Mini Charcuterie Boards
Published Nov 29, 2023
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Charcuterie boards are a fun addition to any gathering, but there are times when mini individual charcuterie boards make more sense than a larger display. Small charcuterie boards are great for events where you want everyone to grab something quickly and mingle, for a movie night in where you want everyone to get an even mix of the foods, or for an event where you just want to portion everything out ahead of time.
How to Make a Small Charcuterie Board
- Choose your serving boards. 6” x 9” is a great size to aim for if you’re looking for something that people can easily hold but feels right for snacks instead of a full meal. I love the compostable bamboo trays shown in these images – they are a little rustic with different textures on each but are very sturdy and look beautiful.
- Choose and purchase foods. See below for lots of ideas, but aim for 2 meats, 2 cheese, 2 starches, and 2 extras (like fruit, veggies, honey, and nuts).
- Assemble. You can assemble the boards ahead, with a few exceptions. See below for tips.
- Serve! Set them out and enjoy!
When thinking about assembling a charcuterie board, the 3-3-3-3 rule is a good guide for offering enough variety to be visually interesting. The 3-3-3-3 rule calls for using 3 cheeses, 3 meats, 3 starches, and 3 extras (like fruit, veggies, honey, and nuts).
When making mini charcuterie boards, a 2-2-2-2 rule is closer to what you should aim for. Since you are serving smaller, individual boards you won’t need as much variety, and will just need a small amount of each item.
Mini Charcuterie Board Ideas
If following the 2-2-2-2 rule for your mini boards, here are a few ideas.
- 2 Cheeses – preferably one firm or semi-firm that you can slice (like manchego, havarti, gruyere, or mimolette) and one softer cheese that can be served in small portions (brie or goat cheese are always good options; I love the mini brie from Trader Joe’s shown in these photos).
- 2 Meats – Prosciutto and salami are my go-to for small charcuterie boards. However, you can get away with just serving one meat, especially if you’ll have nuts on the board for savory protein.
- 2 Starches – Look for 2 very different shapes like crisp breadsticks and small crackers.
- 2 Extras – Here’s where you can get really creative. A small jar of honey or fruit compote can make a fun statement. I love to add green grapes for a pop of color and sweet flavor. Dried fruit or olives are classic. Or even add some small chocolates, chocolate-covered almonds, or another small sweet treat.
Can You Make it Ahead of Time?
Yes! You can make charcuterie boards ahead of time, but moisture is the enemy. Keep wet and dry components separate until about an hour before serving them. A good way to assemble the boards is to place the cheese, meat, and fruit on the boards up to a day ahead. Wrap them tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate them. 30 minutes before serving, you can add the starches and any other extras.
How to Assemble a Cheese or Charcuterie Board
- Start with cheese. Place the cheeses on opposite sides of the board.
- Add the meat. Tuck the meat around the cheese. If using salami, fold them into halves or quarters to add some height and texture.
- Add the starches. Arrange the crackers around the cheese and meat.
- Scatter the extras over the top. If you’re serving a small jar of something or fruit, put those down first in the empty space available. Pile all of the other extras around the board so that they fill in any empty spots.
How Much to Buy for Each Person
This can vary a lot depending on how much other food is being served, but if you want to serve your mini charcuterie boards as a hearty snack for a gathering that may or may not include other food, here is a good general guideline.
- 2 ounces of cheese / person
- 2 ounces of meat / person
- 10-15 small crackers / person
- 1 cup of extras / person (like ½ cup of grapes and ½ cup of dried fruit or nuts)
Mini Charcuterie Boards
- 2 ounces firm or semi-firm cheese, sliced or crumbled (like manchego, havarti, gruyere, or mimolette)
- 2 ounces soft cheese (like goat cheese or brie)
- 4 ounces salami or prosciutto
- 10 small crisp breadsticks (I love Jennifer’s Homemade Original Breadsticks)
- 20 small crackers (like water crackers, Ritz, or Trader Joe’s Fig and Olive Crisps)
- 2 small bunches grapes or 8 fresh strawberries
- 1/2 cup mixed salted nuts
- 1/2 cup dried fruit (I like apricots and / or dried cranberries)
- 1/2 cup small chocolates or chocolate-covered almonds (optional)
- Set out two small boards approximately 6”x9” (or put everything on one board).
- Divide the cheese between the boards, placing them at opposite ends. Thinly slice the cheese into wedges if possible, to make it easier to eat.
- Tuck the meat around the cheese. If using salami, fold them into halves or quarters to add some height and texture.
- Arrange the crackers around the cheese and meat.
- Add the grapes or strawberries to the empty space on the board. Pile all of the remaining ingredients around the board so that they fill in any empty spots.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.