How to make a Fourth of July Charcuterie Board

Without red, white, and blue, what is the Fourth of July? You can dress up in patriotic colors and decorate your home with stars and stripes, but a colorful Fourth of July charcuterie board can also make your food feel just as festive.

You can whip together a red, white, and blue spread in no time with speckled cheeses, colorful sweets, and summertime fruits. This Fourth of July charcuterie board would go great with the burgers and hot dogs, potluck salads, and other barbecue sides at any Independence Day get-together.

How to Make a Charcuterie Board for the Fourth of July

Included foods

Red foods: One of the finest parts of summer is fresh fruit, and for our Fourth of July charcuterie board, we wanted to use in-season produce like raspberries and strawberries. We chose bright maraschino cherries, but black cherries would work as well. Short-cut licorice and freshly cut watermelon—a summer staple—added even more sweetness.

White foods: To add white to a red, white, and blue Fourth of July charcuterie board, use cheese and crackers. To match the theme, we used star-shaped crackers, as well as a speckled cranberry Stilton and a wedge of blue cheese for its red and blue accents. White cheddar cheese cubes in bite-size pieces are always a success.

To serve with the fresh fruit, make a honey-lime yogurt dip.

Blue foods: When it comes to a summery, fruit-filled board, fresh blueberries are a must! We picked up some blueberry yogurt pretzels to add even more fruity taste, as well as a little salt to balance off the sweetness.

While blueberries are the only fruit that is actually blue, blackberries and grapes will appear blue when paired with other blue meals, especially when compared to bright red foods like maraschino cherries. Blue M&M’s, which act as a method to smuggle some chocolate onto the board, are another pure blue object (we love a chocolate charcuterie board, too).

Figs are a brilliant fruit to include because they appear blue when whole but become red when chopped.

Colorful candy: Add some on-theme sweets to your board, such as small peanut butter cups wrapped in stars and stripes or chocolate nonpareils sprinkled with red, white, and blue sprinkles to resemble fireworks.

How to Make a Charcuterie Board for the Fourth of July

TMB Studio is a design studio based in Toronto, Canada.

Step 1: Make a pattern.

On this Fourth of July charcuterie board, Taste of Home Food Stylist Shannon Norris wanted bursts of color, so she arranged the ingredients in horizontal stripes of red, white, and blue, then red again. “It really stood out visually when I doubled up on the red,” she explains.

Allow the different-colored objects to run into each other a little to make the board look more lively and appealing.

Step 2: Spread the fruit dip out on the cutting board.

Make room for the bowl of honey-lime fruit dip first, because it is the largest individual item on the board. Choose a location that will be in line with the other white things.

You may create the dip ahead of time and then get it out of the fridge when you’re ready to put it together.

3rd Step: Begin with the red stripe.

Place your strawberries in the top left corner to begin forming the red stripe over the top of the board. Arrange watermelon triangles and a heaping pile of raspberries to the right. Put on more than you think you’ll need because they’ll disappear quickly.

Step 4: Make a sandwich using the fruit dip, cheeses, and crackers.

Fill in the white stripe to the left and right of the fruit dip once you’ve acquired enough fruit at the top of the board.

Place the star-shaped crackers next to each of the cheeses on a level surface. Don’t overdo it on the charcuterie board, but have plenty of extras on hand for refills, as crackers are usually the first thing to go on one.

To get your visitors started, remember to cut into each wedge of cheese. (If they don’t want to be the first to cut into the cheese, they should keep away from it.) Here are some additional cheese board ideas to consider.

Step 5: Add the blue (and purple) foods to the mix.

Begin the blue stripe beneath your cheeses and crackers. Place blueberries on the bottom of the fruit dip, blackberries to the left of the blueberries, and blue M&Ms on either side. You can never have too many M&Ms!

More blue candies, such as blueberry yogurt pretzels and nonpareils, should be placed in the bottom right corner.

Step 6: Add a final red stripe to the bottom of the page.

Only the bottom left corner of your charcuterie board needs to be covered (it’s fine if your final red stripe doesn’t go all the way across the board). The last amount of red on the board will be rounded out by licorice, maraschino cherries, grapes, and figs, both whole and sliced in half.

Step 7: Add colorful candies to the mix.

Sprinkle the chocolate nonpareils and little peanut butter cups over the red, white, and blue stripes to bind them all together.

Step 8: It’s time to serve!

Set out a charcuterie board with small plates, napkins, and toothpicks for your visitors to pick up the fruit on the Fourth of July.

Make a signature drink to go with the board, such as a frozen red, white, and blue lemonade. Shannon, a food stylist, recommends blue raspberry soda, strawberry lemonade, or sparkling water with a few red and blue berries thrown in for color.

Making a Charcuterie Board for the Fourth of July

Is it possible to prepare a charcuterie board for the Fourth of July ahead of time?

Cutting up all of your fruit the night before is an easy way to prepare your Fourth of July charcuterie board ahead of time (here are some ways to keep cut fruit fresh). Refrigerate it and place it on the board right before the party. Because your fruit will most likely need to be refilled before the celebration is complete, cut up more fruit than you can fit.

Otherwise, you can assemble the complete board ahead of time, cover it, and store it in the fridge for an hour or so.

How can you make this charcuterie platter even more festive for the Fourth of July?

We’ve got many more charcuterie board ideas for the Fourth of July:

Cover your board in stars with a star-shaped cookie cutter! Watermelon slices or white cheddar cheese slices can be cut into shapes.

Use blue and white star napkins to keep the theme going. They’re also available in red and white striped versions.

Place the blue foods at the top left corner of the board to make it appear like an American flag. To make the stripes, arrange white M&Ms to look like stars and the rest of the white and red food to appear like stripes. To go with it, you could even make a hot dog board that looks like a flag.

If you want to beef up your charcuterie board, check out our selection of the top charcuterie board meats. Toss in some summer sausage, calabrese, or soppressata to round off the reds.

Don’t limit yourself to M&Ms; there are plenty of different red, white, and blue candy at the store leading up to July 4th. Sour Patch Kids and Swedish Fish are easy to come by, and rock candy pops and star gummies will show your visitors that you went above and beyond.

More ideas can be found in our favorite charcuterie board books.

Taste of Home first published How to Make a Star-Spangled Fourth of July Charcuterie Board.