What’s better than one big charcuterie board? A platter of individual charcuterie cups! With a variety of meats, cheeses, fruit, nuts, olives, and crackers, these cups are a fun and elegant appetizer. They’re lovely for dinner parties, holidays, wine tastings, and get togethers with friends!

A wood platter of individual charcuterie cups on a tan counter next to glasses of rosé.

I have a few tricks up my sleeve when it comes to throwing a party. The first is that you can never, and I mean never, have too much ice. The second is that if you put cheese on a board, people will lose their ever-loving minds. It’s a simple formula, really.

And the proof is in the pudding because this French cheese board and honey baked camembert are two of my most-requested appetizers. But lately, I’ve been so obsessed with these cutie cups! I mean, it’s like double fisting wine, but one of the cups is actually cheese and cured meat.

My other favorite part of these cups is that you can use any mixture of ingredients that you like. Make them casual, make them elaborate…honestly, the world is your cheese board. Let’s make them, friends!

The prettiest party app

When I was in culinary school, we practiced all of our new skills by catering for big parties and events. If you’ve ever gone to culinary school, you probably know that “food in cups” is a common theme. After a while, I was kind of over it lol. But when it comes to charcuterie? I’ll forever be a fan of this handheld snack. I mean, how could you not be?

  • These cups are no-cook, make-ahead, and beyond easy to DIY.
  • You can customize them with your favorite meats, cheeses, & snacks.
  • There’s no worrying about utensils so they’re amazing for a party.
  • Everyone gets so excited for these individual charcuteries. They’re a huge crowd-pleaser!

Ingredients & variations

White and brown bowls of cheeses, salami, pickles, grapes, crackers, raspberries, olives, and pistachios on a tan counter.

2-4 cheeses

Depending on how elaborate you want to get, you’ll want three to four cheese options. But you can even use two if you want! Soft or crumbly cheeses won’t work in these cups because they will fall apart. So, you’ll want mostly semi-hard or hard cheeses. Here are a few ideas!

  • Sharp cheddar
  • Gouda
  • Gruyère
  • Mini bries
  • Pepper jack
  • Havarti
  • Comté

1-2 meats

Since you have limited space here, you’ll only need one or two meats. Go for meats that are easy to roll and fold. These are some of my favorites.

  • Salami or peppered salami
  • Prosciutto
  • Soppressata
  • Summer sausage
  • Mortadella

1-3 crackers

Add some crackers or bread-y things to go along with the meats and cheeses. I recommend looking for tall crackers so they stand on their own and add height. Here are some ideas.

  • Croccantini crackers
  • Breadsticks or cheese sticks
  • Sesame crackers
  • Fruit & nut crisps
  • Water crackers

4-6 add-ins

To round out the cups, we’ll fill them with some fun add-ins! Pick a mix of sweet, savory, pickled, and fresh for a variety of flavors and textures. Try some of these ideas!

  • Fresh fruit – grapes, raspberries, strawberries, figs, orange slices, or cherries.
  • Dried fruit – apricots, candied orange slices, cranberries, or dates.
  • Nuts – pistachios, Marcona almonds, candied pecans, seasoned cashews, or roasted walnuts.
  • Pickles – cornichons, Castelvetrano olives, kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, etc.
  • Sweets – cookies, chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate squares, or candies.
  • Garnishes – fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or sage.

Pro tip!

Use seasonal ingredients to switch these cups up for different seasons and holidays. For example, if I’m making Christmas charcuterie, I’ll use pomegranate arils, cranberry cheese, and spiced nuts. For fall charcuterie vibes, try blue cheese, figs, and red wine salami.

How to make these cups

Three steps to making individual charcuteries. In photo 1, picks are threaded with cheese, meat, pickles, olives, and fruit. In photo 2, glasses are filled with nuts, grapes, and crackers. In photo 3, the cups have cheese slices in them.
  1. Start by threading picks or skewers with a variety of meats, cheeses, cornichons, olives, berries, etc. Depending on the size of your cups, you will want 1-2 skewers per person.
  2. Next, fill the bottom of the cups with small items like nuts, dried fruit, and grapes. Add a few crackers, staggering them to add height.
  3. Then, add a few slices of cheese that can’t be threaded onto skewers.

Quick tip

For the skewers, try pairing ingredients that go well together. Add meats, sharp cheeses, and pickled items like cornichons or olives to half of the skewers. On the rest, use a mix of creamy/sweeter cheeses, fruits, or dried fruits. This will help your guests know how to pair the ingredients!

