Looking for the perfect thing to bring to a party or set out next time friends come over? The answer is always charcuterie, and a Trader Joe’s charcuterie board is the pinnacle of trendy, polished yumminess. While you certainly can follow all the TikTok tutorials for salami roses and cheese-slicing tricks, charcuterie boards can look gorgeous and colorful with minimal effort. So, if you want to look put together and on top of the hosting (or “guesting”) game, an easy charcuterie board is the answer. And loading it up with Trader Joe’s deliciousness will only make it that much more special.
From savory boards to sweet boards, Trader Joe’s has literally everything you need to make the perfect charcuterie. Shoot, sometimes you can even find a nice mango wood slab to toss it all on there, too, but really any chunky wood cutting board will do. Need ideas for a Trader Joe’s charcuterie board shopping list? Keep reading. Fair warning, though: You’re going to want to hit TJ’s immediately after reading, if for no other reason than just to get your snack on.
Charcuterie Board Basics
Listen, if you search “charcuterie” on Pinterest, you will find countless boards full of pancake toppings or hot cocoa ingredients. Charcuterie might have been “born” with a specific definition and look — according to Merriam-Webster, charcuterie means “a delicatessen specializing in dressed meats and meat dishes” — but it’s become the Wild West. If you can throw it on a hunk of wood, it’s charcuterie. (Don’t @ me. I don’t make the rules. No one does.)
Honestly, even the wood is optional. I’ve definitely thrown some berries, crackers, and cheese on a paper plate and called it “charcuterie.” Whatever, man. If you’re having fun and noshing on a variety of delicious noms, well, you’re golden. Here are a few tips to help get your TJ’s charcuterie board juices flowing, though.
- Pick a Plate: At our house, we use a giant AF wooden cutting board. My mom has used various plastic and stoneware chargers. My bestie has a small, gold-handled marble cheese board thingy. It all works. Why? Because soon it will be covered with food and no one will see it.
- Pick a Theme: This can be as specific or vague as you want to get. “Traditional” charcuterie will include a couple of cheeses, an array of crackers, cured meats, fruits, spread, and nuts. I’ve seen Christmas-themed charcuterie boards where the vast majority of accouterments are red and green. And, as previously mentioned, you can even do meal- or drink-specific boards full of pancakes and pancake toppings or cocoa packets, cocoa enhancers, and things to dip in your cocoa for a hot chocolate charcuterie board. Savory boards and sweet boards tend to be the two most used and loved charcuterie boards.
- Lay It Out and Make It Pretty-ish: You don’t have to get that fancy. Styling your crackers into a giant “X” in the middle is a great start and will make it seem like you put some thought into what you’ve done — even if everything else is just tossed around haphazardly. A Halloween-themed board might use all-white cheeses to form a ghost in the middle of the board. With charcuterie, there really are “no wrong answers” unless you can see what’s underneath. That might be the only actual no-no. Fill that bad boy up.
- Add a Variety of Treats. Create a well-balanced board by including an array of different textures. For example, fill the board with salami, mousse, and some veggies so your guests gets a creamy and crunchy assortment of tastes.
- Switch Up The Temperatures. Add something warm to the board, like hot sausages or cured ham. Just make sure not to put it too close to your cold items like cheese or fruit.
Savory Trader Joe’s Charcuterie Board Ideas
Need some inspiration? Lucky for you, we have a lot of it. Any of these delicious Trader Joe’s products would be excellent on a savory board.
Crackers and Crisps
Almost everyone loves cheese. A good rule of thumb is to have at least three cheeses on your board, and you’ll want a variety. Think: Hard cheese (or “firm”), soft cheese (and “semi-soft”), and blue cheese. Always include one more familiar cheese and include a lot more of that. We also suggest including cheeses that are visually different in color or texture. TJ’s has such a bonkers decent cheese selection. Just go and grab whatever “speaks” to you. Then grab one more that sounds super weird but that you’re willing to try.
Spreads or Salsa
So, you included crisps, crackers, and chips. But now you need something to dip or spread, right? Hummus counts, too. These are our favorites!
Meat and Nuts
Charcuterie boards are all about grazing, and nuts are the ultimate grazing food. Obviously don’t include nuts if you know someone is allergic to them or, if you’re not sure, consider putting them in a small ramekin. Just like cheeses, not everyone likes the same thing. So, consider including two very different nuts. (And, like always, look for two different colors or tones.) If you’re vegan or vegetarian, you can absolutely skip meats. If you’re not, though, don’t underestimate the wonderfulness of some sausage or salami.
As previously mentioned: There aren’t any real rules for charcuterie boards. Going Asian-themed? Toss on some Trader Joe’s dumplings. Trying to appeal to teens, too? Why not get some Trader Joe’s pizzas and use the triangular pieces as inspiration for styling your board? You could even do a savory movie snack charcuterie and include some TJ’s soft pretzels or TJ’s popcorn. Because… why not?
Super Yummy Trader Joe’s Sweet Charcuterie Board
Let your sweet tooth be your guide on this.
Cookies, Pastries, and More
If it’s sweet or if you can put sweet stuff on it, it deserves a place on a sweet charcuterie board.
Cookie Butter and Sweet Spreads
Whether your schmear this stuff on crackers and crisps, rice cakes, or cookies (cookie butter on cookies?!), it’s delicious however you spread it.
Cakes and Dessert Bars
You’re really missing out if you haven’t tried Trader Joe’s peanut butter cups and chocolate bars. This snack is far from basic. It comes in a variety of delicious options that will leave you running back to the store for more. The peanut butter cups are literally shaped like the shell of a peanut (mind blown), and the hot cocoa stirring spoon is a must-have for the holidays or a warm winter treat. The point is, this is one sugary treat you won’t get bored of. My family will run into TJ’s for chocolate even if we don’t need anything else. It’s *chef’s kiss* and deserves to be shared with friends.
Sea Salt Brownie Petites
You can't go wrong with brownies, but these aren't just any brownies. This is chocolaty goodness made with sea salt. If your charcuterie board is a grownup version of Lunchables, think of these Brownie Petites as the hotter version of Little Bites. Not only will you be serving a cute and classy cocoa look on your board, but a hint of grade school nostalgia as well.
OK, but seriously. Did we forget anything? Also, what time are you coming over with your board?
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