This Summer Charcuterie Board is a great way to celebrate seasonal summer ingredients and make a show-stopping appetizer or snack. You'll also notice, there is no cheese on this board! If that's important to you, it's always something you can add. This board is great to serve when entertaining, or to enjoy as a grazing meal on its own!
This board would be great to serve with an Aperol Soda or this Simple White Sangria with Peaches and Blackberries.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Charcuterie boards are very adaptable and you can easily modify any of the ingredients.
- This is a great appetizer or snack to serve for a crowd - there is something sure to please everyone!
- This board does not have any cheese on it and is great for those who are dairy-free. If you prefer, you can add cheese to the board.
- This recipe makes the most of seasonal ingredients, so lean into those summer fruits you love most!
It's a Summer Charcuterie Board, so consider the ingredients that are the best of the season!
What's in season will vary depending on where you live, but for summer in Chicago, there are a few things I wanted to make sure to use:
- Raw Honeycomb - I can't overstate how much I love raw honeycomb as a centerpiece for a charcuterie board. It's gorgeous, delicious, and a bit unusual, so a real treat to include! You may need to go to a specialty store to buy honeycomb, but you can also order online, like this Palermo honeycomb from Amazon. You can often also find this at your local farmer's market!
- Fresh figs - These are an absolute summertime favorite. They are delicious and stunning, and immediately elevate any board.
- Cantaloupe - Think about how you're going to pair this - if you have prosciutto and balsamic on the board, then it's the perfect addition. Make sure to cut the pieces to be bite-sized or easily manageable.
- Blackberries - A great summer berry to add flavor and color to the board.
- Olives - Olives are a good way to break up the sweetness of some of the summer fruits and other sweet items on the board.
- Salami(s) - Pick your favorites, but I like to include a thinly sliced salami, and then a thicker, hard salami that has been sliced.
- Prosciutto - This pairs perfectly with the cantaloupe.
- Pistachios - Nuts add a nice bit of crunch to the board, and pistachios work well with the summer theme.
- Breads and crackers - You need a vehicle for all of the great items you're adding to the board!
- Balsamic vinegar - A little goes a long way, but a small bowl of balsamic vinegar elevates the prosciutto and melon pairing.
See the full recipe below for detailed directions.
Before you Get Started
- Consider your board: What type of board do you want to use? What size and shape would you like? Or do you not want to even use a board? You can put down kraft paper and use the tabletop as your board, or you can use a series of small plates! Remember that charcuterie goes a long way; you don't need to make a TON in order to feed quite a few people!
- Determine your centerpiece: What is the one central point you want to build around? For this recipe, I used the raw honeycomb is the centerpiece. If this were a cheese board, you might decide a wheel of brie is the centerpiece, or perhaps you are including a dip, and want that a small bowl to play this role. Place that item on the board first, and build everything around it.
- Choose your pattern: What kind of pattern do you want to create? Do you like an organic-looking board, or stripes, or sections of specific foods? There is no wrong way!
- For an organic pattern, place different things around the board to create multiple interest points, and then build on those points. Nothing needs to be in a straight line!
- For a more structured pattern, like concentric circles, or straight lines, decide what you're going for, and then build that pattern from one starting point.
How to Make a Summer Charcuterie Board
After you've decided the shape of the board you're going to use, the pattern you like, and the ingredients you'll feature, the board comes together quickly.
Place your "centerpiece" on your board. In this case, I used the honeycomb as the centerpiece.
Place your biggest items - breads and salami - on the board around the edges. These are items you can build layers on top of.
Add the large fruits and prosciutto in clusters on the board.
Fill in smaller spaces with olives and blackberries.
Fill any remaining space with fresh figs and nuts, then garnish with a few sprigs of rosemary. Large crackers work well at the edges of the board and can overhang slightly.
Remember that layers and a very full board are great here. The board is ready to serve!
- Charcuterie boards do not have to be perfect! Part of the beauty of a charcuterie board is its imperfections, so don't worry about making things look too perfect.
- Consider your crowd. Are there any vegetarians, vegans, or dairy-free people you're feeding? Make sure there is nothing on the board that wouldn't work for those dietary restrictions. You can always make a smaller board on the side to suit specific needs!
- Start with the big items first. These will create focal points to build around on your board.
- Finish with the smallest items. Smaller items like nuts or dried fruits are great to fill in small gaps and will help make your board look very abundant and full!
- Take care of your board! Remember that certain foods will stain certain surfaces. If you're concerned about your board (whether it's wood, marble, or something else!), set down a piece of parchment paper to protect the board from any juices.
How much is a serving?
According to the Charcuterie Association, you should plan on 2-4 ounces of meat (and cheese, if you're serving) per person. For other ingredients such as fruits, nuts, and olives, plan on 1-2 ounces per person.
Charcuterie boards do not store well and are best to eat immediately. If you have leftovers, separate the items into breads, fruits, and meats.
- Breads and crackers can be stored in a plastic bag or airtight container at room temperature.
- Fruits and meats should be stored in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
If you want to make a charcuterie board ahead of time, I recommend prepping, cutting, and washing the items ahead of time, then assembling the board just before you're ready to serve. This way all the items will stay fresh.
You can get fancy if you want to, but you don't have to! I like to just lay salamis and meats in an organic way that feels good on the board.
Pick a centerpiece item and place that first. For this Summer Charcuterie Board, I used the honeycomb as the centerpiece because it was large, but also very beautiful and visually interesting. You could choose any item to be your centerpiece to build around.
There are no set rules! One thing to consider is water content. If you put crackers next to cantaloupe, the crackers are going to get a bit soggy from the melon after sitting for a while, so try to keep some separation from other items just to keep everything crisp and fresh.
Summer Charcuterie Board
- 1 piece raw honeycomb
- 8 ounces hard salami
- 8 ounces sliced salami
- 4 ounces proscuitto
- 1 ½ cups cantaloupe cubed
- 1 cup fresh blackberries
- 8 fresh figs halved
- ¼ cup green olives drained
- 12 crackers
- 8 slices crusty baguette
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- rosemary sprigs to garnish
- Cut and prepare your ingredients: halve the figs, peel and cube the cantaloupe, slice the hard salami and crusty baguette. Add balsamic vinegar to a small dish.
- Choose your board or surface and place your centerpiece (recommend the honeycomb!) first.
- Build around your centerpiece with the large ingredients first. Place your meats, followed by the breads and crackers, and fruits in clusters on the outside edges of your board. Place your balsamic vinegar dish and fill in remaining openings with small ingredients like olives, blackberries, and pistachios. Garnish with rosemary sprigs.