Two steps to making charcuterie cups. In photo 1, cups are filled with nuts, fruit, meats, cheeses, and crackers. In photo 2, the cups are garnished with rosemary and thyme.
  1. Add two of the skewers to each cup, tilting them slightly to show off all of the ingredients.
  2. Lastly, fill in any gaps in the cups with crackers, fruit, nuts, candies, etc. Add a few sprigs of fresh herbs for garnish. Enjoy!

Quick tip

Use a mix of ingredients with different heights for depth and texture. You’ll want to stagger the tall and short items so you can see all of the ingredients. It also looks so much prettier! If you can’t get something to stand up (like a skewer or some crackers), use small items like grapes or olives to prop them up.

Serving ideas

These cups are by far one of my favorite apps for a party or get-together with friends. They’re easy to scale up or down depending on how many people you’re serving! (And even better? You don’t end up with a bunch of dried out cheese and sweaty meats at the end of the night like you do with full charcuterie boards.) Here are some of my favorite ways to serve these cups!

Ideas for displaying these cups

Obviously these cups are gorgeous, so you’ll want to make them the star of your party! Here are just a few creative ideas for displaying these charcuteries.

  • Place them on a pretty wood board or marble platter.
  • Stack the cups on a cupcake tower.
  • Line them on a snack table with other appetizers.
  • Place the cups on a cake stand or elevated platter.
  • Serve the charcuterie in wine glasses or jars instead. (Jarcuterie, anyone?)
A wood platter of individual charcuterie cups next to a beige linen and white plate on a beige counter.

Storing & make-ahead

To store leftovers, cover each cup with wrap. Refrigerate the cups for up to 2 days. Also, to keep the crackers from getting soggy, I definitely recommend removing them from the cups before refrigerating.

You can also make these cups a few hours in advance. You don’t want to make them too early or the cheese will dry out and the crackers will get soggy. To be safe, you can also slice and add the cheeses at the last minute!

Helpful tools

A wood board with individual charcuterie cups on a tan counter next to glasses of rosé, a beige linen, and a white plate of pistachios.

Tips & tricks

  • To make these cups even prettier, use ingredients with different shapes and sizes. Slice the cheeses into cubes, triangles, or rectangles. Try folding some meats and rolling others. The goal is to add a variety of different layers and textures.
  • For a vegetarian version, simply make these cups without meat. Or, replace it with extra cheese, fruit, or even veggies!
  • Keep wet and dry ingredients separate. You don’t want wet ingredients (like olives or cornichons) to make dry ingredients (like crackers) soggy. You can also dry out any wet ingredients which helps a lot!
  • Let the cups sit out for 30 minutes or so before eating. Serving cheese at room temperature brings out all of the best flavors and textures.
  • To transport these cups for a party, place them side-by-side in a box. If there are any gaps, stuff them with clean towels to keep the cups from tipping over. Then, cover the box with a clean linen or towel to keep them from drying out.

Recipe FAQs

What do you put at the bottom of these cups?

You’ll want to fill in the bottom of the cups with smaller items to help prop up the rest of the ingredients. I usually fill the cups with a mix of nuts and grapes. But you can also use other small items like olives, berries, dried cranberries, or a mix of ingredients.

Can I make these cups the night before?

I honestly wouldn’t recommend making these the night before because the meat and cheese dries out after it’s sliced. But, you can make them a few hours in advance! Just cover the assembled cups, place them in the fridge, and take them about about 30 minutes before serving.

What size cups should I use?

The drinking glasses I used in this recipe are 10 ounces. But you can also use wine glasses, French fry cups, or smaller cups if you prefer! I wouldn’t use anything smaller than 6 or 7 ounces though, or you won’t have room for all of the goodies.

How should I fold the meats?

My favorite way to assemble the cured meats for these cups is to fold the slices into quarters and skewer them down the middle. That’s how you’ll get those pretty ruffles! You can also fold the meats in half and roll them for a ‘rose’ look. If you have harder meats (like Summer sausage), simply slice them and skewer the meats along with cheese, olives, & cornichons.

How long can these cups sit out?

The cups can sit out for about 2 hours before the ingredients get too warm. If you’re serving these cups for a big party, I recommend setting about 1/3-1/2 of the cups out for guests and replenishing them as needed.

Three individual charcuterie cups on a beige counter next to glasses of rosé and a white plate of pistachios.

More cheese appetizers

Lemony Marinated Mozzarella Balls
Cranberry Orange Cheese Balls
Fried Burrata with Pesto & Roasted Peppers
Tempura Fried Cheese Curds with Sriracha Mayo
Cheesy Loaded Waffle Fries with Bacon
BBQ Chicken Nachos with Cilantro Lime Crema

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Individual Charcuterie Cups for a Party

Yield: 16 cups
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
What's better than one big charcuterie board? A platter of individual charcuterie cups! With a variety of meats, cheeses, fruit, nuts, olives, and crackers, these cups are a fun and elegant appetizer. They're lovely for dinner parties, holidays, wine tastings, and get togethers with friends!

