The Best Trader Joe's Finds Under $5 For A Perfect Charcuterie Board

Everyone loves a good charcuterie board. How can you go wrong with an array of hard and soft cheeses, salty meats, golden crackers, creamy spreads, and other sweet and savory accouterments? Well, choosing bad, boring, or low-quality ingredients certainly wouldn't be ideal for your party platter. To avert a crisis, not to mention the stress of running around to multiple stores, head to Trader Joe's. It's your one-stop shop for all the ingredients you could possibly need for the perfect charcuterie board, each delicious and dependable. Best of all? You can find many of them for five dollars or less!

We challenged ourselves to create a glorious feast, all courtesy of the popular supermarket chain, with a top price of a Lincoln per item. We were happily surprised by the haul, and think you will be, too. Your guests will be raving about every single bespoke addition to the board, and you will rest easy knowing you did it all within budget. 

Trader Joe's Asiago Cheese with Rosemary and Olive Oil

Asiago is a cheese that is less commonly found than bigger-name Italian standbys like Parmesan, but it's no less worthy of discovery. The cheese is both smooth and moderately crumbly, a textural chameleon of sorts. The taste is similarly malleable, with some toasty aged notes, peppery overtones, and an overarching fresh-faced quality that plays well with others. That's why it's the perfect blank canvas for a wash of velvety olive oil and a dapple of harmonized herbs. These two upgrades bring out the Italian best already inherent in the cheese, and we were able to find a sizeable wedge of Asiago Cheese with Rosemary and Olive Oil from Trader Joe's for only $4.50!

We also loved that it brought vivacity and variety to the charcuterie board. The burst of flavors is a nice change of pace, but the cheese somehow also manages to bond nicely with just about any spread or crackers. Our favorite aspect is the tang of olive oil, and it made us want to eat slices plain thanks to that gorgeous depth of fruity flavor. And though it's not the primary selling point, the dash of pretty green color doesn't hurt. Pop a bite in your mouth with a fig for a symphony of flavor and texture you hadn't even imagined before. 

Belletoile Triple Cream Brie

Belletoile Triple Cream Brie is a ridiculously dreamy French wedge that you can get your hands on for a ridiculously low price. Full-fat, soft-ripened, brie is always a fantastic centerpiece, but this one, in particular, steals the whole darn show. When it comes to charcuterie boards, it's hard not to see the other cheeses as a backup for the brie, especially when it's this indulgent. We feel like it's redundant, but we have to say it anyway ... it's just so creamy. We've had our fair share of double cream brie, but we could see why this third time's the charm. 

It also has all the tasting notes that brie lovers will expect, from a buttery mildness at first bite to a slight funk around the rind. No one will have any idea that a cheese of this size and quality isn't closer to $10 (it's a mere $4.50)! We've determined that this is essentially a model brie for a high flavor-to-price ratio. 

Trader Joe's Burrata

Obviously burrata will be the showstopper, at least visually, on your charcuterie board. Everyone knows all about mozzarella and its beautifully luscious quality, but burrata really takes it to the next level. In the shape of a squishy globe, when you cut into the plush exterior, you'll release a waterfall of exquisite cream. This two-for-one quality means that it not only wows your audience and takes you on a little interactive adventure, but can be scooped up like ricotta. 

Featured on a charcuterie board, burrata, and its milky, mild flavor, becomes an ideal foil to bracing olives, fig-infused crisps, and equally silken prosciutto, so there's no way to lose. We were ecstatic to find this gem for such a fantastic price. At $4.99, it's close to our cutoff, but still a great deal. There's also a fantastic seasonal Trader Joe's Truffle Burrata variety, so if it's available when you're building a board and want to switch things up, go all-out. 

