A Festive Christmas Tree Charcuterie Board
It’s almost time to drink and be merry with friends! And this Christmas tree charcuterie board is a simple, no-cook, and festive way to do so. Fill this board with all of your favorite meats, cheeses, and snacks. It’s the Christmas appetizer everyone wants and needs.
After baking a million cookies and eating all the Christmas candies, a savory snack is a welcome relief. And of course, you know that I’m always going to choose cheese. Like these marinated mozzarella balls or cranberry orange cheese balls.
But the difference with this board is that it combines all of the best things about the holidays. Fancy cheese! Salty snacks! Cute Christmas-themed food!
So pour yourself a glass of wine and let’s make charcuterie, friends. It’s time to celebrate the season. 💃
Why you’ll love this Christmas appetizer!
Charcuterie has been my go-to appetizer ever since I started throwing dinner parties close to ten years ago. Even with all of the cooking skills I learned in culinary school, charcuterie boards are still the app that everyone gets the most excited about lol.
- This charcuterie is pretty and elegant but no-cook and so easy to make.
- You can customize this board with all of your favorite holiday treats.
- It’s a great make-ahead option for Christmas dinner or a holiday party.
- Everyone loves a good charcuterie board! You really can’t go wrong.
Start by picking a few cheeses. You’ll want something hard or semi-hard, a soft or semi-soft cheese, and a blue cheese and/or something unique and funky. I used aged gouda (semi-hard), havarti (semi-soft), and cranberry Stilton (unique). Here are some others you can try!
- Hard – Pecorino Romano, Emmental, gruyère, manchego
- Semi-hard – sharp cheddar, aged gouda, comté
- Semi-soft – havarti, muenster, fontina
- Soft – brie, Boursin, goat cheese, port salut
- Blue – Stilton, Roquefort, gorgonzola
- Unique – cranberry Stilton, truffle cheese, seasonal flavors
I always recommend checking out a local cheese shop (or Trader Joe’s) for seasonal flavors. Also, try to pick at least one “safe” cheese like cheddar or gouda for your friends who might not be super familiar with unique cheeses.
For this board, you’ll want meats that can be folded so they fit into the tree shape. Here’s some good options:
2-3 crackers & breads
I usually serve crackers on the side of the board (as opposed to building them into the board). So feel free to use whatever you like!
- Fruit & nut crisps (store-bought or homemade)
- Water crackers or butter crackers
- Cheese twists or breadsticks
- Crusty bread or baguette
- Seed or herb crackers
1-2 winter fruits
Look for something bright + Christmasy! Here are my go-tos:
- Apples or pears
- Oranges or clementines
- Cranberries or pomegranates
- Grapes (any color)
Feel free to get creative with different seasonal ingredients and snacks! Here’s a few more Christmas charcuterie board ideas:
- Briny things – pickled peppers, cheese-stuffed peppers, or olives
- Nuts/seeds – seasoned pecans, nut mix, roasted pepitas
- Sweets – cookies, chocolates, seasonal candies
- Dried fruit – cranberries, candied oranges, dried apples
- Veggies – broccoli, rainbow carrots, radicchio, or other winter veg
How to make a charcuterie tree
- First thing’s first, cut out a triangle of parchment paper. This will be so helpful for forming the shape of the charcuterie tree!
- Then, add piles of cheese in different areas of the tree. If you have a cheese wedges, try pointing them out to look like branches!
- Then, fold the meats and place them in-between the cheeses for easy grabbing.
- Place any other larger items like candied oranges, grapes, cookies, or piles of pomegranate arils around the board.
- Then, fill in the platter with smaller items like pickled peppers, nuts, dried cranberries, and the like.
- Lastly, finish the Christmas grazing board by tucking rosemary sprigs in different areas on the board and adding rows of pecans at the bottom to make a trunk. Serve the crackers on the side and enjoy!
Use a small cookie cutter to slice stars out of cheese for decoration. You’ll want to use thin slices of semi-hard or semi-soft cheese so the stars don’t fall apart. Cheddar is a great option!
This board is great on its own but you can also serve it with other apps! These are just a few get-togethers you can make this appetizer for.
- Serve it before Christmas or Christmas Eve dinner.
- Bring it to a holiday party or potluck.
- Enjoy it with beer, wine, or holiday cocktails.
- Make it for a light, snacky lunch on Christmas.
Storing & make-ahead
To store leftovers, place any perishable items like cheese, meat, or fruit into airtight containers. Refrigerate for up to 3 days. Any non-perishable items like crackers, cookies, or nuts can be stored in their original packaging at room temperature so they don’t get soggy in the fridge.
This board is also a great make-ahead appetizer! Just assemble the board up to 1 day in advance. Tent the board with wrap or tinfoil and refrigerate it. But, be sure the wrap isn’t pressing against the board or it could mess up the tree shape!
