Christmas Charcuterie Board

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For the merriest grazing this holiday season, make your own Christmas Charcuterie Board. Filled with meats, cheeses, and loads of seasonal touches, this charcuterie tree is as festive as it is delicious.

A christmas charcuterie board shaped like a christmas tree.


 

Charcuterie Boards are one of the easiest ways to entertain: Just load up a board (or other clean surface) with snack fods like meat, cheese, crackers, fruit, and nuts, and set it out for guests to graze.

While any charcuterie board is both gorgeous to look at and delicious to devour, I love the idea of a board on theme. A Christmas tree charcuterie board feels like the best choice for holiday parties. It’s mostly the same items you would use anyway; they are just artfully arranged to resemble a Christmas tree.

Use fresh sprigs of rosemary for greenery, textured crackers for the tree trunk, and fruit or cheese for the tree topper (there are so many ways to pull this off). Cherry tomatoes, small bowls, and other circular elements can function as ornaments. There so many ways to create your own holiday charcuterie board, a tasty and festive adornment to any table or menu.

Recipe ingredients

Ingredients for a Christmas charcuterie board.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Tree topper: Top your Christmas tree with a star-shaped piece of cheese (cut with a cookie cutter), a collection of salami roses, or a slice of star fruit. Or, use a star-shaped dish and fill with pomegranate seeds, nuts, or any other small items.
  • Tree trunk: Layer whole grain square-shaped crackers near the base of the tree. Scandinavian crispbread has the ideal shape and texture of tree bark, but any whole-grain cracker will do.
  • Meats: The overall goal with your Christmas Charcuterie Board is to offer enough diversity that everyone can find something they enjoy; and perhaps discover a new favorite, too. I like to showcase four total, including smoked sausages and salamis, and dry-cured pork or beef. Aim for 2 ounces meat per person (see “Yield” below for more information).
    • Dry-Cured Pork or Beef: Serrano ham, prosciutto, country ham, Iberico ham, capicola, speck, bresaola
    • Salami: Genoa, soppressata, finocchiona, Genoa
  • Cheeses: I like to feature four different varieties of cheese on a Charcuterie Board, and I like to select one from each of the categories bulleted below plus a bonus item. Try to think of cheeses that might complement each of your meats, and cut them in different shapes (slices, thin wedges, cubed cheese) to help sculpt the tree. Plan on 2 ounces cheese per guest (see “Yield” below for more information).
    • Soft: Brie, feta, Camembert, chèvre, ricotta
    • Semi-hard: Fontina, muenster, Gouda, Havarti, Roquefort, gorgonzola, Manchego, Gruyère, Comté, mozzarella balls
    • Firm: Cheddar, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Romano
  • Jams, mustards, and other flavor-boosters: Any form of fruit preserves, jam, jelly, honey, mustards, nuts, green olives, black olives, kalamata olives, cornichons, chocolate, and fresh herbs can round out the board’s real estate.
  • Fruit and vegetables: I like to wander the produce aisle to see what is seasonal for the holidays. In addition to at least one form of dried fruit (dried cherries, apricots, and cranberries are some of my favorites), I usually end up highlighting fresh berries, green grapes, apples or pears, and pomegranate seeds. If you opt to layer in the latter two, toss them with lemon juice before assembly to slow the oxidation process that causes the flesh to brown. Carrot sticks, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, and mini bell pepper halves are lovely to layer in other nutritious, refreshing elements, and can act as great vehicles for dips or soft cheeses.
  • Carbs: Crackers, Toasted Baguette slices, Pita Chips, or pretzels are among my favorites. Stock up on more than you think you might need to build the base so you can refill the board throughout the gathering.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Select a board or space that can accommodate the size and shape of your tree. Outline the general tree shape by arranging rosemary sprigs in a triangle shape. Leave space at the top for your tree-topper (see note 1) and at the bottom for your trunk (see note 2).
Building a Christmas charcuterie board.
  1. Arrange your meats in slices, rolls, or roses and arrange them near the border (following the shape of a tree).
Building a Christmas charcuterie board.
  1. Pair with complimentary cheeses for each meat and continue to sculpt the edges of the tree.
Building a Christmas charcuterie board.
  1. Add bowls of jams, mustards, and olives to the board to fill in the large holes. Fill any any remaining gaps with dried fruit, nuts, crackers, baguette slices, and anything else you have. Layer and overlap when needed; step back to view the board from afar to spot any slim spots.
A christmas charcuterie board shaped like a christmas tree.
  1. Rearrange the rosemary sprigs along the edges to look like tree branches, adding more sprigs as needed. Add a tree topper and tree trunk, and tuck in forks, cheese knives, spreaders, tongs, and other utensils where needed.
A christmas charcuterie board shaped like a christmas tree.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: Your yield will vary depending on how much you buy which is determined by how many you are feeding. I usually plan on 1 to 2 ounces each of meat and cheese per person. If the Charcuterie Board is standing alone as the main event, I am more generous and estimate 4 ounces of meat and cheese per person.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: Assemble the full board, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate up to one day in advance. Bring to room temperature right before the party starts.
  • Dessert charcuterie board: While this Christmas version is mostly savory, you can create a stunning dessert board filled with Christmas cookies, candies (both homemade and store-bought), candy canes, and other sweets.
  • More Christmas charcuterie board ideas: Instead of a tree, use rosemary or other herbs to fashion a circular charcuterie wreath.
A charcuterie board filled with meats, cheese, fruits, nuts, crackers, and other snacks.
Feel free to skip the tree and make a classic Charcuterie Board instead. The same rules apply!

