Whether you are hosting a party, a laid-back dinner with friends, or a picnic, amaze your guests with this beautiful and easy Mediterranean charcuterie board. Here you will find a comprehensive guide to customize your own Mediterranean board.
When you are thinking of making this Mediterranean charcuterie board why not include in it my Coccoli recipe? Indulgent, soft and crunchy fried bread balls to eat along with cheese and cured meat. I am sure your guests will love them.
- Why you'll love this mediterranean charcuterie board
- What is a Mediterranean charcuterie board?
- 🥘 Ingredients
- Make it pretty
- 🧀 What to include in a Mediterranean board?
- Mediterranean charcuterie board drink pairing
- Seasonal Mediterranean board
- 💭 Top tip for making a mediterranean board
- 📖 Recipe
Why you'll love this mediterranean charcuterie board
Easy and quick dinner: this Mediterranean charcuterie board is definitely a lifesaver. Whether you are not in the mood to cook or simply want to indulge yourself with a delicious range of cheese and cured meat, this meal will be the one to make. Once you have gathered all the ingredients, it is a matter of a few minutes to be ready to eat.
Feed a crowd: I can't think of a better meal that is perfect to feed a large crowd as this charcuterie board. Graduation party, birthday party, BBQ party, you name it, this will be the perfect dish to serve to a large crowd. This recipe feeds six people however double the ingredients to serve it for a large party.
Customizable: what I love about this charcuterie board is that is perfect to be customized. You can add any ingredients you love to it and still have a delicious meal. Read down below to have more ideas on what to add to your board.
What is a Mediterranean charcuterie board?
A Mediterranean charcuterie board is a selection of cheese, cured meats, and other delights from the countries of the Mediterranean area, such as Italy, Spain, France, and Greece. It consists of small bites that are usually served as an appetizer to open a dinner or as a light meal. However, you can create your board by sticking with one country too.
Every country has a different selection of delights, for example, in Turkey, you will find a mediterranean mezze platter full of Middle Eastern dips, borek, and pita bread. In Greece, you will find goat cheese, olives, spanakopita, and grilled veggies. While in Spain you will find tapas, a mix of cold and hot food.
In Italy, the charcuterie board takes center stage during the appetizer or happy hour, with a large selection of cheeses, cured meats, jams, paninis, focaccia, olives, nuts, and fritters. If you are lucky enough to travel to Italy stop at any bar between 5 to 8 p.m. As you step inside, you'll be welcomed by a tempting spread of buffet goodies displayed on the bar counter. Just request an Aperitivo, and they'll present you with a cocktail of your choice accompanied by a selection of delectable bites. At times, the food can be all-you-can-eat and it can easily evolve into a full-fledged meal!
Here you can find the list of ingredients that I used to make my Mediterranean charcuterie board. Feel free to customize it with what you like, down below you can find some ideas of what to include in your Mediterranean charcuterie board. See recipe card for quantities.
- Cheese: use mini mozzarella balls, Robiola Bosina, Burrata, Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Toscano, and Goat cheese.
- Cured meats: buy thin slices of Prosciutto Crudo, Bresaola, Mortadella, Speck, and Salame Finocchiona.
- Fruits: choose fruits with a mild level of acidity as they compensate for the fat of the other ingredients. Grapes and figs are an example, and they go incredibly well with the cheeses. However, choose what is in season at the moment.
- Crackers: I typically choose two types of crackers, one plain and one more peculiar. If you are in doubt choose the classic crackers.
- Olives: use Nocellara olives, with a delicate buttery taste and a firm meaty texture. You can find them in any Italian deli or online.
- Dolma: a typical Greek and Turkish food, made from rice and meats wrapped in grape leaves.
- Cappers: use caper berries as they are tastier, and have a less intense aroma than the regular cappers.
- Nuts: use roasted and salted pistachio nuts in shell.
- Seasoning: use a good extra virgin olive oil, dry oregano, fresh basil, chili flakes, garlic, and Maldon salt to marinate the mini mozzarella balls.
Make the marinade mini mozzarella balls. Add the seasoning and drained mini mozzarella in a jar, and mix with a spoon. Close and store in the fridge until you need it.
On a platter arrange first the biggest ingredients, and the olives bowl and space them out evenly. Fill the rest of the space on the platters with crackers, cured meats, and pickles. Fill the remaining little room with the pistachio.
Make it pretty
Once we have gathered all the ingredients is time to make it beautiful. With these little tips, you can design your own Mediterranean charcuterie board to impress your guests.
