A bounteous and beautiful Christmas Tree Charcuterie Board! Made with a generous amount of flavorful cheeses, vibrantly colorful fresh fruit, crunchy nuts, bite size salami coins, and rich Italian olives. It’s an ideal starter for large holiday gatherings.
Easy Charcuterie Christmas Tree
A charcuterie board has never been so fun to make! Everything you get in a traditional charcuterie board shaped into a festive Christmas tree!
It’s simple to assemble, it just takes a little bit of chopping and some basic artistic planning.
This is a family friendly charcuterie board and it’s adaptable in swapping out some of the things I’ve shown here for things you may already have. The idea is just to stick to that simple red, green and white/yellow theme for those classic Christmasy colors. Then of course just keep the “Christmas tree” shape as you go.
A delicious holiday project that may just become a new family tradition at each yearly holiday gathering!
Charcuterie Christmas Tree Ingredients
Here’s what I used:
- Green grapes and red grapes: These are used to build up the lower base of the “tree”.
- Rosemary sprigs: This ingredient most closely resembles real pine needles so it’s fun to add at least a few for decoration. After you can reserve them for another use (soup or pot roast is a great option).
- Candied pecans or plain pecans: Almonds are another good option for the “trunk”.
- White cheeses: I like to use semi-soft or soft cheeses that are too overpoweringly sharp or pungent. White cheddar, fontina, havarti, manchengo, gouda are all great options.
- Salami nuggets: Pre-cut will be your fastest option. I used spicy and fennel flavored.
- Kiwi: If you can’t find ripe kiwi by the time you need them I would suggest using a green alternative listed below.
- Raspberries: If you can’t find very fresh raspberries see options below.
- Pistachios or pumpkin seeds: I used raw pumpkin seeds for a greener color.
- Castelvetrano olives: If your local store carries these they are found by the other olives or in the deli.
- Water crackers: Most other types of crackers will work here, use what you have or what you like. They are used to make a “ground” around the tree.
Other Ingredients You Can Substitute
- Small cucumbers or mini: Small will work great in place of the kiwi or green grapes, just cut into slices. Mini will work well in place of the green olives near the top.
- Baby dill pickles: Another good option for the green olives.
- Green apple slices: If you’d like to have a good pairing for cheddar these are a good option. Just core and slice them thinly.
- Strawberries: Another option to use in place of the raspberries, just look for smaller ones and cut them in halves. You can even leave the green stems as they are edible and will add pretty green color.
- Mini grape tomatoes: These are a great option for the reds on the board.
- Cherry infused Craisins: I like these in place of the raspberries as well, they taste great with the cheeses.
- Meats: Capocollo, proscuitto, pepperoni, or larger salami works for the salami nuggets. Just fold larger cuts of meat.
- Celery: Green celery sticks are a good option for the greens of the tree.
- Pretzel sticks or chocolate sticks: These will also work fine for the “tree trunk”.
How to Make a Christmas Tree Charcuterie Board
Here’s a summary of the simple steps to build the “Christmas tree”:
- Cut cheeses into wedges, cubes and a star.
- Layer grapes and rosemary on serving surface for lower portion of the tree.
- Then add a row of cheese wedges and cubes followed by 2/3 of the salami.
- Add a row of kiwi then a row of raspberries.
- Align another row of cheese then the nuts.
- Add more salami.
- Place olives at the top for the top point of the “tree” and finish with the star cheese atop.
- And the pecans for the trunk of the tree and underneath place the crackers for the “ground”.
How to Make a Cheaper Charcuterie Christmas Tree
- Swap out fancy deli cheeses for those found pre-cut in the dairy isle of the store. Things like mozzarella, Monterey jack, Swiss, or white cheddar in the factory cut packages are a good option.
- Celery or cucumbers make a good inexpensive option for the greens of the tree.
- Use whatever red fruit is on sale. It may be strawberries, raspberries, red apples, or even pomegranate.
- Look for a cheaper meat. These salami nuggets were inexpensive but may be a little trickier to find. Pepperoni would be a good cheap alternative, minis are fun for the kids.
How Long Can a Charcuterie Board Sit Out?
- Don’t let the charcuterie board ingredients sit out longer than 2 hours at room temperature.
- This means you’ll want to assemble quickly once you’ve got the ingredients out.
- I like to pre-cut the cheeses then keep them in the fridge until I’m ready to assemble.
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Christmas Tree Charcuterie Board
- 1 1/2 lbs. green grapes
- 6 long rosemary sprigs
- 8 oz. red grapes
- 1/2 cup candied pecans or plain pecans
- 5 (8 oz) blocks of various white cheeses, such as havarti, manchengo, fontina, sharp white cheddar etc.
- 14 oz salami nuggets (I used spicy and fennel flavored)
- 5 ripe kiwi, peeled, halved thought he length and sliced
- 6 oz. fresh raspberries, or 9 oz cherry infused Craisins
- 5 oz. salted roasted pistachios or pumpkin seeds (I used raw for greener color)
- 1 (10 oz) jar Castelvetrano olives, drained
- 6 oz water crackers
- Cut two blocks of the cheeses into small cubes and two blocks into wedges. Cut the last block into a star using a star cookie cutter, cut scraps into cubes. Keep cheeses chilled until ready to use.
- To assemble tree you'll need a very large area (about 28 by 20-inches, I just did it directly on the clean marble tabletop), you can use white parchment paper underneath if desired.
- Start by forming the bottom of the "Christmas tree" using the green grapes cut into separate long stems. Top those with rosemary sprigs and dot with red grapes. Leave a space between the grapes in the bottom middle area and add the pecans there for the "stump" of the tree.
- Next add a layer of cheeses, using half of the wedges shapes and 2/3 of the cheese cubes.
- Then add a layer of half of 2/3 of the salami placed above the cheese layer.
- Next add the sliced kiwi followed by a layer of raspberries.
- After those layers add another layer of cheeses, 1/3 of the remaining cubes and over the top of those cubes and the remaining 1/2 of the wedges.
- Add a layer of pistachios or pumpkin seeds followed by the olives for the top piont of the "tree".
- Last add the star atop and finish with a "ground" of crackers spread beneath the tree. Serve shortly after assembling as ingredients shouldn't sit at room temperature longer than 2 hours.
- Greens: Small cucumbers sliced, baby dill pickles, celery sticks, green apples thin sliced
- Reds: Strawberries halved, cherry infused Craisins, fresh cherries, grape tomatoes, red apples thin sliced, pomegranate arils
- Meats: Capocollo, proscuitto, pepperoni, or larger salami
- "Trunk": Pretzel sticks or chocolate sticks