Always serve cheese at room temperature! It brings out the best of the flavors and textures. Just take the board out of the fridge 30 minutes before serving.
Bringing this board to a party
If you’re going to be driving this Christmas-themed charcuterie board over to a party or get-together, you have a couple of options. Don’t worry, both are super easy!
- Assemble the board and tent it with tinfoil or wrap, making sure that the wrap isn’t pressing against the charcuterie. Make sure it’s flat when you’re driving it over. Then, just unwrap, adjust the tree shape if necessary, and enjoy!
- Or, you can bring over all of the ingredients in individual containers. Once you get to the party, just assemble the board real quick and you’re ready to party.
- Wood board or serving platter
- Parchment paper
- Cheese knives & tongs
- Metal food picks (for serving)
- Sharp knife for slicing
- Star-shaped cookie cutter (optional)
If you want to make this board even easier, you can always buy a tree-shaped platter. But, I like the parchment paper method because I honestly don’t want to store a holiday board for 11 months out of the year haha. Do whatever is easiest for you!
Tips & tricks
- To keep this Christmas grazing board festive, look for red, white, and green ingredients. White cheeses, red fruits, rosemary, etc.
- Use different shapes and textures on the board. It helps add depth and makes the board look so much more interesting and elegant!
- Slice the cheese cold. I promise, it makes slicing everything so much easier.
- Scale the board up or down depending on how many people you’re serving. This board is great for a small group, or you can make a big one for a crowd!
What kind of board should I use?
For a warm and cozy vibe, I like a classic wood board. But feel free to use a gold, silver, or white marble board instead! If you don’t have a charcuterie platter, you can also use a wood cutting board. Just make sure to pick something big enough to fit the whole tree!
How do I make the charcuterie tree-shaped?
You can always freestyle this board, but I definitely recommend my parchment paper trick! Just trace a tree shape onto a sheet of parchment paper and cut it out. Then, use the parchment as a guide for the meats, cheeses, and add-ons.
How can I make charcuterie look fancier?
A key step in making charcuterie look elegant is using different textures, colors, and shapes to make everything look interesting and pretty. I also like to fold or roll the meats which makes it look so much nicer than just leaving them as whole slices. Lastly, feel free to add a few elevated ingredients like nice olives, pretty fruits, or chocolate-covered almonds to take things up a notch.
Can I make a Christmas cheese board instead?
Of course! Just leave out the meats and replace them with other ingredients like cheese, fruit, veggies, nuts, olives, or candies. Super easy!
More cozy appetizers
Little Smokies in a Blanket with Puff Pastry
Marinated Mozzarella Balls with Lemon & Basil
Beef Wellington Bites with Dijon Sauce
Spicy Deviled Eggs with Crispy Shallots
Savory Palmiers with Everything Seasoning
If you make this recipe, I would love it if you left a star rating and review! I read every single comment and love hearing what you think about my recipes. Thank you for supporting Sunday Table!
A Festive Christmas Tree Charcuterie Board
- 3-4 cheeses (~8 ounces/227 grams each)
- 2-3 packages of cured meats (4 ounces/113 grams each)
- 2 ounces candied orange slices (75 grams)
- 1 package mini cookies (3.5 ounces/100 grams)
- 1/2 pound grapes (227 grams)
- 1/2 cup pomegranate arils (78 grams/1 pomegranate)
- 5.5 ounces picked peppers (160 grams)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries (80 grams)
- 1/2 cup seasoned pecans (60 grams)
- Rosemary sprigs, for garnish
- 2-3 packages of crackers or bread (4 ounces/120 grams each)
- Candies, chocolate, seasonal items, etc. (for decorating)
- 1 large cheese board
- Parchment paper
- Cheese knives, for serving
- Start by tracing a tree shape onto a large piece of parchment paper. Cut out the tree shape and place it on the serving board.
- Then, slice any hard, semi-hard, or semi-soft cheeses into cubes or wedges. Using the parchment paper as a guide, arrange the cheese cubes in piles on different areas on the board. If you have cheese wedges, arrange them pointing outwards to look like branches.
- Next, fold or roll the meats and arrange them in-between the piles of cheese. Place a few candied orange slices on the edges of the parchment paper to add depth. Arrange any other larger items like cookies or crackers between the cheeses.
- Then, add piles of grapes, pomegranate arils, or other seasonal fruits you like. Fill in any gaps with smaller items like pickled peppers, dried cranberries, candies, seeds, nuts, etc.
- Using pecans, create 2-3 rows side-by-side at the bottom of the tree to make a trunk. Then, fill in random gaps of the board with sprigs of rosemary to add "branches". Use a small star-shaped cookie cutter to slice small stars out of scraps of cheese and place them throughout the board (if desired). Add any other small decorations or garnishes. Enjoy!
xo Sara Lynn
Song of the day – Deck the Halls by Nat King Cole