- Choose the platter - the first step is to choose the platter you will use to serve the Mediterranean charcuterie board. Have a look at what you have at home, marble, wood or even a metal serving platter will work beautifully. A marble serving tray will give a chic and elegant vibe, while a wooden board will give a more rustic mood. Any shape works perfectly, from round to rectangle. However, if you are budget mindful remember that the bigger the board it gets the more space needs to be filled, and more money will be spent.
- Use dip bowls - I like to use the dip bowls for olives, dips or spread, and nuts. Choose bowls with different heights and widths to make them more interesting.
- Place the biggest ingredients first - placing the biggest ingredients first on the board will help you to arrange the other smaller ingredients. In my case, I have arranged the grapes first along with the cheese and the olives.
- Color- when placing the fruits, and cured meats of the same shade try to break up the color by adding in between cheese, crackers, or nuts.
- Give movements- arrange the ingredients on the platter creating an "S" curve to make this Mediterranean charcuterie board more eye-pleasing.
- Grouping - I like to group the ingredients together instead of placing them singularly.
- Shape ingredients - when laying the cured meats give them some movements, for instance, roll them, curve the slices, or make a rose shape with them. Also, apply this when placing the cheese, make triangles, cubes, or rectangle shapes.
- Fill the gaps - fill the gaps with nuts, to create a full board.
🧀 What to include in a Mediterranean board?
When I create a charcuterie board I like to think about what delights from the Mediterranean I want to include, what is my budget, and also if my guests have certain allergies or if they follow a specific diet. Also when creating a Mediterranean charcuterie board think of it as a tapas meal. In fact, don't just stop and cheese and cured meat, add dips, fruits, nuts, and so on. Don't worry if it will not fit on just one board, use plates, or bowls and arrange it around or next to the main board. It will create a beautiful and colorful meal that your guests can't wait to dive in.
Allergie wise is always important to know in advance, before you buy any ingredients, what allergies your guests have. If they have nuts, grains, or dairy allergies don't include them on the board. Remember when buying the ingredients to read the back of the label to see if they are made in a free allergy environment.
If some of your guests are vegetarians or vegans choose ingredients that are suitable for these diets.
Down below you can find an outline of what I like to include in it. These are just guidelines and you can customize it as you like.
- Cured meat
- Fruits and veggies
- Dips and spread
- Pickles all things briny
- Finger food
Buy good quality cured meat if you can, as they will taste better. You can find them in most supermarkets and they come pre-packed. I like to buy them in a deli store as I can choose the amount I need. Remember to ask for thin slices as it will enhance the flavor. You will need a range of 3 to 5 cured meats to have enough variety in your Mediterranean charcuterie board. Arrange the cured meats into a loose "S", or in rolls so it will be easier for your guests to pick them up.
- Prosciutto Crudo - is the most popular cured meat; it has a delicate sweet and yet salty flavor.
- Mortadella - is made from pork cuts and is usually seasoned with black pepper grains, or with pistachios. The taste is rich and mellow with a silky mouthfeel.
- Coppa Piacentina - is made in northern Italy and it has a beautiful fatty marble pattern. It has a rich earthy flavor with a salty hint at the end.
- Bresaola - is a lean and tender cured meat with a sweet and herbal flavor.
- Speck - similar to a Proscuitto Crudo but with a smokey taste made in northeast Italy.
- 'Nduja - produced in Southern Italy; has a spicy and smoky spreadable texture.
- Salami - there are a variety of shapes and flavors. Here is a list of salamis to choose from: salame Cacciatorino, salame Finocchiona, salame Felino, salamino Toscano, or Chorizo.
Usually 3 to 6 different kinds of cheese between hard cheese, and soft will be enough. In fact, different textures and flavors will give guests a wider option to sample. If you have vegan guests make sure to buy them vegan, nowadays there are plenty of options.
- Mozzarella - I like to use small mozzarella balls as it is easier to sample. If you are lucky enough to find smoked buffalo mozzarella I would recommend buying it, it is insanely good. Burrata is a great option too, with its creamy texture and sweet taste.
- Parmigiano Reggiano - is produced from cow's milk and it has a hard texture with a sweet and nutty flavor. I recommend buying for the cheese board a good Parmigiano Reggiano with 12-18 months of aging process.
- Robiola Bosina - it has a square shape with an intense flavor, it is made by a mix of sheep and cow's milk. Delicate and smooth, its creamy heart reveals nice butter and hay flavors, while its tender and slightly moldy rind offers an herbaceous tang. This is my favorite Italian cheese.
- Gorgonzola - is an Italian blue cheese, rich and creamy. You can find two types of gorgonzola, dolce, and piccante. Dolce is soft, buttery, and creamy, while piccante is firmer, sharper, more crumbly, and stronger.
