It can be overwhelming to host your loved ones that have special dietary needs.
But it doesn’t have to be that way!
The most beautiful aspect of Charcuterie is that it's YOURS to imagine and create. You are not limited to certain foods, the options are endless!
For example, if you are hosting a party of 10 people, and there is one guest who has a gluten intolerance. You could either create one XL charcuterie board with everything on it gluten-free (using our XL cheese board). Or, you could create one XL charcuterie board that isn’t gluten free, and one small charcuterie board that is gluten free (using our small cheese board). Whichever you choose, you will want to make sure it is very clear for your gluten free guests to see what they are able to eat.
The essentials of Charcuterie
When creating any charcuterie board, we recommend following the "cheese by numbers" method. This method was created by Marissa Mullen. You can find her best-selling book on her guide to Charcuterie here - That Cheese Plate Will Change Your Life — THAT CHEESE PLATE.
Step 1 - CHEESE
Step 2 - MEAT
Step 3 - PRODUCE
Step 4 - CRUNCH
Step 5 - DIPS
Step 6 - GARNISH
The great thing is that food options for those with allergies and sensitivities have really increased in the past few years! You can visit almost any grocery store and find fantastic gluten free and dairy free options, there isn’t any reason why you cannot create a jaw-dropping charcuterie board!
Here are some insights on gluten free options to look for in the grocery store!
The Celiac Disease Foundation lists dairy as a food group that does not naturally contain gluten. However, that doesn’t mean that all cheeses are gluten free. Occasionally, companies will add ingredients to the cheese that contain gluten so, always read ingredients carefully, and when possible purchase products that clearly state "gluten free" (Keeping in mind that different countries have different standards for what makes something truly gf. Canada has much stricter guidelines than the US for example.)
Below is a list of cheeses that are generally gluten free.
It’s not a charcuterie board without the precious meat! Aim for uncured meat if possible. Meat adds the delicious salty and filling component on your charcuterie board. Depending on your budget you can either grab a simple pack of herb turkey breast, or go the traditional fancier route and purchase a pack of Genoa salami and prosciutto.
There are many, many brands of gluten free meats. One that we love is Applegate.
They have a massive selection of gluten free meats, as well as cheese! Their products are also free of antibiotics and are non-GMO. On their website you can search for meats by the specific food sensitivity you are catering to. You are also able to search for stores nearby that carry their products!
Of course, this is only ONE brand with Gluten free charcuterie meat. Keep an eye out next time you visit the grocery store and I'm sure you will see many more!
Produce is where you can go wild with your gluten free charcuterie board! Fruits and vegetables add that fresh and tangy flavor to your charcuterie. As an extra precaution give your produce a good wash before serving, in case it touches any products that contain gluten.
Here are a few great ideas for produce items that you can grab at your local Grocery store!
- Dragon Fruit
- Dried Fruit
- Mini Bell Peppers
The crunch aspect comes down to items such as a gluten free crostini or seeded crackers. Most grocery stores contain a specific gluten free section. If you'd like to go the cracker route we highly recommend Mary's Gone Crackers.
They are organic, vegan, kosher and certified gluten-free, Mary's Gone Crackers makes four different cracker flavors (original, herb, black pepper, and jalapeño).
The easiest way to add a delicious crunch is with nuts! With so many types of nuts available you can have a lot of fun with this!
Here are a few of our favorite types of nuts that add the necessary crunch.
Lower price range
- Brazil Nuts
Higher price range
- Cashew Nuts
Dips will add a wonderful creamy and succulent element to your charcuterie board. Brie and honey are a naturally perfect pair. Honey is gluten free (but remember to still always check ingredient labels for any added ingredients.) Place a small ramekin filled with honey next to the cheese on your board, along with a serving spoon.
A gluten free charcuterie board often contains more Produce than a regular Charcuterie Board so a salty dip is essential. An amazing compliment for vegetables (and crackers) is hummus. Surprisingly hummus is simple to make at home! Here is an easy gluten free hummus recipe that will impress your guests!
- 2 (15-ounce) cans organic garbanzo beans liquid drained and reserved
- 1 ½ teaspoons coarse sea salt
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/3 cup tahini sesame paste
- 2 lemons juiced
- 10 dashes Tabasco sauce
- 2 tablespoons flax seed oil
- ½ cup liquid from garbanzo beans
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Put all the ingredients except olive oil into a strong blender or food processor and process until pureed. Add olive oil and process until smooth. Taste for seasoning, add more salt or Tabasco if necessary.
Find the full recipe over at Gluten Free Hummus Recipe
If you don’t have much time the good news is that there are lots of tasty types of hummus you can buy at most grocery stores! One brand we love is Sabra.
I won't lie, most of the time garnish is only there to make things more beautiful. However, a good garnish really does make all the difference! A few simple garnishes that add a delightful pop of greenery would be fresh rosemary, thyme, mint or basil. If you really want to kick it up a notch feel free to purchase a few edible flowers for a fancy finish! Edible flowers may be hard to find locally, but you can find them online at Gourmet Sweet Botanicals.
There you have it! A detailed yet simple guide for making a spectacular gluten free charcuterie board. Next time you have guests coming over with food restrictions and you find yourself stuck on what to make, use this guide as your reference to make a charcuterie board of their dreams! Your party will bring everyone together through tasty and beautiful food. Paired with one of our stunning hand poured resin cheese boards and your next get-together will surely stand out in the best way! Remember, there is always a way to make charcuterie happen. No dietary restrictions can stop the charcuterie game.
BONUS DESSERT RECIPE -
Enjoy this AMAZING and simple gluten-free brownie recipe for the next time you find yourself stuck on what to serve for dessert, when gluten is not an option!
Gluten Free Brownies
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 ¼ cups chopped dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking dish.
Combine sugar, butter, and vanilla extract in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Combine cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt in a bowl and sift over the sugar-butter mixture. Beat in slowly with a wooden spoon or spatula until all ingredients are well incorporated. Fold in chopped chocolate and let batter rest for 5 minutes. Pour brownie batter into the prepared baking dish.
Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven. Let cool completely before cutting into squares, about 15 minutes.
Find the full recipe over at
That’s all for now,