Frequently Asked Questions

How to decoarte a cheese board for Christmas?

Add festive ingredients such as winter citrus, candied nuts, pomegranate seeds, and other seasonal touches. Use holiday-themed plates and napkins, and decorate the table with other Christmas items.

More grazing ideas

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A christmas charcuterie board shaped like a christmas tree.

Christmas Charcuterie Board

For the merriest grazing this holiday season, make your own Christmas Charcuterie Board. Filled with meats, cheeses, and loads of seasonal touches, this charcuterie tree is as festive as it is delicious.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Calories 423
5 from 4 votes

Ingredients 

To shape the tree:

  • fresh rosemary sprigs
  • tree topper (see note 1)
  • tree trunk (see note 2)

The meats (see note 3):

  • 4 ounces prosciutto or serrano ham
  • 4 ounces capicola or bresaola
  • 4 ounces soppressata
  • 4 ounces Genoa salami

The cheese (see note 4):

  • 1 (5 ounce) log chevre
  • 1 (8 ounce) wedge Gouda sliced
  • 1 (4 ounce) wedge Roquefort blue cheese
  • 4 ounces Cheddar cheese cubed

The spreads (see note 5):

The fillers (see notes 6 and 7):

  • olives
  • red grapes
  • apple slices a mix of red and green (Gala apples brown the slowest)
  • pomegranate seeds
  • cucumbers sliced
  • Marcona almonds or other nuts
  • toasted baguette slices
  • flatbread crackers or pretzels

Instructions 

  • Select a board or space that can accommodate the size and shape of your tree. Outline the general shape of your tree by arranging rosemary sprigs in a triangle shape. Leave space at the top for your tree-topper (see note 1) and at the bottom for your trunk (see note 2).
  • Arrange your meats in slices, rolls, or roses and arrange them near the border (following the shape of a tree). Pair with complimentary cheeses for each meat and continue to sculpt the edges of the tree.
  • Add bowls of jams, mustards, and olives to the board to fill in the large holes. Fill any any remaining gaps with dried fruit, nuts, crackers, baguette slices, and anything else you have. Layer and overlap when needed; step back to view the board from afar to spot any slim spots.
  • Rearrange the rosemary sprigs along the edges to look like tree branches, adding more sprigs as needed. Add a tree topper and tree trunk, and tuck in forks, spreaders, tongs, and other utensils where needed.

Notes

  1. Tree topper: Top your Christmas tree with a star-shaped piece of cheese, a collection of salami roses, or a slice of star fruit. Or, use a star-shaped dish and fill with pomegranate seeds, nuts, or any other small items.
  2. Tree trunk: Layer whole grain square-shaped crackers near the base of the tree. Scandinavian crispbread has the ideal shape and texture of tree bark, but any whole-grain cracker will do.
  3. Meats: The overall goal with your Christmas Charcuterie Board is to offer enough diversity that everyone can find something they enjoy; and perhaps discover a new favorite, too. I like to showcase four total, including smoked sausages and salamis, and dry-cured pork or beef. Aim for 2 ounces meat per person (see “Yield” below for more information).
  4. Cheeses: I like to feature four different varieties of cheese on a Charcuterie Board, and I like to select one from each of the categories bulleted below plus a bonus item. Try to think of cheeses that might complement each of your meats, and cut them in different shapes to help sculpt the tree. Plan on 2 ounces cheese per guest (see “Yield” below for more information).
  5. Jams, mustards, and other flavor-boosters: Any form of fruit preserves/jams/jellies, honey, mustards, nuts, olives, cornichons, chocolate, and fresh herbs can round out the board’s real estate.
  6. Fruit and vegetables: I like to wander the produce aisle to see what is seasonal for the holidays. In addition to at least one form of dried fruit, I usually end up highlighting fresh berries, grapes, apples or pears, and pomegranate seeds. If you opt to layer in the latter two, toss them with lemon juice before assembly to slow the oxidation process that causes the flesh to brown. Carrot sticks, cucumber slices, and mini bell pepper halves are lovely to layer in other nutritious, refreshing elements, and can act as great vehicles for dips or soft cheeses.
  7. Carbs: Crackers, Toasted Baguette slices, Pita Chips, or pretzels are among my favorites. Stock up on more than you think you might need to build the base board so you can refill the board throughout the gathering.
  8. Yield: Your yield will vary depending on how much you buy which is determined by how many you are feeding. I usually plan on 1 to 2 ounces each of meat and cheese per person. If the Charcuterie Board is standing alone as the main event, I am more generous and estimate 4 ounces of meat and cheese per person.
  9. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 serving (meat and cheese only)Calories: 423kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 23gFat: 37gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0.04gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 1683mgPotassium: 211mgSugar: 0.1gVitamin A: 263IUCalcium: 181mgIron: 1mg
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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Comments

  1. The Christmas tree looks fabulous! Thanks for breaking down steps. I’ll definitely attempt this for Christmas Eve.
    Merry Christmas!5 stars