- Pecorino Toscano - has a firm texture, and thanks to his sweet taste is perfect to eat along with cured meats.
- Goat cheese - it comes in different shapes, sizes, and ages. It has a tangy, tar, and soft texture.
- Manchego - is a Spanish cheese made from sheep's milk. It has a firm and compact consistency and a buttery texture.
- Feta cheese- buy feta in a block and serve it cut into chunks or buy it pre-marinated.
- Halloumi cheese - grilled for a warm and melting texture.
Fruits and veggies
Adding vegetables and fruits to a Mediterranean board is always a good idea, especially if you have some vegetarian or vegan guests over. Make sure to buy them when in season for the best flavors.
- Grilled veggies - you can make your own or simply buy them already made from the deli or supermarket. Zucchini, eggplants, peppers, or even corns are a great option. They are great to eat along with cheese or even on top of toasted bread or warm focaccia.
- Fresh veggies - carrots, fennels, celery, radishes, tomatoes, red peppers, cucumbers, or chicory leaves, are great for dipping. Make sure to cut them large enough to grab them.
- Fresh fruits - fruits go incredibly well with the cheese, choose from grapes, pears, apples, and raspberries. I recommend cutting the fruits into slices for a better experience. If in summer add a few slices of melon and wrap them with Prosciutto Crudo.
- Dried fruits -add sun-dried fruits such as apricots, figs, cherries, dates, and plums.
- Nuts - they are perfect for filling those gaps in the board. Choose from pistachios, pecans, salted peanuts, and almonds, or buy roasted nut mix.
Dips and spread
If you want to add some dips I would recommend 2 to 3 varieties. They can be homemade or store-bought.
- Olive oil dip - or pinzimonio is a popular Italian homemade dip, made from a mixture of olive oil, a few drops of lemon juice, pepper, and salt, into which small pieces of raw vegetables are dipped.
- Tapenades - choose between olive or artichoke paste.
- Hummus - choose the classic made from chickpeas or go for a different variation as my broad beans dip.
- Honey - goes incredibly well with cheese.
- Jam - my favorite jam to eat along with cheese is the figs one. However, if you want to know more about what jam goes with, have a look at this comprehensive post.
- Quince paste - is a thick jelly paste made from the pulp of quince fruit. This delicate paste goes incredibly well with Manchego and Pecorino Toscano.
Pickles and all things briny
I love pickles and brine food, and I think they will make a great addition to your mediterranean charcuterie board. They are great to eat along with bread and cheese.
- Olives - kalamata, mixed olives or marinate are great. My favorite is Olive di Nocellara, with a delicate taste and a firm, meaty texture.
- Stuffed Grape Leaves also know as dolma.
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Peppadew peppers
- Cocktail gherkins
- Small onions
- Cocktail cappers berries
Bread and crackers
There is no mediterranean charcuterie board without some carbs. They are perfect to eat along with dips or stuffed with cheese, cured meats, or veggies.
- Bread - buy good quality bread such as sourdough bread. Serve it toasted.
- Fried bread - add some fried bread as my coccoli. Pillowy fried balls with a crunchy exterior, perfect for stuffing with cheese and cured meats. Yum.
- Cheese bread - this Italian savory bread is excellent to eat along with cured meats and cheese. Its yellowy rich super soft and peppery dough with a crispy crust and a cheesy heart is a true pleasure!
- Pita bread - serve it warm and cut it into triangles, or buy ready-made pita chips.
- Focaccia - cut it into squares and warm it up for a better taste.
- Breadsticks - wrap them in Prosciutto Crudo.
- Flatbread - try my Italian flatbread perfect to use as a dipping vehicle or as a panini. It is rich, crispy, fragrant at every bite, and tastes delicious.
If you want to go the extra mile and serve this mediterranean charcuterie board as a main, why not include some finger food too? A range of 2 or 3-finger foods will be fine.
- Fritters - fried mozzarella, fried zucchini blossom, falafel, or vegetable tempura.
- Bruschetta - a typical Italian antipasti, made from toasted bread and topped with some seasoned chopped tomatoes.
- Filled pastry - add a few savory filo pies such as Greek Tiropitas, a tringle filo pastry pie filled with cheese with a crunchy exterior. You can buy it already made in any Greek deli or as takeaway in any Greek restaurant.
- Meat - serve some Italian meatballs stuffed with cheese and mortadella. Make them small for a better food experience.
- Salad skewers - make Italian finger food by creating skewers with mini mozzarella, cubes of melon, and some slices of Prosciutto Crudo.
