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8 Unique Small Charcuterie Board Ideas For A Small Party

I first looked for small charcuterie board ideas when I was planning to host a small get-together with my closest friends. I just love serving charcuterie boards at parties because they’re versatile, great for picky eaters, and quick and easy to assemble. Most of all, no cooking is required and clean-up is a breeze afterwards. 

A charcuterie board with two glasses of red wine in the background.

However, I only ever made a charcuterie table and other large spreads at this point, so it was quite a challenge to scale down the ingredients the first time. I found it to be really easy, though!

If you’re also searching for small charcuterie board ideas, whether for yourself, a date, or a small gathering, I’m happy to share with you the best mini charcuterie boards I’ve made in the past. I’ll also guide you through assembling these small spreads, including the best ingredients to include. Let’s get started!

How To Assemble A Mini Charcuterie Board

Assembling a small charcuterie board is the same as doing a traditional board. The only real challenge is scaling down the ingredients to suit just a few people, typically 1 to 4. But just like any charcuterie board, there are no hard and fast rules for small spreads – you can customize it according to any celebration theme or number of people, may it be for an intimate holiday party or a last-minute gift for mom on her special day. 

Before we get to assembling your first mini charcuterie board, let’s talk about what ingredients to include. The right ingredients are key to creating a delicious and stunning board, so let’s get to it!

A charcuterie board with an assortment of food.

What To Put In A Mini Charcuterie Board

A traditional charcuterie board is typically composed of three main food categories – meats, cheeses, and bread. It’s also common to add fillers such as fresh or pickled fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, dips and spreads, and sweets. 

The 3-3-3-3 rule is a good guide to follow for beginners so that there’s a good variety of food and so that the spread looks visually appealing. The 3-3-3-3 rule calls for 3 meats, 3 cheeses, 3 starches, and 3 types of fillers. 

For mini charcuterie boards, I recommend following the 2-2-2-2 rule for 1 to 4 people. Although you should still aim for an aesthetic spread, you won’t need as much variety. This can vary depending on the number of people you plan to serve and how much other food is being served. Here is a general guideline per person:

  • 2 ounces of meat
  • 2 ounces of cheese
  • 10 to 15 small crackers
  • 1 cup of fillers (for example 1/2 cup dried fruit or nuts and 1/2 cup chocolate-covered strawberries)

Follow these ideas if you plan to follow the  2-2-2-2 rule for your small charcuterie board. Through this, you can make sure that there’s a good variety of colors, flavors, and textures in your spread.

  • 2 Meats: Aim to serve 2 meats from different categories – chicken, beef, pork, and fish/seafood. Smoked chicken or turkey breast, chicken roulade, roast beef, bresaola, salami, prosciutto, shrimp cocktails, and crab cakes are all good options.
  • 2 Cheeses: Serve 1 firm or semi-firm cheese that can be sliced like cheddar, gouda, manchego, parmesan, and Asiago and 1 soft cheese that can be served in small portions like  goat cheese, brie, burrata, and ricotta. 
  • 2 Starches: Add 1 bread and 1 cracker for variety. Bread options include baguette, sourdough, ciabatta, and artisanal bread while crackers include whole wheat, multigrain, or seeded crackers, pretzel crisps, and pita chips.
  • 2 Fillers: Add fillers that complement your main food – fruits are great for a pop of color, nuts and seeds are ideal for added protein, jams, dips, and spreads will complement your starches, and sweet treats like dark chocolate are great palate-cleansers.

The Best Charcuterie Accessories

You can also get creative with the non-food items for assembly. If you don’t know where to start, here’s a general guideline of the charcuterie supplies you’ll need:

  • Serving Board: You can use any dinner plate, tray, or board that you find suitable. I like using my 6” x 9” mini bamboo cutting board – it’s all-natural and clean-up is a breeze.
  • Charcuterie Board Accessories: For a mini charcuterie board, you’ll only need 1 to 2 tongs for meats and bread, cheese knives (a sharp knife for firm cheeses and a spreader knife for soft cheeses), spoons or spreaders for dips and spreads, and mini forks for smaller items. I always use my reliable charcuterie board accessories set, great for both traditional and small-sized spreads.
  • Small Bowls: Add a small bowl or two if you’re serving dips, spreads, or sauces. 

