appetizes, snacks & fingerfood, recipes

How to Make a Healthy Charcuterie Board

You don’t need to be a pro to make beautiful and visual appealing charcuterie boards. With these simple step by step instructions everyone is guaranteed to succeed in creating an amazing cheese and meat platter. And since JBR is all about making comfort food dishes more wholesome and calorie-friendly we are making a healthy charcuterie board today!

It’s a little lighter, contains more fresh food and a little less meat. Instead, we’ll include some more veggies and delicious dips. Thus, this healthy charcuterie board is the perfect meal when you are having friends and family coming over. So, without any further ado, let me show you how to make such a wonderful, healthy charcuterie board.

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Summery, healthy charcuterie board filled with cheese, meat, vegetables, fruits and more delicious food.
Let’s talk how to make an epic healthy charcuterie board!

Here’s Why Charcuterie Boards are the Best Way to Impress Your Guests!

With a colorful and varied filled charcuterie board you offer your guests lots of different delicacies. So, there’s guaranteed to be something for everyone, no matter how old your guests are. 

Plus, you can perfectly arrange the platter in advance, and you even have enough time to clean up your kitchen before your guests arrive. So, nothing stops you of having a fun evening with your loved ones and friends.

And it doesn’t matter if you want to serve your guests just a small snack, an appetizer, or an entire meal. Since you can vary the size and side dishes of your charcuterie board, you can adapt it to any occasion. 

Summery, healthy charcuterie board filled with cheese, meat, vegetables, fruits and more delicious food.
Perfect for guest, family and friends!

4 Tips for a Healthy Charcuterie Board

I live in the south part of Germany and those typical Bavarian charcuterie boards are usually filled with lots of sausages, cheese spreads and, well, even more fatty meat. So, since I’m not a huge fan of Bavarian sausages, I usually prefer a Mediterranean inspired cheese board, with some Italian meat and ham, different types of cheese and some Italian antipasti. But that’s not healthy either.

So, today I’m showing you a mix of a Bavarian, Mediterranean and American inspired charcuterie board. And as promise, we are going to make this whole thing a bit healthier. And to do this, I want to show you four different ways how to make a healthy charcuterie board and save yourself some calories: 

  1. It doesn’t have to be just meat and cheese. Some vegetables, some tasty dips, and other wholesome snacks such as nuts and pickles can taste amazingly great alongside some cheese and meat. 
  2. Instead of full-fat cheese and the fattiest sausage on earth, try some lower-fat versions such as light Camembert or Brie, a low-fat ham or sausage. Especially if the cheese is served at room temperature, you’ll hardly taste a difference.
  3. Instead of butter and other high calorie spreads and dips, you can serve a few healthy and nutritious dips and spreads such as hummus, a vegan queso made of cashews or fat-reduced cream cheese.
  4. Server your charcuterie board with some whole-grain baguette or some crips-bread.

How Much Food per Person?

Probably the most difficult question when arranging a charcuterie board is how much food you’ll need. And admittedly, I don’t have an exact answer for that either. However, the guideline “one type of cheese/meat/dip/… per person” has proven to be very useful for me.

What I mean by that is, to plan one type of cheese, one type of ham or meat, one type of dip, and so on per person. In other words, two kinds of cheese for two people, three for three, and four for four. Of course, not everyone will eat only one kind of cheese, but the quantities should be sufficient according to this rule of thumb.

However, in addition to this, you should also consider whether you want to serve the platter as a main course or rather as an appetizer or snack. Depending on what applies to you, I would pay particular attention to how much bread and crackers you serve with your charcuterie board. For a main course, it should definitely be a bit more.

Healthy charcuterie board served with white wine and crackers.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Instead of giving you an exact ingredient list, I’d rather give you a few categories and for those categories I give you a few ideas of what you can buy and serve on your healthy charcuterie board.

Cheese:

For my healthy charcuterie board, I like to serve some fat-reduced Camembert or Brie, some Gouda, since it naturally has a slightly lower fat content, and perhaps some fat-reduced mozzarella. You can also go for a mix of low-calorie cheese options and some classic one like cheddar or parmesan.

Meat:

To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of meat heavy charcuterie boards. So, I usually tend to go with two to four types of meats like low-fat turkey ham, maybe some roast beef or pastrami. Sometimes I also like to add some smoked salmon or plant-based meatballs.

Dips and Spreads:

Some great dips and spreads are hummus, lentil spreads and cream cheese. I also love to add my homemade vegan queso dip but any dip you like would be great here.

Garnish:

Now it’s time to add some veggies and color to our charcuterie board. So, choose some vegetables like bell pepper, cucumber, carrots or celery. And don’t forget to buy some nuts, dried and fresh fruits like grapes, and of course some olives! 

Bread:

Finally, we need some bread to get all these delicacies into our stomachs. To keep it wholesome, I like to serve some whole wheat baguette or bread and some crisp bread with my healthy charcuterie board. Okay, to be honest, we also need a few crackers since they are essential! But once again, you can buy some fat-reduced ones. 