Mediterranean charcuterie board drink pairing
When it comes to choosing the right drinks is important to choose beverages that complement and enhance the Mediterranean charcuterie board flavour. As we have a large variety of cheese and cured meats with different textures and flavors I would choose light drinks with low/medium acidity. Here are some ideas:
- Sparkling wine - the bubbles present in those wines are perfect to cleanse the palate from the high fats of cured meats and cheese. My first choice would be Lambrusco. However, Franciacorta and Prosecco will work too.
- Red wine - Sangiovese wine is my go-to red when I think of red wines to pair with the Mediterranean charcuterie board. Don't underestimate these common grapes, thanks to their acidity and their medium body they pair with a huge variety of rich, lighter, fatty, and acidic foods. Any wines that have a full percentage or parts of Sangiovese grapes are perfect, such as Chianti wines.
- Rosé - if you want to serve another wine apart from the two above choices I would go for a dry rosé. This beautiful pinky wine goes incredibly well with goat cheese and fresh cheese such as Burrata cheese, and mozzarella. But it works for cured meats too.
- Craft beers - choose lighter and more refreshing beers such as Blanche beer, Wiess beer, or Lager beer.
- Cocktails - serving a spritz made with Campari is the right match as opposed to Aperol as the latter may be too sweet. Another choice would be vermouth-based cocktails.
- Alcohol-free - if you want to keep it alcohol-free I would say to choose drinks not too sweet such as Crodino. It is slightly bitter and works great here.
Seasonal Mediterranean board
When you want to make a Mediterranean charcuterie board think also about the seasons or the holidays you are serving it. For example: is it for Summer, Winter, or Christmas? This will help you have a clear idea of what to add and it will definitely be cheaper to buy seasonal. Here you will have a few ideas of what to serve during those times.
Summer is the season of the veggies and fruits abundance. You can add to the board grilled veggies, small shots of cold gazpacho, dips made from eggplant or peppers, strawberries, tomatoes bruschetta, slices of melon wrapped in Italian prosciutto crudo, watermelon and feta salad, grilled salads, caprese salad into skewers, and grilled fruits such as peach or apricots.
While in the cold mounts get cozy by adding some baked camembert along with some toasted bread or crackers. Make sure to add Autumn/Winter fruits, they go unbelievably well with cheese. Choose grapes, figs, sliced pears, or even slices of persimmon. Also, include nuts such as roasted pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds. If you included nuts in the shell remember to provide a nutcracker.
A Mediterranean charcuterie board is a fantastic idea to serve during the festive holidays along with some bubbly drinks or a mulled wine for a Christmas feeling. Add to it some spicy roasted nuts and some roasted chestnuts. For a luxury, feeling include some bruschetta made with homemade smoked gravlax salmon, burrata cheese, and a few leaves of dill, lying down on a few slices of toasted sourdough bread. Don't forget to add some baked camembert along with some toasted bread too.
To save money I would suggest you use what you already own, for example, if you have a wooden chopping board use it as a platter, or if you run out of dip bowls use jam jars as dipping bowls.
However, if you are a control freak and obsess over details buy marble or wooden platters to arrange the food. While for the small condiments and dips use some small bowls. Remember to add one empty small bowl, so your guest can discard the pit or the stems from the olives or fruits.
To serve and to make the marinated mini mozzarella bowl use a preserve jar. It will look beautiful and if you have leftovers, you can simply close the lid and store them in the refrigerator. Also, include some cocktail skewers for guests to pick up the little ingredients from the charcuterie board, such as olives.
It is always a good idea to serve the Mediterranean charcuterie board along with some napkins and some little side plates, to give your guests the option to customize their plates. This is especially important if you have guests with dietary restrictions or allergies and it will keep the charcuterie board clean and organized. In addition, add some cheese knives, and a few cutleries to easily cut and eat the foods.
I love it when I have leftovers from the Mediterranean charcuterie board! They are so versatile and I can serve them the next day to my family as snacks or use them to make sandwiches or paninis.
- Cheese: wrap the cheese with wax paper or parchment paper/baking paper. Once wrapped place them in the coolest part of the fridge for up to 6 days. Don't use plastic wrap as it will make it go bad faster.
- Cured meats: wrap the leftovers in some plastic wrap that is safe for food. Store them for 5 days.
- Fruits, veggies, olives, and pickles: wash the fruits if they have some cheese on them and store them in airtight containers in the fridge for 6 days. Place the olives and pickles back into their containers if they are clean. Alternatively, store them in small bowls covered with plastic wrap/cling film. Store them for 4 days.
- Dips: keep them in their bowls. Cover with plastic wrap ensuring it touches the surface of the dip to avoid skin forming. Store them for 4 days.
- Nuts: store the nuts back in their container.
