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How to Throw a Charcuterie Board Dinner Party to Impress Your Guests

Throw a memorable charcuterie board dinner party your guests will never forget with our simple tips…everything from what to serve to how to create the perfect ambiance.

I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who didn’t love a charcuterie board…have you?

There’s something for everyone when you serve a variety of food items on a board.

If you’re hosting a party there’s no better way to feed your guests and keep them mingling than with a charcuterie dinner party.

Serving food on boards keeps your gathering casual and fun.

And isn’t that what we all want when entertaining?

As a host, we want our guests to come away from our party with memories of a super fun night.

So let’s wow them with a charcuterie board-themed dinner party!

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Welcome to Our Virtual Dinner Party

You may be asking yourself what in the world is a virtual dinner or supper club.

Back in 2021, we started this club with our friends Stacy, Rachel, Jen, and Michele.

We share ideas and inspiration for entertaining at home.

Since we live in different parts of the country (Texas, Nebraska, New Jersey, and North Carolina), we can’t get together in person.

Our virtual supper club is the next best thing to being together.

One day we hope to be able to do this together in person!

Each month we choose a different theme and share beautiful tablescapes, party decor, entertaining ideas, and recipes on our blogs.

And even though we call ourselves a dinner club, we’ve shared ideas for breakfasts, brunches, luncheons, and cocktail parties too.

We also invite a guest host to join in the fun every month.

This month we’re thrilled to welcome back Kim from Shiplap and Shells.

Kim lives in a charming cottage in the Pacific Northwest with the most stunning gardens.

Take some time to visit her blog and see everything she has to offer.

This month our virtual supper club’s theme is all about hosting a charcuterie dinner party!

We share beautiful tablescapes, party ideas, and a delicious charcuterie menu.

And just wait until you see all of our friend’s party ideas at the end of this post!

Check out all of our virtual dinner club tablescapes and menus!

Some of the items used in this post include affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no added cost to you. You can read our full affiliate disclosure policy here.

Hosting a Charcuterie Board Dinner Party

view of kitchen with charcuterie boards set up on island wreaths hanging from bar stools

So you want to host a charcuterie board party?

First, you’ll need to decide where to hold your gathering.

I don’t know about you but whenever we have friends and family over everyone always seems to congregate in the kitchen.

So if you have a large kitchen island like Anne then that may be the perfect spot to set up your charcuterie dinner party.

If you don’t have an island or peninsula in your kitchen you can use your dining table just as easily for your grazing area.

Last year Anne and I hosted our holiday book club party at my house and we entertained in my dining room.

You have to check out the grazing spread we did on my entire dining room table!

If you’re using a dining table for your charcuterie boards remember to move all the chairs away from the table so there’s plenty of room for guests to move freely around the table where the food is displayed.

How to Plan a Grazing Party

AnnMarie styling charcuterie dessert board at island in kitchen

Gone are the days of just a plain old platter of cheese and crackers for your party.

Of course, cheese and crackers are a staple on many charcuterie boards but there are so many other delicious foods to include on your board.

When planning a party you often choose a theme, right?

So when you throw a charcuterie board dinner party go ahead and choose a theme too.

Picking a theme for your gathering allows you to plan what to serve so that all the food coordinates and goes well together.

What Is an Italian Charcuterie Dinner Party?

Anne placing mozzarella cheese sticks on charcuterie board

An Italian-themed charcuterie dinner party includes all Italian food.

Think pizza, pasta, cheese, cured meats, cannolis, rainbow cookies, and prosecco.

There are a ton of options to choose from when serving Italian food so that allows you to have a greater variety for your guests.

I’ll share a list of exactly what we served on each charcuterie board below.

Can Snack Board Replace a Meal?

breads, meatballs and other hot foods on wood board


A hearty charcuterie board can absolutely replace a meal!

Snack boards typically include cheese, meats, crackers, fruits, nuts, and other appetizers.

However, if you want your boards to be the actual meal rather than just the appetizer then be sure to include food selections that you would eat for dinner.

Of course, the whole point of charcuterie is for your guests to graze throughout the party so people will have the opportunity to fill up and not leave hungry.

Anne grew up enjoying her mom’s homemade pizza dip for dinner which was a family favorite.

So she created a delicious keto-friendly pizza dip that could be served with a variety of breads.

Serving meatballs and mozzarella sticks on the pizza charcuterie board gives people additional hearty meal selections.

How Much Food to Serve on a Charcuterie Board?

antipasto board filled with a variety of food selections

How much food you’ll need on your charcuterie board will depend on the number of people you’re serving.

The more choices you offer the smaller the portions should be.

Guests will want to try everything on the board so make sure to serve bite-size portions so people can sample all the options offered.

If you are serving a meal with the charcuterie board then plan the amount of food needed to fill a plate.

Then multiply that amount of food by the number of people.

I always like to have more food than not enough.

Remember you can always save leftovers for another day.

