Post # 1
DS is turning one in two months (how is this happening already?! 😭) and I’m plnning a small party for him. It’ll be on a Sunday afternoon with local people.
So the question is: I want to do a charcuterie board but I don’t know how much to plan per person. I’ve wanted to try one for a while but have no occasion to, so I’m taking advantage of this. I don’t know how many guests yet, but it’ll be like 2-4pm so I was thinking charcuterie board, cupcakes with fruit and some other sweets, wine, and probably cut veggies if I don’t put them with the cheese. How do I plan serving sizes?
Bonus points if you can share any tips to making one on a budget.
Post # 2
Here’s a great link!
I’d make some pasta salads too- cheap to make and filling for your guests and bruschetta bread.
Post # 3
lifeisbeeutiful : oooh super helpful, thanks so much! Also great idea for pasta salad and bruschetta. Pasta especially will help soak up an alcohol people consume. And even though it’s a short party I still want people to have plenty to eat.
Post # 4
Trader Joes & Aldi are good sources for meats/cheeses/nuts/spreads/dried fruits at a good price. I can’t help you with serving sizes because I ALWAYS make too much. But not doing that is the best way to control costs!
I often make these little cheese puffs to go with these types of spreads since they are super easy and can be made way in advance, kept in freezer and popped into oven the day of. https://www.thekitchn.com/cheesy-puffy-crowdpleasing-dor-151767
Bean spreads / mushroom-lentil pate is a good way to add “real” (filling/nutritious) food to the mix, and inexpensive. Those paired with the other charcuterie items give you the nutritional components that a regular meal does. Also, if you happen to have any veg/vegan guests they will have something as hearty as the meats/cheese eaters to enjoy.
Post # 5
I only ever do charcuterie boards as part of a spread at cocktail-style parties where people are grazing, so I’m not worried too much about making sure everyone gets enough… but that said, everything I put out always GOES, and fast! So probably more than you think. My top charcuterie board tips are:
-Include pate. It’s suprisingly inexpensive (like you can get a good sized chunk for $3 or something) and adds some nice variety. You can buy a couple pieces, put one out at the start of the party and then sub out a fresh one half way through once it’s gone.
-in addition to some finely sliced items like prosciutto or capicollo, buy some unsliced hard salami-type things and slice them yourself into slightly chunky rounds. While pre-sliced meats are only good for a few days, unsliced items like dry salami can last for months. So you can cut some up before the party starts but hold a bunch in reserve, and then cut more up to replenish if the food is going fast, or hold it back and enjoy over the next few months.
Charcuterie boards are also great paired with crudites and dip (homemade hummus is super easy and very cheap) and a good cheese board. Include some pickles and/or olives too, a little pot of dijon mustard and maybe some fruit — sliced apple, bunch of grapes, that sort of thing. And nice bread to accompany the board (e.g. sliced fresh baguette) helps make sure people are actually eating in a filling way.
Post # 6
Oh, and in general for both meat and cheese boards, I think a mix of premium and inxpensive items is a good way to go for producing something that seems classy overall but is also varied and doesn’t break the bank. Like when I do a cheeseboard, I’ll put a $12 hunk of old beemster and a premium camembert from a specialty shop next to some grocery store white cheddar and a $4 log of goat cheese. Especially after a couple of drinks people definitely eat and enjoy the more inexpensive stuff, and are sometimes surprised to find out it’s nothing fancy!
Post # 7
lifeisbeeutiful : I used to do marketing for a restaurant that was famous partly for its charcuterie boards and made and sold it’s own charcuterie – and I used an almost identical article as an outline for instructions to give to customers lol. I had the chefs and butchers double check it so I can vouch for it!
The part about variety in textures and flavours is key. Pickled things and mustards offset the richness of heavier meats and cheeses etc. One thing they didn’t mention that is a personal fave – chili jelly. The sweet and spicy combo is amazing with a sharp cheddar and charcuterie. There’s a recipe here:
Fall Cheese Board with Sweet and Spicy Pepper Jelly
Post # 8
This sound fun! How many people are you expecting?
