For many of us, a charcuterie board is a must-have for any soiree. But what happens when you’re hosting guests for breakfast or brunch? You can still have your charcuterie board—just transform it into a breakfast charcuterie board complete with all the sweet and savory fixings.
What to Include on a Breakfast Charcuterie Board
For a breakfast spread with mass appeal, make sure you’ve got plenty of variety on your board. Something a touch sweet, like fluffy waffles, pancakes or even French toast, is a great place to start. You’ll want to balance that out with saltier foods like bacon, sausage or sliced ham.
Eggs are always a hit for breakfast. Our Test Kitchen recommends hard-boiled eggs for a breakfast board: It’s much easier than taking orders for scrambled eggs, sunny-side eggs and more! Here’s how to make hard-boiled eggs.
For our board, we added sliced cheddar cheese, too.
A well-chosen pastry or two is always welcome on a brunch spread. Go with smaller versions, like mini cinnamon rolls, to leave plenty of room for your other items. If you don’t have time for homemade, stop by the bakery!
Spreads and Syrups
Make sure you have plenty of toppings and spreads on your breakfast charcuterie board. Maple syrup (Runamok is a favorite among Taste of Home editors), tasty jams and even extra-delicious cultured butter are worth including. For a board starring waffles, whipped cream, cinnamon-sugar and melted butter are sweet add-ons.
Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
Incorporate color and bright flavors on your board with fresh fruit. We filled in the gaps on our breakfast charcuterie board with green grapes, sliced oranges, strawberries, avocado and, for even more pops of color, both red and yellow tomatoes.
Creamy yogurt adds a different texture to the board and goes well with the fruit. Strawberry yogurt or another berry flavor is a good choice here.
For even more breakfast board ideas, check out our best breakfast recipes of the year.
Tools for Making a Breakfast Charcuterie Board
Charcuterie boards of all kinds are a great excuse to show off your prettiest petite serveware. Need to stock up? Find more inspiration in our cheese board gift ideas.
Large serving tray or cheese board: If charcuterie boards are a regular part of your entertaining plan, you probably already have a large cheese board. If you don’t, it might be time to invest! Any big board, serving tray or even a lazy Susan will do nicely.
Syrup pitchers: Snag a few small syrup pitchers or creamers for your tray. You may want multiples so you can set out traditional maple syrup along with alternatives like homemade strawberry syrup.
Small serving bowls: These colorful bowls can be put to use in multiple ways. Use them for your cereal on busy mornings or fill them with yogurt, whipped cream and other extras when building a brunch board.
Small tongs, spoons and spreaders: Keep fingers off the fruit (and eggs!) with spoons and tongs. You’ll also need spreaders for butters and preserves.
How to Build a Breakfast Charcuterie Board
When it’s time to put everything on your board, start with the star of the show—the same way you’d place your cheeses first when making a cheese board. If you made a batch of homemade waffles, begin by arranging those front and center.
Surrounding your main dish, add other brunch favorites like bacon and eggs. Then find spots across the board for small bowls, jars and pitchers filled with syrup, jam and other condiments. Mix and match to keep your breakfast charcuterie board visually interesting.
Fill in your breakfast board with all the fresh ingredients you’ve sliced up—fruit, avocado, cheese and more. (Here’s how to cut an avocado.) As a last step, set out serving tools.
Tips for Making a Breakfast Charcuterie Board
How Do You Keep Food Warm on a Breakfast Board?
When building your board, you may run into the issue of how to keep hot foods like pancakes and sausage warm while you assemble everything. Don’t stress! It’s easy to keep these foods hot and ready while you prepare other elements of the board (or wait for folks to wake up).
To keep food warm, place the items on sheet pans and pop them in your oven on the warm setting. Don’t have a “keep warm” feature on your oven? Set it to 200ºF. They’ll be fine for 30 minutes or more.
If you only need to keep things hot for a few minutes, just cover the food with foil or another platter to trap the heat.
What Other Combinations Work on a Breakfast Board?
If you have a crew that loves one particular breakfast over all others, you can trim the variety and go in-depth on one brunch theme.
Bagels: Hit up your favorite bagel shop early in the morning and arrange them on your breakfast board with cream cheese and other spreads, plus lox, fruit and veggies. Don’t forget to include some everything bagel seasoning for friends who can’t get enough.
Crepes: Homemade crepes are a bit out of the ordinary, so they make a great dish for guests. Whip up a big batch and serve them with fruit, cream, nuts and syrup.
Pancakes: Our go-to board above uses waffles, but you can easily swap in pancakes!
Toast: Don’t underestimate how satisfying a thick slice of toast can be. Load up a toast board with artisan breads, English muffins and plenty of toppings like avocado, preserves and butter. And have a good toaster nearby. These are our Test Kitchen’s picks for the best toasters.
Oatmeal: Yes, you can turn humble oatmeal into a board worth showing off! Make a basic slow-cooker oatmeal, then turn all the toppings into a gorgeous breakfast board.
Ready for something sweet? Try your hand at making a hot chocolate board next.