Charcuterie boards to accessorize meals

Serving snacks on a cutting board has been a popular trend recently. Meat and cheeses are great, but you can do even more than savory snacks.

Sierra Hoeger

Charcuterie boards: you’re either a master charcuterie-chef and have perfected the best boards, or you’ve never heard of them and are confused on how to pronounce its name. 

“With charcuterie boards, they’re so versatile and open,” said Lauren Unzen, junior in culinary food science. “You can really do whatever you want with them and cater to everyone’s needs and wants.”  

Charcuterie boards have begun to gain traction thanks to social media. With endless possibilities of variations to try, charcuterie boards are customizable and comparable to snowflakes: no two are the same. 

“Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but you also have a lot of different [foods],” Unzen said. “So if you don’t like one thing, there’s always another option. For pairings on them, it’s what goes well together.”

Whether this trend is here to stay or will have a short life cycle, some form of them will always be around for those hoping to make a quick appetizer or please guests. 

“I think in some form and way, they’re always going to be around,” Unzen said. “… It’s easy to do and you can do it with so many different things.”

Whether you’re looking to start making these infamous boards that pair well with watch parties for The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, catching the last couple games of the NBA Finals or you’re settling into spooky season with your favorite horror films, these recipes are sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. 


The Classic Charcuterie Board

Filled with meats, cheeses, fruits and crackers, a combination of these foods within a usual meal or setting could be considered abnormal. However, when placed articulately together on a charcuterie board, the combo is irresistible. 

Ingredients: (modify to accommodate as needed)

  • Fruits:

    • Grapes

    • Raspberries

    • Blueberries

    • Blackberries

    • Strawberries

    • Dried mangoes

  • Meats:

    • Cold meat slices (ham, roast beef or turkey)

    • Salami slices

  • Cheeses:

    • Roasted garlic and tomato basil cheese (can be found at Aldi)

    • Cheese slices (colby jack, Swiss, American)

  • Crackers 

    • Saltines

    • Ritz rounds

    • Wheat Thins

  • Dips

    • Hummus 

    • Dessert hummus

    • Peanut butter

    • Queso

Candy Charcuterie Board

To satisfy your sweet tooth and indulge in a sugary snack, altering the foods you add to your charcuterie board is an easy way to do so. Switching the meats for chocolate and the cheeses for gummies, this themed board is sure to give even the best brushers a cavity or two. 

  • Chocolates

    • Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups 

    • M&M’S of any flavor (or all of them, nobody here is judging!) 

    • Candy bars of your choice, sliced into tiny pieces 

  • Gummies

    • Gummy bears

    • Sour gummy worms

    • Sour Patch Kids

    • Swedish Fish

  • Others

    • Oreos

    • Yogurt-covered pretzels

    • Licorice

    • Candy corn

  • Fruit

    • Chocolate-covered strawberries

Breakfast Charcuterie Board

If you’re planning on hosting a Sunday brunch, the addition of a charcuterie board will make even those who don’t like to rise early get out of bed. Filled with more fruits than the other recipes listed above, there are no rules with this board, as long as the foods are breakfast-related. 

  • Meats

    • Slices of bacon

    • Slices of Ham

    • Sausage

  • Fruits

    • Strawberries

    • Blackberries

    • Blueberries

    • Raspberries

    • Bananas

  • Dips

    • Chocolate dipping sauce

    • Syrup

    • Jam

  • Others

    • Mini pancakes

    • Waffles, cut into bite-sized pieces

    • Slices of toast

While respecting and being mindful of COVID-19 restrictions and precautions set by the City of Ames and Iowa State, for your next gathering or roommates’ night in, be sure to stop by your preferred grocery store and pick up the ingredients for a charcuterie board.