The holidays are in full swing and it’s time for entertaining! If you’re stuck on appetizer ideas, a Holiday Charcuterie Board is the best way to go. I’ll show you a few ideas of how to make the board as beautiful as possible and even show you how to make pro-tasting DIY marinated olives for the charcuterie tray.

The Ingredients

The best charcuterie bards are the ones that cater to your guest’s likes. But, don’t fret, you can also use it as an opportunity to use up a few things lying around the cupboard like nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate or the fridge like cheese, dips, and jam. Here’s what I used for my Italian inspired board:

To marinate the olives:

  • assorted olives
  • fresh orange peel
  • garlic
  • fennel
  • thyme
  • red pepper flakes
  • black peppercorns
  • salt
  • olive oil

To make the charcuterie board:

  • cashews
  • pate
  • fresh orange
  • marinated feta
  • cheddar
  • crackers
  • prosciutto
  • pancetta
  • capicola
  • dates

Marinate the Olives

This is a really easy way to infuse boring olives with delicious flavour. Put all of the olive marinating ingredients directly onto the base of the air fryer. Air fry them for 5 minutes and remove them to a bowl. They can be served warm as well as at room temperature. There will be extra so keep it in the fridge for snacks or your next holiday party.

olives and marinating ingredients in the ninja foodi being slightly air fried to marry the flavors.

Gather Your Ingredients

You need a deceptively small amount of each ingredient because you can fill up fast on a charcuterie platter. Think about 1-2 pieces of each item per person you’re serving if you have around 10 different things. I gathered some cheese cubes, pate, crackers, sliced deli meat, dried dates, and fresh orange slices for a diversity of textures and flavours. Don’t forget the marinated olives!

Add a Garnish and Serving Forks

I used fresh rosemary sprigs to make my charcuterie board pop with colour. I added a small knife for people to spread the pate with and a few small forks for the meats and cheese. Use toothpicks too if you’d like.

How to Make a Holiday Charcuterie Board

Eva Bee
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Course Appetizer, Snack
Servings 6 people


  • Air Fryer or Ninja Foodi
  • large serving platter
  • decorative toothpicks or serving forks


Air Fryer Marinated Olives

  • cups black olives
  • cups garlic stuffed green olives
  • 2 thin strips fresh orange peel or fine orange zest from 1 small fresh orange
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic peeled and crushed
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp whole black peppercorns crushed
  • salt to taste
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Charcuterie Board

  • 1 cup air fryer marinated olives (see recipe)
  • ¼ cup cashews or other toasted nuts
  • 1 small pot of pate
  • 1 tbsp apricot jam
  • 1 small orange sliced in wedges
  • ½ cup marinated feta cubes can be purchased at the grocery store or Italian deli
  • ½ cup aged cheddar cubed
  • 1 cup crackers
  • 8 slices Italian prosciutto
  • 12 slices pancetta or salami, thinly sliced
  • 12 slices capicola thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup dates or other dried fruit
  • fresh rosemary for garnish (optional)


Air Fryer Marinated Olives

  • Put all air fryer marinated olives in an air fryer at 375F. Make sure there is no insert inside of the air fryer. Air fry for 5 minutes. Carefully remove the lid and serve warm. There is no need to preheat the air fryer.
  • The olives will be more than you'll need for this serving size of the charcuterie board. Give away the rest for the holidays in decorative jars or save it for the next gathering.

Charcuterie Board

  • Select two bowls that will hold the cashews and olives.
  • Place jam on top of your pate. Place pate beside the cashews and pickles.
  • Place the bowls and pate onto one corner of your serving platter.
  • Place the oranges beside your bowls.
  • Select two bowls that will hold the cheddar and feta. Place around the opposite edge of your platter from the olives.
  • Randomly scatter your crackers and sliced deli meats around your platter. You can also lay the prosciutto down one slice at a time. This will make it easier to pick up. For the pancetta and capicola, fold them in half, in half again, and then pinch to create a beautiful shape.
  • Garnish with dates and serve.


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More Holiday Ideas

Check out our Vegetarian Holiday Brown Rice and Sweet Potato Casserole or our Mason Jar Potpourri Holiday Gift.

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