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A Step-by-Step Guide to the Perfect Summer Charcuterie Board

Drawing with various cheeses, pepperoni, jar of honey, fruits, crackers, nuts, sprigs of rosemary.

Charcuterie boards are a simple and tasty dish to make– especially in the summertime when you don’t feel like cooking. Expert skills aren’t required, and with so much fresh and colorful produce this time of year, it’s sure to be a family favorite. Here is our step-by-step guide for how to assemble a delicious and beautiful summer charcuterie board.

1. Pick your board.

To get started, you’ll need to pick the foundation of your charcuterie board. You can use any type of board, but make sure it’s hard, flat and big enough to fit all ingredients.

Our summer favorites:

  • Wood
  • Granite
  • White marble

2. Arrange your cheeses.

Scatter three to five cheeses in a variety of shapes, milk sources, and colors on your board. Choose a few mild, medium, and strong cheeses and a mixture of soft, semi-soft, crumbly, semi-hard, and hard cheeses.

Our summer favorites:

  • Mozzarella
  • Chèvre
  • Burrata
  • Gruyère
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Pecorino
  • Camembert

3. Add meats.

Arrange three to four of your favorite cured meats on your board. Incorporate a variety of textures and pre-slice the meats for easy grabbing.

Our summer favorites:

  • Prosciutto
  • Salami
  • Salmon

4. Add grains.

Offer an assortment of grains so there is something for everyone. Mix it up with different shapes, flavors, and sizes.

Our summer favorites:

  • Grilled baguette slices
  • Mini toasts
  • Water crackers
  • Pretzel thins

5. Add condiments.

Add some flavor to your board by using both sweet and savory condiments, spreads, and dips. Use a combination of small bowls and jars, and don’t forget spreaders.

Our summer favorites:

  • Honey
  • Fig spread
  • Berry preserves
  • Mango chutney
  • Grainy mustard
  • Pesto

6. Fill in the gaps.

The key to a beautiful charcuterie board is no empty space. Fill in any gaps with seasonal fruits, veggies, and nuts. It’s likely your board has lots of earthy tones, so now is the time to add some color with fresh produce. 

The best summer charcuterie board might include:

  • Almonds
  • Pistachios
  • Candied walnuts
  • Cherries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Berries
  • Stone fruits
  • Figs
  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Baby zucchinis

To make the most of your seasonal produce and keep it fresh and tasty for longer, check out "The Best Way to Store Your Favorite Fruits & Veggies."

7. Garnish.

No board is complete without some decoration! Sprinkle in some of your own summer charcuterie board ideas for a final touch or add some festive décor, seasonal herbs and plants, or greenery.

Our summer favorites:

  • Thyme sprigs
  • Arugula
  • Mint
  • Edible flowers

Mocktails That are Perfect for Summer

Now you have a delicious summer charcuterie board to munch on, it's time to really savor the season with these "5 Mocktail Recipes That are Perfect for Summer."


What is a charcuterie board?

A charcuterie board is a sharable appetizer dish that’s usually presented on a wooden or slate board. It typically includes foods such as cheese, crackers, cured meats, dried fruits, and pickled vegetables.

What are the two main charcuterie items?

The two main items in a charcuterie board are meat and cheese. Still, the goal is to provide a variety of meats and cheeses to suit all tastes. You can also accompany the meat and cheese with crackers, fruits, nuts, and more.

What do you put on a charcuterie board in the summer?

Add a variety of in-season fruits and vegetables to your summer charcuterie board. Summer fruit and vegetable ideas include peaches, berries, mangos, cucumbers, tomatoes, and okra.

How do you keep a charcuterie board cool outside?

The easiest way to keep a charcuterie board from getting hot is setting it in the shade. You can also invest in a chilled serving platter or use ice packs or gel packs underneath the board or in between foods to keep it cool.

What kind of cheese do you put on a summer charcuterie board?

You might consider low-moisture cheeses to add to your summer charcuterie board. Low- to medium-moisture cheeses include Parmesan, mozzarella, and Manchego.

What is the 3333 rule for a 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.

How do you calculate charcuterie per person?

Your board should include enough for everyone to share and enjoy! Typically, 3 ounces of meat and cheese per person can satiate a crew.

What do you not put on a charcuterie board?

What you decide to add to your charcuterie board is up to you. However, your favorite meats and cheeses may not be suitable for all diners. Consider staying away from stinky cheeses, spoiled fruits, spicy foods, and allergens.