How to Arrange a Small Charcuterie Board

As I mentioned, there’s no set template for food arrangement on a spread. It’s ideal to use your own creativity and judgment for what looks presentable to you, but here’s a step-by-step guide for assembling a mini charcuterie board for starters:

  1. Start by placing your meats on the opposite side of the board. Try to be creative with your presentation – fold, pile, or fan out the meat slices for better visual appeal. Salami roses are my favorite!
  2. Add the cheeses, placing each next to the meat it best pairs with.
  3. Place your starches. Arrange them around the meats and cheeses.
  4. If using small bowls for dips or spreads, add them first in the largest empty space available. Pile your other fillers around the board so that they fill in any other empty spots. 
A charcuterie board being arranged by two hands.

Unique Small Charcuterie Board Ideas To Try

The sky’s the limit when it comes to charcuterie platters. From classic cheese boards to an all-dessert spread, I’m ecstatic to share with you some unique small charcuterie board ideas for your next me time, date night, or small party!

Classic Mini Charcuterie Board

A classic charcuterie board features the usual meat, cheese, and bread combo. These are typically accompanied with fresh fruits and/or vegetables as well as nuts and seeds. This spread is ideal for any type of celebration, so bring out your wine glasses because a classic board pairs perfectly with your favorite wine!

Charcuterie Party Wreath

A charcute-wreath (coin me on this one!) is a festive and eye-catching way to serve your antipasti during the holiday season or any special gathering. Instead of serving your nibbles on a board directly, create a wreath out of fresh rosemary sprigs, place it on a round board, and arrange your ingredients to “decorate” the wreath. 

I always skewer my ingredients onto large toothpicks so I can easily place and remove them on the wreath without disturbing the arrangement. It makes the snacks more accessible to guests, too!

This magical arrangement is great for an intimate holiday party or a fall gathering. I usually make this alongside my usual holiday charcuterie board and they’re always a hit with family and friends.

Seasonal Charcuterie Board

A seasonal charcuterie board highlights the freshest ingredients of the season, offering a delightful variety of flavors and colors. For example, in my beach-themed charcuterie board which I make for summer parties, I typically put summer berries like blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, pickled vegetables, and meats and cheeses that don’t spoil easily. 

A fall spread might feature apples, pears, smoked meats, and aged cheeses, then finished off with fresh herbs or flowers, like rosemary, thyme, tarragon, or culinary lavender. Serving a seasonal mini charcuterie board allows you to enjoy the best eats of your favorite season anytime and anywhere.

Charcuterie Cones

I like bringing charcuterie cones to small parties because they’re just so convenient. It’s a great way to serve individual portions of charcuterie and, at the same time, offer a convenient and hygienic way to enjoy the snacks. 

To make charcuterie cones, you can use food-safe paper to create cones or purchase pre-made cones. Create a base layer inside the cone with breadsticks or crackers, then arrange your meats and cheeses on top. Insert your fruits and vegetables then finish off with fillers like small chocolates, almonds, olives, or pickles. Add a sprig of fresh herb or an edible flower for the finishing touch.

Charcuterie Cups or Grazing Boxes

Charcuterie cups or grazing boxes are also a nice way to serve charcuterie individually, so that your guests can enjoy an array of snacks at their leisure. You can provide your guests with these grab-and-go treats as an appetizer, dessert, or as a takeaway treat. 

A wooden platter containing a variety of fresh food.

Date Night Charcuterie Board

My husband and I are both foodies. When we don’t feel like going to a restaurant, we love going on picnic dates or spending quality time at home with a charcuterie board. The beauty of a date night spread is you can include all your favorite snacks as a couple. 

