Summer is here and today we are making the most perfect summer picnic charcuterie board for two! Showing how to build an easy board plus all the things you will need to pack for a picnic summer date night!
This post is sponsored by Bug Bite Thing. I am so excited to be partnering with them this year. All options are my own.
Some of my most favorite things - in no particular order: Justin, wine, cheese, date nights, the summer, warm weather, slowing down.....did I mention the summer?!
If you know me, you know a couple of things. How much I LOVE the summer and warm weather. How much I love wine. How much Justin and I love our back porch. And how much I love a good cheese board for any occasion!
So today we are just going to enjoy all of my favorites with a summer picnic charcuterie board!
Whether you pack up and head to the park, or build a little spot in your own backyard oasis, taking time to slow down and enjoy summer outdoor entertaining is something we all need more of!
Hence we are building a SUMMER-themed board, I kept the ingredients to seasonal berries and cheese that had a fun pop of color!
PRO TIP - If you are near Trader Joe's, they have a great selection of foods for a cheese board and for a great price. It is my go-to spot for buying all my supplies.
- Cheese: I went with a Manchego, a Creamy Tuscano soaked in Shiraz, blueberry goat cheese (MY FAV!), and Kerrygold Dubliner Irish white cheddar. I picked cheeses that had some color to them to make it bright and colorful!
- Meats: I like to grab a variety pack that has some different types of salami and prosciutto in them. Makes it easy with some variety!
- Fruits and Veggies: pick your favorite summer fruits like berries and I always like to include some mini bell peppers or sugar snap peas for something savory and flavorful.
- Carbs: I just went with a simple baguette this time. You can't go wrong. Just slice it up thinly and it pairs perfectly with everything else. You could also include your favorite crackers or any other type of bread.
- Nuts and Spreads: I actually packed an extra container with some more bread, cookies, and some fig spread. Fig spread is a MUST on any of my charcuterie boards. Spread some on a baguette with a bit of Manchego and a slice of prosciutto - HEAVEN!
- Fill-ins and Sweets: I like to tuck "fill-ins" for any holes that need to be....well....filled in! Things like olives, dried apricots, or any dried fruits, or I always like to include a sweet treat like a dark chocolate-covered caramel or some cookie thins (these Meyer Lemon* ones are DELICIOUS and perfect for a summer board).
How to Build a Picnic Charcuterie Board
First off, we need to pack everything in something. Since we are doing a picnic, it needs to be easy to transport, and well, a big beautiful charcuterie spread isn't really my idea of transportable.
Or is it???
I use the same method for building any charcuterie board as I did for this one. Just in a mini cheese board size for two!
- Start with your cheese. Starting with the largest things first is helpful. place 3-4 different cheeses in each corner of the container. Slicing and arranging however you want.
- Add the meats. Pile a little thing of prosciutto and has the salami in little rolls or folds next to some of the cheeses. 2-3 different types of meat are what I did for this.
- Add your bread. I sliced a couple of slices of baguette and tucked them up into some cheese and meat.
- Add fruit and veggies. You will start seeing holes that need to be filled in by now. Place your fruit and veggies in any empty spots.
- Fill-ins. Lastly, look where there are holes or empty areas. Use your fill-in ingredients to fill in those areas - like olives and dried apricots. Or add more of your favorite items to them. Keep working and stuffing until the container is full.
The biggest tip for this is that I started on the edges and worked my way in towards the middle. There is no right or wrong way to do this BTW. Have fun with it! Get creative! There are no rules or recipes.
Charcuterie boards can look so intimidating but it is all about layering and doing one thing at a time. And filling in those holes!
Tips on Building a Simple Charcuterie Board
These are just my go-to tips in general for building and type, theme, and size charcuterie board.
