When it comes to entertaining, a well-made charcuterie board is sure to be a crowd pleaser. This artistic platter offers a little something for everyone—meats, cheese, produce, crackers—and can elevate any gathering. So, why not add some variety to your next Thanksgiving meal with a beautiful board? Whether it’s as an appealing appetizer, a mouth-watering dessert spread or even a clever use for holiday leftovers, there are plenty of creative ways to execute a Thanksgiving charcuterie board.
We’ve rounded up a few top tips for creating a delicious Thanksgiving charcuterie board your guests will be thankful for.
Start with a festive platter.
Before you even begin building your board, it’s important to have the right base. There are many beautiful serving platters out there, but a seasonally inspired tray could be a great option for creating your themed charcuterie board. These pumpkin and leaf-shaped platters are fun examples!
Select seasonal ingredients.
Charcuterie boards often include a selection of cured meats and cheeses, with the addition of fruit, crackers, nuts, spreads and other items for texture and variety. A Thanksgiving charcuterie board, however, is an excellent opportunity to take advantage of fall flavors and in-season ingredients!
Apples, pears, pomegranates, cranberries, persimmons, green beans and sweet potatoes are all examples of late fall produce that would fit beautifully on a grazing platter. Many nuts, although available year-round at the store, are also autumn crops. Almonds, walnuts and pecans are popular options for charcuterie boards, and you might even consider making your own candied nuts. Pumpkins also are quintessential foods for Thanksgiving and can be added to a board in several different ways—you can roast the seeds, for instance, or use mini pumpkins as decoration.
Cheese, of course, is an essential part of a quality charcuterie board, and you can use orange cheeses like mimolette or gouda to enhance the autumnal aesthetic. Beyond the usual cured meats and assorted cheeses, you can also round out your board with sprigs of fresh herbs (like rosemary or thyme), dried fruit pieces and a selection of savory crackers.
Get creative with the presentation.
Picking out the ingredients is only half the fun of a charcuterie board—presentation matters too! There are plenty of cute and creative ways you can arrange your Thanksgiving charcuterie board to fit the theme. For instance, you can use a pear, thinly sliced carrots and rolled pieces of cured meat to create a delicious “turkey” in the middle of your platter, or make your own bountiful cornucopia with thoughtfully placed crackers.
We also love this clever way to use a brie wheel as decoration. Simply use a cookie cutter (like this leaf) to create a festive shape in the cheese, then fill the impression with jam or fruit. Or, if you have the time, you can create an adorable and tasty pumpkin-shaped baked brie.
Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box.
Charcuterie boards can be more than just an appetizer! Looking for a fun dessert idea? This mini pie board is a unique twist on the traditional Thanksgiving pie. For a simpler idea, you could serve a mouth-watering spread of fresh fruit, candied nuts, seasonal-flavored cookies and a homemade pumpkin pie dip.
Besides the planning and cooking, one of the hardest parts of a Thanksgiving meal is figuring out what to do with all those leftovers! If you find your fridge stuffed with turkey and sides after the big day, consider inviting friends over for a post-Thanksgiving charcuterie board, created from your leftovers. Artfully arrange turkey slices, stuffing, cranberry sauce, rolls and veggies for a creative way to polish off the remaining food.
For more unique ideas to try this Thanksgiving, take a look at these articles.