Make a Healthy Charcuterie Board in 5 Easy Steps | St. Joseph Health (2024)

Build your charcuterie board with these healthy ingredients.

Any classic charcuterie board recipe is usually filled with a plethora of delicious but highly processed meats and cheeses that can run on the unhealthy side. Here are things to keep in mind when making your charcuterie board shopping list.


  • Meats/Protein. Keep your charcuterie board packed with healthy, lean proteins by including minimally processed, nitrate-free cold cuts and protein alternatives. Opt for artisanal cold cuts, smoked fish, vegan or vegetarian “salami,” egg slices, or marinated tofu.
  • Cheeses. Because charcuterie boards are a feast of flavors and textures, try a mix of soft and hard cheeses. Goat cheese is a healthy, low-fat, and protein-rich alternative to cheese made with cow’s milk, comes in hard and soft variations, and is less likely to cause gastrointestinal upset.
    • Tip: Feeling adventurous? Try plant-based, non-dairy cheeses!
  • Vegetables. Seasonal vegetables are sure to brighten up any spread with their color, flavor, and texture. Include fresh crudités like carrots, celery, bell peppers, and pink radishes, or tuck little jars of antipasti like olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and cornichons into your platter.
  • Fruit. The sweetness of fresh fruit is a perfect addition to any charcuterie board because it balances out the saltiness in meats and cheeses. You can include various fresh, seasonal fruits (figs, pears, and apples in cooler months; berries and peaches in warmer months).
    • Tip: Dried fruit is a good option for charcuterie-lovers on a budget, but use them sparingly as they have higher sugar content than their fresh counterparts.
  • Dips and Spreads. Dips and spreads keep things exciting by adding more flavor and texture options. Healthy and tasty dips include hummus, seasoned yogurt, mushroom pate, or guacamole. Got a sweet tooth? Place small jars of your favorite fruit compote, jellies, or raw honey all over your platter.
    • Tip: Looking to hold back on excess sugar? Drizzle honey over a part of your spread instead of leaving a tempting little pot to dip in.
  • Nuts. Raw, unsalted nuts are high in heart-healthy fats and protein and add an enjoyable crunch to your charcuterie board. Nuts like almonds and pistachios are a tasty charcuterie staple, but variety is the spice of life so add pine nuts, cashews, and even nut butters.
  • Crackers and Bread. Keep your carb options healthy by choosing whole-grain crackers and low-sugar bread like sourdough, sprouted grains, and pumpernickel.
    • Tip: Looking for protein-rich alternatives? Try crackers made with legumes like chickpeas and white beans!
  • Herbs. Make your board look extra fancy by topping them with fresh or dried herbs. Basil and thyme are typical charcuterie mainstays.
    • Tip: Fresh herbs like parsley and mint are helpful as breath fresheners after a flavorful meal.


Step 1: Choose your board, platter, or plate. There are specialty charcuterie platters and boards, but those on a budget can use wooden chopping boards or plates instead.

Step 2: Lay out your soft and moist ingredients because they may be more challenging to relocate later.

Step 3: Place your dips around the board. From here, you can strategically arrange ingredients according to what goes best with each dip.

Step 4: Lay out your dry ingredients. Let your inner artist burst forth! You can do nothing wrong here — whether you choose to arrange everything by color, texture, or pure whimsy — because everything will be delicious anyway.

Step 5: Top with your choice of garnishings, then dig in!

Want to share your healthy charcuterie board creations with us? Post a photo on social media, and tag us!

Hungry for more delectable food and drink options to try yourself? Check out our library of delicious and healthy recipes!

Make a Healthy Charcuterie Board in 5 Easy Steps | St. Joseph Health (2024)


Make a Healthy Charcuterie Board in 5 Easy Steps | St. Joseph Health? ›

The 3333 rule applies to the number of foods to create the perfect board. To follow the 3,3,3,3 rule, stick to three cheeses, three meats, three starches, and three accoutrements.

What is the 3-3-3 rule for charcuterie board? ›

The 3333 rule applies to the number of foods to create the perfect board. To follow the 3,3,3,3 rule, stick to three cheeses, three meats, three starches, and three accoutrements.

