When it's too hot to cook in the kitchen, grab yourself a platter and build this beautiful and easy to make summer charcuterie board. This sweet and savory board has all the best tastes of summer.
From chin dripping watermelon to juicy cantaloupe wrapped in thinly sliced prosciutto, this summer charcuterie board is perfect for entertaining or to serve as a light lunch or main course at dinnertime.
Why This Recipe Works
- Great for summer weather. When it's too hot to cook, this charcuterie board is a lifesaver. It's filling and pairs great with a glass of wine or refreshing cocktail.
- Shareable appetizer. There's nothing like having family around the table and being able to nibble on these delicious eats and enjoy each others company.
- Great for gatherings. Charcuterie boards elevate any party or gathering and they are a great crowd pleaser.
- Customizable. The best part about these boards is you can make them as big or small as you want and use your favorite fruits, meats and cheeses.
- Kid friendly. These boards are a great way to incorporate fresh and healthy ingredients for your kiddos. Kids can graze on them for lunch or dinner and make their own little snack plate.
To keep this charcuterie board nice and light for summer, I tried to incorporate a variety of fresh ingredients and seasonal fruits. Use these ingredients as a guide but feel free to use your favorites to create your own personal board.
- Stone fruit- Peaches, nectarines and apricots are all good. Make sure to smell your fruit. A ripe peach will actually smell like a peach, while an unripe peach doest not have a very strong smell at all.
- Fresh berries- Strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are at their peak season in the summer. Pick berries that are plump and have a deep, vibrant color.
- Melon- Look for cantaloupe that are tan in color and do not have any brown or soft spots. The melon should be firm but not rock hard.
- Cheeses- I used fresh mozzarella, gouda and a rosemary asiago for my board. Try to incorporate cheeses that are soft and hard.
- Fresh basil- You can find fresh basil inside the grocery markets or even better, plant some inside a pot so you will always have it around.
- Vine ripe tomatoes. Look for tomatoes that have a deep, bright red color and ones that aren't super hard. They should slightly give when you gently squeeze them.
- Watermelon- Undoubtedly, the best summertime fruit. Look for watermelon that have deep green stripes consistently all around. Also, the rind will be matte and not shiny. Ripe melons also have an orange or yellow blotch where it came in contact with the ground. This is a good indication it is ripe.
- Crackers- I use a variety of multigrain crackers and small crostini.
- Nuts- I like to add nuts to my boards for some added texture and crunch. In this board, I used candied pecans.
Step By Step Instructions
STEP 1: Choose a board. First, you need to pick a board or platter for all your delicious goodies. You can use a cutting board or even a cookie sheet with some parchment laid down.
STEP 2: Add cheese. Start by adding your cheeses onto the board. I like to cut a few slices while still leaving some of the cheese whole.
STEP 3: Add meats. Fold them and fan them out to create a nice presentation.
STEP 4: Arrange caprese salad. On each side of the board, lay out fresh mozzarella, followed by fresh basil leaves and sliced tomatoes. Repeat 4-5 times.
STEP 5: Wrap cantaloupe. Remove rind and seeds from cantaloupe. Slice into wedges and wrap with thinly sliced prosciutto.
STEP 6: Add small bowls. Fill small bowls with nuts, spreads or honey.
STEP 7: Fill in the spaces. Fill in any gaps with crackers and fresh fruit.
STEP 8: Add some fresh greenery. Garnish with extra basil or mint leaves to bring some freshness and color to the board.
How Much Cheese Do I Need
I suggest having about 3 oz of meat and cheese per person if you plan to serve this as an appetizer. This comes out to be around 4 slices of salami or prosciutto and 3-4 slices of cheese.
If you're serving this as a main course, make sure to have at least 6 oz of meat and cheese per person.
Also, it's always a good idea to have extra fruit and veggies on hand to replenish your board. Serve dips and extra goodies like olives and fresh bread around the board so that no one is left hungry.
Always start off with larger items first, such as wedges of cheese, followed by sliced cheeses and meats.
Do not overload your board with one ingredient. Balance your board by using equal amounts throughout.
Choose bright colored fruits and veggies to add a pop of color. We all eat with our eyes so make sure whatever you're putting down is attractive and looks appetizing.
Use small bowls. They are a great way to add jams or spreads to charcuterie boards. It also helps divide the board up and make everything look cohesive rather than crowded.
Use greenery to add some freshness. Basil, lemon leaves, fresh rosemary and mint are all great options.
Charcuterie is a French culinary team that involves the preparation of various meats such as salami, ham, sausages, bacon, terrines, galantines and are primarily from pork.
Yes, you can. Slice and arrange any cheeses or meats onto your platter. Wrap tight with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Slice any fresh fruit or veggies and store in an airtight container. When ready to serve, arrange fruit and veggies and add crackers last minute to keep them crisp.
Start with cheeses and meats and arrange items next to other ones that go well together. Use small bowls to divide the board into sections. Add fruit, nuts and crackers to fill in all the empty spaces.
Storing and Freezing
Make sure to refrigerate this summer charcuterie board until your guests arrive so that the ingredients stay fresh and chilled. Add crackers and nuts upon serving so they do not get soggy and stay crisp.
Refrigerate and store any leftover meats, cheeses, veggies or fruits that haven't been sitting out for more than two hours in an airtight container or Ziplock bags.
Any items that have been sitting out past 2 hours, make sure to discard.
I do not recommend freezing any of the items on this board.
Other summer recipes to try
Easy Summer Charcuterie Board
- Cheddar cheese sliced
- Gouda cheese
- Rosemary Asiago cheese
- Fresh Mozzarella sliced
- Watermelon cut into wedges
- Cantaloupe cut into wedges
- Yellow peaches sliced
- Vine ripe tomatoes sliced
- Candied pecans
- Multigrain pita bites
- Fresh basil
- Fresh mint
- Choose a large board or platter for all of your goodies.
- Starting with cheeses and meats, arrange onto board. Slice tomatoes and layer with basil and fresh mozzarella to create Caprese Salad. Cut off rind and remove seeds from cantaloupe. Slice into wedges and wrap with prosciutto. Place onto outer edge of the board. Fill in spaces with bowl of candied pecans, fruits and crackers. Add additional greenery if desired.
- Serve right before guests arrive. Enjoy!