Trader Joe's Manchego Cheese

A product of Spain, Trader Joe's Manchego Cheese is made with pasteurized sheep milk. With an attractive ruby-red rind and ecru interior speckled with granular cheese crystals, it's a dependably winning choice and became a proud product of our charcuterie board for a mere $4.68. Though the flamboyantly "extra" burrata, chic as can be brie, and herb-flecked asiago might look like a million bucks, it's the unassuming manchego that guests will ask about on their way out the door. Like the asiago, manchego presents a hint of nuttiness but doesn't hide it behind a veil of olive oil and aromatics. The lovely tasting notes (buttery yet sharp) never fall flat in Trader Joe's manchego, and the 6-month aging means tons of flavor without too much pungency. 

We dare you to substitute it for parmesan in random places, like atop your Sunday spaghetti, but in the meantime, just enjoy it all by itself in neat triangle slices on your charcuterie board. It's wild to us that such a seemingly simple offering from Trader Joe's can become our new favorite go-to cheese, but here we are. Though it needs no accouterments to shine, we found that the complex flavor profile of manchego went swimmingly with the zesty Everything But the Bagel Seasoned Crackers. 

Trader Joe's Uncured Applewood Smoked Salami

Trader Joe's Uncured Applewood Smoked Salami, made with no nitrates or nitrates added, is as fine a meat as you can find for your board. The four-ounce pack includes 24 slices, and while you're probably not making a charcuterie board for health purposes, a six-slice serving contains a filling 10 grams of protein. Each dusty rose-colored slice is lacey and thin, marbled beautifully with salmon-pink fat. You can form these into lovely rolls or other shapes and they'll instantly make your spread appear fancier. Salami goes with pretty much anything on the list, so you can't go wrong. 

We detected a depth of flavor in this $3.69 salami that's missing in a lot of other inexpensive options. We also loved the subtle smokiness that came through, a tasting note that added even more balance and variety to the charcuterie board. Besides, what would your arrangement be without the meat? Just a cheese board. And we all know that "charcuterie" is the better of the two. 

Trader Joe's Sliced Prosciutto

In our opinion, you can't have a proper charcuterie board without prosciutto. It's non-negotiable: No other meat works as well. Trader Joe's offers Sliced Prosciutto for a slight price, so we're sold. Prosciutto's paneling of fat may deter some, but as long as you get a bite with plenty of the meatier pink part too, you're in for a real treat. TJ's personalized take on this dry-cured ham is delicate in consistency but definitely delivers on bold old-school flavor. Like salami, it lends itself well to rolling up with cheese. 

This particular prosciutto boasts a distinct sweetness factor.  If you have any berry jams on hand, you can certainly play up the sweetness in high style. And you are sorely missing out if you don't use a slice to soak up the creamy burrata. As per Trader Joe's usual high standards, it looks and tastes like a luxury, but at $3.99 a package, it is actually only a few more cents than the salami. Between the smoked salami and the straight-up prosciutto, you've got all your meaty bases covered. 

Trader Joe's Fig & Olive Crisps

Trader Joe's offers a few cracker varieties, but none as good as the elegant Fig & Olive Crisps, available for a mere $3.99 per box. But just so you know we really mean it, one of our taste testers hates olives yet still loved these crisps. It's because of the way they're crafted and baked. Very thin but still maintaining a nice texture, the crisps are chewy and almost bendable, and the ingredients infuse the square like a stained-glass window of cohesive, colorful flavor. The olives bring their wonderful briny saltiness and contribute to the chew, but any of their challenging pickled tasting notes are baked out. Same with the figs: We get a natural fruity sweetness and again, more chew, but none of the slightly fuzzy quality that can detract from the intensely lush flavor. 

These crisps are delicate yet firm enough that you can shove them into a chunky dip and expect them not to snap. The Italian essence of olives and figs means that they go beautifully with the creamy burrata on this board. Oh, and add an olive, of course, and maybe a whispery ribbon of prosciutto, for the perfect charcuterie bite. 

