Effortlessly Elegant Fall Charcuterie Board (printable shopping list included!)

Effortlessly Elegant Fall Charcuterie Board (printable shopping list included!)

Learn how to build an elegant (bright & colorful) fall charcuterie board

Build a fall charcuterie board with a shopping list of the best Trader Joe’s items of the season! This elegant cheese board is perfect for the fall season, including on game day, as a Thanksgiving appetizer platter, or even for an easy happy hour appetizer. Although the aesthetic of this charcuterie board is bright and beautiful, it is actually simple to make! With the help of a video, I’ll show you how to make this platter with all my helpful tips & tricks!

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The season of fall triggers emotions and feelings for so many people –  the cool morning air, the delicious fall produce, baking Thanksgiving pies….the list could go on and on! And even though my summer heart hates to admit it, the fall bug has finally hit me! I’ve been itching to try out new fall flavors, produce, and those random Trader Joe’s items they always get me with!

If you’re anything like me, then you’re also been feeling inspired by all the new fall grocery store finds! Which means, I need to show you how to create your very own fall charcuterie board.

Feel free to use my board as a guide, or copy it exactly! It’s totally up to you! Either way, I’m going to walk you through my ‘must-have’ charcuterie board shopping list items, the best way to design your board, and practical tips for serving.

simple fall charcuterie board with shopping list included

Planning your board

First things first, when I’m creating any charcuterie board, I like to gather some inspiration. Head over to Pinterest and see what you can find.

What color palettes feel inspiring?

Is there any fall produce that sticks out?

What fun fall shapes or motifs do you like?

Are you drawn to an elegant or more whimsical style?

{RELATED POST: Ultimate Fall Cheese Board}

how to make a thanksgiving charcuterie board



What should be on a fall charcuterie board?

Once you’ve gathered some inspiration, it’s time to get down to business. Now, you can create the shopping list for the charcuterie board items you need. You can download this shopping guide for all the items I used on my fall board for this post.

If you’re feeling inspired to create your own twist on this board, create your own grocery list or browse around your local stores to see what’s available. Here are the main categories you’ll want to include (think of these as your charcuterie board essentials):

Meat: The charcuterie part of the board. Estimate serving 4-6 slices of meat per person.

Cheese: With a variety of flavors, textures, and colors. Plan to serve 1-2 ounces of cheese per person.

Produce: A mix of fruits and/or veggies. These can be fresh or dried.

Dippers: Whether it’s crackers, bread, or pita.

Savory: This can be nuts, olives, pickles, etc.

Sweet: Think mini candies, jam, or yogurt covered pretzels.

If you’re wondering how much it costs to make a charcuterie board, I’d say plan on spending around $50 on your board. Cheese is typically the most expensive item, ranging from $3 – $8 per block depending on the variety.

Although you’ll likely spend around $50, you will have leftover items to use on future boards. This is more of an initial investment in some staple items.

RELATED POST: Fall Cobb Salad

simple Thanksgiving charcuterie board
Trader Joe's fall charcuterie board



What size should a charcuterie board be?

Make sure you have a platter that is large enough to hold all your food items. For a 4 person charcuterie board, I suggest around a 14″x10″ board, platter, or plate. Here are some of my favorite ones that are versatile no matter what type of cheese board you make.

PURCHASE THE PRODUCTS: Grab the links to the exact products used in this fall charcuterie board.



If you’re hosting a party, or just have an extra-large family like me, here are some of the best large (and super elegant) cheese platters.

HOSTING TIP: To save money when creating a large charcuterie board, add in items you can buy in bulk (for cheap) to stretch how many people it feeds. My favorite items are fruit, veggies, popcorn, or dips.



You’ll also want to purchase some small bowls. These bowls serve two purposes. They break up the board and add a little bit of height – very visually appealing, and necessary for any elegant cheeseboard. Also, they create a dish to hold items that would make the food soggy if placed directly on the board (think pickles that would drip juice or jam that would run everywhere).

fall appetizer platter

Cheese knives simply explained

Whether you host a lot of parties, or just really enjoy a quality charcuterie board, it’s important to know the role of each cheese knife.

Many knives can be used for a variety of cheeses. These are some of the most popular knives and what they are used for:

Chisel Knife: Used for semi-soft (fontina, gouda, havarti) to semi-hard (cheddar, manchego) cheeses. It helps divide soft cheese, or shave down hard cheese.

Open Work Blade Knife: Used for soft, sticky cheeses (brie, boursin, taleggio). The holes help prevent the cheese from sticking to the blade.

Narrow Plane Knife: Used for mainly semi-hard cheeses (cheddar, manchego). However, this a fairly versatile knife that can cut on the long or short end.

Small Spade Knife: Used for hard cheeses (asiago, parmigiano-reggiano, pecorino romano). The point on the knife makes it easy to cut the cheese into wedges.

Easy Cheese Knife Guide
trader joe's charcuterie board


How to plate a charcuterie board

Now it’s time for the most fun part – putting the board together!

There aren’t any hard & fast rules for this, so use your creativity. If it’s your first time, or you’re looking to step up your charcuterie game, here are some of my favorite plating secrets.

Use the “large” items has an anchor point. Place these down first.

Vary the colors of the items next to each other. Contrasting colors next to each other make the board POP!

In a similar sense, vary the textures that are next to each other.

Add some height for some visual change. The pumpkins and bowls help add a bit of height.

Once you’ve laid out all the main items, place some “dainty” items for a finishing touch. The figs and nuts were the finishing touches for this board. You could also use herbs.

Serving cheese (the best way!)

The flavor and texture of cheeses are best at room temperature. When making your fall cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving to allow it to reach room temperature.

If you wish to make this charcuterie platter ahead of time, avoid precutting the cheese which will cause it to become dry.

For any unused cheese that is not placed on the charcuterie board, wrap well and keep in the refrigerator. Most hard and firm cheeses should last for several weeks. Fresh cheeses such as feta, mascarpone, or mozzarella last around 7-10 days.

elegant and simple fall charcuterie board

Effortlessly Elegant Fall Charcuterie Board

Learn how to build an elegant (bright & colorful) charcuterie board with a shopping list of the best Trader Joe’s items of the season! This elegant cheese board is perfect for the fall season, including on game day, as a Thanksgiving appetizer platter, or even for an easy happy hour appetizer.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces blueberry goat cheese
  • 3 ounces pecorino tacano cut into small wedge
  • 3 ounces mild cheddar thinly sliced
  • 3 ounces white stilton with apricots cut into small wedge
  • 3/4 cup pepper salame thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chocolate covered yogurt pretzels
  • 1/8 cup blueberry burbon jam
  • 1/2 pint fresh blackberries
  • 1/2 pint fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup dried mangos
  • 2 fresh figs
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup cornichons
  • black cracked pepper crackers
  • orange & white mini pumpkins (for decoration)

Instructions

  • Arrange everything on a large platter.
  • Once cheese has come to room temperature (about 30 minutes), serve.

Notes

The flavor and texture of cheeses are best at room temperature. When making your fall cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving to allow it to reach room temperature.
Yum

Let’s share recipes

I love trying new recipes! Let’s discover new recipes together on Pinterest!

P.S. If you made this cheese board to celebrate fall or Thanksgiving, share a picture with me on Instagram using #HomebodyEats. I love seeing your creations!!



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