Breakfast Board Ideas
This Breakfast Charcuterie Board is the perfect combination of European breakfast items like cured meats, cheese and fruit, and American classics like eggs, toast and bacon.
When you think of a charcuterie board, you might think of a cocktail party, a light dinner or even an afternoon snack. But I also think of breakfast!
As I’ll explain below, charcuterie for breakfast is quite common in Europe, and I think we should celebrate here in the United States, too!
Read on to learn how to build an epic Breakfast Charcuterie board perfect for a weekend brunch or holiday gathering like Mother’s Day.
This breakfast charcuterie board is inspired by European breakfast.
I love how easy it is to find international restaurants in most major cities in the United States now. With just a quick Google search, you can find Greek, Italian, Lebanese, Indian, Vietnamese and Thai food, and so much more.
However, the one thing I don’t find here very often is a European brunch buffet. The first meal of the day is actually one of my favorite things about vacationing in Europe.
But, they mainly focus on simple small items such as breakfast cheese, charcuterie, fruit (I’ve even seen roasted grapes), honey, savory pastries, maybe small pieces of vegetarian quiche, and sometimes even salad.
I’m not a fan of sweet breakfast (I much prefer something like a savory cottage cheese breakfast or even cream cheese on English muffins), so this brunch charcuterie board arrangement is really ideal for me.
A cup of espresso, and a plate of snacks that I’ve compiled from the charcuterie board buffet, and I’m ready for a long day of walking and sightseeing.
So, while everybody enjoys a wine and cheese board and charcuterie cups in the evening, I’m spreading the good word of breakfast charcuterie and cheese stateside with this breakfast charcuterie board.
There is something on this Breakfast Platter for everyone
On this breakfast charcuterie board, I combined the European breakfast traditions of cheese, cured meats, fruit and honey with American classics like eggs (you could even do egg salad with pickles), toast, and bacon in the oven.
I think there’s something on this brunch charcuterie board to please everyone, and fans of both sweet breakfast and savory breakfast will love this breakfast board.
Favorite Breakfast Board pairings
The easy homemade apple butter is a versatile spread that pairs with almost everything else on this brunch charcuterie board, and it might even be my favorite part!
Apple butter is as simple to make as cooking apples, spices, water, a bit of sugar and lemon juice in a saucepot for 40 to 50 minutes or until the apples are super broken down and most of the liquid is gone.
Then, you puree it in a blender or food processor, and it’s ready to eat! You can serve it warm or cold (and it can be kept in the refrigerator up to 5 days).
When I say it pairs with just about everything, I mean it. Obviously, you’ll want to smear it on toast. But breakfast cheese spread with a bit of apple butter? Definitely! Bacon dipped in apple butter? Trust me, just try it. I even love lemon pancakes topped with a smear of apple butter.
Psst – if you’d prefer to make apple butter in your Instant Pot for this breakfast charcuterie board, I have a recipe for super easy Instant Pot apple butter. It’s also lovely on a Thanksgiving butter board.
What you’ll need for Breakfast Charcuterie
Cheddar is great for something like a cornbread breakfast casserole, but let’s get a little fancier for this brunch board, shall we?
I’m always a big fan of going to an upscale grocery store (the kind with a CHEESEMONGER, which is just fun to say) and simply telling said cheesemonger what I’m making and when I’m serving it, and they are always SO helpful.
Ask for “breakfast cheese,” and the cheesemonger won’t even blink an eye that you’re eating cheese for breakfast, they’ll simply point you in the right direction.
For almost every charcuterie board idea I make (breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner!), I like to have:
- A mild, hard cheese (here I used a sheep’s milk French cheese that is very mellow and nutty). If you’re looking for something hard but a little sharper for your breakfast platter, I suggest a nice Parmigiano Reggiano.
- A soft and creamy cheese (here I used a Triple Creme Goat Brie). Another great option for this breakfast charcuterie board is a traditional log of goat cheese. You can often find these at your cheese counter already drizzled in honey or rolled in blueberries, which would be great for a European breakfast like this.