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces sharp cheddar, (170 grams)
  • 6 ounces gruyère, (170 grams)
  • 6 ounces pepper jack, (170 grams)
  • 16 mini brie cheese wheels (or 16 brie wedges)
  • 1 pound red grapes (454 grams)
  • 6 ounces raspberries (170 grams)
  • 8 ounces peppered salami (227 grams)
  • 16 cornichons (64 grams)
  • 32 Castelvetrano olives (192 grams)
  • 1 pound roasted & salted pistachios (454 grams)
  • 6 ounces Croccantini crackers (170 grams)
  • 5.3 ounces fruit & nut crisps, homemade or store-bought (150 grams)
  • 6 ounces cheese stick crackers (170 grams)
  • 4 ounces white chocolate covered pretzels (113 grams)
  • 16 sprigs of fresh rosemary and/or thyme, for garnish

Equipment

Instructions 

  • Slice the cheeses: Start by slicing the sharp cheddar into cubes. Then, thinly slice the gruyère and pepper jack cheeses. Cut the pepper jack slices in half diagonally to make triangles.
  • Make the skewers: Next, thread the skewers with a combination of the cubed cheddar, mini Brie wheels, red grapes, raspberries, salami, cornichons, and olives. You will need 2 skewers per cup (32 skewers total). I recommend pairing the brie with the grapes and raspberries and pairing the cheddar with the savory ingredients like salami, cornichons, and olives.
    To assemble the salami, fold the slices into quarters, and skewer 3-4 pieces of the folded salami down the middle for that pretty ruffled effect. Don't stress too much about the skewers being perfect – just have fun with it!
  • Prep the cups: Pour about 1/4 cup (14 grams) of pistachios into the bottom of each cup. Add a few grapes. Then, add 2-3 crackers and a cheese stick cracker to each cup, staggering the crackers for height. Arrange a few slices of gruyère and pepper jack next to the crackers.
  • Assemble & garnish: Place 2 skewers in each cup, tilting them slightly to show off all of the ingredients. Fill in any gaps in the cups with extra raspberries, grapes, olives, crackers, and other small items. Arrange the ingredients so taller items are in the back and shorter ingredients are up front. You want to show off all of the pretty ingredients. Garnish each cup with two white chocolate covered pretzels and a sprig of rosemary and/or thyme. Enjoy!

Notes

The above recipe includes all of the ingredients I used in the pictured charcuterie cups. But, these cups are super customizable! Feel free to switch up the ingredients depending on what you like. See the “Ingredients & Variations” section of the blog post for more ideas!
For the skewers, try pairing ingredients that go well together. Add meats, sharp cheeses, and pickled items like cornichons or olives to half of the skewers. On the rest, use a mix of creamy/sweeter cheeses, fruits, or dried fruits. This will help your guests know how to pair the ingredients!
For a vegetarian version, simply make these cups without meat. Or, replace it with extra cheese, fruit, or even veggies!
To make these cups prettier, use ingredients with different shapes and sizes. Slice the cheeses into cubes, triangles, or rectangles. Try folding some meats and rolling others. Or, use a variety of fruits for color!
Use a mix of ingredients with different heights for depth and texture. You’ll want to stagger the tall and short ingredients so you can see all of the ingredients. If you can’t get something to stand up (like a skewer or some crackers), use small items like grapes or olives to prop them up.
Keep wet and dry ingredients separate. You don’t want wet ingredients (like olives or cornichons) to make dry ingredients (like crackers) soggy. You can also dry out any wet ingredients which helps a lot!
Let the cups sit out for 30 minutes or so before eating. Serving cheese at room temperature brings out all of the best flavors and textures.
To transport these cups for a party, place them side-by-side in a box. If there are any gaps, stuff them with clean towels to keep the cups from tipping over. Then, cover the box with a clean linen or towel to keep them from drying out.
Use seasonal ingredients to switch these cups up for different seasons and holidays. For example, if I’m making Christmas charcuterie, I’ll use pomegranate arils, cranberry cheese, and spiced nuts. For fall charcuterie vibes, try blue cheese, figs, and red wine salami.
Cuisine: American
Course: Appetizer
Serving: 1cup, Calories: 361kcal, Carbohydrates: 24.3g, Protein: 16.2g, Fat: 22.4g, Saturated Fat: 10.5g, Cholesterol: 50mg, Sodium: 797mg, Potassium: 200mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 7.6g, Calcium: 276mg, Iron: 1mg
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xo Sara Lynn

Song of the day – Wait for the Moment by Vulfpeck