This Thanksgiving Charcuterie Board how-to has everything you need to create a professional-looking cheese board in your home for just $60!
All of the ingredients come from Trader Joe’s and the step-by-step instructions will show you exactly how to put them together to create a beautiful board for your Thanksgiving or holiday table.
Thanksgiving Charcuterie Board Tutorial
If you’re looking for the perfect Thanksgiving day appetizer, look no further than this abundance board of meat and cheese, crackers, fresh and dried fruit, and snacks galore.
You can copy this charcuterie board step by step and confidently serve it for your big day. (And all the holidays and parties beyond!)
Just change up the decorations for the seasons – add mini pumpkins and dried cranberries in the fall, swap in seasonal fruit like berries in the summertime, or make the festive holiday red, white, and green version!
Looking at a finished board, it’s hard to know how much of everything to buy, so we have done all the hard work for you and have everything from your shopping list to details on exactly how to cut the cheese (har har har) and arrange each group of ingredients into beautiful layers.
Once you get the hang of the formula and method, you’ll be able to design your own boards using whatever ingredients you desire.
What’s On Our Board: Cheese Board Ingredients
a variety of different types of cheeses will please all people. I like a soft cheese like brie, a sharp cheese like cheddar, and a manchego or gouda!
these come in a 3-pack at Trader Joe’s so they’re easy! Look for a variety of mild-to-spicy flavors
4 Kinds of Crackers
pick 3-4 different kinds, including cool ones like cheese straws, neutral ones, and maybe sweet ones too!
The TJs candied oranges are so yummy and pretty + dried apricots or cranberries are great too
Crisp apples and grapes in both colors
Truffle marcona almonds = 100%. Cashews. Salted or smoked almonds. Chocolate almonds!
And the best part? The entire board cost only $60 from Trader Joe’s!
Charcuterie Board Shopping List
Yup, everything comes from Trader Joe’s!
The ingredients don’t look as fancy in boxes right? But all assembled your guests will think this is the board of all boards.
What To Include:
- Manchego cheese
- Unexpected Cheddar cheese
- Triple Cream Brie cheese
- Fig butter or other preserves (Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter is also amazing!)
- Truffle marcona almonds (you’ll use half) (6 oz)
- Bag of dried apricots (you’ll use half or so – save the rest)
- 2 colors of grapes (get the mixed grape container)
- One honeycrisp apple
- Sweetened Dried Orange Slices (5 oz) (these are SO good, but you can also use fresh oranges)
- Trio of Spanish meats (6 oz)
- Fresh sage
- Fresh rosemary
- Stone ground wheat crackers
- Pistachio Pomegranate Crisps
- Cheddar Cheese Sticks
- Pita Bite Crackers
There’s an extra goat cheese in the photo that we decided not to use, but of course you can mix and match any cheeses like blue cheese or an herbed or cranberry goat cheese.
Board Shopping Tips
Try to choose three different styles and flavors of cheese so you’ll have variety.
You can also consider adding little bowls with hummus or more savory options like marinated artichokes or olives.
A little bowl of chocolate covered nuts or a few dark chocolates is also a nice touch!
You won’t use ALL the crackers, nuts or fruit, on the board, but you can also keep a stash to the side to replenish if needed.
How To Put Your Thanksgiving Charcuterie Board Together
Gather Your Equipment, Prep Fruit, Unbox Crackers
Do your chopping and prep on one board and assemble on the serving board. That way the serving board stays nice and neat.
So you’ll need two cutting boards, cheese knives, and a few prep plates to corral ingredients.
Prep the cheeses
Keep the brie whole and cube the cheddar.
How to cut triangle cheese for charcuterie
Turn the manchego on its side and slice into triangles. Then stack them vertically. Once you have a tower, you can turn on its side to be seen as zig zags on the board.
How To Fold And Roll Meats
- Roll oval meats into cigars
- Fold circular meats into “flowers”
Once everything is all unwrapped, washed, cut, you can start assembly!
Step 1: Begin by anchoring the board with the cheeses.
Step 2: Add meats as a winding river around cheeses, turning rolled “cigars” up vertically.
Step 3: Add fruit
Stand grapes up as much as possible so the stem is up in the air.
Place piles of dried fruit around.
Anchor corners with oranges slices (I think these are soooo pretty!) and thinly slice apples to display in a fan.
Step 4: Add crackers in groups and bunches, like fans, dominos and piles.
Note how the breadsticks are halved and standing up as much as possible.
Step 5: Filling remaining empty spaces with nuts.
Step 6: Make a dent in the brie and pour on preserves.
Step 7: Add fresh herbs in remaining spaces.
Watch it magically build:
Charcuterie Board Tips
If you don’t have a large enough board, you can put two boards together or use a platter. Since you’ll do most of the cutting on your prep board, the serving board is more for display.
Transporting to a party
If you need to transport board, you can put rosemary vertically or use the knives to keep plastic wrap from smushing the board.
I also like to put the whole board inside of a large tray with sides to prevent it from shifting. A large shallow box would work too.
Use Bowls For Dips
If you’d like to add a dip like hummus, use a small bowl and anchor it with the cheese.
Add something sweet
Every charcuterie board needs a tiny bit of chocolate!
More party and charcuterie board ideas:
- Small Charcuterie Board
- Christmas Charcuterie Board
- Picnic Charcuterie Board
- Kids Charcuterie Board
- Breakfast Charcuterie Board
- Make-Ahead Toothpick Appetizer Ideas
- Bedazzled Goat Cheese
More Themed Charcuterie Board Ideas:
Special thanks to my gal Della for sharing her creative process with us!
Have a wonderful holiday season!
Better yet, serve it with some great wine for a very happy happy hour!