The most successful boards combine a number of different elements garnished with local and seasonal trimmings. Start by selecting a variety of cheeses. Choose an odd number of both cheese and charcuterie—either three, five, or seven—for the most visually appealing board. Opt for a variety of cheeses with different textures and types of milk (e.g., cow, goat, or sheep). Include one familiar cheese on the board, such as Cheddar or Parmesan, to give people a comfortable place to start.—Kylie Mazon-Chambers
Classic Cheese and Charcuterie Board
When serving a large number of people, bring backup wedges of cheese to replenish the types that are eaten quickly. This gives people a selection and plenty of quantity without overwhelming them. Plan on allotting at least 2 ounces (55 g) of each type of cheese and charcuterie per person when serving this board as an appetizer.
Classic Cheese and Charcuterie Board
Choose a selection of the following
- Your favorite store-bought or homemade jam
- Store-bought or homemade spiced toasted nuts
- 1 loaf French bread, baguette, or artisan bread
- Baked brie
- 8 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 8 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese
- 4 ounces chèvre (goat cheese)
- 6 ounces Gorgonzola cheese
- 4 ounces prosciutto
- 4 ounces sopressata
- 8 ounces dry salami, thinly sliced
- 1 piece (11-ounce) honeycomb
- 8 ounces seedless green grapes
- 8 ounces seedless purple grapes
- 1/2 cup cornichons
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) store-bought or homemade whole-grain mustard
- 1 box (4 1/4-ounce) water crackers
- 1 box (2 3/4-ounce) mini toast crackers
Earlier in the week
- Purchase all the ingredients needed for the board. If necessary, you can make your jam and spiced nuts up to a week in advance.
Earlier in the day
- Cut the bread into 1/2 inch (1.3cm) thick slices and store them in plastic bags.
1 hour before serving
- Make the baked Brie.
- Cheese is best served at room temperature, so take all the cheeses out of the refrigerator 30 minutes to an hour prior to serving, to let the natural flavors shine.
- While the Brie bakes, heat a large grill pan or grill over medium-high heat. Add the slices of bread and cook until grill marks appear, about 1 minute. Flip and cook for 1 minute more. Remove and halve the slices on the bias.
- Start arranging the cheeses on the board. Separate the different types of cheese into separate areas of the board, arranging any similar style of cheeses opposite each other to show off the variety. To make serving easier, precut any hard cheeses.
- Place the baked Brie on a small plate to keep it contained and then add it to the board.
- Arrange the prosciutto, sopressata, and salami around the cheese and fill in the empty spaces with the honeycomb, spiced nuts, grapes, and cornichons, using the photo as a reference for placement, if you’d like.
- Place the jam and the mustard in individual small serving bowls and add them to the board. Finish with the water crackers, mini toast crackers, and grilled bread.
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
For my classic cheese and charcuterie board, I used the following:
Brie with store-bought chile fig jam
Sliced honey crisp apples
Pimento cheese spread
I always keep nuts, crackers, olives, fruit, cheese, jams, and spreads on hand for last-minute charcuterie boards. This particular board was meat-free to accommodate my guest’s dietary restrictions. I try to keep my starters “assemble only” when preparing a meal. It’s also “serve yourself “ which allows me to finish in the kitchen while people enjoy a nibble. The options are endless!