Get ready to gobble up a beautiful charcuterie board this Thanksgiving. On a day that is filled with grazing and eating until we slip into a food coma, it’s not uncommon to see a colorful and tasty charcuterie board among your food spread. With a balance of cheese, meats, veggies and crackers, there’s typically something to satisfy everyone.
Some may try to create fancy displays with nuts and jams and flowers garnishing the platter, while others will simply throw down some slices of cheese, meat and crackers and call it a day. While neither direction is wrong, if you have a little bit more time on your hands you can try to recreate an Instagram- worthy charcuterie board shaped like a turkey.
From turkey-shaped cheese displays, to veggie- and fruit-filled platters, you’ll be sure to impress your family with a whimsical and delicious treat they won't be able to pass up.
Since we’re still going through a pandemic, try serving large boards with tongs so people can easily serve themselves without contaminating the platter. If there are dips on the board, have small serving spoons nearby to scoop onto each place. You can also try @dreamboardsco's method and create individualized charcuterie boards for each guest.
We scoured Instagram and blogs for the most creative—but totally doable—Thanksgiving-inspired charcuterie boards we could find. Here are some of our favorites.
Birds of a Veggie
Not every appetizer at Thanksgiving needs to be filled with piles of cheese and meat. Meg Quinn, food stylist and (cheese) boarding school founder of @ainttooprodtomeg, took a different approach on the charcuterie board turkey.
Using only goat cheese dip for the turkey's head, she then fanned out sliced mini bell peppers, carrots, snap peas, purple cauliflower and radishes for the feathers. For an extra crunch of carbs, she added beet crackers from Trader Joes to the base.
If you want to go a full dairy-free route, swap the goat cheese for hummus. The bird wouldn't be complete without the fine details. “Don’t forget your pretzel sticks for legs, cheese triangle beak, and bell pepper end for the waddle!” says Quinn.
A healthy twist on the Thanksgiving charcuterie. @Katieann.Stephens created a festive turkey made completely out of fruit.
Using half a pear for the body of the turkey and fruit skewers fanned around for the feathers, she made a sweet and healthy treat to balance out a heavy Thanksgiving meal. Re-create this fruity turkey for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning or snack on it for a healthy dessert.
Give Thanks to Brie
This beautiful cheese board is almost too pretty to eat. Anne Nguyen of @WithLoveandBrie, was driving home one day listening to Golden by Harry Styles, surrounded by beautiful autumn trees and that’s when inspiration struck. “I was really inspired by the color of the leaves we see every year around Thanksgiving and I really wanted my board to capture that,” said Nguyen via email. “ I used mini cookie cutters and slices of Gouda to make the thankful letters! I thought it was a nice and festive touch.”
And that it was! On top of the cheesy letters, adding baby’s breath and flowers are one of Anne’s favorite ways to really elevate her boards.
Marissa Mullen, founder of That Cheese Plate created the method, Cheese By Numbers, which easily walks you through how to create crowd-pleasing boards. In five easy layers, using cheese, meat and garnishes she created a beautiful turkey that is almost too good to eat.
Small But Mighty
Individual appetizers are extremely popular this year, and Rachael from @DreamBoardsCo created the most festive plate you can safely serve to everyone on your guests this Thanksgiving.
Rachael noticed that people were looking for smaller boards this season and she set out to create the perfect serving size that still feels festive and full.
Pro Tips From @DreamBoardsCo
When plating these individual cheese platters, try to remember to satisfy all the cravings—salty, sweet, crunchy and creamy. To make them look as beautiful as this, Rachael suggests balancing out the colors on your plates and keeping items of similar color away from each other.
Tom Turkey Cheeseboard
Sandy Coughlin, creator of @ReluctantEntertainer is known for her larger-than-life boards. From brunch platters to DIY burgers, Sandy always is whipping up the most delicious boards that make you want to call all of your friends to come over and snack—and her Thanksgiving board is another favorite to add to the list.
With layers of cheese, crackers, meat and veggies, this fun turkey is one that all ages will be grabbing at. Her secret? Always use a board with a lip. “You can make the best board, but within minutes, when people start eating, the food is all over the counter or table if you don't have a raised edge,” she said via email. “My boards are created for real-life entertaining, and that means moving it from place to place, while keeping the food all in one place.”
If you want to recreate, check out @ReluctantEntertainer’s newest Big Board, created by JK Adams here!
This snack board is perfect for kids and adults or all ages. Teddie Pesch of @Mangosandamayhem created the most festive snacking plate for her kids. Oreo turkeys made with candy corn and pilgrim hats that pack a peanut butter punch with Reese's, are the sweet treat everyone will grab at. Mix in fruit like tangerines, strawberries and apples for a “balanced meal.”
The ultimate Thanksgiving leftover charcuterie features slices of pie, turkey, and all of your favorite cheeses. Ashley Mary of @Ashleymerry created what seems to be a leftover-lovers dream. Some might make the classic leftover sandwich, which typically features layers of whatever the heck you can pile on from the night before, but this fun twist turns everything into a beautiful and delicious new meal.
Who says charcuterie boards need to be filled with cheese? Dayna from @memory_making_mama created a healthy take on a turkey board that is kid-friendly and perfect for snacking all day long. With the face of the turkey featuring a yummy dip, the layers of green veggies, apples, and salami make for perfect feathered layers.
Easy and Cheesy
Okay, this isn’t a charcuterie board, but this cheeseball shaped like a turkey can be portioned out to make individual turkeys for COVID-friendly snacking. @Ambslovesfood created an easy and cheesy turkey that you can make ahead and serve up on individual platters for a festive appetizer your guests are sure to gobble up.