How to Make a Star-Spangled Fourth of July Charcuterie Board
Full of red, white and blue fruit, cheeses and sweets, this Fourth of July charcuterie board will be the centerpiece of your holiday spread.
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What’s the Fourth of July without red, white and blue? Not only can you dress up in patriotic colors and deck out your home in stars and stripes, but you can also make your food feel just as festive with a colorful Fourth of July charcuterie board.
Using speckled cheeses, colorful candies and summery fruits, you can have a red, white and blue spread ready to go in no time. This Fourth of July charcuterie board will the perfect addition to the lineup of burgers and hot dogs, potluck salads and other barbecue sides at any get-together this Independence Day.
How to Make a Fourth of July Charcuterie Board
Foods to include
Red foods: Fresh fruit is one of the best parts of summer and we wanted to take advantage of in-season produce like raspberries and strawberries for our Fourth of July charcuterie board. We also used bright maraschino cherries, though black cherries work, too. We added even more sweetness with short-cut licorice and freshly cut watermelon—a hallmark of summer.
White foods: Cheese and crackers are the perfect way to add white to a red, white and blue Fourth of July charcuterie board. We chose star-shaped crackers to fit the theme, along with a speckled cranberry Stilton and a wedge of blue cheese for their touches of red and blue. Bite-size cubes of white cheddar cheese are always a crowd pleaser.
Blue foods: When you have a summery, fruit-filled board, you can’t forget fresh blueberries! To include even more fruity flavor, we picked up some blueberry yogurt pretzels that balance out the sweetness with a little salt.
While blueberries are the only truly blue fruit, blackberries and grapes will read as blue when placed next to other blue items—especially in contrast to bright red foods like maraschino cherries. Other true-blue items include blue M&M’s, which double as a way to sneak some chocolate on the board (we love a chocolate charcuterie board, too).
Figs are a clever fruit to include because whole, they look blue—but cut, they look red!
Colorful candies: Pick up some on-theme candies to add to your board, like miniature peanut butter cups wrapped in stars and stripes or chocolate nonpareils with red, white and blue sprinkles that remind us of fireworks.
How to Build a Fourth of July Charcuterie Board
Step 1: Plan your pattern
Taste of Home Food Stylist Shannon Norris wanted bursts of color on this Fourth of July charcuterie board, so she arranged the items in horizontal stripes of red, white and blue, and then red again. “Doubling up on the red really made it pop visually,” she says.
The stripes don’t need to be crisply separated: Let the different-colored items run into each other a bit to make the board look more playful and appetizing.
Step 2: Place the fruit dip on the board
Since the bowl of honey-lime fruit dip is the largest individual item on the board, make space for it before anything else. Pick a spot that will be in the same line as the other white items.
You can make the dip ahead of time and pull it out of the fridge when it’s time to assemble.
Step 3: Start with the red stripe
To begin creating the red stripe across the top of the board, place your strawberries in the top left corner. To the right, arrange triangles of watermelon and a heaping pile of raspberries. Mound on more than you think you should because they’ll go fast.
Step 4: Sandwich the fruit dip with the cheeses and crackers
After you’ve got enough fruit at the top of the board, begin filling out the stripe of white to the left and right of the fruit dip.
Lay the star-shaped crackers out flat next to each of the cheeses. Don’t overdo it on the board, but have plenty of extras on hand for refills, since crackers are usually one of the first items to go on a charcuterie board.
Don’t forget to cut into each wedge of cheese to get your guests started. (Otherwise, they may stay away from the cheese to avoid being the first to cut into it.) Here are more cheese board ideas to keep in mind.
Step 5: Add in the blue (and purple) food
Below your cheeses and crackers, start the stripe of blue. Put a handful of blueberries underneath the fruit dip, blackberries to the left of the blueberries, and then blue M&M’s on either side. You can never get enough M&M’s!
Fill up the bottom right corner with more blue candies, such as the blueberry yogurt pretzels and nonpareils.
Step 6: Finish with another stripe of red at the bottom
The only part of your charcuterie board left to cover is the bottom left corner (it’s OK if your final red stripe doesn’t go all the way across the board). Licorice, maraschino cherries, grapes and figs—both whole and cut in half—will round out the last bit of red on the board.
Step 7: Sprinkle in colorful candies
After arranging the stripes of red, white and blue, tie all of them together by sprinkling in the chocolate nonpareils and mini peanut butter cups.
Step 8: Serve!
Set out your Fourth of July charcuterie board with small plates, napkins and toothpicks your guests can use to pick up the fruit.
Consider making a signature drink to go with the board, like a red, white and blue frozen lemonade. Food stylist Shannon suggests blue raspberry soda, strawberry lemonade or something as simple as sparkling water with a few red and blue berries tossed in for color.
Tips for Making a Fourth of July Charcuterie Board
Can you make a Fourth of July charcuterie board ahead of time?
One easy way to prep your Fourth of July charcuterie board ahead of time is to cut up all of your fruit the night before (here are some ways to keep cut fruit fresh). Store it in the fridge and arrange it on the board just before party time. Cut up more fruit than you can fit, since your fruit will probably need to be replenished before the party is over.
Otherwise, you can assemble the entire board an hour or so ahead of time, cover it and pop it in the fridge.
How can you make this Fourth of July charcuterie board even more festive?
We’ve got plenty more ideas for your Fourth of July charcuterie board:
- Use a star-shaped cookie cutter to cover your board in stars! Cut shapes out of the white cheddar cheese or the watermelon slices.
- Keep the theme going with blue and white star napkins. They also come in red and white stripes.
- Design the board to look like an American flag by putting the blue foods in the top left corner of the board. Arrange white M&M’s to look like stars and use the rest of the white and red food to create the stripes. You could even make a hot dog board that also looks like a flag to go along with it.
- If you want to add some protein to your board, turn to our list of the best charcuterie board meats. Summer sausage, calabrese or soppressata would be perfect to add to the red items.
- Don’t stop at M&M’s: There are plenty of other red, white and blue candies in the store leading up to Independence Day. Sour Patch Kids and Swedish Fish are easy-to-find options, while your guests would know that you went above and beyond with rock candy pops and star gummies.
Look for more inspiration in our favorite charcuterie board books.