How to Build a Meat and Cheese Board

Construct the ultimate charcuterie board with this no–fail guide, sponsored by IKEA®

Springtime equals more days spent outdoors: gardening, picnicking and celebrating the season with friends and family. Kick off spring entertaining by perfecting the art of a party snack favorite: the charcuterie board.

Although the word charcuterie translates to "pork butcher," a good charcuterie plate goes well beyond items of the pig persuasion. Build your board with a variety of textures (think: soft, creamy, crunchy, crispy) and complementary flavors; then, add an element of surprise, like a salty cheese that pairs brilliantly with a sweet chutney.  

Select a few meats, cheeses and accoutrements, as well as a platter for laying out your creation. Here are seven of our favorite charcuterie components, with help from our partner, IKEA®.

The Big Cheese

Pick a strong, firm cheese to start. Aged Manchego, typically made with sheep's milk, is sharp and slightly nutty, and its crumbly texture makes it easy to share.

Set the Mood

Enjoy charcuterie by candlelight. A unique light fixture or candleholder from IKEA® can create a more intimate party vibe.

Spice It Up

Add heat to your board with soppressata, a cured pork that resembles salami. The spicier versions are typically seasoned with garlic and cayenne peppers.

Taste the Tang

A tangy chutney will take any charcuterie board to the next level, especially when it's paired with sharp cheese and piled atop crusty bread. Try spring flavors, like rhubarb or strawberry, for an ultra–seasonal element.

All a Board

Instead of serving your charcuterie on a traditional platter, try a bamboo chopping board from IKEA®. It'll give your spread a rustic look.

Cream of the Crop

Balance your hard cheese with a softer, creamier pick like triple–cream Brie. The rich cheese has an extra–buttery core, making it ideal for spreading on crisp crackers.

Go Nuts

Complete your platter with a generous helping of crunchy Marcona almonds, a delectable Spanish variety that's sweeter and softer than traditional California almonds.