Handheld charcuterie? Count me in. These charcuterie skewers are a simple, no-cook app that you can throw together in just a few minutes. With meats, cheeses, fruits, olives, and pickled peppers, they’re a cute, crowd-pleasing app for dinner parties and get-togethers with friends!

Charcuterie skewers on a white marble tray next to glasses of red wine, crackers, and brown paltes of olives and almonds on a white counter.

I’ve accidentally started a tradition where our friends invite us over for a get-together and I show up cheese board in hand. A platter of meats and cheeses seems to make any event feel a little more elevated, even if we’re just playing Mario Party or sipping beers in the back yard.

And while this French cheese board or charcuterie cups are some of my favorites to bring along, I’ve really been loving this handheld version lately. They’re more casual, less fussy, and your friends can grab-and-go while they mingle or pour another drink.

They also happen to be uber customizable. So even though the recipe includes the ingredients I used, you can really use whatever meats, cheeses, and add-ons you like. Make them vegetarian or keep them more traditional with extra cured meats. There’s really no way to mess up this appetizer!

A simple party app

In the cheese course I took when I was in culinary school, they taught us how to pair cheeses with fruits, olives, meats, and other snacks based on their flavors and textures. This was probably one of my favorite courses we took and definitely sparked my love for cheese boards and charcuterie. Based on what I learned all those years ago, I decided to make half of the skewers sweet and creamy and half savory and salty. But, of course, this app is super easy to customize, so feel free to have fun with it and use your favorite pairings!

  • These skewers are no-cook and beyond simple to make.
  • You can use any of your favorite meats, cheeses, & pairings.
  • They’re amazing with wine, beer, & cocktails for a party.
  • Serve them at dinner parties, happy hour at home, & other get-togethers!

What is charcuterie?

Charcuterie is a French culinary art of preparing cured meat. Typically, a plateau de charcuterie (plate of cured meats) includes a few pairings like cornichons, nuts, olives, and sometimes savory cheeses. In the U.S., you might find that ‘charcuterie boards’ include more cheeses and add-ons like fruit, dried fruit, pickled peppers, crackers, and the like.

The ingredients

White and brown plates of cheeses, cured meats, peppers, olives, cornichons, grapes, dried apricots, and raspberries on a tan counter.
  • Cured meat – you will want 2-3 cured meats that are soft and foldable so they can easily be skewered. I like peppered salami and prosciutto but mortadella, soppressata, coppa, or jamón would be good too.
  • Cheese – choose 2-3 cheeses. Pick cheeses that are semi-soft or semi-hard so they’re easy to skewer. If the cheese is too hard, it will crumble apart and if it’s too soft, it will slide off the skewers. I used mini brie cheeses, havarti, and Scotch bonnet cheddar.
  • Fruit – to complement the sweeter cheeses, pick 1-2 fruits. Grapes are a classic. But you can also use berries, cherries, or even peach slices.
  • Pickles – choose 2-3 pickled veggies to pair with the meats. Try Castelvetrano olives, cornichons, or pickled peppers.
  • Dried fruit – for textural contrast, add some dried fruit. Dried apricots are my go-to but dried figs, dates, pears, or apples would be delicious too.

Variations & substitutions

  • Veggies – feel free to add veggies like cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, mini peppers, roasted pearl onions, or marinated artichoke hearts.
  • Bread – thread cubes of bread on the skewers instead of serving crackers on the side.
  • Add-ons – serve the skewers alongside bowls of jams, sauces, nuts, and crackers.
  • Vegetarian – replace the meats with another 1-2 cheese options.

How to make these skewers

Three steps to making meat and cheese skewers. In photo 1, skewers are threaded through cheese and olives on a tan counter next to white bowls of meats, olives, and pickles. In photo 2, a hand is folding salami into quarters. In photo 3, the skewers have meat, cheese, and pickles.