Trader Joe's Everything but the Bagel Seasoned Crackers

The wildly successful Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend is among Trader's Joe's most popular products. This wild card charcuterie board pick (priced at $2.99 a box) takes the iconic seasoning to the next level, fusing the famed blend of sesame seeds, sea salt flakes, dried minced garlic, dried minced onion, black sesame seeds, and poppy seeds, with a wheaty, savory cracker.  Each spice is necessary to achieve the full flavor profile, but for the purposes of charcuterie board pairings, it's the nuggets of garlic and onion that really help tie everything together. Every single taste tester was delighted by this under-the-radar Trader Joe's find and foresee it being a new regular item on their shopping lists. 

Perhaps the best thing about them? The way they have so much joyful flavor that they can be easily enjoyable all by themselves, no cheese necessary. If these crackers have inspired you to experiment with putting a dash of everything bagel season on any carb source – bagel, cracker, or croissant – try whipping up your own everything bagel blend to always have on hand. It's a budget-conscious way to make everything better!

Trader Joe's Organic Garlic Naan Crackers

The Organic Garlic Naan Crackers are made with all the precision of a perfect Trader Joe's product. Since the popular Indian flatbread is already, well, flat, it makes sense to just bake it up into a crispy cracker. While the Fig & Olive Crisps provide some sweetness and the Everything But the Bagel Crackers are all about the trendy seasoning blend, these crackers bring the zesty, savory flavors but keep it toned down enough to scoop up any of the cheeses listed here. 

Obviously, these plus the Garlic Spread are a match made in heaven, and if you close your eyes you can almost imagine yourself eating a condensed version of a chewy bread plus that sought-after white sauce on a corner in New York City. For $3.79, we all agreed these are anytime crackers, as good on your carefully crafted charcuterie board as with some chicken salad for your work lunch. We loved the slightly sandy texture on the surface, full of garlicky flavor. Underneath, the inside is light and flakey as can be. These Organic Garlic Naan Crackers are an absolute must for getting back to basics while giving your charcuterie board a little extra flair. 

Trader Joe's Caramelized Onion Dip

The Caramelized Onion Dip proved matchless, and for $3.79, we're going to have one in our fridge at all times. It's chock full of silky burnished bronze caramelized onions yet also maintains an accessible, dippable texture. We think it's a fantastic jack-of-all-trades dip because it's both elevated and for everyone. The elevated comes out in the French nonchalance, the nod to elegance and chef-approved meals made with sauces of glittering caramelized onions, not to mention the iconic Gruyère-topped French onion soup.  

But it's still a tangy, fun dip that will appeal to anyone who grew up with those weird green containers of French onion dip that you can find at just about any grocery store. The salty and savory notes in each bite go beautifully with a lot of the other items on this list. Our favorite was a high dip-to-chip ratio Carmelized Onion Dip atop a Garlic Naan Cracker, plus a wedge of the Asiago Cheese with Rosemary and Olive Oil. Add an olive if there's room, and thank us later. It also comes in a vegan variety, so if your cheeses are all clever non-dairy dupes, your dips can keep up.

Trader Joe's Garlic Spread Dip

If you're someone who can never get enough garlic, you probably just wish there was some way you could eat it straight without, you know, popping whole cloves, in order to get as much garlic flavor as possible. This $2.99 vegan Garlic Spread Dip is heaven-sent for you, and on that note, we thought it tasted absolutely divine. Somehow it's light and airy, almost like a whipped cream cheese consistency, not at all a heavy or oily spread you might expect from something garlic-based. The potential uses for the dual spread and dip are through the roof, but start simply with a cracker or meat dunk. This is also a great way to see who the garlic fiends are at your event and mock them mercilessly, all in good fun.

Though you may not think a charcuterie board needs one dip geared towards onion lovers and another geared towards garlic lovers we recommend including both. One reason is that the two aromatics have a pungency and depth that effortlessly complements just about any savory meat, cheese, or cracker. Another reason? They go very well together, meaning that your guests can mix and match, even spreading a bit of both to make a garlicky onion spread that does it all.

