DIY SUMMER CHARCUTERIE BOARD FOR UNDER $35
Building a beautiful and budget-friendly charcuterie board is super easy and obtainable! It appeals to almost everyone and will feed a ton of guests without breaking the bank. We love that even our kids, who are super picky eaters, enjoy these boards.
We call this our summer charcuterie or grazing board. When shopping, we selected some summer themed items like blackberry, apricot, grapes, etc. The best thing about creating these: ANYTHING GOES. In our opinion, the more color the better, but you can make almost any grocery store find work :)
We are going to walk you through our whole process of creating this one...from the store to the board!
First of all, have you heard of ALDI grocery stores (Shoutout to our fellow ALDI Nerds!)? If you have not, you need to find your local store immediately! This is our go-to grocery store for weekly shopping and for specialty store runs like this. They are very affordable compared to other stores and have a great selection of specialty items. Check out a few shots from our shopping trip below!
While shopping, the method to our madness starts with the cheese. We usually start with 3 cheeses, you can select your cheese based on texture, taste or preference. We usually base our selections off of our party guests....Is it an adult night, will kids be there, what type of event is it? For our summer themed charcuterie we went with a Smoked Gouda, Sharp White Cheddar, and a Cranberry Cinnamon Goat Cheese.
The next item you want to think about are the meats. Aldi offers so many different variety meat packs - making a decision is so difficult. We picked a variety pack with Pepper Salami, Hot Capocollo, Hot Calabrese & Dry Salami.
You will definitely need some sort of spread or condiment....think jam, jelly, hummus, mustard or honey. You can use something you already have or hand or give something new a try. For our summer board we went with a Blackberry Fruit Spread. The color looked amazing with our selections and it tasted great with the cheeses.
Finally, you need to think about filling in the spaces. Almost like accessorizing the charcuterie. Crackers are always a go-to item for some added crunch, but we like to add in some unexpected items for a fun twist. Try some olives, fresh fruit, pickled veggies, or some chocolate! We ending up going overboard on the extras a got some things that we didn't even end up using! In the end we decided on garden veggie crackers, pretzel slims, almonds, sea salted chocolate covered caramels, green grapes and some dried apricots - for color.
BUILD YOUR BOARD
To begin, you will need to find a board, plate or platter that is big enough to fit the items purchased. If you are looking for an actual wooden "charcuterie board" you can find lots of options on Amazon or at most stores that carry serving supplies or dinnerware. We have also found that lazy susans work great since they can spin after placed on the table!
Now it's time for the fun - arranging your board. You can follow along with our process below, but feel free to have fun with it and make it your own!
We always start with the cheeses, they usually take up the most space and you want to have them spread out across the board. Some cheeses can just be placed on the board directly out of the package and some will need to be precut to be served. Cut the cheese into different shapes - cubes, triangles, etc. It adds texture and depth to your display and people always love a fancy cut.
Meats come next. Try placing them next to a cheese they pair well with. Again, you will want to space them out on the board so that everything looks even and balanced. In this instance, we turned our salami into a rose, neatly folded the prosciutto in thirds to create a distinct line, then created a smaller line with the Capocollo. Who knew you could do so much with meats???
Next, we added two small bowls to the board (spaced out well) and filled them with the blackberry jam and olives.
Can't forget the filler items! At this point, you just need to fill in any extra spaces. Add your crackers near a cheese, fill in with your fruits, nuts and sweets. You will be surprised with how quickly it comes together once these areas are filled.
Lastly, we added some cheese knives to make it easy for guests to cut through items and spread the jams, etc. You can always add some fresh herbs or seasonal flowers to decorate the finish product too.
All in all, we spent only $34.26 for all of the food. Keep in mind that we didn't use all of the items from each package or bag, there was quite a bit of each item left over. Aldi for the win on this one! We thought it would be helpful to include a shopping list to show the prices for each item below! Happy shopping!!
Cranberry Cinnamon Goat Cheese: $3.99
Smoked Gouda: $2.99
Sharp White Cheddar: $1.99
Assorted Italian Meat ( Pepper Salami, Hot Capocollo, Hot Calabrese) : $4.35
Dry Salami: $3.99
Garden Vegetable Crackers: $1.50
Pretzel Slims: $1.99
Dried Apricots: $2.99
Sea Salted Almonds: $4.99
Sweet Globe Grapes: $3.49
Fruit Spread: $1.99