All Recipes, Appetizers, Charcuterie

How to Build a Beautiful Fruit Charcuterie Board

July 13, 2018 (Last updated November 29, 2021) · Nicole Triebe

This fruit charcuterie board is perfect for easy entertaining! Creating party food platters and small bites that can be prepared with minimal effort is the key to staying sane while hosting special occasions.

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Now that summer is here, I’m taking advantage of the rainbow of gorgeous fresh fruit that this season has to offer. I find myself browsing fancy grocery stores for hours, primarily hanging out in the produce section. My eyes are drawn to the stunning colors of Rainier cherries, ruby red strawberries and don’t even get me started on fresh figs! We all know that there’s nothing like a good charcuterie board at a dinner party, right? Well move over traditional cheese board, this dessert charcuterie board is the new way to sweeten your next party! It could also makes the perfect appetizer!

We recently had a small get-together for the 4th of July, so I decided that this was a perfect occasion to build the perfect fruit charcuterie board!

If you’re not familiar with the word, a charcuterie (pronounced shar-kood-eree) board is meat and cheese platter that typically include a variety of items that can be paired in so many different ways, all equally delicious! I love fruit charcuterie boards because they are crowd-pleasers, and are so stunning!  This board is different from the traditional charcuterie in that it’s primarily made up of fruits rather than meats and cheeses, but we still included some of those in there as well!

close up shot of watermelon pizza on fruit charcuterie board

Tips to making a beautiful fruit charcuterie board

Choose a board

If you’re entertaining a crowd, large serving trays or a large board is the best option. I used a round platter from Crate and Barrel which is sold out, but you can find similar ones herehere and here. Another popular pick is this large wood cutting board. If you’re making a small fruit charcuterie board for date night, a small square or rectangular board is a great option. This also works if you have other appetizers you’re serving at a party, and a smaller charcuterie board.

Select fruits in a variety of colors! 

Select a colorful variety of your favorite fruits! Pick an assortment of colors and flavors for your fruits. Fresh berries, tart cherries, juicy watermelon, sweet strawberries, and crisp granny smith apples are all great options. You can even include dried fruit! I did a fun watermelon “pizza” in the middle of my board for some extra fun. Super simple to make, and a fun way to enjoy fruit! Just slice one watermelon round like a pizza, and on each individual slice, place a little cool whip (you’ll have to use a scoop or spoon, spreading the cool whip on there is difficult). Top with raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and pomegranate seeds to garnish. I threw on some feta for extra tang and garnished with mint for color and flavor. Fruits like apples, bananas, mandarins, pineapple and watermelon should be served at room temperature, so keep that in mind!

Mix up your shapes

I like to have a variety of shapes on my board.  I used a star cutter to cut out my watermelon because this was for the Fourth of July, but any shape is fun! I created a skewer of watermelon balls, strawberries (I kept the green leaves on for appearance), blueberries and blackberries. I always slice my apples and fan them out in sections.  Be sure to cut and add these at the end, so try and lessen as much oxidation as you can.  Here are some tips on how to slow the oxidation process.

Fresh vegetables

Cold veggies are always a must on hot summer days.  They’re light and filling without making you feel like you’re going to float in the pool.  Some great ideas for veggies are sugar snap peas, mini cucumbers which I sliced into sticks rather than rounds,  some mini heirloom tomatoes for color variety, and finally I included some slices of bell peppers (sliced horizontally) and tossed those on top for some shape variety! I just love the curves of those veggies.

close up shot of figs and apples on fruit charcuterie board

Dips

For this board, just a couple dips are needed, if any.  I included a beet hummus on here for the color (I mean, how stunning is that red?) but regular hummus is perfectly delicious. Place it in a small glass bowl and include it on the board. If you’d like to make the board just a little sweeter, you can include a yummy fruit dip like this cookie butter dip or some fig jam in small bowls. It also depends on how much room you have left on your board! I tend to get a little carried away with the mains, so it doesn’t leave a lot of room left for multiple dips, but they’re not really needed on this beauty.

Don’t forget the meat and cheese! 

Did you think I was going to leave this out on a fruit charcuterie board? I could never! Yummy cured meats and a variety of cheeses are always the perfect compliment to fruits. They’re not the star of this board, but it doesn’t mean you have to leave them off completely! I chose some genoa salami and a good prosciutto, sliced thinly to compliment my fruits, and also included a smoked Gouda for a little for a little extra love. Choose a soft cheese like goat cheese and hard cheese like white cheddar that compliments the fruit on the board. Brie and blue cheese are always great choices, too.  

A great way to present meats on your fruit charcuterie board is lay them in a beautiful way. I pretended like the prosciutto was like a ribbon and bunched the slices up in a ruffle manner. Fill in the empty spaces on the board with the salami. Fold the rounds in in half, and then in half again, and placed the open ends facing up, keeping them in place with the wheel of gouda and cherries. I think it adds an extra stylish touch to the board.

Wine pairings

When appropriate, include alcohol to your fruit charcuterie board experience. There are so many different combinations of wine and fruits that work well together, so really any wine you choose will go well with this board.  Generally speaking, you want to pair bold-flavored meat and cheese with bold-flavored alcohol. A dry Prosecco always pairs well with strawberries, and my favorite  white wine, Sauvignon Blanc, pairs well with grapes and melons.  Really, the possibilities are endless!

Crackers & baguette slices: 

I didn’t include any crackers on my board, but if you have more cheese and meat than I do, feel free to include them! I love these water crackers.  They don’t have a lot of herbs or salt added so they won’t detract from all the other flavors here.

The finishing touches:

When putting all of these elements, you’ll want to alternate the meat, cheese and fruit. I started with placing my watermelon “pizza” in the middle. I like to frame my board with grapes, and place the rest around the middle. Don’t be afraid of overflow! I like a little spilling off the board. In this case, more is more. You want your board to be the star of the show, so the more dramatics, the better! As a finishing touch, garnishing with fresh herbs like sprigs of mint or edible flowers are always a good idea.

All in all, have fun with it! I can’t wait to see what you create!

If you love this post, be sure to check out how to host an epic s’mores party! 

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6 Comments

  • Reply Melissa Griffiths July 14, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    I love a good board! I haven’t delved into fruit on my boards much, though. But with these summer colors?! I’m in!

  • Reply Britt | Sweet Tea and Thyme July 16, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    That board is BE-YU-TEE-FUL! Loving all the wonderful colors and different textures of your charcuterie board, you styled it so well.

  • Reply Allison - Celebrating Sweets July 16, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    Gorgeous! This is my kind of meal. I love that you used watermelon, I never thought to use it on a cheese board before. Yum!

  • Reply Catherine July 16, 2018 at 6:42 pm

    What a beautiful summer appetizer board! It looks so refreshing…perfect light meal for when the temps get too hot!

  • Reply Chef Markus Mueller July 16, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    Love the meat and fruit combo! Something a little different then the usual meat and cheese board. A great platter in the summer when it’s hot out!

  • Reply Jennie July 19, 2018 at 2:26 am

    This looks beautiful!!

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