Assuming you expect 10+ people I would go with 5-6 cheeses and a similar amount of meats and google good pairings so you have a nice mix. I would also include crackers, breads, spreads (honey, mustards, etc), olives, pickled veggies, dried fruit, etc on the boards. On the side I would include some pasta salads, fruit salad, veggies, bruschetta, hummus and 3-4 frozen appetizers that are easy to warm up. Trader Joes has tons of them. Honestly, a Trader Joe’s will be the way to go if you can as you can buy this stuff on a budget. I did a similar spread at a Christmas Party last year for a dozen people and probably spent $75 on the food. The only thing I had leftover were the meatballs I put in a crockpot with rolls. People were way more into the “appetizer” like foods.
Post # 9
I made one at Thanksgiving for 6 of us, and I had leftovers, but there were also other appetizers. I think others have given a lot of great advice, but here are my tips:
– Mixing expensive and inexpensive meats/ cheeses – I’ll shop at an Italian deli for prosciutto, but also at Trader Joe’s for a pack of salami (which I think is $3.99)
– Using pickled vegetables – mini gherkins, mushrooms, olives, pepperoncini peppers, hot peppers
– Adding fresh and dried fruit – grapes, apples, dried apricots and dried figs are my favorite (and the fresh fruit is cheap)
– Assortments of crackers
– Adding herbs for garnish to fill in empty spaces (really just makes it look pretty!)
– Nuts or some other spreadable dip
Post # 10
Agree with the delicious looking picture above! I make one for every party and they are very popular. Here is what I do for my halloween party which is about 60 people, but there are also other snacks:
Cheese (3-4 varities a block of each):
– One soft
– One hard (almost always trader joe’s unexpected cheddar. Its the best!)
– Smoked Gouda/spicy cheese
– Something stinkier
For the meat, I got a hard salami stick and a package of 3 kinds at Sam’s. It was the best proccuito I have had in a while!
Apple (1 sliced)
Pickles and olives (one jar of each is plenty)
Trail Mix or dried fruit/nuts (one bag of each)
Some type of pepper/onion jelly (one jar, but I put it in a fancy dish)
Local Honey (again, in a fancy dish and this is really good with brie and dried apricots!)
2-3 types of crackers/bread
I will second that I get most of my stuff from trader joes. They also have some fantastic crackers there as well. They always have a seasonal cracker that is so good with everything! Their cheese is a great price, and their unexpected cheddar is some of the best cheese ever! It is always in my fridge!
Post # 11
sarfin914 : are those cheese crisps at the top of the pic (the beige stuff)?
Post # 12
Just popping in to say that I almost got very judgy when I first read your post. I transposed the numbers and thought you were throwing a party for your son who is turning two months! 😆 That’s a bit extra, don’tcha think? 😉
Now that I know it’s a party for a 1 year old… That sounds like a delicious spread!
Post # 13
- Wedding: November 2025 - City, State
Please keep in mind that this is not a food restriction friendly option, even if many of the components are fine. Vegans/vegetarians won’t want food that has touched meat/cheese. People with celiacs won’t dare touch the whole display if it contains wheat crackers or bread. Someone with a nut allergy could react to salami that was sitting against a slice of mortadella with pistachios. If any of your guests have dietary restrictions, please consider holding some items back that are safe for them.
Post # 14
Damn I wish I was your kid lol
Post # 15
wildflowerz : denkyem : wolfeyes : rak32098 : Sunshine024 : sarfin914 : These are all awesome tips. Thanks so much! Not sure how many people we’ll be expecting, but I’ll get an rsvp count before I buy he food.
bethio : I mean…any excuse to eat cheese and drink wine, right? 😂😂😂
MollyCatherine : That’s a great point. I’ll make sure to check with everyone on any dietary restrictions and have some safe hunts plated separately.
rockclimberbride : I mean, this is really a party for me and D.H for having survived a whole year 😂