- A crumbly blue-style cheese (here I used Blue Shropshire, an English cow’s milk cheese with a sharp, strong taste). Other blue cheeses to keep an eye out for are Gorgonzola, Maytag blue cheese, Roquefort and Stilton cheese. Wine Enthusiast has a very comprehensive guide to blue cheese that might help you with selecting, storing and serving blue cheese for your breakfast board (and blue cheese mashed potatoes, too!)
- hard-boiled eggs – it is breakfast, after al!
- bacon – sure, it’s not fancy “charcuterie,” but it is a cured meat, and it’s a breakfast classic. Use my technique for oven baked bacon for perfect crispy slices that look like cartoon bacon.
- prosciutto and/or salami – traditional charcuterie choices that are just as good in the AM as PM.
- apple – along with the apple butter, a sliced fresh apple offers a fresh and crunchy option.
- toast or sliced bread – I used raisin bread here, but you can use whatever bread you like best.
- herbs for garnish – chives, rosemary and thyme all look pretty as breakfast charcuterie board garnishes.
Side note: have you ever seen a buffet with a huge serve-yourself piece of honeycomb? This is common in Germany and it’s one of my favorite things ever. The small piece of honeycomb I put on top of the hard cheese on this board is an homage to that.
How to assemble a Breakfast Charcuterie Board
- If you’re making homemade apple butter, make that first!
- Place the apple butter in a small bowl and place it on a large cutting board or platter.
- Arrange the other items around the bowl.
- Top one of the cheeses with a bit of honeycomb, if you wish.
- Garnish the board with herbs for a pretty touch.
Breakfast Platter serving recommendations
- ADD PANCAKES OR WAFFLES – I didn’t choose that here, but that doesn’t mean these aren’t great additions!
- DON’T FORGET THE DRINKS – Fresh juices, mimosas, bloody marys with all the bloody mary garnishes, and coffee. Choose at least one and preferably all.
Brunch Charcuterie Board FAQs
The 3-3-3-3 rule is a guideline that will help you create a visually beautiful and flavorfully balanced charcuterie board. It suggests three types of meat, three types of cheeses, three types of carbohydrates (breads, crackers, etc.) and three types of accompaniments (mustard, honey, pickles, olives, etc.).
The 3-3-3-3 rule is a helpful starting point to keep in mind but don’t be afraid to customize based on your preferences and the size of your gathering!
For optimal freshness, it’s best to assemble your charcuterie board just before serving, and allow it to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes so the cheeses and meats can reach room temperature for best flavor.
A breakfast board is a great way to present a variety of brunch and breakfast items in a low-stress way. It’s perfect for holiday gatherings, brunch parties and bridal and baby showers.
For the Apple Butter:
- 2 Gala apples, peeled, cored and chopped
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- Pinch of kosher salt
For The Charcuterie Board:
- 12 ounces TOTAL assorted cheeses
- 8 hard-boiled eggs
- 1/2 pound oven baked bacon
- 6 ounces prosciutto and/or salami
- 3/4 cup apple butter
- 1 Gala or Honeycrisp apple, sliced
- 1/4 cup honey or chunk of honeycomb
- 8 slices raisin bread or any other bread, toasted if desired
- Herbs for garnish (chives, rosemary, thyme, etc.) (optional)
- Make the Apple Butter: Place apples, lemon juice, water, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and salt in medium saucepot; stir until well combined. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low.
- Cook 40 to 50 minutes or until most liquid is absorbed and apples are very brown and soft, stirring occasionally.
- Transfer mixture to blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Serve warm or transfer to covered container and refrigerate up to 5 days. Makes about 1 cup.
- Make the Breakfast Charcuterie Board: Arrange all items on platter or large cutting board. Serve with mimosas and bloody marys!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 551Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 271mgSodium: 1486mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 2gSugar: 22gProtein: 33g
Nutrition information is for apple butter only.