My go-to for holiday entertaining? Charcuterie is a no-fuss meal, beautiful-looking, and perfect for feeding a crowd with little to no prep work! This is hands down the easiest way to feed a lot of people on a budget, or if you are in a time crunch. You can add a side of soup or chili and your entire meal is ready to go and all your guests will love it (even the pickiest of eaters)! I've made a ton of charcuterie boards for different parties and events, and there are so many variations and possibilities for making them your own. You can also spend A LOT of money on them if you aren't careful. This list is for my basic charcuterie board which you can do for about $50 and purchase everything at one stop, Trader Joe's. This will feed quite a few people- if you are making it for less than 10 people, you will probably have a lot leftover (not like that's a bad thing)!
Here's what you need (again all available at Trader Joe's):
Pita Bite Crackers
Medley of Seedless Grapes
Italian Dry Salami (comes in a huge package for about $2.79!)
Cranberry Chevre (goat cheese rolled in cranberry)
Asiago Cheese with Rosemary and Olive Oil
Smoked Dutch Cheese (smoked gouda)
Cheddar + Gruyere Melange
Like I said, there really is little prep involved. You need to cut your cheese into small bite size pieces (except your chevre which you can just unwrap and place on the board with a knife). All your meats are already sliced except your summer sausage which you can cut into small rounds. Pour your fig butter and pepper jelly into separate small dishes and provide a spoon or knife to spread with. Finally slice your baguette, pour your crackers into a bowl, and wash your grapes and place them in a bowl too (or you can just lay them on the board!)
The final step is just arranging it all however you like it! I have a very large board I use as my base and I sometimes stack other cake plates, tiers, or boards on top for height. I try to keep all the meats together, all the cheeses near each other, and the spreads near the cheeses. The base items (crackers, grapes, and bread) can be spread throughout or put off to the side.
You can also label each item if you wish so that your guests know what each item is. I use vintage glass place-cards and cupcake picks and then write on them with a sharpie. Many places also sell chalkboard place card holders or picks that would work perfectly!
This is sure to be a hit at your next holiday party and the super easy prep and clean-up will have you hooked! Don't be afraid to make it your own by adding or swapping in your favorite cheeses, meats, or spreads. If you are feeling fancy you can even make a homemade spread or two for the board! Olives, pickles, and nuts also make good additions if you are wanting to add some additional items. Hopefully this makes the hectic holiday season just a little easier (and more delicious)!