Here’s How to Make It – My Step by Step Tutorial

Once you’ve thought about everything you want to serve on your charcuterie board and bought all the ingredients, most of the work is already done. What’s left now is the arranging. And that my friend is the fun part!

So, we’ll start with the cheese and bowls first. As soon as you want pickles, olives, or dips on your charcuterie board, you’ll need a few small bowls for serving them. So place both on a large wooden board or tray and already cut the cheese into cubes or slices.

Next, we move on to the meat. We can either arrange everything in small heaps or pillows or we use the ham to build a kind of river across the board. And if you want to serve some salami on your charcuterie board, go check out my post about how to make charcuterie board since I show you how to make a beautiful salami rose over there. 

All right, now it’s time to fill the bowls with your dips, pickles, olive, veggies or what else you have. Next, we need to fill up the empty spots with your fruits, some nuts and crackers. 

Finally, we decorate this platter with some fresh herbs, some radishes or figs cut in a zigzag shape, or some other beautiful, little things such as berries or colorful tomatoes. And as soon as you serve this beauty, slice up the bread and grab some wine! 

Your Common Questions Answered

In case there are any questions left, I hope these FAQ will help you. If not, feel free to drop your question in the comments below.

How much food do I need per person?

That depends on whether you are serving this healthy charcuterie board as an appetizer, snack or main course. In principle, the rule of thumb “one type of xyz per person” can give a good orientation. Means one kind of cheese, sausage, spread, and so on per person.

How much time it takes to arrange a charcuterie board?

The most amount of work is the planning and shopping. Depending on the size of your charcuterie board, you should plan 30 to 60 minutes for the actual preparation.

What drinks to serve with this healthy charcuterie board?

If you ask me, the answer will always be wine baby! But in case wine isn’t your cup of tea, some (light) beer or maybe this skinny margarita could be perfect as well.

Here’s How to Save this Recipe for Later

If there are leftovers at the end of the day, you can simply pack them separately in some containers, put them in the fridge and use them up over the course of the next few days. Leftover bread can also be frozen when stored in freezer bags.

Summery, healthy charcuterie board filled with cheese, meat, vegetables, fruits and more delicious food.

I hope you like this how to make a healthy charcuterie board tutorial and that you give it a try soon. 

If you have any further questions or suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comments, or send me a massage via email at contact@julesbalancedrecipes.com or Instagram (@julesbalancedrecipes). 

And in case, you’ve tried this recipe, I’d appreciate your comment and rating for this recipe. It’s easy to do via the comments section below this post and it would mean the world to me.

Have fun trying it out and bon appétit,
Jules

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If you loved this recipe, I hope you will also try some of these related recipes! 

Healthy charcuterie board served with white wine and crackers.

Healthy Charcuterie Board

Julia Schmitt
This colorful healthy charcuterie board comes with a wide variety of hearty delicacies and fresh fruits and is the perfect meal for a joyful evening with guests, family, and friends. In terms of quantities, you can follow the guideline one type of cheese/meat/dip/etc. per person. You’ll find more information on this in the blog post above.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Appetizer, Fingerfood
Cuisine American, german

Ingredients
  

Cheese (make sure it’s served at room temperature) – choose your favorites:

  • (fat-reduced) camembert or brie, gouda, (fat-reduced) mozzarella, parmesan, cheddar, …

Meat – choose your favorites:

  • Low-fat turkey ham, roast beef, pastrami, (plant-based) meatballs, smoked salmon, …

Dips and Spreads – choose your favorites or go with any dip you like:

  • Cream cheese, hummus, vegan queso, lentil spread, …

Garnish – choose your favorites or get creative:

  • Vegetables (bell peppers, carrots, radishes, cucumber, tomatoes, celery), pickles, nuts, olives, fresh fruits like grapes or apples, fresh seasonal fruits, dried fruits

Bread and Crackers – choose your favorites:

  • Whole wheat baguette or bread, crisp bread, crackers, …

Instructions
 

Step 1: Cheese and Bowls

  • Unwrap the cheese and cut it into cubes or slices, place it on the board or tray together with small bowls (for dips, olives, pickles and co). 
    wooden board filled with small plates and cut cheese.

Step 2: Arrange the Meat

  • Place any kind of meat on the board as small pillow or heaps. You can also arrange the ham and things like that like a curvy river shape.
    Wooden board filled with small bowls, cut cheese and meat.

Step 3: Vegetables and Dips:

  • Place the vegetable sticks and other vegetables on the platter and in the bowls. Fill the remaining bowls with your dips, spreads, pickles, or olives.
    Charcuterie board with cheese, meat, veggies, hummus and fruits.

Step 4: Garnish

  • Fill the remaining empty spaces with fruit, nuts, and crackers. Finally, garnish the charcuterie board with fresh herbs and maybe some beautiful fruits or veggies like figs or colorful tomatoes.
    Summery, healthy charcuterie board filled with cheese, meat, vegetables, fruits and more delicious food.

Notes

For more tips read the recipe post above.
Keyword healthy appetizer recipe, how to make charcuterie board, summery charcuterie board

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