekinggoodeats
Christmas Charcuterie Board
- wooden board or platter
- small picks
- cheese spreader
- small spoons for picking up nuts or other small items
- knife for cutting salami
- small bowls for small items such as nuts, dried fruit, and spreadable cheese or chutney.
- small plates for serving
- 2 to 3 cheese varieties (Use a variety of cheeses - in taste, color, texture, and shapes - cut or spreadable)
- 2 to 3 salami varieties (Think taste, shape, and color. Pre-slice or serve whole for guests to cut. Thin salami can be rolled or folded)
- 1 to 2 nut varieties (raw or salted) (Use raw or salted. Think color like green pistachios, or white macadamia nuts)
- 1 to 2 dried fruit or fresh fruit varieties (Seasonal like red dried cranberries, and beautiful dried figs.)
- 1 to 2 raw vegetables (Think color and texture like cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, celery, radishes - red and green)
- 2 to 3 Variety of crackers (Choose a variety of shapes, sizes, and tastes)
- Decide which shape you want to go with - a tree or a wreath. A wreath presents best on a round board, and a tree on a rectangle board.
- Start by laying rosemary down in the shape of a wreath or a tree. Alternatively, if you don't have a lot of rosemary, shape the ingredients and tuck in rosemary as a filler.
- Place any small dishes you might be using. Use 2 or 3 to balance them visually.
- Next, place meats and cheeses and any larger items such as small dishes. Add your meat and cheeses in alternating directions in an appealing way. You can fold the salami in half, roll it up, or make another fun design if you want!
- Save the fruits, olives, and nuts for last. Place your dried fruit in small sections on your board. If you place some on top of the meat or cheese, that is ok! Use petite bowls for anything you want to elevate, that is wet and needs to be contained, or is hard to scoop up.Add your nuts into small piles on your board where you can fit them in as well. Let them spill over a little bit to give a more natural look.
- Add finishing touches, such as chocolates, preserves, or wrapped candies.Use small Christmas cookie cutters and cut cute designs out of your cheese or salami. This is optional but is always so cute!
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