Learn how to make a simple cheese and charcuterie board so you can be the life of the party! It’s perfect for literally any gathering because they’re delicious, versatile and, most importantly, EASY!

Whether it’s a a laid-back girls’ get together, a summer soiree, or a festive holiday event, simply put, cheese and charcuterie boards are kind of our jam. So to up your cheese-and-meats game and, let’s face it, put your name on the easiest task for the potluck, I’m sharing our no-fail tips for how to make a cheese and charcuterie board to drool over.

Charcuterie comes from the French words chair, meaning “flesh,” and cuit, meaning “cooked,” and refers to cured meats that are served alongside cheeses, fruits and condiments. 

woman at table with charcuterie boards

What is the difference between a charcuterie board and a cheese board?

Charcuterie (pronounced “shar-koo-tuh-ree”) focuses on cured meat whereas a cheese board primaroly features a variety of cheeses. The two terms are often used interchangeably but that is their distinction. While both boards are designed for sharing and can look similar, the main difference lies in whether the emphasis is on meats or cheeses.

a hand reaching out to select fruit from a charcuterie board

First Things First, It’s All About the Board

Cheese may be the main star of this plate, but it all starts with a good foundation. There are so many cool and fun boards out there to fit any occasion, but pick one based on texture and what vibe you’re going for.

  • Slate is great for the dark contrast to the bright colors of the cheese, meat and fruit. It’s also fun to label everything in chalk right on the board.
  • Going for a more rustic vibe? Nailing the look is as simple as using your large wooden cutting board as a base. One with a handle makes for easy transferring, while ones with natural wood shapes are just beautiful.
  • Lastly, marble is a sure-fire choice to take your board up a notch. Their bright, clean and airy color complements the food so well and always looks elegant.

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woman eating
charcuterie board

Pile On Your Favorites

Our big secret on making the best cheese and meat board? Putting all the stuff you love on it! Making a charcuterie board is really that simple. No need to become a cheese snob overnight just to fill the board with names of cheeses you can’t pronounce and won’t even enjoy the taste of!

Of course, we suggest having a nice variety in order to bring a good range of flavor, color and texture—otherwise what’s stopping us from just putting chocolate-covered almonds on a board and calling it a day? (I may or may not have done this.)

According to the International Dairy Foods Association, cheese has been around for over 4,000 years, and no one knows which culture created the first cheese.

anthony bourdain quote
European cheeses

Pick Ingredients for Your Meat and Cheese Board

The Best Cheeses for a Cheese Board

With any charcuterie board, it’s important to have variety. There are at least three main selections to go for:

  • Soft cheese: Use a spreadable, super creamy cheese like brie or goat cheese (which can be mild!).
  • Strong, Flavorful Cheese: Cheese with a strong, sharp, slightly funky flavor like a blue (think gorgonzola or stilton).
  • Hard cheese: Cheddar is a classic choice but you can also opt for something a bit more upscale like gruyere.


There are a number of options to go for, but try choosing two or three selections that vary in smokiness, spiciness and saltiness. A few of our go-tos are prosciutto, cured smoked sausages and a spicy chorizo.


Fruit, crackers, condiments—you name it, you can put it on a cheese board! Incorporate fruits that are in season, anything from grapes to wine-soaked peaches. Crackers are where you can add texture with multi-grain or a thin-baked—we’re also big fans of a crispy baguette. To balance out flavors, add on condiments like relish, jams, mustards, olives, or nuts. Really, the possibilities for cheese board ideas are endless!

Check out all my party ideas over on the City Girl Gone Mom Pinterest board!

bread, cheese, wine, and meats
pouring wine into a glass beside a platter of food

Create a Pinterest-Worthy Cheese Board

Now comes the fun part! Set your cheese first at an equal distance from each other, and pair each one with its own knife for easy cutting. Add the meat next, placing around the cheese equally. Then, fill in the empty spaces with the remaining fruits, baguette slices, crackers and condiments.

The end result is a totally-stuffed, drool-worthy cheese and charcuterie board that you and your friends will wow over all night long. Mangia!

The first pilgrims included cheese in the Mayflower’s food supplies when they made their transatlantic voyage to America in 1620.

overhead view of a simple cheese board
charcuterie board

Simple Cheese and Charcuterie Board

Learn how to make a simple cheese and charcuterie board so you can be the life of the party! It's perfect for literally any gathering because they’re delicious, versatile and, most importantly, EASY!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine French
Servings 6



  • Brie soft
  • Gorgonzola blue
  • Aged Cheddar hard


  • Prosciutto
  • Smoked Sausage
  • Chorizo spicy


  • A mix of seasonal fruits grapes, figs, wine-soaked peaches
  • A variety of crackers multi-grain, thin-baked
  • Fresh baguette sliced
  • Condiments relish, jams, mustards, olives


  • Depending on the occasion and your style, choose a board that fits the mood—slate for elegant contrasts, rustic wood for a homely feel, or marble for a touch of class.
  • Place your cheeses spaced evenly on the board. Each cheese should have its own knife. Start with brie at one end, followed by gorgonzola, and finish with cheddar at the opposite end.
  • Fold slices of prosciutto into halves and fan them out near the brie. Arrange slices of smoked sausage and chorizo neatly around the gorgonzola and cheddar.
  • Fill in the spaces with clusters of grapes and figs. Place small bowls of relish, jams, and mustards around the board. Add groups of crackers and sliced baguette around the edges for easy access.
  • Scatter olives and nuts where there’s space, ensuring there’s a bit of everything within easy reach. If using a slate board, label each item using chalk for a fun and informative touch.
  • Before serving, ensure that every item is accessible and that the board looks balanced and inviting. Add a few edible flowers or herb sprigs for a pop of color and freshness if desired.
  • Serve immediately, and watch as your guests enjoy sampling and discovering their favorite combinations.
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