What is a Charcuterie Board
A charcuterie (pronounced shar-KOO-ta-REE) board is really just an epic snack tray. It’s a great way to assemble food for parties or get-togethers during the holiday season or any other time and they also make amazing gifts.
Because everything on a charcuterie board is basically touching, if anyone at the event has celiac disease or gluten intolerance you’ll want to build an entirely gluten free charcuterie board to avoid cross contamination and keep everyone safe.
Whether you’re a veteran Celiac or just hosting a party during the holiday season and trying to accommodate your friends or family, it’s easy to build a gluten-free snack board that everyone can enjoy. I’ll show you how!
When to Serve a Gluten Free Charcuterie Board
There really is never a bad time to serve a charcuterie board, they’re always a huge hit for everyday or special occasions.
A few times a year our kids hosts a board night for their friends where we fix a fun seasonal charcuterie board and they play board games or enjoy a movie night. It’s a ton of fun and the best part is the kids’ friends rave about the snack board!
I’ve seen the idea online to host a board night where everyone brings their own themed board to share and think it would be so fun to do a gluten free version!
Snack boards also come in clutch for a holiday gathering. Every year I make a gluten free charcuterie board for everyone to snack on while they’re waiting for Thanksgiving dinner so I don’t have to worry about preparing breakfast or lunch. The kids look forward to it every year and last year, we did one for Christmas eve too.
How to Arrange a Gluten-Free Charcuterie Board
There really isn’t a wrong way to arrange a charcuterie board, but having a few tricks up your sleeve does make it easier (and more visually appealing, if that’s what you’re going for)
To construct the perfect charcuterie board, follow these basic steps:
- Start with cheeses. Arrange various types (more on that below) leaving space between each.
- Add meats like prosciutto, salami, etc. To fancy up your board, you can roll or fold them.
- Fill in most of the gaps with salty items like crackers, pretzels, and breads.
- Finally, fill every open space with all your extras. Fresh or dried fruits, jams (fig jam and green pepper jelly are two of my favs) and honey and chocolate are all great options!
Important Note: For safety, food should not be left at room temperature for more than 2 hours, per USDA. If the temperature is over 90°F (32°C), it should not be left out for more than 1 hour. After that time, cover the charcuterie and return it to the refrigerator to chill it.
Equipment Needed for a Gluten Free Charcuterie Board
Don’t feel like you need a special platter or serving tray to make your own charcuterie board, just use what you have! Here are a few simple ideas you can probably find in your kitchen cupboard:
- Large platter
- Wooden cutting board or serving board
- Large plate
- Baking sheet (line it with parchment paper or plastic wrap to spruce it up a little)
You really don’t need anything else, but it makes constructing and serving a little easier if you have some of the following:
Small bowls or tiny condiment bowls are great for jams, dips, honey, and items you don’t want running into other foods (like pickles).
Cheese knives are specially made to slice cheese and are smaller than other knives, making them easier to work into your charcuterie board instead of setting on the side.
Mini forks are great for serving cheese cubes, olives, and meats. You can also set out disposable mini forks for your guests to use as eating utensils once they dish up their plates, or swap out toothpicks.
a Honey dipper is not only a beautiful addition to your gluten free charcuterie board, it also makes drizzling honey super easy for your guests.
Ingredients in a Gluten Free Charcuterie Board
You can basically use anything you want to make a traditional or themed charcuterie board, but here are some classic key ingredients:
- fresh fruit-grapes, figs, pomegranate arils work great
- fresh berries
- dried fruit-figs, dates, and apricots are popular choices but you can definitely get creative
- gluten-free crackers or pretzels
- hard cheeses like aged cheese, pepper jack, or blue cheese
- soft cheeses like fresh mozzarella, goat cheese, cream cheese, or melted brie
- vegan cheeses if you’re avoiding meat
- variety of meats such as genoa salami, prosciutto, pancetta, pepperoni
- nuts and seeds
- pickles, olives, jarred banana peppers
- honey or honeycomb
- fresh herbs for garnish and a nice pop of color
Important Note: Many ingredients can contain gluten as an ingredient or in the form of cross contamination. Some forms of blue cheese contain gluten. Be sure to check all your labels to make sure the ingredients you’re using are safe for you and your guests.
Best Crackers for a Gluten Free Charcuterie Board
Simple Mills almond flour crackers are our favorite gluten free crackers. They taste a lot like wheat thins and have a similar texture, making them sturdy enough to hold together when you’re spreading them with cheese. I always buy at Costco because they’re cheapest there.
Schar table crackers or entertainment crackers are also great options, though they don’t hold together quite as well.
Other gluten free options to consider are pretzels (we love Snyder’s honey mustard pretzels), Goodie Girl Magical Animal Crackers, Good Thins, or Mary’s Gone Crackers.
Where to Shop for Ingredients
Any grocery store will have plenty of ingredients for your charcuterie board. My local favorite is Harmons because they have the most amazing selection of different types of cheeses.
Warehouse stores like Sam’s Club or Costco are a great place to pick up an assortment of meats at a great price. Always be sure to check the labels, gluten can hide anywhere!
Trader Joe’s is a fun stop and has unique items that will make your gluten free charcuterie board pop! If you’re making a seasonal board, then TJ’s is definitely a great option!