Holiday Entertaining: How to Create a Festive Charcuterie Board


‘Tis the season for entertaining, so let’s talk charcuterie.

Holidays are the perfect excuse to go big, bold and colorful, but it can also be a time that is busy and chaotic. That’s just one reason to love charcuterie. These gourmet eats give you an opportunity to create a festive entertaining spread that is as gorgeous as it is easy to put together.

Whether you’re hosting a holiday get-together with a few friends or you’re in charge of feeding the whole office at your yearly holiday party, charcuterie presentations can be made to suit any crowd.

For advice on serving sizes per number of guests, check out How to Build a Charcuterie Board for Two, a Few or a Crowd.

Our entertaining experts are always looking for new and exciting ways to make you the host with the most. That’s why we’ve compiled a simple, easy-to-follow guide for building an eye-catching spread for holiday happy hours, office celebrations, block parties, family dinners and all of your holiday entertaining occasions.

Festive Foundations

First, choose the foundation of your presentation. Keeping in mind how much food you’ll be serving, select a few surfaces on which to build. Use slate boards, marble slabs, ceramic platters, large cutting boards… mix it up and keep things interesting. Consider adding jars and bowls to give some height/depth. Remember: you can always add to the presentation if you find you need more space later.

The Main Event: Charcuterie

Next, it’s time to choose your charcuterie. Select a variety of cured meats and salumi. From spicy pepperoni to the delicate and savory prosciutto, there are so many flavor profiles to consider. Mixing it up means you can accommodate many palates.

Our recommended favorites: Mortadella, Prosciutto, Pepperoni, Rosemary Ham, Black Pepper Rubbed Dry Sausage, Sopressata.

Specialty Cheeses

Bring on the cheese! Select artisan cheeses with a variety of textures, flavor and milk types—ranging from the super sharp aged kinds (Parmigiano-Reggiano, Aged Cheddar and Asiago) to fresh and creamy types (Chèvre and Mascarpone). Blues, like gorgonzola, and bloomy-rind cheeses, like Brie, are popular upgrades.

Our recommended favorites: Havarti, BellaVitano, Asiago, Manchego, Gouda, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Aged Cheddar, Brie, Gorgonzola, Stilton, Gruyère.

Gourmet Complements

Olives & Antipasti

These marinated Mediterranean goodies are an essential component to any entertainment spread. Visit your local deli’s olive bar to pick up some cured olives, pickled peppers, marinated artichokes, Italian-style mushrooms, giardiniera vegetable salads and more. Not only do they add to the eye-appeal of your offerings, but they are natural complements to meats and cheeses. Olives and antipasti can really add a new dimension to your charcuterie and cheese boards, boasting big and exciting flavors— bold, bitter, briny, sweet, tangy, vinegary, smoky, tart, etc.

Some of our favorites:

Shop Now: Castelvetrano Olives
Shop Now: Pitted Jumbo Calamta
Stuffed_BlueCheese_3651 copy
Shop Now: Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives
Recipe: Fresh Garlic & Pepper Antipasto
Shop Now: Castelvetrano Olives
Shop Now: Sweet & Tangy Pepper Drops
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Shop Now: Cornichons
Shop Now: Italian Roasted Tomatoes
Shop Now: Fig Spread
Shop Now: Roasted Pepper Bruschetta
Shop Now: Olive Tapenade
Shop Now: Dijon Mustard


Up your texture game with crispy, crunchy gourmet crostini, breadsticks and focaccia toasts. Not only do they add that irresistible crunch, but also offer up a nice palate cleanser in between bolder bites.

Shop Now: Crostini Toasts
Shop Now: Sea Salt Foccacia Toasts
Shop Now: Grissini Breadsticks
Shop Now: Torinese Breadsticks

Dried Fruit & Nuts

Use dried fruit and nuts to fill the gaps in your presentation. They dynamic textures and flavors, but also give your board a full and robust look, so save these additions for last.

Shop Now: Dried Apricots
Shop Now: Dried Pears
Shop Now: Raw Almonds
Shop Now: Natural Pistachios
Shop Now: Roasted Salted Cashews

Fresh Garnishes

Add sprinkles or sprigs of fresh herbs—like rosemary, thyme or dill—to give your charcuterie offerings a fresh finish.

Now all that’s left to do is add some wine, beer or cocktails and your favorite people.

Need some more inspiration? Check our gallery of recipes!