- Start with the cheese. Buy 4 different types of cheese (more or less depending on how big your spread needs to be). Start with your favorite, then pick a cheese that is the opposite texture and taste that. For example, I will start with a soft, mild and fruity blueberry goat cheese. Then I will choose a sharp, hard parmesan & cheddar type of cheese. The goal is to get all different flavors. So start with a soft cheese then pick a hard cheese. Next, pick a cheese with a bold flavor (chipotle cheddar), then one that is milder (manchego). Just start with your favorite cheese and build from there.
- Choose the meats. 2-3 different types of hard meats are perfect. Prosciutto, salami, chorizo, etc. You can find all of the selections at your grocery deli or my favorite thing to do is, go to the prepared specialty meat aisle and there is usually a variety pack of all different types of these. Choose one and you're done!
- Choose your fruit. Pick 2-3 fruits that can be out at room temp for a while with no significant "wilting" issue. Grapes and apples are always a must for us. Figs are in season right now and 100% the best fruit to have on a cheese board. All the berries are great options as well.
- Choose your carbs. Go with 2 different types of crackers or one cracker and one loaf of bread. A baguette or soft sourdough is delicious. Any season specially loafs at the bakery go great as well. For crackers, water crackers are a must. Then choose a fun flavored cracker to pair with the rest of the board (like these fig crackers)
- Nuts & Spreads. To round it all out add some nuts, dips/spreads, olives, etc. We are filling in holes now and rounding out the flavors. I like a nut for a crunchy salty addition. A fig spread is perfect with the cheese and meat on a piece of bread. If you love olives they add a great soft texture and saltiness to the board. Cream cheese with pepper jelly is always a crowd favorite. Sneak in something sweet like dark chocolate salted caramels, peanut butter cups, or little cookie thins - everyone will love them! Be creative with what your favorite flavors are!
Other Must-Have Picnic Items to Pack
Ok so you have your food packed and ready to go, but we are not done yet! You will need a couple of other things for this picnic date night!
- A bottle of wine! I packed a bottle of rose since it is the summertime and #roseallday but just pack your favorite bottle. Any color. Any kind. 🙂
- A speaker! Enjoy some good music on date night. It always sets the mood and relaxes us. Chill Hits on Spotify is our GO-TO playlist always.
- Fresh Flowers. Because why not! Treat yourself. Make date night a little extra special. Just pick up a fun bouquet while you're at Trader Joe's getting your other ingredients.
- A blanket! This is a must and an obvious. 🙂
- And a Bug Bite Thing! I am pretty sure Justin is a magnet for mosquitoes, so as soon as he is outside in the summer he is in full bug bite awareness mode. Pack a Bug Bite Thing in with everything and no more worrying will be needed!
What is Bug Bite Thing®?
Bug Bite Thing® is a suction tool that alleviates the itching, stinging, and swelling from bug bites and stings. How? It extracts the insect saliva/venom left behind under the skin. When you remove the irritant, your body stops producing the reaction. A chemical-free solution for bites and stings? It’s a thing!bugbitething.com
Since we are headed to the park, this is a no-brainer to take with us. It is small and convenient to pack, and a great option for instant relief!
No more worrying about bug bites with summer outdoor entertaining this year! We are all covered and ready to go! So grab your date and head out to the park or your backyard and enjoy some quality time together with a summer picnic charcuterie board!
Frequently Asked Questions
This picnic charcuterie board for two can be made a couple of hours beforehand or the morning of. I don't like to make it any sooner as I find things can get soggy or not as fresh as they normally are.
Once I make the mini boards in the to-go containers, I place them in the fridge until we are ready to go. Then I pack them in an insulated picnic basket* and enjoy them right away once we get to the park. Pack your bottle of wine in a wine cooler or backpack* too to keep cold in transport.
Other Picnic Recipe Ideas
- Whipped Feta Dip with Honey and Pistachios
- Sausage Ball Recipe
- Easy Antipasto Skewers
- Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon
- Everything Bagel Bites Stuffed with Cream Cheese
- Tomato & Bacon Cream Cheese Dip
- Hummus Dip