Servings Per Person

Snack board: 2 oz. meat, 2 oz. cheese, 4-5 crackers, 3 bites of fruit,
3 bites of vegetables, 1 tbsp. nuts, 1 tbsp. honey or jam
Main course: 4 oz. meat, 4 oz. cheese, 8-10 crackers, 6 bites of fruit,
6 bites of veggies, 2 tbsp. nuts, 2 tbsp. jam or honey

How to Prepare for a Charcuterie Dinner Party

cutting cheese into cubes with knife

When preparing the food that you will use to build your charcuterie boards there are quite a few things you can do ahead of time.

Cut all your cheeses either in slices or cubes then store them in ziploc bags in the refrigerator until it’s time to assemble your board.

If serving vegetables and fruits they can be washed and cut up and then refrigerated as well.

Cheese, vegetables, and fruits can all be prepared the day before your event.

You can also purchase your cheese and veggies already cut if you need to save extra prep time.

green olives on paper towel next to cubed cheese pieces on cutting board

Any food that’s packaged in liquid can be drained ahead of time.

Dry pickles, olives, mozzarella balls, etc…so that they don’t seep any excess liquid on other food when assembling your charcuterie board.

No one wants to eat a soggy cracker soaked in olive juice.

You can also place wet foods in a small bowl on your wood board to prevent liquid from crossing over to other food items.

large wood board with food in containers on kitchen counter

Once you have all the food you have prepared for your charcuterie board place it on the board so you can get a feel for to style it.

Then refrigerate everything until it’s time to put together your grazing table.

You may be tempted to assemble your board and then move it to your refrigerator.

First of all, that’s an accident waiting to happen in my opinion.

I could just see all that work getting ruined trying to move a completed platter full of food from one place to another.

Secondly, if your food isn’t stored properly it could get dried out or stale before you serve it.

If you have everything prepared it won’t take long to actually assemble your charcuterie board.

How to Assemble a Charcuterie Board

various wood charcuterie boards and small bowls laid out on kitchen island

In addition to preparing your food ahead of time, it’s also helpful to lay out all your serving pieces to get a visual feel for your grazing area.

Get all the bowls, spoons, and picks you’ll need out and place on the boards.

This also helps you remember anything that may be needed to serve or eat the food selections you’re planning.

charcuterie boards bowls and serving platters on kitchen island

Decide whether you want to keep all the boards at the same level or if you want to vary the height to add some interest.

Use risers, pedestals, and cake stands to create different heights.

Simple decor allows the beautiful and delicious Italian bites you’re serving to be the star of the party.

A few candle sticks or small votive candles add a bit of ambiance to the grazing area.

What Food is Included in an Italian-themed Charcuterie Board?

kitchen island counter filled with food on different wood boards

You can include so many different food options for an Italian-themed charcuterie board dinner party.

I’d suggest choosing things that you enjoy eating so that if you have leftovers they won’t go to waste.

Here is a list of all the selections we added to each of the boards we created:

Pizza Board

Antipasti Board

  • provolone, fontina, parmesean, Babybel cheese
  • salami and pepperoni
  • various crackers and breadsticks
  • assorted mixed nuts, lemon-infused almonds, and pistachios
  • toasted pine nuts
  • bell peppers and stuffed green olives
  • assorted spreads: spinach and artichoke dip, honey, olive tapenade, bruschetta, and pesto

Antipasti Skewer Board

  • Caprese skewer: tomato, basil, mozzerella
  • Pasta skewer: tortellini, heirloom tomato, provolone

Italian Dessert Board

  • mini cannolis
  • panettone bread
  • assorted Italian cookies
  • rainbow layer cookies
  • chocolate truffles
  • strawberries and sliced pears
  • cannoli dip

What’s the Best Italian Signature Cocktail?

bloggers holding prosecco cocktail drink in glasses toasting each other

What’s the best Italian cocktail?

Well…prosecco of course!

At least that’s what we love anyway!

This is a wintry Campari spritz cocktail.

empty stemmed cocktail glasses on wood board with cut orange and pomegranate

If you have room on your table or in this case kitchen island, you can prepare a special board for your cocktails.

Pretty glasses on a wood board with pomegranate, orange, and rosemary add a festive touch to your charcuterie dinner party.

pomegranate juice and fruit snowflake shaped ice cubes in bowl

Snowflake-shaped “juice cubes” made from pomegranate juice with cranberries, an orange slice, and a sprig of rosemary.

These ice cubes are easy to make ahead of time in this fun snowflake silicone mold.

Just pop one cube in a glass and add prosecco, a splash of Campari, and a bit of club soda.

A classic Campari spritz is equal parts Campari to prosecco with a splash of club soda.

Campari is a bitter spirit, so you and your guests may prefer playing around with the ratio.

red drinks in stemmed glasses on wood board in kitchen

Don’t they look so pretty?

Anne and I had so much fun putting together this Italian charcuterie dinner party for our annual holiday book club party.

Everyone was so impressed and I’d say we definitely had our guests saying wow!

So what are you waiting for?

Go plan a charcuterie party of your own and be sure to share it with us on social media!

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More Simply2Moms’ Tablescape Ideas:

More Charcuterie Party Ideas from Our Friends

Be sure to click each of the blog names below the photos to get even more inspiration for your charcuterie table.

If you have any questions or suggestions, contact me or leave a comment!

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