What is the healthiest meat for a charcuterie board? ›

Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind when making your shopping list for a healthier board… Ingredients: Meats/Protein- Keep your board packed with healthy, lean proteins like herb roasted chicken or turkey, grilled pork tenderloin, marinated tofu or a few hard boiled egg slices.

What are 5 things to avoid on a charcuterie board? ›

CHARCUTERIE // Stop Adding These 10 Ingredients To Your Charcuterie Boards!
  • STINKY CHEESES. The cheese section at the grocery store can be overwhelming and intimidating. ...
  • SPICY FOODS. ...
  • Veggies. ...
  • Allergens and Sensitivities. ...
  • Dips, Sauces and Jams. ...
  • Boring and Bland Foods.

What are 3 good cheeses for a charcuterie board? ›

Here are the best cheeses for your charcuterie board
  • Hard cheese: chunks of parmesan, aged gouda, asiago.
  • Firm cheese: gruyere, comte, manchego, colby, cheddar.
  • Semi-soft cheese: havarti, butterkäse, muenster.
  • Soft cheese: burrata, mascarpone, stracchino.
  • Blue cheese: gorgonzola, dunbarton blue, marbled blue jack.

What is the secret to a great charcuterie board? ›

After all that meat and cheese, you're going to need something to balance those rich flavors. Cairo suggests accenting the board with acidic pickles, crunchy nuts, whole grain mustard (Maille is his favorite brand), tinned fish, and something sweet like quince jam or a drizzle of honey.

What can I use instead of meat on a charcuterie board? ›

Some of my favorite vegan meat alternatives for a charcuterie board are:
  1. Roasted chickpeas.
  2. Almond Pâté from Lark Ellen Farm.
  3. Red pepper dip.
  4. Lentil spread.
  5. Savory hummus.
Dec 7, 2022

What are the 3 kinds of charcuterie? ›

Charcuterie is divided into three types: forcemeats, sausages and salumi, an Italian word for “salted meats,” which includes preserved whole cuts of meat. Forcemeats are spreadable mixtures of meat and offal (organ meats) like rillettes, pâtés and terrines.

What are three tips for making your own charcuterie board? ›

  1. Tip #1: Start With How Many People You'll Be Serving. ...
  2. Tip #2: Visit Your Local Cheese Shop. ...
  3. Tip #3: Choose a Variety of Textures, Milk Types, and Cured Styles for your Charcuterie Board. ...
  4. Tip #4: Get Creative With Shapes & Colors. ...
  5. Tip #5: Choose Wines from the Same Region as Your Cheeses.

How do you make a food grade charcuterie board? ›

How to make a Charcuterie Board or Cutting Board
  1. Select Wood.
  2. Add Holes for Handle with a Spade Bit.
  3. Roughout Basic Shape with Jigsaw.
  4. Carve a Organic Edges with Angle Grinder and Sanding Head.
  5. Finish Sanding with a Circular Sander.
  6. Select a Food Safe Finish, I Chose Food Grade Mineral Oil.
Feb 8, 2021

What goes first on a charcuterie board? ›

Arrange the items on the board – Once you've selected your meats, cheeses, and accompaniments, it's time to start arranging them on the board. Start by placing the larger items, like meats and cheeses, on the board first. Then, fill in the gaps with the smaller accompaniments.

Are there rules for charcuterie boards? ›

Depending on the size of your board, you should have one each of cow, sheep, and goat options with soft rind, firm, and hard cheeses in the mix. Flavors should range between nutty and mild to funky and unique. Rule of thumb: 1 cow, 1 sheep, 1 goat; 1 soft, 1 firm, 1 hard.

What should every charcuterie board have? ›

Recipe Ingredients
  • Cured meat. Use a selection of 3-4 different cured meats for your charcuterie board. ...
  • Cheese. Select 4 or more cheeses of varying texture and flavor. ...
  • Bread and crackers. I love to include a baguette with a charcuterie board. ...
  • Nuts and chocolate. ...
  • Condiments and jams. ...
  • Fruit. ...
  • Garnish.
Dec 16, 2023

How many cheeses should be on a cheese board? ›

Think variety. Include at least 4 different cheeses on your board from different categories: firm, soft, and semi soft. And start with your favorites.

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