The 6 Most Over-the-Top Charcuterie Chalets You Should Copy for the Holidays

They’re even more fun to eat than they are to create

charcuterie chalets

That Cheese Plate / Valbella Gourmet Foods / Fig & Honey Grazing / @the.board.pnw / FARMcurious / @marycharcuterie

Everywhere you look for holiday foods—in stores or online—it's clear: Sugar reigns supreme. The list is endless, from cookies and cakes to chocolate bark, gingerbread houses, and hot chocolate bombs. Get ready for a small changeup in the form of—a charcuterie chalet.

Created with beams of pretzels, salami shingles, goat cheese snowmen, and more, people are taking the charcuterie chalet challenge and creating a treat rivaling iconic gingerbread houses. One of the secret ingredients is caramel as the "glue" to hold it all together.

If you prefer the savory side of things, you're in for a real treat. How about a gingerbread house that looks like a castle? Or cheese boards shaped like turkeys and other whimsical foods that look almost too good to eat?

Safety Tips for Preparing Charcuterie Chalets

Nicole Easterday of FARMcurious, an online resource for urban homesteaders, understands some of the hesitation you might have creating or consuming such a communal piece of art. Unlike a gingerbread house that stays out for days, charcuterie chalets are supposed to be consumed right after assembly.

She said people expressed concerns about how much the food must have been touched during assembly. "Wearing tight-fitting food-safe gloves is a great idea," she says. "The importance of hand washing can't be overstated, and for goodness sake, don't lick your fingers!"

Six charcuterie chalet creators have offered tips and inspiration for building their seasonal architectural treats. The one thing they have in common? They had a great time constructing the chalets and enjoyed devouring them even more.

  • 01 of 06

    Frosty the Cheeseman

     Frosty the Cheeseman charcuterie chalet

    Nicole Easterday / FARMcurious

    Nicole Easterday's creation on FARMcurious is a true work of art. The details are so creative and thoughtful. She made a Laura Chenel Black Truffle Chèvre snowman with a prosciutto hat and scarf, a wreath made from broccoli and romanesco, holiday lights with freeze-dried strawberry and pineapple pieces, and sidewalk pea gravel made with wasabi peas.

    Everything on her charcuterie chalet board is edible. What sets this board apart is the snowman. "I loved the way the little snowman turned out," Easterday said. "For people who don't have the patience to build a charcuterie chalet, the snowman was so easy with a really big payoff. You could pop him on the top of a round of brie and appear totally genius." 

  • 02 of 06

    Extra Meaty

    Extra meaty charcuterie chalet

    @valbellagourmetfoods / Instagram

    The charcuterie team at Valbella Gourmet Foods said finding the right products that wouldn't spoil was their biggest challenge, so they went to cured meats and added some support.

    "We used cream cheese and a shrink wrap on cardboard for the structure, which worked well," the Valbella team said. For the cabin's main sides, "we used Rohess speck, our specialty here at Valbella. It's a double-smoked bacon." And, one of the best parts is the landjaeger Bavarian sausage fence.

  • 03 of 06

    Walk Down a Snowy Broccoli Lane

    A-frame charcuterie chalet with broccoli lane and snowman

    Marissa Mullen / That Cheese Plate

    Marissa Mullen, the owner of That Cheese Plate and creator of the Cheese by Numbers method (a step-by-step guide to building a beautiful cheese plate), rose to the challenge of creating a charcuterie chalet. She found the challenge easier than expected.

    “I used whipped cream cheese in a piping bag for my glue and assembled a pre-made gingerbread house,” said Mullen. “The gingerbread actually acted as a nice spiced pairing with the cheese and meat!” Instead of the full salami shingled roof, Mullen took a different approach and alternated salami and brie.

    Marissa's Favorite Pairings

    • Brie, raspberries, honey almonds, and gingerbread
    • Goat cheese, salami, and broccoli
    • Cheddar and salami on a pretzel

    When layering the shingles, cut the brie into thin slices and slice the salami in half to create less weight on the roof. —Marissa Mullen

  • 04 of 06

    Oh Rosemary Tree, Oh Rosemary Tree

    Rosemary and brie charcuterie chalet

    the.board.pnw / Instagram

    Kara Gire and Brittney Varner of mom-owned The Board PNW hopped on the charcuterie chalet bandwagon and created a scrumptious chalet and some good laughs. Like other creators, the most challenging part was getting the structure to hold up. They ended up getting extra creative and resourceful.

    "We used the empty [breadstick] box cut in half on the inside as something for our walls to stick to," she said. After, they used herbed chevre as the mortar between the Alessi grissini breadstick logs. "Wasa crackers and salami were used for the roof, mushroom caps as pots for our rosemary trees, rosemary wreath with pomegranate seeds, parmesan cheese snow, wasabi peas for walkway stones, and Irish porter cheese sidewalk."

    While it was fun to build, they enjoyed devouring their venture just as much, "It was a cry-worthy laugh watching it all come crashing down! We ate it all! It's sacrilege to waste good meat and cheese!"

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    O’ Pomegranate Lights

    charcuterie chalet by Fig & Honey Grazing

    Fig & Honey Grazing

    When Fig & Honey Grazing was asked to create a charcuterie chalet as a gift, they delivered. It's beautiful how the pomegranate jewels look sprinkled across the front of the house like sparkling holiday lights.

    If you're using a cardboard foundation, beware of the cream cheese. "The hardest part was that the moisture from the cream cheese was softening the cardboard and almost caved in," the team said. "We reinforced it with skewers, and it was all good!"

    Cream cheese and pub cheese is an excellent base for applying cracker siding and salami shingles. "It's really sticky, so your ingredients will easily stay put," they added.

  • 06 of 06

    Cheese Dust Roasting by an Orange Fire

    Cheese Dust Roasting by an Open Fire charcuterie chalet

    @_marycharlotte / Instagram

    MaryCharlotte Buck of MaryCharcuterie was hesitant to create a chalet after seeing it had become a trend, but she eventually gave in. Hers "has some parmesan snow, an orange jelly fire outside, salami shingles, and whatever was left of my remaining sanity," she said.

    While Buck serves up a mean charcuterie board for her friends and family and sells locally in the Boston area, she faced a few challenges when constructing the house. "I couldn't get the roof to stay on with graham crackers, so I ended up using Brewer's Crackers and created a true chalet-style A-frame roof."

    She used caramel instead of honey to hold the structure together, which typically pairs better with cheese and meat. Buck put the structure in the freezer to harden the caramel, which helped when it came to decorating.

    According to MaryCharlotte, the best part is the little orange jelly in the front: "It's hard to tell what it's supposed to be, but I love it!"