I make it depending on our mood – sometimes it’s an array of our favorite meats and cheeses served with wine. Other times it would be as simple as various chips with my highly-requested copycat Lawson’s chip dip or veggie sticks and my onion dip. It can be as simple or as fancy as you make it as long as you and your partner have a great time.

All-Dessert Board

This is my kids’ favorite, so I often make it for our weekly family movie night. Go all out on sweet treats with a mini all-dessert board – fresh fruits, assorted cookies, candies and chocolates, donuts, mini cupcakes, and more! 

Add biscuits, wafers, or breadsticks with small bowls of chocolate dipping sauce, caramel sauce, or whipped cream for dipping if you like. I also like adding jams and fruit preserves – I think that berry jams (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, etc.) are some of the best jams for a charcuterie board because everyone loves ’em. Be sure to aim for a variety in flavor and texture so that there’s something for everyone to enjoy. 

Themed Platters

Charcuterie boards can be customized according to any theme, may it be a traditional wedding or outdoor wedding, a fancy 18th birthday party, or a boy birthday party at home. I also love to make spreads for different holidays like Easter4th of July, and Halloween (char-BOO-terie?). When making your themed small charcuterie board, make sure to incorporate ingredients, colors, and elements that align with the theme you’re following.

Wrapping Up

Follow any of these small charcuterie board ideas and your spread will surely be the highlight of your gathering. These mini charcuterie boards also make a great gift for your loved ones, whether it’s for your anniversary, a promotion, or a birthday. or for mom’s special day

If you liked this post, save it on your bookmarks and come back to it when you’re ready to make your first small charcuterie board. Share it with your friends and family, too – I’m sure they’ll love to make one at home, too!

A charcuterie board with two glasses of red wine in the background.

How To Make A Small Charcuterie Board

Author: Jessica Haggard
Assembling a small charcuterie board is the same as doing a traditional board. The only real challenge is scaling down the ingredients to suit just a few people, typically 1 to 4. But just like any charcuterie board, there are no hard and fast rules for small spreads. Here’s how to assemble a small charcuterie board for your next me time, date night, or small party!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Appetizer
Servings 1 mini charcuterie board
Calories 1.045 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 4 ounces meat
  • 4 ounces cheese
  • 20 small crackers
  • 2 cups fillers fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, dips and spreads, or sweets

Instructions
 

  • Place the meats on the opposite side of the board. Be creative with your presentation – fold, pile, or fan out the meat slices for better visual appeal.
  • Add the cheeses, placing each next to the meat it best pairs with.
  • Arrange your crackers around the meats and cheeses.
  • Add small bowls for dips or spreads first in the largest empty space available. Pile and scatter remaining fillers around the board to fill other empty spots. 

Notes

Charcuterie board accessories may include:
  • 1 to 2 tongs
  • a small knife
  • spoons or spreaders
  • mini forks or toothpicks

Nutrition

Calories: 1.045kcalCarbohydrates: 79gProtein: 56gFat: 57gSaturated Fat: 26gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 186mgSodium: 1.405mgPotassium: 746mgFiber: 10gSugar: 31gVitamin A: 1.313IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 925mgIron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Please leave a review and share with me!
5 from 1 vote
Recipe Rating




Jacqui

Tuesday 9th of July 2024

I made two mini charcuterie boards for a small gathering and they were a hit! I followed your 2-2-2-2 rule, which really helped to figure out what to put on each board (I used gluten free crackers on one board for two of my guests). I also used your skewer technique so everything looked good after some nibbles were eaten. I'm going to make a mini dessert board this weekend for date night - there'll be lots of dark chocolate on that one!

Easy Homemade Life

Wednesday 10th of July 2024

I'm so glad to hear it went well, Jacqui! I hope everyone had fun. Good luck with your next charcuterie board. I hope it will be just as successful.

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