Savory skewers

  1. First, thread a cheese cube and olive on half of the skewers.
  2. Then, fold the salami into quarters and add them to the skewers.
  3. Lastly, add another cheese cube and a pickled pepper. Roll a small slice of prosciutto and top the skewer.

Quick tip

When you prep the ingredients, you want them to bite-sized, but large enough that they won’t fall apart when you add them to the skewers. I recommend slicing the cheese into 1-inch cubes. For the cured meats, fold them into quarters or roll the meats and cut them in half.

Two steps to making cheese kabobs. In photo 1, hands are threading a mini brie cheese on a wood stick with cheese, dried apricots, and grapes. In photo 2, the cheese kabobs are on a tan counter next to white bowls of raspberries, salami, and pickles.

Sweet skewers

  1. On the other half of the skewers, add a cheese cube, dried apricot, and grape.
  2. Then, add a mini brie cheese or another cheese cube to the skewers.
  3. Finish the skewers with a raspberry or other berry that you like. Enjoy!

Pro tip

It’s important to pair the ingredients together so the flavors don’t clash. Match the cured meats with savory, salty ingredients like Scotch bonnet cheddar, olives, and pickles. Try pairing sweeter cheeses, like Brie, with fresh or dried fruit. Some cheeses, like havarti, can go sweet or savory!

Serving ideas

Charcuterie on a stick is the best finger food for dinner parties, potlucks, bridal showers, baby showers, and happy hour at home! Everyone loves them and they’re super easy to customize with all your favorite snacks. They’re super cute displayed on a cheese board, large serving plate, or lined up on a platter. Here are a few of my favorite ways to enjoy this app!

How many skewers should I make per person?

This will honestly depend on if you’re making other snacks or if these are the standalone appetizer. If you’re serving these charcuterie kabobs alongside more apps, I would make 1-2 per person. If you’re serving them alone, I would make 2-3 per person. Also, if you’re making larger skewers (like 10-inch BBQ skewers), you probably only need 1 per person.

Quick tip

If you’re making smaller skewers like I did, I would make one savory skewer and one sweet skewer per person. This will let your guests try different meats, cheeses, and pairings!

A white marble platter of charcuterie skewers next to crackers and glasses of red wine.

Storing & make-ahead

To store leftover meat and cheese skewers, place them in an airtight container. Refrigerate them for up to 2-3 days. After a few days, the ingredients will start to dry out.

These are also a lovely make-ahead appetizer! You can make them the night before, but I would recommend making them about 1-4 hours in advance so the cheeses don’t dry out.

Helpful tools

Pro tip

If you want to make larger skewers, you can use 10-12 inch BBQ skewers instead. Start with the savory ingredients (meats, olives, etc.) at the bottom, working your way up to sweeter ingredients (grapes, dried apricots, etc.) at the top.

A marble platter of charcuterie kabobs on a white counter next to red wine, crackers, and brown bowls of olives and almonds.

Tips & tricks

  • Mix and match the ingredients for different flavors and textures. Pair salty meats with spicy peppers and tangy olives. Or, try creamy cheeses with berries and grapes.
  • Use bite-sized ingredients so they’re easy to snack on. Keep the ingredients around 1-inch or so.
  • To make the skewers even prettier, use a mix of colors and shapes. Try a mix of fruits, pickles, meats, and cheeses for visual contrast.
  • Bring the charcuterie kabobs to room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving. Room temp cheese brings out all of the best flavors and textures!

Recipe FAQs

Can I use any meat or cheese in this recipe?

Since you’re threading the ingredients on skewers, you’ll want to use softer cured meats that can be folded or rolled. Salami, mortadella, and prosciutto are all good options. For cheese, go for semi-soft or semi-hard cheeses like cheddar, havarti, brie, or gouda. Soft cheeses will slide off and hard cheeses will crumble apart.

Where do I buy the skewers?

You can buy small skewers at craft stores and some well-stocked grocery stores in the BBQ section. You can also find them online! If you can’t find small (6-inch) skewers, you can also make larger appetizers with 10-12 inch skewers.

