Simple Cheese and Charcuterie Board

Treat your guests to a beautiful, simple cheese and charcuterie board made with cheese, charcuterie, fruit, and nuts. It only takes 20 minutes! 

cheese cubes, salami, fruit, nuts, and crackers on a wooden board.

A cheese board is a guaranteed hit at any party, and this gorgeous Simple Cheese and Charcuterie Board will wow your guests.

There’s nothing to cook—you just need to gather the ingredients and assemble it. It’ll take you 20 minutes or less, and then you can kick back until your guests arrive!

What’s the best platter for a cheese board?

Choose a platter that’s not too big. The display should look full and abundant, with no space between the cheese, crackers, fruit, and nuts.

The exact size of the platter depends on the amount of ingredients. For this recipe, I used a wooden board that is 16 inches by 12 inches.

grapes, strawberries, crackers, cheese cubes, and almonds on a wooden board.

What makes this simple?

This cheese and charcuterie board is made simple by limiting the choices! Sure, you can go all-out and offers lots of cheeses and meats, but this board keeps it easy and simple. Here are a few tips to keep it simple:

  • Purchase pre-cubed cheese so you don’t have to cut it
  • Get pre-sliced salami
  • Select 2 types of crackers
  • Choose 2–3 fruits for garnish
  • Stick with one type of nut to fill in the holes

By having some variety but also limiting the choices, this board looks beautiful but with only a little work on your part.

Board ingredients

  • Cheese! Use your favorites. I used pre-cut cubes of cheese to make it even easier.
  • An assortment of crackers is nice to make the platter visually interesting.
  • Fruit such as grapes, strawberries, blackberries, and figs add gorgeous color.
  • Salami, sopressata, prosciutto—use your favorite cured meat!
  • A fruit jam such as fig jam or strawberry jam pairs really nicely with cheese.
  • Nuts will fill in the holes of the cheese board. I like rosemary marcona almonds from Trader Joe’s. Regular almonds work well, too.

How to assemble a simple cheese and charcuterie board

Place several piles of cheese on a wooden board. They can be cubes or slices, or even a whole log of goat cheese. Even if it’s the same type of cheese, split it into a couple piles. This adds visual interest to the cheese board.

In addition to the cheese cubes, add a small dish of jam. Fig jam pairs especially well with cheddar. Strawberry or raspberry jam would be delicious, too.

piles of cheese cubes and a small dish of fig jam on a wooden board.

Next, add a few rows of sliced salami.

piles of cheese cubes, rows of salami, and a dish of fig jam on a wooden board.

Then add a few piles of crackers. I usually have a variety of crackers on hand, so I just add whatever is in the pantry to the board.

cheese cubes, crackers, salami, and a small dish of fig jam on a wooden board.

Next, add some fruit! Berries and grapes are perfect for cheese boards because they pair so nicely with the cheese.

cheese cubes, salami, crackers, fruit, and a small dish of fig jam on a wooden board.

Finally, fill in the holes with nuts. Marcona almonds are a popular choice, but salted mixed nuts would be a hit, too.

wooden board loaded with fresh fruit, cheese, salami, crackers, and nuts.

Keep some extra cheese on hand to replenish the board if you are serving a crowd—the cheese is always the first to go!

Can I make a cheese and charcuterie board ahead of time?

You can make the cheese and charcuterie board up to 2 hours in advance of serving it. Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. If you let it sit any longer, the crackers will get soggy.

If you want to make it more than several hours ahead, just leave the crackers off and add them at the last minute. In that case, you can make the board up to 24 hours in advance. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap before storing in the refrigerator.

hand pouring cheese cubes from a package onto a cheese board.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of cheese are best for a cheese board?

To keep it simple, this board uses only pre-cubed cheese. If you’d like some additional variety, a traditional cheese board has 3 types of cheeses: a soft cheese, a hard cheese, and a blue cheese. I suggest using cheeses that you like. That way you can enjoy the leftovers!

You can also feature a spreadable cheese, like this Cheese Roll.

What varieties of nuts are best for a cheese platter?

Almonds (particularly marcona almonds), pecans, walnuts, and mixed nuts are all good choices for pairing with cheese. Marcona almonds are a sweeter variety of almond that are roasted in olive oil and sprinkled with salt. Trader Joe’s sells small bags of rosemary marcona almonds that I love adding to a platter.

What types of meat are best for a charcuterie board?

Salami, prosciutto, and soppressata all pair nicely with cheese. Salami is usually sold in logs, which you can slice to your desired thickness. Make sure to read the package to see if you should take the rind off or leave it on.

Prosciutto is typically sold already sliced, in the specialty cheese section. Soppressata can be purchased at the deli counter. Ask the people at the deli counter to slice it thinly for you. Drape it gently onto the board in small piles.

More cheese boards

If you have a round platter, I have a tutorial on how to build a cheese board using a round wooden board, dried fruit, and olives.

For the holidays, this Christmas Cheese Board is extra festive with pops of red and green.

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!

📖 Recipe

selection of cheese, crackers, fruit, and nuts on a wooden board

Simple Cheese and Charcuterie Board

Published by Kate
Enjoy a relaxing evening with a glass of wine and this easy cheese board!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 10 servings
Calories 275 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 6 oz Cheddar cheese cubes
  • 6 oz Colby Jack cheese cubes
  • ½ cup jam (I used fig jam)
  • 8 oz salami, sliced
  • Assorted crackers
  • Assorted fresh fruit (I used strawberries, blackberries, and grapes)
  • Your choice of nuts (I used rosemary marcona almonds from Trader Joe's)

Instructions
 

  • Place a large wooden board on a flat surface. Place the Cracker Barrel cheese cubes in piles around the board.
  • Pour the jam into a small bowl and place on the board.
  • Arrange the sliced salami in several rows on the board. Place the crackers in piles around the board.
  • Fill in the larger gaps with piles of fresh fruit. Then, fill in the smaller gaps with the nuts.
  • Serve immediately. Alternatively, carefully place plastic wrap over the board and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

I find that the board is best served within a few hours of preparing. Avoid making this the day before as the items can dry out and the crackers will get soggy.
The nutrition facts are for the cheese, salami, and jam only. Crackers, fruit, and nuts are not included.
If you can’t find fig jam, strawberry jam or raspberry jam would be a great substitute. 
Cracker ideas: water crackers, entertaining crackers, Triscuits, Ritz, Wheat Thins, Raincoast Crisps, rice crackers for a gluten-free option
Charcuterie ideas: salami (any variety), sopressata, mortadella, prosciutto 
Cheese ideas: any pre-cubed cheese keeps this extra simple, otherwise use any variety you like such as gruyere, manchego, brie, stilton, blue, swiss, etc. 

Nutrition

Calories: 275kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 13gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 726mgPotassium: 137mgFiber: 1gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 340IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 246mgIron: 1mg
Keyword cheese board, summer cheese board
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a star rating and comment below!

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