A Halloween charcuterie board is a great way to show off both your culinary and artistic abilities. Most importantly, it’s a real crowd-pleaser. I’m breaking down all of the meats, cheeses, sweets, and treats you’ll need for the most “spooktacular” holiday grazing board your family has ever seen.
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Halloween Charcuterie Board Tips
I know you’ve seen those spooky Halloween snack boards on Pinterest and thought they looked too fancy to try at home. Once we deconstruct this platter, you’ll be making your own version at home in no time.
Psst…the kids will really appreciate your effort! It was torture for my twins to watch me create this grazing board. The pure bliss that followed was worth the wait, though.
To get started, let’s discuss a few rules of thumb for building a charcuterie board.
- Follow the 3-3-3-3 rule when it comes to putting together the perfect charcuterie board: three meats, three cheeses, three starches, and three accompaniments.
- Start with your largest accent item(s) on the platter.
- Next place small bowls with any condiments, spreads, dips, or snacks that you plan to serve.
- Fill in with the remaining ingredients in clusters, adding a variety of colors and textures.
Tip: Break the Rules
Rules are only intended to guide you. Feel free to add ingredients that please your guests and fit within your budget.
You’ll notice I created my own rules with this Halloween charcuterie board, like sandwiching meat within a starch and adding a few dessert items. The goal was to have a variety of flavors and different textures to appeal to all the senses.
Preparing Ahead of Time
When I created my first ultimate charcuterie board, I was working with foods that came ready to serve. There was minimal preparation ahead of time. This Halloween-themed board has a few extra treats that require prep work, but I’ll give you time-saving options along the way.
Start with the item that has the longest lead time. If you’re planning to make cookies, bake those first and frost them the day before.
Want to be a crazy lady and make homemade gummy worms (like I did)? Have those ready 1-2 days before.
You can also fold meats and wash fruit a day or two before your party to make the board arranging more efficient.
Watch This Charcuterie Board in Action (1 minute)
How to Create a Halloween Charcuterie Board
A great charcuterie board begins with the right supplies. Have a set of trays, dishes, and servingware in your stash (because you’ll want to make a charcuterie for every holiday, trust me).
- Round wooden tray
- Small dishes or ramekins
- Serving cutlery or cheese knives
- Small cookie cutters
- Decorative accents (e.g., pumpkins, spiders, skeletons)
The most critical item is the tray. I highly suggest using a 20-inch round tray or similar size to feed 6-8 people. I’m in love with the one linked above because it has angled edges that allow the food to rest nicely around the tray.
Rectangular cutting boards work as well, but I get nervous about moving them around if needed during a party.
When you create snack boards for a Halloween party, it’s important to think about what else you’ll be serving to determine the balance of sweet and savory items to include. You can always opt to make just a dessert board if you have other savory dishes to serve.
Let’s break this platter down by the type of ingredient, starting with the savory dishes.
Choosing a variety of salami, prosciutto, or other cured meats works well for Halloween. My favorite is prosciutto since something about the color and texture looks downright spooky.
To make round meats look prettier, simply fold the circle in half twice, and line up the folded edges so they face the same direction. Wrap your cured meats around any bowls for a “meat river” effect that adds movement to your charcuterie board.
For longer pieces of rectangular meats like prosciutto or deli turkey and ham, simply roll the meat into cylinders.
Mummy Dogs Halloween Treat
For a unique Halloween treat, buy a can of crescent roll dough, and unfold the entire sheet. Press any perforated edges together, and cut the dough into strips about 1/4 inch wide and 7-8 inches long. You should have about 32 strips.
Wrap the dough around Lit’l Smokies to create a mummy shape, and bake as directed. After the mummies cool, you can use a toothpick with mustard to add eyes.
The inspiration for this treat came from Jarcuterie, a book I highly recommend for more snack ideas.
It’s good to get a mix of semi-soft cheeses, hard cheeses, and aged cheeses to cater to all palates.
For this Halloween cheese board, I included sharp cheddar, smoked gouda, and jalapeño pimento cheese spread. (For those with a local H-E-B grocery store, you must try this spread!)
Other great cheese options include colby jack cheese, swiss cheese, brie, goat cheese, and mozzarella balls. You could always cut sliced cheese into festive Halloween shapes with cookie cutters too.
Tip: Add Honey
Include a dish of honey with a honey dipper if you want guests to enjoy the sweeter side of cheese and crackers as an appetizer.
3. Breads and crackers (starches)
This Halloween charcuterie board includes a mix of Wheat Thins, Sea Salt and Chive crackers, and Date Crisps. Of course, I’m not even counting the pretzels covered in various sweet toppings like yogurt and chocolate (see below).
The main thing to consider is if your cracker is up to the task of dipping or holding thicker spreads.
While desserts don’t technically line up with the charcuterie board 3-3-3-3 rule, shouldn’t they?
Most charcuterie boards include a mix of fruits, and you have a huge range of options here. Popular fruits include apples, apricots, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, pears, oranges, and grapes. I stuck with grapes and blueberries to add the colors I wanted for this board.
Fruit preserves or jams also pair nicely with crackers and bread on a charcuterie board.
Mummy Yogurt Pretzels
Confession: I’ve had candy eyeballs in my baking stash for over a year, with the goal of making a Halloween treat. I used white chocolate melting wafers as “glue” to stick the eyes onto yogurt pretzels for a quick and easy snack.
Halloween Cookies with Royal Icing
I’ve never tried making sugar cookies with royal icing, so it was about time. However, you could certainly buy store-bought, decorated sugar cookies and save your sanity.
I bought this sugar cookie mix and diluted this royal icing recipe, adding food coloring for the orange pumpkin cookies and using plain frosting for the skeleton cookies. In a major nerd move, I also created a stencil using my Cricut machine to fill in the faces with edible markers.
Pretzel Witch Fingers
How fun are these chocolate-covered pretzel rods that look like witch fingers?
The melting wafers and food coloring came to the rescue on this Halloween treat. Just add a sliced almond to pose as a fingernail, and you’re done!
Halloween candy like gummy worms, candy corn, and mellocreme pumpkins make a great addition to a charcuterie board. I made some Jell-O gummy worms and placed them in a “cauldron” of almonds as another accent.
There are countless other foods you can add to your Halloween charcuterie ensemble. In the nuts and salty snack category, you might include walnuts, pecans, peanuts, or popcorn.
If you like pickled items, try adding olives, cornichons, or…pickles. Additional dips and condiments like ranch dressing, mustard, or hummus can also enhance a charcuterie board.
To make this a clearly themed Halloween charcuterie, throw in other decorations like plastic spiders, pumpkins, and (of course) a skeleton hand as a serving utensil. Spider webs beneath the base can also add the finishing touch.
I hope you enjoy creating the ultimate Halloween snack board for your next party! Let me know your favorite snacks below in the comments.