How should I fold the meats?

To skewer the meats, you will want to fold or roll them into bite-sized pieces. For smaller meats, like salami, you can fold them into quarters. But if you have larger slices of meats, like prosciutto, you can roll the meats and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Skewer the meats through the center of the folds to keep them together.

Can I halve or double this recipe?

Totally! This recipe is so easy to scale up for a party or down for a casual snack. If you’re halving the recipe, you can use less variety (1-2 cheeses + 1-2 meats) to scale down the grocery list. If you’re scaling the recipe up for a party, feel free to use a large variety of meats, cheeses, fruits, and other add-ons!

Can I make them vegetarian?

Totally! To make cheese board skewers, leave out the meat entirely. Just replace the cured meat with 1-2 more cheeses or veggies instead.

A white platter of charcuterie skewers on a white counter next to crackers, glasses of red wine, and white bowls of almonds and olives.

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Simple Charcuterie Skewers

Yield: 24 skewers
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Handheld charcuterie? Count me in. These charcuterie skewers are a simple, no-cook app that you can throw together in just a few minutes. With meats, cheeses, fruits, olives, and pickled peppers, they're a cute, crowd-pleasing app for dinner parties and get-togethers with friends!

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces havarti cheese (224 grams)
  • 4 ounces Scotch bonnet cheddar or sharp cheddar cheese (112 grams)
  • 12 mini brie cheeses
  • 12 slices of peppered salami
  • 6 slices of prosciutto
  • 12 pitted Castelvetrano olives
  • 12 cheese-stuffed cherry peppers
  • 12 dried apricots
  • 12 red grapes
  • 12 raspberries

Equipment

  • Cheese knife or chef's knife
  • Cutting board
  • 24 6-inch skewers

Instructions 

  • First, slice the havarti and cheddar cheeses into 1-inch cubes. Fold the slices of salami into quarters. Then, roll the prosciutto and slice each piece in half so you have 12 rolled pieces.
  • On 12 of the skewers, thread one cube of havarti cheese, one Castelvetrano olive, a slice of peppered salami, one cube of cheddar cheese, a stuffed pepper, and a prosciutto roll.
  • Then, on the other 12 skewers, thread one cube of havarti cheese, a dried apricot, a grape, a mini brie cheese, and a raspberry. Let the skewers come to room temperature for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Notes

Feel free to switch up the ingredients with your favorite pairings. Try using different semi-soft or semi-hard cheeses, cherry tomatoes, cornichons, cured meats, berries, etc.
If you can’t find mini brie cheeses, use 1-2 small wheels instead. Cut the brie wheels into 8-12 wedges and thread them on the skewers.
It’s important to pair the ingredients together so the flavors don’t clash. Match the cured meats with savory, salty ingredients like Scotch bonnet cheddar, olives, and pickles. Try pairing sweeter cheeses, like Brie, with fresh or dried fruit. Some cheeses, like havarti, can go sweet or savory!
Use bite-sized ingredients so they’re easy to snack on. Keep the ingredients around 1-inch or so.
To make the skewers even prettier, use a mix of colors and shapes. Try a mix of fruits, pickles, meats, and cheeses for visual contrast.
If you want to make larger skewers, you can use 10-12 inch BBQ skewers instead. Start with the savory ingredients (meats, olives, etc.) at the bottom, working your way up to sweeter ingredients (grapes, dried apricots, etc.) at the top.
Bring the skewers to room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving. Room temp cheese brings out all of the best flavors and textures!
Cuisine: American, French
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Serving: 1skewer, Calories: 164kcal, Carbohydrates: 4.8g, Protein: 10.1g, Fat: 11.7g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 40mg, Sodium: 633mg, Potassium: 112mg, Fiber: 1.3g, Sugar: 2.9g, Calcium: 135mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @sundaytable.co on Instagram!

xo Sara Lynn

Song of the day – Freakin’ Out On the Interstate by Briston Maroney