💭 Top tip for making a mediterranean board
- Know your guests: before making a list make sure to know how many people you'll host and if they have allergies or if they follow a specific diet. This will give you an idea of how much and what food to include. Without mentioning that they will be happy to know that you cared for them.
- Plan ahead: write down what you want to include in the Mediterranean charcuterie board and go shopping the day before so you will have more time to set up the table and you will be more relaxed.
- Check what you already have: have a look at your cupboard and fridge before going shopping. You might find some nuts, crackers, or olives, this will save you money.
- Let the cheese breathe: 1 hour or 30 minutes before serving the board remove the cheese from the fridge and leave it unwrapped. This technique will enhance the tastes and aromas of the cheeses.
- Arrange the ingredients: work by placing the biggest ingredients first on the board and then filling the space with the remaining ingredients. If you have 3 big ingredients place them apart from each other creating a sort of imaginary triangle shape and then add the rest.
- Grouping and color: creates groups of the same ingredients but try to break up the color by adding in between different food.
- Don't overcrowd it: try to don't overfill the board, this way your guests can still see and eat without making a mess. As soon the board is starting to get empty you can replace it with the food you had left.
- Create more room: don't worry if there is no space left on the board. Add plates and bowls next to the board and fill them with food.
Simply by adding more Italian food, such as more cured meats, different cheeses, and olives, and by adding some bruschetta or focaccia bread.
To turn this into a mezze board add hummus, dips, falafel, kebabs meats, and more delights from the Middle East.
If you are serving the Mediterranean charcuterie board as an appetizer I would suggest you serve around 4 oz / 110 gr per person between cheese and cured meat. That would be 4 slices of cured meats and 4 slices of cheese. While, if you are serving the charcuterie board as a main dish I would increase the amount to 6 oz / 170 gr per person.
I would recommend preparing just the marined mini mozzarella balls the day before. You can arrange the meats, and cheese 1 hour before serving, but remember to cover them with some cling film. Before serving I would add the olives, crackers, nuts, and pickles. However, if you are using fresh and delicate cheese such as burrata leave it at the last minute.
Yes, is it totally family friendly. In fact, kids adore cheese, cured meats, crackers, and olives. In case your kids are fussy eaters you could create a different charcuterie for them with the ingredients they love. I am sure they will love the idea.
Nowadays these ingredients are largely available in the largest supermarket. However, if you they are hard to find you can buy them in any online delicatessen or in any deli shop.
These are my favorite dishes to serve with [this recipe]:
Mediterranean charcuterie board
Marinade mini mozzarella balls
- ¼ cup olive oil extra virgin 60 ml
- ¼ teaspoon red chilli peppers flakes
- ¼ teaspoon Maldon salt
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ teaspoon dry oregano leaves
- 160 gr mozzarella cheese balls 5.6 oz
- 6 leaves fresh basil
- 16 slices Speck thin slices
- 16 slices Prosciutto Crudo thin slices
- 16 slices Bresaola thin slices
- 16 slices Mortadella thin slices
- 16 slices Salame cut into slices of 0.19 inches or 5 mm
- 250 gr Robiola Bosina 8.8 ounce
- 250 gr Pecorino Toscano cut it into thick slice 8.8 ounce
- 120 gr Parmigiano Reggiano cut it into chucks 4.2 ounce
- 150 gr Burrata drained 5.2 ounce
- 100 gr Goat cheese 3.5 ounce
- 250 gr Nocellara olives drained 1 cup
- 8 pieces Capers berries drained and washed
- 6 pieces Dolma drained
- 200 gr Crackers 7.0 ounce
- 400 gr Grapes / washed and dived them into 3 parts 14.0 ounce
- 3 Figs washes and cut into 4
Marinade mini mozzarella balls
- Drain the mini mozzarella balls from the liquid, and set it aside.
- Add the olive oil, salt, red chilli peppers flakes, oregano, basil, and garlic to a preserved jar. Combine the ingredients with a spoon and set it aside. Add the mozzarella balls and combine them with a fork. Close the jar and store it in the fridge until need it. Make sure that the oil covers the mini mozzarella.
- Remove and unwrap the cheese from the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving the platter.
- In a large platter place the biggest ingredients in the center, in my case the Robiola cheese. Add the grapes creating a sort of triangle shape and leaving enough distance between the other ingredients. Place the rest of the cheeses, and the bowl with the olives.
- Arrange the crackers next to the cheese creating a sort of path. Then add three dolma next to the grapes.
- Add some slices of cured meat, and fill the gaps with some pistachios.
- Serve the charcuterie board along with the marinade mini mozzarella balls.