This Christmas charcuterie board is filled with delectable finger foods in a festive color scheme, perfect for the holiday season. This beautiful board will wow guests and is a great way to add an edible festive touch to your next holiday party. If you were able to pull together a Thanksgiving charcuterie board, you will definitely succeed at creating a gorgeous cheese platter for your Christmas holiday parties!
Making a more festive board isn’t all that different from making a traditional charcuterie board. You start with the same basics of fresh cheeses and yummy cured meats, then add in seasonal produce and holiday décor that fits the Christmas theme. Edible food items reminiscent of Christmas colors and holiday inspired sweet treats are all great options for making the a festive Christmas charcuterie board.
You can even add in homemade touches, such as my homemade cranberry Christmas jam or raspberry jam, and sugared cranberries. Read on for the step-by-step instructions, and special tips to create your own Christmas cheese board for all your upcoming family gatherings.
Why this is the perfect holiday appetizer
- Customizable and versatile. Start with the building blocks of the perfect charcuterie board – cured meats and delicious cheeses – and then just about everything else is customizable to fit your favorite taste preferences!
- Quick to assemble with no cooking! Wow guests with this pre-party spread, without ever having to turn on the oven.
- Great family friendly meal idea for a relaxed night at home. This board doesn’t have to be saved as an appetizer for a Christmas party. It can be a delicious and easy light meal for the whole family. Perfect for decorating the Christmas tree or a quiet night at home on Christmas Eve, wrapping last minute gifts.
- Variety of cheeses: I typically choose 3-4 delicious cheeses and try to aim for a balance of hard and soft cheeses. Since I was trying to focus on holiday inspired flavors, I added in a stilton with cranberries and a cranberry goat cheese log, in addition to a Irish cheddar cheese.
- Charcuterie meats: Include traditional cured meats like hard salami and prosciutto. The prosciutto and salami wrapped provolone from Trader Joe’s are a delicious kid-friendly addition, as well as pepperoni slices.
- Seasonal fresh fruit and produce: think gorgeous large pomegranate seeds, raspberries, cherry tomatoes with fresh basil, sprigs of rosemary. Green grapes, pears and golden berries are also great options.
- Crackers: This board is a simple mix of a very simple water cracker, and a more flavorful and rustic raisin cracker. Feel free to add any type though, but just make sure to add them last! This prevents them from getting soggy if they touch other ingredients for too long.
- Nuts & olives: A well balanced charcuterie board should always have a mix of salty and briny flavors, to offset the meat and cheese. Green olives are a personal favorite, and kalamata olives are also a great addition. Marcona almonds are one of my favorite things on earth, so those are always included, as well as a dark chocolate covered almond.
- Sweet treats: I always like to offset the savory items with a hint of sweet! Dark and white chocolate in holiday shapes, festive candy canes because it is the Christmas season, and peppermint meringues (also picked up at Traders), are all great ways to add some sweetness to your gorgeous Christmas charcuterie board.
How to assemble a beautiful presentation
A simple breakdown of how I assemble a charcuterie board with zero fuss:
- Choose serving platters and utensils first. My go-to is a large wooden board or marble slab. I also gather up small bowls to hold foods you don’t want spilling all over.
- Begin by assembling cheeses and meats. These are the stars of the show that everything else revolves around. Place the cheeses first, spread throughout the board, then add in the cured meats.
- Fill in with olives, nuts and fresh fruit, making sure to hold things like olives and pickles in leak-proof bowls.
- Place a few sweet items in various sections so guests can reach in and grab a nibble from anywhere they’re sitting or standing.
- Add crackers last, to keep them crisp!
- Finishing touches – Add in ingredients to fill empty spaces and really make the board look like it’s bursting with food.
- Fill in with seasonal greens and décor to add a festive touch. I snipped off some greenery from a fresh garland and then added decorative fresh berries (nonedible!) that I picked up in the Trader Joe’s floral department. Small ornaments, votive candles, bottle brush trees and twinkly lights are also included to make it really feel like Christmas. Fresh rosemary also makes a great garnish if some of your cheese looks a little plain.
Additional Tips for building Your Holiday Charcuterie Board
- Choose A Large Enough Board – You want to be able to have enough room for all your selections. So choose your board first and choose wisely.
- Place Your Cheeses And Meats First. These will be the biggest items, so it’s important to put these first before you get carried away with smaller items.
- Place Out Crackers Last (And Right Before Serving!) – These can go stale quickly so I always wait to put these out last until guests are about to arrive.
- Pick A Balance Of Flavors. I like to stick with something salty, something sweet, something spicy, and something fresh.
- Have Small Plates Handy. This makes it so your charcuterie board is accessible and people don’t need to stand right there but can make a small plate with their favorites and move along.
- Shape Ingredients Into a Christmas Tree – this is a great idea for family/kid-friendly parties.
I hope you found some delicious inspiration with this board, and feel confident making a gorgeous spread for your holiday gatherings! And if you need any other charcuterie board ideas, here’s a few for you!
More Christmas Day Recipes
Christmas Charcuterie Board
- Large wooden board or marble slab
- 1 lb Cured and Smoked Meats
- 1 lb Assorted Cheeses
- 16 ounces Assorted Crackers
- 8 ounces Assorted Olives & Nuts
- 8 ounces Assorted fruits
- 8 ounces Assortment of sweets
- Choose your serving platters and utensils
- Assemble your Cheeses, and then your meats
- Fill in with olives, nuts and fruits
- Add your crackers toward the end, to keep them fresh and crisp
- Create your finishing touches by adding in a few sweets, and some seasonal greens and decorations, such as greenery, non-edible berries, miniature ornaments and holiday votives