How To Build a Better Charcuterie Board

We love a charcuterie platter. When done well, they really look impressive, adding oomph to any holiday spread. Plus, with ingredients mostly drawn from the pantry, they’re easier to put together than you might think. Below, we’ve put together our guiding principles to help you craft a thoughtful, balanced, and (best of all) delicious charcuterie platter.


It’s important to offer a variety of meats on any charcuterie platter, and what those are wholly depends on your taste. But always make sure to include at least one whole muscle (like bresaola or prosciutto) and at least one salami. We also recommend including at least one tinned fish; simply pop the top off and place the whole tin on the platter.

*Pro tip: grab a Tiny fish Co butter octo and warm it a little in the can.


Another area where variety is key, we always like to have at least one cow’s milk cheese, one goat’s milk cheese, and one sheep’s milk cheese, with at least one hard cheese and one spreadable soft cheese among the selections.

*Pro tip: let the soft cheese sit out on the counter as soon as you start building the board for the perfect ripeness: warm soft cheese = AMAZING.


Neutral is generally the name of the game when it comes to crackers… better to let the various meats, cheeses, and spreads be the star of the show. That said, we do often include at least one flavored cracker alongside our preferred neutral crackers.

*Pro tip: grab a fresh baguette and slice it on the bias, cut the whole thing and put the excess in a bowl for easy replenishing through the evening.


Any number of spreads work well, but we always have at least one sweet option. Jams and honey are classics, and we love the more esoteric entrants in this category like quince paste, fig preserves, and mostarda, and it’s always nice to offer something savory as well, like mustard or chutney.

Nuts, Olives, Pickles, Etc

We always like to include a few things to cut through the richness of cheese and meat, so olives and pickles are a necessity on our own charcuteries platters; the sharp, briney flavors help refresh the palate between bites of fatty salami and creamy cheese. Nuts are another (often overlooked) component, and offer a chance to branch out beyond the usual peanuts into something a bit more “fancy” feeling. Here in Oregon, we’re partial to filberts (aka hazelnuts) but pecans and walnuts are great too.

*Pro tip for the olive lovers: always include an empty ramekin for pits. Eat the first olive and put a pit in the ramekin as a signal to guests.

And Voila!

Just that like, you've impressed everyone at the party with what is essentially a thoughtfully arranged platter of pantry staples. If you've done it right, there'll be something for everyone, and all of your guests will coo and compliment you and ask where on earth you picked up such a posh spread. Bask in your well-earned glory, and then send 'em down to Wellspent Market.