Trader Joe's Unexpected Cheddar Cheese Spread

Trader Joe's offers plenty of delicious dips but this might be the best of them all. The uniquely delicious Unexpected Cheddar Cheese Spread is a welcome twist on a TJ's classic. In its original form, it's best described as a block of high-quality cheddar that contains bold notes of nutty parmesan. We're happy to report that this rich spread doesn't dilute either of those cheese flavors, instead swirling them into a fondue-like tub that you could easily get lost in. 

At $4.99 for only 9 ounces, the Unexpected Cheddar Cheese Spread, doesn't seem like a lot of bang for your buck. But here's the evidence to the contrary: Sure, it comes in a relatively small package, but since this is such a heavy and indulgent spread, even a little swipe goes a very long way. And while many of the items on this list go hand in hand to perform double duty, none of them has mastered the art like this spread. With this ingenious addition to your charcuterie board haul, you get both another cheese and another smooth topping, all at the same time. And it tastes perfect. 

Trader's Greek Kalamata Olives

It can often be the finer details of a charcuterie board that truly make it sing. Take the Trader Joe's Jumbo Pitted Greek Kalamata Olives which are everything a solid charcuterie-ready olive should be. Though everyone isn't a fan of the strong, briny, acidic flavor, those who enjoy them will really appreciate the finishing touch they give a well-done charcuterie board. They also bring out the many Mediterranean elements present, like garlic, herbs, and cured meat. The salt will keep everyone coming back for more cheese to balance it out, which is, of course, a good sign your event is going well. 

We found the texture of these massive Kalamatas was perfect, bouncy yet firm enough to provide a decent chew. They're so much better than the common pizza-topper olives that there's no contest. When they're only $2.99, you can't afford not to choose the good stuff. 

Trader Joe's Dried Golden Figs

Dried fruit is a familiar addition to most charcuterie boards, though if it ends up making an appearance, it is often viewed as an afterthought. But if you assume these sweet nuggets are more for show than tell, think again. While dried apricots won't disappoint, we happen to prefer dried figs, particularly these Dried Golden Figs from Trader Joe's. Infinitely superior to raisins, they are going to be the sleeper hit of the night. Each is indeed golden, and though dried, they maintain that luscious juiciness that you can only hope for in many other dried fruit brands. Also, they're so, so sweet, but in a naturally occurring way that's never off-putting or artificial since they don't have any excess ingredients, just preservatives. Nothing masks or dilutes the Mediterranean flavor that balances out salty meats, cheese, and crackers like nothing else.  

With nine servings per container, a tub of these will probably leave some leftovers after the event, which is a good thing, because there's a world of amazing ways you can use and eat these figs other than on a charcuterie board. Add to salads for some sweetness and chew, chop them up and toss them into oatmeal, or snack on them as heart-healthy treats. We're telling you, once you get hooked on figs, there's no going back. And when high-quality dried fruit is often alarmingly expensive, at $4.99, these figs are a steal. 

Trader Joe's Sweet and Spicy Pecans

It wouldn't be a complete charcuterie board without the addition of nuts (assuming no one is allergic). However, don't even think about choosing the boring, raw, unsalted varieties that kill the mood. If you don't go for roasted and salted you might as well forget the nuts entirely. Now that we've got that straight, here's the actual big conundrum: Nuts usually come with either a sweet or savory flavoring, meaning that if you want to stay within budget and just buy a single kind rather than both, you're missing out on one or the other. Not so at Trader Joe's! We spotted a resealable package of Sweet and Spicy Pecans and knew it would check all the boxes. 

Pecans are a great option because they are simultaneously crisp and chewy, with an inherent buttery touch that supports any charcuterie co-stars. Giving them two bursts of flavor makes them even more versatile. The spice hit us first and provides a welcome punctuation mark in the middle of rich, salty, creamy cheeses like burrata. Then we detected the toasty sweetness, which goes so well with milder choices such as the Manchego. And at the very end, we got another tingling sense of spice that kept us wanting more. 

If you're looking for a workhorse nut that goes well with seemingly everything while keeping the energy high, Trader Joe's Sweet and Spicy Pecans come through. Nuts are notoriously high-priced, so grabbing these for just $4.49 is a wise decision.